Organizing and creating iPhoto projects

Card

You can create photo cards with iPhoto, too. Choose Card from the Create menu, and you see an interface similar to the one that appears when you’re creating a book. In this case you can choose from three styles of cards: Letterpress, Folded, and Flat. Letterpress cards are … well, let’s have Apple explain the idea in its most glowing terms.

Each letterpress card is made from premium paper and produced using a centuries-old printing method that presses a design into the card for a unique look and texture. Then the card is digitally processed with your photos and text.

So, they’re swanky, available in 31 different styles, and not terribly expensive at $2.99 a pop.

Folder cards are $1.49 each and come in a wide variety of styles, organized by category. The categories include Baby & Kids, Birthday, Congratulations, Father’s Day, Formal & Wedding, Holidays, Mother’s Day, Thank You, and Whimsical.

Choosing a card type and style within iPhoto.

The same categories are available when you choose Flat, though such cards cost just 99 cents. As with Folder cards, you can choose a background color.

When you’ve selected a card type, click Create. In the layout window, you can choose the number of images for the card (the number depends on the theme you’ve selected). This window is also where you enter the card’s text. Just click a text field to bring up text tools for choosing a font, its size, and its alignment. Do so, and then start typing.

iPhoto’s Cards section also includes Layout, Options, and Photos buttons. They function here as they do with books.

Calendar

Calendars are fairly straightforward. iPhoto offers ten styles—Picture Calendar, Big Date, Colored Paper, Modern Lines, Classic, Travel, Vintage, Formal, Kids, and Seasons. They’re wire-bound and cost $19.99 for a 12-month calendar. (You can add months for $1.49 each.)

Pick your style and click Create. In the window that appears, you can choose the month in which your calendar will begin, as well as the number of months the calendar will contain. You can additionally choose to show national holidays and print events that appear within your Calendar application—your child’s soccer schedule, for instance. (You can choose which calendar events to print, such as those from your Home calendar but not from the one you use for work.) You can also add birthdays that appear in the Contacts application.

When you click OK in this window, thumbnail images of the calendar pages appear. As with the other projects, iPhoto will automatically lay out your images across the calendar’s pages. Just as you can with a book, here you can double-click a particular page to edit its content and layout. Unlike with books, you don’t have the option to add a text page. However, you still have zoom and frame controls. You can also add text to days on the calendar; just click the date you wish to edit, and text tools appear.

You have page layout options when creating calendars, too.

The Calendars section, like those for books and cards, includes Layout, Options, and Photos buttons. They work here as they do elsewhere. Worth noting: Although you can change the calendar’s background color in the Layout pane, that color applies only to the pages on which images appear. Date pages are always white.

Lasting impressions

One need only look back a decade or so ago to understand how remarkable these features are. Imagine the cost and work involved in creating a custom and professionally printed picture book, card, or calendar. Now you can do it yourself with a few clicks, without breaking the bank.

I’ve seen the effects one of these items can have on a close relative or friend—wonder and joy not the least among them. If you have memories to share, these projects are worth exploring.

Next week: iPhoto sharing

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