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Creating A Photo Book

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Classroom in a Book (2020 release), author Rafael Concepcion teaches you how 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.

  • A photo caption is a text cell that is linked to a single image in the layout. It can be positioned above or below an image, or overlaid on the photo, and can be moved vertically on the page.

  • A page caption is a text cell that is linked to the page as a whole, rather than any particular image. Page captions span the full width of the page; you can move them vertically, and then adjust the cell padding to position text horizontally, enabling you to place custom text anywhere in your layout.

On a single page, you can add a page caption, and a separate photo caption for each image—even if the page is based on a layout template that has no fixed text cells. 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

As mentioned above, text cells incorporated in a page layout template are fixed in place. Instead, you can use the adjustable cell padding—the space surrounding the text within its cell—to position text in your page layout exactly as you want it.

  1. Click the Multi-Page View button to see your entire book layout, then double-click just below the cover spread to zoom in on the layout. Click in the center of the front cover to select the fixed text cell.

  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. I chose American Typewriter, Regular. Click the Character color swatch to open the color picker, click the white swatch at the top of the picker, and then press Return/Enter to close the picker. Set the type size to 43 pt, and leave the opacity set to 100%. Click the Align Center button at the lower left of the Type panel.

  4. Type the word Welcome, then, press Return/Enter and type Dubai. Double-click the word Dubai to select it, and then type 120 pt in the Size text box to increase the size of the selected text.

  5. Keeping the text selected, click the black triangle at 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 72 pt. To keep the text off the image’s subject (me), select both lines of text and click the Align Right button at the bottom of the panel.

  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. Deselect the Link All option, and then increase the Top padding to 120 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. Select all of the text in the front cover text cell, 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 Command+Z/Ctrl+Z to undo the change.

  4. Drag vertically over the selection to adjust the leading, then choose Edit > Undo or press Command+Z/Ctrl+Z to undo.

  5. Hold down the Option/Alt key—to temporarily disable the Text Adjustment tool—and drag up from the letter D in Dubai to select the word Welcome, leaving the word Dubai unselected. Release the Option/Alt key and the mouse button, and hold Command/Ctrl as you drag horizontally over the selected text to decrease the tracking slightly. Watch the Tracking control in the Type panel as you drag to set a value of –4 em.

  6. Release the mouse button. Hold down the Command/Ctrl key and drag vertically over the selected text to shift it in relation to its baseline. Drag it to 13 pt and click away from the text to deselect it.

  7. If necessary, press F7, or choose Window > Panels > Hide Left Module Panels to see your front cover text larger. Make sure that the Text Adjustment tool is still active, then use your left arrow to move your cursor between the W and E in Welcome. Drag to the left over the insertion point. Watch the Type panel as you drag to set a Kerning value of –140 em.

  8. Reset your leading for the type by selecting the text and dragging the leading slider until it looks good. Click the Text Adjustment tool in the Type panel to disable it, and then click the Multi-Page View button in the Toolbar to see your entire book layout. Double-click page 1 to zoom to the Single Page view.

Working with captions

Unlike the fixed text cells built into layout templates, page and photo caption cells can be moved vertically; horizontal placement of captions is achieved by adjusting padding. Each page can include one page caption text cell and one photo caption cell for each photo on the page, even if the page template has no built-in text cells.

  1. Right-click the header of the Type panel and disable Solo Mode; then, leaving the Type panel open, expand the Text panel.

  2. Move the pointer over page 1. The template for this page has no fixed text cell; hence, nothing is highlighted. Click the photo, then click the Add Photo Text button. In the Text panel, the Photo Text controls become active. Press Command+Z/Ctrl+Z to undo the photo caption. Now click the yellow footer below the photo to switch the Add Photo Text button to the Add Page Text button. Click the Add Page Text button, and the Page Text controls are activated in the Text panel.

  3. To anchor the page caption to the top of the page, click the Top button in the Page Text controls, then drag the Offset slider to 9 pt.

  4. With the page caption active, set up the Type panel as you did for steps 2 and 3 of the “Working with text cells” exercise earlier in this lesson, but set the Size to 60 pt, set the Tracking to 3 em, and click the Auto Leading button. Then type whatever you like in the page caption, using the Return/Enter key to break the lines so that the text is shaped to fit the image, as in the illustration below.

  5. Click the Multi-Page View button in the Toolbar.

Creating a custom text preset

You can save your text settings as a custom text preset, so you can apply the same style elsewhere in your book or reuse it in a different project, by choosing Save Current Settings As New Preset from the Text Style Preset menu in the Type panel.

Saving and reusing custom book page layouts

Once you’ve used cell padding and caption text to modify a page layout, you can save your design as a custom template that will be listed in the Page Layout menus.

  1. Expand the Page panel, then watch the layout thumbnail as you right-click the page 1 preview and choose Save As Custom Page.


The original single-photo layout now is overlaid by a text cell with the proportions and position of the page caption we just created.

  1. Click the Change Page Layout button below the lower-right corner of the page preview, or to the right of the Page panel’s layout thumbnail. The saved layout is listed in the Custom Pages category.

Another way to reuse the work you’ve put into a layout is to copy and paste it directly onto another page in your book, where you can use it as is or make further modifications to the design. You’ll find the Copy Layout and Paste Layout commands in the same menu you used in step 1 when you right-clicked the page.

4. Creating a saved book | Next Section Previous Section

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