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Software Tutorial

Welcome to 10 Dollar Designs, Photo Store Sofware Free Photo Gifting Software!

The RocketLife Software lets you create stunning, professional quality products in just a few minutes. It’s fast, fun and easy to use and has many features not found anywhere else:

  • Showcases your pictures on real-time 3D previews of each product so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
  • Choose any item in the Product Catalog, and let our unique “Smart Arrangement Technology” create a set of items featuring themed collages with your photos magically organized not just by how they were taken, but grouped naturally onto products or pages.
  • Employs sophisticated graphics and image processing capabilities to create beautiful and professional multi-layer and muti-photo products automatically.
  • Easily customize any collage using a wide range of elegant themes and graphics, and super-easy Try Theme Variation and Try More Layouts features.
  • Manually modify any aspect of the automatic layouts, or create your own layouts from scratch, using fast and powerful drag-and-drop capabilities.

This guide contains important tips to get you started. We recommend you print it out or have it open on your computer to flip to as you begin to use the software. RocketLife is fun to play with so be sure to explore and try new things! Also be sure to watch the “Getting Started” video for even more helpful hints.

Starting a New Project

On the software's initial Welcome Screen, the Start a new Project button lets you load photos for your project. You can also Open an existing Project that you have previously saved.

When you Start a new Project, a Windows file requestor will appear. We highly recommend that you select one or more folders containing photos of an entire event, occasion, vacation, or even an entire year of family photos.

Note that if you load at least 30 or up to hundreds of photos, you will see how the Smart Arrangement Technology can create a set of naturally arranged layouts, and start you right away with a set of ready-to-order products or even a completely laid out photo book.

When you're ready, click the Add Photos button, and after your photos load, you will see the Product Catalog.

Also, in the Product Catalog a Start Over button is available at the top left of the screen - this will take you back to the Welcome Screen where you can start over with a new set of photos.

Selecting Photos

In the Product Catalog, a useful Select Photos feature is available to the left of the preview window. This opens a panel where you can choose the photos you want to use in your products.

This feature is particularly helpful when you have loaded in a large number of photos and you wish to make further choices as to which photos will be in your products. You can also always add or remove photos individually when you are editing a product.

Note that the photos are grouped by date and time, with handy Select This Group and Deselect This Group buttons.

One great way to use this feature is to use the Deselect All Photos button at the top, and then select just the photos or groups of photos you want to use.

Browsing the Catalog

Simply click on a Product Thumbnail below to see a 3D preview of that product with one or more of your photos. To the right, you will see a brief product description, with a link to open the Options & Pricing window.

Note that there are two basic types of photo products: Single-Item products such as Collage prints, Posters, Coffee Mugs, and Multi-Page products such as Photo Books and Calendars. These are treated a bit differently during the ordering process, as described below.

You can return to the Product Catalog using the Return to Catalog or Go Back button, which is always at the top left corner of the screen when you are in any other panel.

Viewing a Product

From the Product Catalog, click the green Customize & Order button at the bottom right to examine the selected product.

You will then see the Order page for single item products such as Prints, Posters and Coffee Mugs. Here you can browse the Item Thumbnails below, and choose quantities and sizes (as described in the following section).

For multi-page items such as Photo Books and Calendars, you will see the Review page.

Here you can click on the Page Thumnails below to scan through your book and do any desired customizations.

When you are happy with your book, click the Order Button at the bottom right, and you will see the Order page where you can select cover options and sizes for your book.

On either of these panels you will find options to Select Theme or Occasion, Arrange Photos, or Customize your product. These features are described in sections further below.

Choosing Quantities and Sizes

On the Order Page, select an Item Thumbnail below, and use the and buttons to increase and decrease the quantity of the size chosen in the right panel.

On the right panel, Size Buttons are available depending on the product. Use these to set the size such as 4 x 6 print or 11 oz. Mug, and then use the and buttons below the Item Thumbnail to set the quantity for that size.

Automatic Product Creation

When you click the Customize & Order button from the catalog, the Smart Arrangement Technology quickly creates automatic layouts for all items or pages of the selected product.

You can order these products as-is, or use them as a starting point for easy customizations using the options on the right panel.

Manual Product Creation

If you'd like to start from scratch and do your own layouts manually, click on the Create New option to the left of the product preview.

On Single-Item products such as Collage Prints or Coffee Mugs:

  • You will be taken to the Arrange Photos panel
  • a new blank item will appear
  • Here you can start adding and arranging photos in the collage

On Multi-Page products such as Photo Books and Calendars, a new empty book is created:

  • A warning message appears - if you have any changes you want to keep, you can use the Save Project option at the upper left while the message is open
  • When you are ready, Click the Continue button below the warning message
  • You will be taken to the Arrange Photos panel
  • The blank first page of your new book will appear
  • Here you can start adding and arranging photos, creating new page spreads as needed (see below) and change themes, etc.

