Ever since we released the design editor and templates in Flipsnack, we got requests for this feature. Today we made it happen: you can design publications in Flipsnack and download them on your computer as PDF files.
But that’s not all: the latest version of the editor features smart guides as well, helping you align or center page elements easily.
It’s a happy, happy day!
The new features create new opportunities for those of you who want to use our online design tool to create a magazine from scratch or from a magazine template. Now you can do a complete brochure design or catalog design with our tool, export it as PDF and even take it to print, in addition to having the online version on our digital publishing platform.
5 reasons to use our online design tool
Granted, our design tool is not as complex as InDesign (nor will it ever be), but there are multiple advantages in using our online tool for magazine design:
Easy to use – Because the editor is very simple to use, there’s no learning curve. Just drag and drop images, text boxes, shapes, buttons and other elements from the left onto the page.
Integrated templates – We’re not all equally talented when it comes to design, so having lots of customizable brochure templates certainly helps. Our editor has over 150 page templates that are perfect for various types of publications: reports, brochures, magazines, portfolios, catalogs, lookbooks and more.
Mockups – Sometimes the best way to present your ideas for a marketing brochure is to do a mockup, or a sketch. Our tool is so easy to work with, that anyone can do a publication mockup on Flipsnack. Showing is always better than explaining. Always.
True interactivity – InDesign and other design tools support the integration of certain interactive elements (links & videos for example), but it’s nowhere near what you can do with Flipsnack: interactive forms with integrated reporting, tags, captions, audio, video and more. Yes, this interactivity will be lost during the PDF conversion, but it’s normal that the online version of your magazine is more interactive than the printed one.
Sharing – Because you create your design online, you have multiple link sharing options. You’re not going to need separate tools: one to design, and one where you upload, host your file and produce a download/share link. With Flipsnack you have all these options in one place.
What are smart guides
Smart guides help you align images, texts and other objects using dynamic snap-to guides that appear when you move an object. They will help you align your graphic objects to the center / edges of other objects, or to page center / page margins.
The smart guides are always on when you work in the Flipsnack editor and they can’t be turned off, but you can choose to ignore them. Your objects will not be locked in their position once they are aligned, so there’s no point in disabling them altogether.
The sole purpose of the smart guides is to help you design magazines in our editor. They do not appear in your downloaded PDF.
Up until now you had to use shapes or the “snap to grid” option to align elements as best as possible, but the results were often disappointing. We promise a better experience and better results with the smart guides!
Designers know how important it is to work with guides, rulers or grids in their design projects. To summarize the benefits for non-designers:
- Professional look – the difference between amateurish and professional design is often the spacing and the alignment of elements on canvas (ok, there’s more than spacing that needs to be taken into consideration, but the composition is one of the things that’s really important)
- Precision – the best way to align objects perfectly is to use smart guides, because it ensures accuracy
- Faster alignment – Yes, you wasted a lot of time trying to achieve that perfect composition, adjusting things as best as you could with the tools you had at the time. Luckily, things have changed. Embrace our smart guides!
This is why we did our best to provide you these smart guides.
Apart from smart guides, we released a few more features that are very helpful when you design. More specifically, we now display 3 more things when you perform certain actions on an object:
- we display the rotation angle when you turn an object around
- we display the object’s position on the grid when you move it around on the page
- we display the size of the object (in pixels) when you resize it
How to download your design
You might need to work on your designs over a few days, or even weeks, depending on how long the publication is and on your pace. When you reach a point when you’re happy with the design, you should first publish it. You have an option to keep the magazine unlisted/private, if you’re working on a personal/ confidential document.
The Download PDF option is in My flipbooks -> More options -> Download PDF.
You’re probably well aware of our other download option. You can download the entire HTML5 widget on your computer and have it work offline, though this isn’t something new. Both download options require a premium subscription.
Would you like to offer readers a PDF download option? No problem, you can activate the PDF download option for your readers, by simply enabling the Download PDF option in Customize.
What else you need to know
We have successfully integrated all of the most used features from the old editor into the new one, including masks, audio, video, tags, captions, layouts, shapes, buttons and the undo-redo commands.
As mentioned earlier, Download PDF is a premium feature, so you need to have at least a Pro subscription to be able to use it. It’s a pretty good reason to upgrade!
It’s time to give this a try! Design a publication in our editor (it’s a lot of fun) and download it on your computer as PDF.