I make a lot of books at Blurb. About half of those, I make with Adobe InDesign, and the other half with Blurb BookWright. BookWright is a nice mix of basic design features and absolute simplicity. And through my extensive use of BookWright, I’ve discovered some pretty amazing, hidden features that make book design a lot easier. Hacks, shortcuts, whatever you want to call them, these tips will help you do everything faster and easier.
- Easily switch from Move Image to Move Container. BookWright lets you both move an image container, and grab an image inside a container (which is handy for cropping an image). Usually, if you want to move the container, you just click the image anywhere. If you want to move the image, you have to click the hand in the center. But if you hold command (Mac) or control (PC) and click anywhere on the image the cursor will switch to grab mode, so you can move the image around from any point. This is particularly useful if you’re working with thin image containers, or image containers with overlapping containers.
- Nudge image containers or images inside containers. Want finer control over this movement? Click an image twice, then use the arrow keys to gently nudge the image in the container. Hold down shift and you’ll nudge the image container itself.
- Swap images between containers. Have two images on the page that you want to swap? Hold shift and click and drag one to the other. They magically swap places. This is super handy if you have a page with a bunch of images, and you want to reshuffle their order.
- Dynamically resize text and change kerning. Sure, if you wanted to see the effects changing the font size in your book, you could key-in or select a new font size, or you could use your scroll-pad or scroll-wheel to do it dynamically. Just go into the text editor, highlight font size, kerning, or line height, and scroll left or right. You’ll see it take effect right on screen so you can zero-in on just the right treatment.
- Dynamically increase the image size. You can do the same thing with image zooming too. Just click the image and use your scroll-wheel or scroll-pad to smoothly zoom in and out.
- Change your font book-wide. This isn’t exactly hidden, but I didn’t know about it until someone told me. Let’s say you wrote your entire book in Comic Sans, but you wish you’d used Proxima. Under the Edit menu, the very last item is “Replace Fonts.” Swap one out for the other with just a few clicks.
- Navigate pages. OK, not exactly hidden either, but you can navigate from one spread to the next without even touching your mouse. Just hold command (Mac) or control (PC) and tap the left or right arrow key.
We’re always working on BookWright, so as we get more features, we’re sure to get more hacks. Watch this space for more!