What is your preferred scrapbook layout format?
This is one of the fundamental decisions that needs to be made before starting any project. The format of my layouts depends on the amount of content I have in terms of both photos and journaling. I tend to lean toward 12 X 12 because I can always size down, but not up. 12 X 12 format gives me greater options for printing and a larger canvas for my MultiFoto pages.
Do you scrapbook in 12 X 12 single page format or 24 X 12 double page format?
The majority of us begin our digital scrapbooking journeys creating single pages, one at a time, be it in *square* or other format. Printing and displaying our works is not initially of concern to us as we learn to find our way around the digital workspace. It's only after we start getting the hang of the basics, that we begin to address the dilemma of making our pages tangible, something that others can see and touch.
Like it or not, printed pages in photo books or albums are viewed in double page format. Two pages exist side by side. They can be cohesive in design, or not, and/or they can cover the same, similar or contrasting topics. These choices are based on personal preference and, in my case, the content I am working with. Listen to the Paperclipping Digi Show Conquer the Photobook where Liz Tamanaha a.k.a. Paislee Press talk about our very differing approaches to creating photo books.
In my general scrapbooking, I usually create single 12 X 12 pages, though on occasion I will have too much content to be contained in a single page. In these cases, a double or triple page is warranted. When these pages are printed, I place them into their respective volumes, and I am not too concerned about opposing pages being balanced or cohesive. Album or book projects are a different matter. I like my pages to be cohesive and balanced regardless of whether they accommodate a one or two themes. As a result, I tend to design my double pages as they would look if they were printed i.e. 2 12 X 12 pages next to one another is equal to a 24 X 12 canvas.
Others are more comfortable with creating 2 single 12 X 12 pages simultaneously. This is often preferred when the user has a large enough screen to see both pages side by side at the same time. I think generally beginners are more inclined to begin scrapbooking double pages as 2 single pages, and they may or may not advance to working on 24 X 12 canvases at a later date. Basically, we are divided.
I have created templates at both 12 X 12 and 24 X 12 format to accommodate both preferences, however, the latter seems to cause the greatest confusion in terms of how to get the file ready for print. In the following mini lesson, I'm going to show you how to convert 2 12 X 12 templates into a 24 X 12 canvas and vice versa.
Creating a 24 X 12 canvas for 2 12 X 12 layered files
Let's say you purchase a double page template that is delivered as 2 12 X 12 layered .PSD files, or you have 2 individual template files that you wish to work on as a double page spread.
1. Create a 24 X 12 canvas, go to File> New.
In the dialogue box, enter the following values:
2. Select the Move tool form the Tools palette, and select ALL the layers of the first template by clicking on the top layer in the Layers palette, holding down the SHIFT key, and selecting the bottom layer.
In this case, you start with a double page 24 X 12 canvas and you want to create 2 layered .PSD files. This is common if you have file storage or RAM limitations. Larger files require are more memory intensive for older computer systems.
You will also use the following technique for a completed 24 X 12 double page layout that is ready to be printed. The pages must be saved as 2 separate single page .JPEG files.
1. Select the Crop tool from the Tools palette and enter the following values in the Options Bar at the top of your screen.
2. Drag diagonally from the top left hand corner of the 24 X 12 layout to the bottom edge of the center line.
3. Accept the transformation by double clicking and us the *Save As* option from the File menu to save the first page in your double page spread as a layered .PSD and/or a flattened .JPEG file.
4. Go to Edit> Undo, to undo step 3, and repeat step 2, this time dragging diagonally from the top right corner of the 24 X 12 canvas to the bottom of the center line.
5. Repeat step 3. to save the second page as an individual page.
Two very useful techniques for dealing with double page templates. I hope they help clear up some of the confusion.