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Designing a Storybook Spread

August 11, 2015

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We all love the feeling of a well-coordinated spread in our cherished family storybooks. But have you ever had questions about how to properly align the items from one page to the next? While it is true that there is currently not a way to work on a two-page spread all at once inside the Heritage Makers Studio editor, there are a few ways to go about designing that perfect spread. 


First, let me show you a couple of ways to view your storybook pages as a spread. While inside Studio, you can click this “Preview” button in the upper, left-hand area of the screen to open a preview of the page spread that you are currently working on. Whichever page you are working on, it will show you that page as well as the facing page in the same spread.



Inside this previewer, you can zoom in and out, click “Next” or “Back” to flip to a different spread, or even click “Download” to dowload a low-resolution preview image. This previewer loads a low-resolution PDF image of your storybook spread. Because it is a somewhat complex process, it can take a few moments to load. Also, please be aware that this previewer occasionally does not load or loads a blank image. It is an older tool that we are looking into the process of replacing.

Note that there is a pale red border around each page, showing where the pages will be trimmed during production. If you have any text or crucial items in that red area, you will want to move them prior to publishing.


The other easy way to see your pages as a spread is through the Project Browse. This handy previewer can be accessed by clicking the “View” button next to your project on the My Projects in Progress screen of your account. Clicking this link will open a separate pop-up window, which you can see here:



The Project Browse allows you to flip through the pages of your storybook project, as if the book were sitting in front of you. It shows the front and back cover and all of the page spreads in between. Just like with the in-Studio previewer, it is easy to see the spread as a whole and see what may need to be tweaked in the layout or alignment from one page to the other.

Note: The preview images that are shown in the Project browse are the same thumbnail images that can be seen along the right-hand side of the screen while designing the project in Studio. These thumbnails are updated as you work on and save your project, but it can happen that the images do not update after a change, usually due to an imperfect internet connection.


Lastly, a tip for designing as a spread by aligning items from one page to the next. Notice that this spread has identical background papers that are placed in the same location on both pages, so as to ‘flow’ across the spread. Once you have an item placed where you would like it on one page of the spread, you can duplicate it on another page using our helpful ‘paste in place’ feature.


Once you have copied an item or a group of items, you can paste them on the same page or another page of the same project by clicking Edit>Paste Special> Paste in Place. Here is a great video tutorial from a recent Studio U online class that may assist you in learning about this handy option:

Whether you prefer to design your storybooks with coordinating spreads or not, we know that these books are a special treasure to keep. Remember that our 12 x 12 Storybooks receive an extra 10% off at checkout when ordered during the month of August. Don’t miss this chance to add another family keepsake to your collection!