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Tip 10: How do I know if I am sending the right files?

On a regular basis we receive bad disks, empty CDs, or unusable files. While this increases the load on our admin staff who have to contact the customer and tell them that the files are unusable, it also obviously frustrates the customer, especially if they have taken a special trip to drop the disk off or gone to the expense of couriering or posting the disk. Below is all the information you need to ensure you're sending the right files and there will be as little chance of something going wrong as possible.

How do I know if I am sending the right files?

1. Did you “order” the album?

You need to click the order button and follow the prompts in order to make a file to submit.


2. Where did you find the file?

The file MUST be from the “RapidStudio_Submitted_Orders” folder on your C drive.


3. What does your file look like?

If you chose to send your file on CD you should have a zip file.
The file name should have 17 or 18 characters in the name, the first 8 characters are your order …

Tip 9 : Aligning and Spacing in Rapidstudio

We often want to create a collage of photo's as a page design. Most of the time we are not totally confident in creating this type of layout in Rapidstudio, as you have to be accurate in your aligning and spacing of pictures. In this tutorial I will be explaining how to create a collage of pictures on a page, as it covers most of the alignment and spacing topics.
I hope this tutorial will help you realise your design intent more accurately and efficiently.
You will probably start with a page layout something similar to this

We are going to start with top row of pictures. The following explanation only refers to the top row, we will be dealing with the rest of the images a bit later.
First of all we need to move the pictures next to each other horizontally to see if they will fit in the "Safe Area" of the page. In this example the pictures are too wide and overlap the safe area horizontally. Please note that you will have to leave a decent amount of space between the safe …

Tip 8: Choosing the right internet acecss for your lifestyle

Choosing the right internet access for your lifestyle

With so many ISPs out there these days, it's difficult to decide what type of access you need and which product will be cost effective and best suit your needs.
In the by-gone days of dial up our internet usage was measured by the amount of time we spent connected, and we all quickly got into the habit of plugging in the modem, quickly connecting, checking our mail doing what little surfing we needed and then before we ran up a huge bill, disconnected and unplugged the modem again - just to make sure.

Now days with the advent of broadband, we're no longer charged by the amount of time we spend online, but instead by the amount of data that we use up. while it's true that the longer you're connected the more likely you are to use more data, most people find it convenient and not too expensive to be connected all the time.

Being connected all the time does however come with some dangers. the chances of picking up unwa…

Tip 7: Understanding colour

Understanding colour
Colour can be quite tricky, every device, due to how it’s designed and what components have been used, records and represents colour slightly differently. Colour representation is also very objective, most monitor and printer manufacturers all invest a lot of resources on getting their colour representation to “look nice”, moving away from a more accurate reproduction. We all prefer a nice looking image to an accurate image.
Common problems when taking and printing digital photos:
White balance: If your camera is unable to properly select the right “white balance profile” images come out with a yellow or orange or blue tint. You can try and choose a white balance profile in the camera’s settings yourself, or try correct the photos in Photoshop.

Blow out: Print is toner dots on white paper. If there is a pure white area in an image no dots are placed, only the white paper is left, looking naked and crisp. You can fade smoothly between 100% dots and 10% dots, but between 1…

Tip 6: Understanding Bleed

We get books returned to us on occasion because the customer is dissatisfied with some or other aspect of the quality of the book.
Often times these problems are simple misunderstandings. I'm going to try and explain some of the most simple issues in the next few blogs, starting this week with the print area.

Understanding Bleed

I'm sure you've noticed on your home inkjet printer that the print can't go all the way over the edge of the page. while some fancy home printers have recently added boarderless printing, the majority can't achieve this, and it's the same with our large printing presses, there is an area around the edge of the page where the printer actually grips the paper in order to move it through the press, this area can't be printed on, therefore the images of your photobook pages are printed on a larger sheet, and then cut down to size in order to achieve a neat uniform block of borderless prints that will become the pages of your book.

