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Creating a Photo Book in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

  • Date: Aug 23, 2012.

Article Description

Whether it’s produced for a client or as a professional portfolio, designed as a gift or simply to preserve precious memories, a photo book makes a great way to share and showcase your images. The Book module makes it easy to design beautiful, sophisticated book layouts, and then publish them without leaving Lightroom.

Adding text to a photo book

There are several ways to add text to your pages in the Book module, each useful in different situations:

  • Text cells that are built into page layout templates are fixed in position; they can’t be deleted, moved, or resized, but you can use the adjustable cell padding to position text anywhere on a page.
  • Photo captions are associated with a single image in the layout; a photo caption can be positioned above or below an image, or overlaid on the photo, and can be moved vertically on the page.
  • Page captions span the full width of the page and are not attached to any particular image, but to the page as a whole. Page captions let you place custom text anywhere on a page; you can move them vertically, and then use the cell padding for horizontal positioning.

Depending on the layout template, a single book page might include more than one fixed text cell, a page caption, and a separate photo caption for each image.

Fixed text cells and photo captions can be configured for custom text, or set to display captions or titles extracted automatically from your photos’ metadata. The Book module incorporates state-of-the-art text tools that give you total control over every aspect of the text styling. Type attributes can be adjusted using sliders or numerical input, or tweaked visually with the Text Adjustment Tool.

Working with text cells

Text cells incorporated in a page layout template are fixed in place; you can’t delete them, resize them, or move them on the page. Instead, you can use the adjustable cell padding—the space surrounding text within its cell—to position text in your page layout exactly as you want it.

  1. Click the Multi-Page View button (Image) in the Toolbar to see your entire book layout; then, double-click the cover spread to zoom in on the layout. Select the text cell on the front cover.
  2. Expand the Type panel. Make sure that the Text Style Preset is set to Custom, to accommodate manually entered text, rather than metadata from the image.
  3. Choose a font and type style from the menus below the preset setting. We chose American Typewriter, Regular. Click the Character color swatch to open the color picker; click the white swatch at the left of the row at the top of the picker; then, click away from the color picker to dismiss it. Set the type size to 70 pt, and leave the opacity set to 100%. Click the Align Center button at the lower left of the Type panel.
  4. Type the words in the; then, press Enter / Return and type detail. Swipe to select the word detail, and then type in the Size text box to increase the size of the selected text to 140 pt.
  5. Keeping the text selected, click the black triangle to the right of the Character color swatch to see the type attribute controls. Reduce the Leading—the spacing between the selected text and the line above it—to 100 pt.
  6. Click inside the text cell, but away from the text, to keep the cell selected while deselecting the text; then, expand the Cell panel. Disable the Link All option, and then increase the Top padding to 320 pt.

Fine-tuning type

In The Type panel, Lightroom incorporates a suite of sophisticated yet easy-to-use type tools that allow you detailed control over the text styling. You can use the adjustment sliders and numerical input to set type attributes in the Type panel, or tweak your text visually in any view using the intuitive Text Adjustment Tool.

  1. Expand the Type panel and examine the four controls below the Size and Opacity sliders: Be sure to undo any changes you make at this stage.
    • Tracking adjusts the letter spacing throughout a text selection. You can use tracking to change the overall appearance and readability of your text, making it look either more open or more dense.
    • Baseline adjusts the vertical position of selected text relative to the baseline—the imaginary line on which the text sits.
    • Leading adjusts the space between selected text and the line above it.
    • Kerning adjusts the letter spacing between specific pairs of letters. Some pairings produce optical effects that cause letter spacing to appear uneven; place the text insertion cursor between two letters to adjust the kerning.
  2. Swipe across all of the text in the front cover text cell to select it, and then click to activate the Text Adjustment Tool, to the left of the Character color setting in the Type panel.
  3. Drag horizontally across the selection to adjust the text size. The adjustment is applied relatively; the different sizes of text are changed by relative amounts. Choose Edit > Undo or press Ctrl+Z / Command+Z to undo the change.
  4. Drag vertically over the selection to adjust the leading; then, choose Edit > Undo or press Ctrl+Z / Command+Z to reverse the change.
  5. Hold down the Alt / Option key—to temporarily disable the Text Adjustment Tool—and drag to select the words in the, leaving the word detail deselected; then, release the Alt / Option key and hold down the Ctrl / Command key as you drag horizontally over the selected text to increase the tracking slightly. Watch the Tracking control in the Type panel as you drag to set a value of 5 em.
  6. Hold down the Alt / Option key and drag to select the word the, leaving the rest of the text deselected. Release the Alt / Option key, and then hold down the Ctrl / Command key and drag vertically over the selected text to shift it in relation to its baseline. Undo the change and click away from the text to deselect it.
  7. If necessary, press F7, or choose Window > Panels > Show Left Module Panels. In the zoom ratio picker in the header of the Preview panel, click 1:1. Drag the white rectangle in the preview to focus on the front cover text. Make sure that the Text Adjustment Tool is still active; then, click once to position the text insertion cursor to the left of the word in. Drag to the right over the insertion point. Watch the Type panel as you drag to set a value of 135 em.
  8. At this large point size, the first three letters of the word detail appear to be more loosely spaced than the last four.
  9. Click once to place the insertion point between the letters e and t, and then drag to the left over the insertion point to set the Kerning value to -30. Set the Kerning value to -40 for the d-e pair.
  10. Click the Text Adjustment Tool in the Type panel to disable it; then, click the Multi-Page View button (Image) in the Toolbar to see your entire book layout. Double-click page 1 to zoom to the Single Page view.

Working with captions

Text cells incorporated in a page layout template are fixed in place; you can’t delete them, resize them, or move them on the page. Instead, you can use the adjustable cell padding—the space surrounding text within its cell—to position text in your page layout exactly as you want it.

  1. Click the black triangle to the right of the Character color swatch in the Type panel to hide the text adjustment controls; then, right-click / Control-click the header of the panel and disable Solo Mode. Expand the Caption and Cell panels. In the Caption panel, activate the Page Caption option.
  2. In the Caption panel, activate the Page Caption option. Drag the Offset slider to set a value of 110 pt. If your page caption appeared towards the bottom of the page, click the Top button below the Offset slider.
  3. With the page caption selected in the Single Page view, set up the Type panel just as you did for steps 2 and 3 of the exercise “Working with text cells” on page 236, other than the text size. Set the size to 40 pt.
  4. Type whatever you like in the page caption, using the Enter/Return key to break the lines so that the text is shaped to fit the photo, as in the illustration below.
  5. Click the Multi-Page View button (Image) in the Toolbar.

Creating a custom text preset

You can save your text settings as a custom text preset, so you can add text in the same style elsewhere in your book, or re-use the same style in a different project.

  1. In the Type panel, expand the text adjustment controls and examine the current combination of settings.
  2. At the top of the Type panel, click Custom: the current Text Style Preset setting. Choose Save Current Settings As New Preset. Type Details caption 40 pt as the name for the new preset and click Create.

Your custom text style preset is added to the Text Style Preset menu.

Re-using custom book page layouts

You can save time and effort by copying a customized page layout—or even a full spread—and then pasting it to a page or spread elsewhere in your book. You can use a copied layout as is, or as a starting point for a new design.

  1. In any of the three Book Editor views, select the page or spread you wish to copy. Take care to select the page (or pages) and not the component text or image cells. Right-click / Control-click the yellow selection border and choose Copy Layout from the context menu.
  2. Select the destination page or spread; then right-click / Control-click the yellow selection border and choose Paste Layout from the context menu.
4. Creating a saved book | Next Section Previous Section

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