Converting a Project in FOREVER Artisan 5

Converting a Project in FOREVER Artisan 5

Tips and reminders for editing once the conversion process is complete

Have you ever started a photo book project and then thought, “I would really prefer to order this book in a smaller size.”?  Or, maybe you told your mom about the family photo book you made from your trip to visit her, and realized that she would love a copy, but then thought that a smaller one would suit her better.  Whatever the reason, sometimes we just want to change the size of a completed project before we print it.

When you use FOREVER Artisan 5, the software can help you with this process and save you a lot of time.  You just have to keep in mind that the conversion process cannot replace your thoughtful review of the project before you order it.

In preparation of the recent release of 10” x 10” photo books in FOREVER Artisan 5 and Forever Design & Print, we did a lot of testing at the Home Office. One of our tests involved taking a 12 x 12 photo book and converting it to a 10 x 10 photo book – then converting the same 12 x 12 photo book into an 8 x 8 photo book so that we could compare the two conversion processes.  While we did this, we were able to take a very close look at what the conversion process actually does.

General conversion tips:

First of all, when you convert a project in Artisan to a smaller size, the original is preserved.  When the conversion process is complete, you will have both the original size (in this case the 12 x 12) and the new size that you choose.

Second, keep in mind that, because of quality constraints, you can only convert a larger project to a smaller project.  (For example, a 12 x 12 can be converted to a 10 x 10, but not the other way around.)  Also, you cannot change the shape of your project when converting - you can only convert a square project to a square and a rectangle to a rectangle.  (For example, a 12 x 12 cannot be converted to an 11 x 8.5).

Finally, it’s important to remember that conversion is a complicated process.  Think of all the content you put on each page; when you open a project, go to the File Menu and choose “Convert,” the software will analyze, resize, and place that content on smaller pages for you.  It is quite an amazing process!

Once Artisan completes the conversion of your original photo book into a brand-new photo book, then you will have the opportunity to put your stamp of approval on the new project. 

Checking the cover:

Although a project always opens on Page 1, it makes sense to check the cover of the book first.  Keep these things in mind specifically when you check the cover:

  • You can view the cover in parts by selecting the cover from the Pages Panel, and then going to the View ribbon and choosing “Parts”.  From that drop-down, you can view the Front Cover, Back Cover, and Spine separately.

  • When going from Lay flat pages to Standard pages, the binding changes.

  • When going from Hardbound to Softbound, you lose the Spine as a separate part of the cover.  Any text you put in the Spine of the Hardbound book will be split – half on the front and half on the back – for the Softbound book.  You will likely want to remove this text or move it to another location.

Other things to keep in mind when reviewing each page, including the cover:

  • Content – Take a close look at your photos, text, etc. and edit the content on the page as needed. 

  • Print Edges – Check your project with the Print Guide turned on to make sure none of the content is too close to the outside edges of the page. 

  • Gutter – Check your project in the “Trim with current binding” View or the “Two bound pages” View to make sure none of the content is too close to the center of the book.  (This does not apply to the cover, but you can still check the cover in the “Parts” View mentioned above.)

NOTE:  For the examples below, the 12 x 12 photo book had not been proofed for printing.  I also did not make any edits/adjustments after converting the 12 x 12 to 10 x 10 or after converting the 12 x 12 to 8 x 8.

Let’s look at the cover first.

Here is the 12 x 12 print preview of the cover of my original photo book:


Here is the print preview of the cover of my photo book after it was converted to a 10 x 10:


And, finally, here is the print preview of the cover of my photo book after it was converted to an 8 x 8:


As you can see when they are shown in comparison like this, the elements on the cover are a little closer to the edges with each conversion to a smaller size.  Thankfully, though, the text on the spine remains centered.

Reviewing your pages:

Now, we can turn our attention to the individual pages.  This book has 28 completed pages.  I am not going to show you all of them in this blog, but the following sample pages will show you the differences along the gutter (where the page is bound) and the importance of reviewing the text boxes carefully.

Here is a set of sample pages that show the inside binding:

12 x 12


10 x 10


8 x 8


Notice that the elements near the gutter get closer and closer to being “lost” when the book goes through the binding process. 

Text boxes present another possible issue to be aware of.  As Artisan 5 converts the text boxes to a smaller size, text can be cut off.  You will want to review all text boxes carefully to make sure that the text still fits in the boxes in your converted project.  You may need to resize the text box so that it fits on the page.  You may also need to resize the font so that it fits within the text box.  Look at the text box on the left-hand page in the examples below:

12 x 12


10 x 10


8 x 8


Which view is best when reviewing a project for print?

You may be asking yourself at this point, “What is the best way to View my photo book before printing so I can determine what adjustments or edits need to be made?”  Artisan 5 provides several tools for this.  The Print Guide and the views “Trim with current binding” and “Two bound pages” will give you the best representation of how the photo book pages will look when they are printed.  In the examples below, all screen shots show the project that was converted from 12 x 12 to 8 x 8 since it is easiest to see the differences in the 8 x 8.  

NOTE:  When viewing a project in “Trim with Current Binding” or “Two bound pages”, if you selected lay flat binding for the project when you originally created it, the safety line lands directly on the binding edge on purpose.  This keeps the binding from interfering with any photo layout that spans both pages.  However, if you are working with text or photos that end on that edge, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  Allow an extra 1/8” on that inside edge for text to make sure you don’t lose any important information.

The easiest and most accessible tool is the Print Guide.  There is a button in the top right of the Artisan 5 software labeled “Print Guide” that can be clicked at any time to turn the Print Guide on or off (the default when you open a project is “on”).  This guide will show you the Safe Zone, the Trim Line, and the Bleed Area, with definitions of each.  It also gives you a few tips to keep in mind when reviewing your project before printing.  Here is my 8 x 8 cover with the Print Guide turned on:


You can see that the edge of any photo along the top, bottom, or sides of the cover will be wrapped to the inside of the book.  Before I print this, I need to adjust the position or size of these elements.

Another option is to view the page in “Trim with current binding” view.  If you go to the View ribbon, expand the drop-down under Trim, and choose “Trim with current binding”, your page will display with trimmed edges and a shaded area on the side where it will be bound:


In this case, I definitely need to move or resize everything on the left so that it displays as designed when the photo book is printed.  I may also want to move or resize at least the middle photo on the right so that it is not quite as close to the trimmed edge.  Nothing is “lost” with that photo, and whether or not to move it is a matter of personal preference.

A third option is to view the opposing pages of a book in “Two bound pages” view.  If you go to the View ribbon, expand the drop-down under Spreads, and choose “Two bound pages”, your pages will display as they do in a book.  Here is a set of pages that will be in my 8 x 8 photo book:


In this View, I can review and edit two pages at a time, making sure I like the look of them together, not just separately.

No matter your method, you can ALWAYS get the look you want!

All of the suggested views above will help you edit your pages after converting a project so you get the look you want.  Regardless of whether you convert a project or not, it is always good practice to review the pages of your project in at least one of these views before printing – and review all the text carefully for typing errors and to be sure the text fits in the box.

As you can see from the above examples, it is very important that you review the converted project carefully, looking at the placement of the elements close to all edges and reading the text carefully to make sure it is not cut off and the font size does not need to be adjusted.

While it will take some time to review the converted project, it will not take nearly the amount of time you would spend to re-create the project in a different size.  So, enjoy using the conversion process as a means to easily create your project in a new size so that all you have to do is review and fine-tune the pages.  And enjoy 10 x 10 photo books, available now in both FOREVER Artisan 5 and Design & Print!

10 x 10 Photo Books are HERE!

10 x 10 Photo Books are HERE!

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