I'…

Tip 5: Burning CDs or DVDs

On a regular basis we receive CDs that we can't use. Either the wrong files are on the disk or the disk is blank, or we can see that there's something on the disk, but we can't read anything off it. As frustrating as it is for the customer who sent the CD, waiting for weeks for us to receive it only to find it's useless, it's equally scary for us to call that customer back and try explain that we can't use their CD. Here's a quick guide to making and testing a CD that will work reliably.

Burning and Testing Discs
First off. you need to know you have a CD or DVD burner. The easiest way to tell this is by getting down on your hands and knees in front of the computer box on the floor next to you and reading what is printed on the front of the drive.

The drives are "backwards compatible" so if it can write then it can also read, and if it can do DVDs it can also do CDs. ROM - means it can read only, not write R or RW - means it can write too.


Next we need t…

RS Tip 4: Backing up

Over the weekend my laptop broke. These days much of our lives depend on our computers. Business, social communication and entertainment are now all served up on a digital platform and we tend, foolishly, to put all our documents, data, pictures, music, video, mail, chat, contacts so much of our lives in one digital basket. Laptops and even desktops are perceived as high value products (Even when they're old and slow) and are often the target of theft. they are also highly sensitive electronic devices and can easily be damaged by power surges or outages.
This said - It's important to make backups!

Making Backups

There are many different options and services when choosing how to back up your data:
You can manually copy files you want to back up to external media (USB hard drive, flash disk, CD or DVD)
You can sign up for free (or paid) online storage and manually upload your important files to them.
You can sign up with an online backup provider like www.mozy.com who manage the …

RapidStudio Tip Number 3: The Taming of the Passwords.

These days it seems every site wants you to register and log in, every password has different rules, and every username is based on some other of my personal information, I can't even remember my new cell number, how am I supposed to remember the myriad of login credentials that are demanded of me each time I venture onto the internet?

The Taming of the Passwords.

Usernames and passwords protect our online identity, they are the face and voice by which we are recognised by the many different sites we visit and interact with. As I am sure you can imagine, it's important to keep this information secure, not hand it out freely to anyone you encounter on the internet. keeping in mine - that each and every time we type it - we are giving it to someone.

here are some rules (explained) to guide you to a safer and easier online experience:

Keep your most important passwords private.
If you register with a website, often times you give them your email address as part of the registration.…

RapidStudio Tip Number 2: Keeping up-to-date

RapidStudio Tip Number 2: Keeping up-to-date

In the fast changing world of the internet demands we keep up with the latest software updates to ensure we have the best surfing experience and keep safe on the internet.

Keeping up-to-date

Our web browser is our vehicle with which we navigate the internet, browsers come in many shapes and sizes, most free. Internet Explorer is Windows default browser, but Firefox, Chrome and Safari are preferred by many web users. Many new advances in technology make web pages faster, easier to navigate and more content-rich. Developers are able to use a variety of new ways to allow users to interact with their websites in real time. Unfortunately these advances also open up new vulnerabilities in our browsers that can be exploited by skelms to gain access to our browsing habits, or even install unwanted and dangerous programs on our PCs.
In order to - 1. Protect ourselves from the perils of the internet and 2. Have the most enjoyable, hassle-free experie…

RapidStudio Test Tip: Shopping Carts

RapidStudio Test Tip: Shopping Carts


Being in the RapidStudio support team gives me first hand insight into the needs of the new up-and-coming South African internet users.
I often feel that our business is pulling South African computer users kicking and screaming into the world of e-commerce, and need to be responsible in assuring, educating and helping them in as many ways as possible.
Being on support duty every Sunday from 10 till 3, I've finally decided to use some of that time to work on a few "tips" for new internet users to both help them stay safe online, and have the best possible online experience. These are written by me personally, RapidStudio support can't explain, take responsibility for, or support any of the things I've put up here for you. I am sure other internet users besides RapidStudio-ers will find them useful too!
So here's the first tip, a test tip to see if this helps anyone and if I should consider doing one a week:


The Shopping Cart

Whe…