Beginner's Guide to Making a Photo book with the Bob Designer Software

Shannon Osborne
21st October 2020

Getting started with our Bob Designer Software is just one of the creation methods you can choose at Bob Books. We’ve put together a beginner’s guide with helpful information and tips on how to make the best photo book for your project. 

Since the Bob Designer Software is our customers’ most preferred method for creating their books, we wanted to make it easier for anyone who might be getting started with it for the first time. But even those who are already confident users of the designer software might find some useful tips here that they weren’t aware of.

Personalised photo products

Firstly, on our downloadable software you will notice that we have a range of personalised photo products you can make in addition to photo books. For instance, you can design some wall art for your home, create photo cards for every occasion, and make the most of our fully customisable photo calendars

If you’ve decided to start by creating a photo book, your first step will be to choose your preferred book size from the seven available sizes. Each one comes with a cm guide to let you know how big it will be printed. Once you're settled on your size, you can choose from our six paper types. 

Bob Books’ classic, gloss and matte papers come with perfect bound stitching, whereas the photographic lay-flat paper range comes with lay-flat binding. Examples of our papers can be ordered in our swatch packs to try before you buy. You can also head over to this blog post, where we provide a detailed explanation of the different paper types along with example images.

Choosing your cover

Another important aspect of creating your photo book is choosing between a hardback or paperback cover. Hardback covers are only available with our photographic papers. You will be given a preview price of your photo book so you know what to expect before you start. 

Our Designer software will give you the choice of starting with a blank book or getting some help from our autofill assistant. Starting from scratch is a great option if you want to have complete control and already have a layout in mind, whereas the autofill assistant is perfect if you need a little help from our pre-set design themes. Don’t panic though; if you don't like the automated design themes, you can always change these up as you go along or if you see one that is more to your preference.

Organise your images

We recommend putting all your desired images for the photo book into a folder on your pc before starting. This allows you to drag the folder into the workspace and have your images arranged in the book for you! If you’re choosing to design without the assistant, you can still drag the folder in and have your images ready to use on the left hand side. This is also a great time to add your book title if you have one in mind, as it will automatically be placed in your book for you to edit.

Changing the size or paper type

You will then be given an automated option of how many images to place on how many pages. All of our photo books start with 26 pages and you can add in multiples of four as you desire. Bear in mind that this will add additional costs, but you can easily see the price of your photo book as you go along on the bottom right hand side of your designer. 

This feature keeps you informed of the final costing and will also allow you to change the size of your book or paper type if you change your mind midway. If you would like to have an idea of our prices and the maximum number of pages for each of our books and paper, you can find them on our site here.

Choosing your layouts

The next step will be to either choose a theme to follow throughout the photo book, (you will find it on the left hand side tab) or simply keep the white background and choose your desired photo templates. If you have chosen the assisted option, you can still edit your pages, templates and images as you please. 

This can be done by selecting your page layouts and dragging new templates onto your pages. You can also test out some new templates to see which one suits you. If you want to return to your initial selection, the handy undo tool on the editing panel will take you back through your actions.

Top Tip! 

If you find a page layout that you like, there's a green thumb you can click on, which will mark the page layout as your favourite so you don't have to scroll and search for it each time! It will also be saved for all your future projects.

Adding borders to your images

Another tip that’s good to know is that if you want to add borders to your images, or if you have added borders and want to get rid of them, you can do this to all the images throughout your book at once with the handy frames tool. Located at the top panel with the other design features is the ‘frames’ button. Once you have selected an image, simply click on this and you will see an option for adding a border to the selected image. Select or unselect the ‘border’ button, choose your width, position and colour, and then if desired, select the ‘apply to multiple objects’ button. Here you can choose your cover, inner pages or a certain selection of pages to apply to photos without mask and hit ‘ok’.

Choosing your options

For each option, such as themes, book templates and page layouts, in the left hand side of the software you will be given an automated selection to choose from. If this doesn't suit you, you can simply hit the drop down menu and choose ‘show all’ which will then give you all the options within the software.

Image Optimisation Tool

You may notice that in the top panel, your automatic image optimisation is on and or off. This button amends the image quality of your photos. It can even out exposition errors, colour issues and will also adjust the contrast and saturation of the colours for optimal print. It should be turned on already when the software is launched, but if you notice that it’s not on, simply click the icon shown below.

Exclusive features

Some exclusive features to mention, which you may want to use on our Bob Designer Software, include the option to add videos as QR scan codes, and also add highlights to your cover title. 

To add in videos, simply have them ready in your photo folder on your pc. You can also drag them in from your computer onto the desired page(s). Here, you will find that if you hit the spacebar on your keyboard, it will automatically place your video with QR code in different positions around the page. You can play around with this until you're happy! 

To add highlights to your title, simply go back to your cover and click on the ‘highlights’ diamond icon on the top panel. This will give you the option of adding silver, gold or gloss highlights to your title.

Bob Books recommends 

We advise all of our customers to save their photo book files to their computer as they go along. This makes it easier to pick up your book from where you left it, and if you want to go back and make some edits to a future copy you can! These are saved as .mxcf files.

If you have any questions that might be more specific to your photo book, we also have a help and info section where we have tried to answer as many questions as possible about our Designer Software to help you along the way.