The Arrange Photos Panel

The Arrange Photos button is available on the Order or Customize panels, and also opens automatically when you use the Create New option to the left of the preview.

This panel lets you add and move photos, and add or re-order pages in a Photo Book or Calendar.

  • To Remove a photo, select the photo in the collage, then click the (remove) button to the right of the preview.
  • To add a photo to the current collage, click the photo thumbnail in the list to the left.
  • To Select a different page or item to work on, click a page thumbnail in the list at the center bottom of the screen.

Note the tabs above the photo list:

  • Unused Photos shows photos that have not yet been added or have been removed
  • Used Photos lets you duplicate photos that have already been placed on another page

Moving Photos Between Pages

To move a photo from one page to another, use the Arrange Photos Panel to remove it and then add it in the new location, as follows:

  1. Select the photo you want to move
  2. Click the (remove) button in the photo controls to the right of the preview
  3. The removed photo will appear at the top of the Unused Photos list
  4. Select the new page or item, in the page list at the center of the panel
  5. Then click the photo thumbnail in the photo list to add it to that page

Creating and Moving Page Spreads

On Photo Books, the left and right facing pages (called Page Spreads) are designed to be thematically coordinated and dramatic, and are thus created, deleted and moved together using the Arrange Photos Panel.

  • To create a new page spread, use the New Page Spread button on the right. The new pages will appear at the end of the book.
  • To delete a page spread, use the Delete Page Spread button on the right. The photos that were on these pages will be placed in the Unused Photos category of the photo list.
  • To move a page spread to a different location, select one of the desired pages in the page list at the center of the panel, and use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow buttons at the top of the list.
  • To ensure that the themes do not get thrown off by one page, leading to a Photo Book with mismatched Left and Right pages from that point on, creating, deleting and moving single pages is not allowed. You can however, specify a different theme or make any changes you would like to single pages.

Changing the Theme

Each Theme contains an entire set of theme variations, graphic elements and font styles.

  • When reviewing or customizing a product, click the Select Theme or Occasion button to open a panel with a variety of cool designs you can apply to your product.
  • Simply select a Category Tab, and click on a Theme Icon to apply that theme to the currently selected item or page.
  • The Apply to All button below the category tabs will spread the selected theme across the entire collection of items or pages in your book.
  • Note that each item or page will receive a different variation within that theme.

Quick Theme and Layout Variations

At the bottom of the Themes & Occasions Panel and at the top of the Editing Options Panel, you will find three handy buttons for quick and easy adjustments to your collage.

  • Try Theme Variations cycles through all the available variations in the current theme
  • Try More Layouts cycles through a set of different layouts appropriate to the number of photos on the page
  • Try Photo Rotations cycles through various types and amounts of rotation on your photos
  • (Note that the Try Photo Rotation settings are kept when you go back and Try More Layouts!)

Drag & Drop Layout Editing

Anytime you are using one of the Theme, Arrange or Customize panels, you can also choose to manually edit your layout in the Preview Panel.

Simply select the photo you want to work with, and the following handles will appear:

  • To reposition a photo, use the Position Handle at the center
  • To resize a photo, use the Size Handle at the lower right
  • To rotate a photo, use the Rotate Handle at the top right

Note that a Safe Print Area outline appears to keep your photos within the print margins, to ensure they are not cut off on the final product.

Quick Photo Controls

Anytime you are using one of the Theme, Arrange or Customize panels, additional control icons are also available to the right of the preview panel. (If you hold the mouse cursor briefly over a button, its name will appear in a tool-tip popup.)

  • Rotate Left and Rotate Right will rotate the selected photo by 90 degrees
  • Move Photo to Front and Move Photo to Back control the layering of the selected photo
  • My Favorite Photo makes the selected photo the largest in the layout (unless of course it already is)
  • Remove Photo removes the selected photo (removed photos will appear under the Unused Photos tab in the Arrange Photos Panel if you should want them back)
  • Crop Photo opens the cropping tool for the selected photo. Use the Corner Handles to move the edges, and click the Done button when you're happy
  • Photo Caption opens a Text Panel where you can type or paste your caption, plus additional controls on this panel let you adjust the caption alignment, size and transparency
  • The Preview button opens your collage in a Full Screen Preview (note that it initially uses quick low-res imagery, but if you wait for a few seconds, a high quality rendering will appear)

Editing Options

While Ordering items or Reviewing a Photo Book or Calendar, a Customize button at the right will take you to the Editing Options Panel.

  • The three Quick Variation buttons are the same as at the bottom of the Themes & Occasions Panel, as described here
  • The Change Theme button will take you to the Themes & Occasions Panel described here
  • The Copy Photo to Background button will duplicate the currently selected photo into the background of the page layout - note that its appearance will be effected by the chosen Theme Variation
  • The Item Text button opens the Text Panel, where you can type or paste a title for your item or page, plus additional controls on this panel let you adjust the title alignment, size and transparency
  • The Arrange Photos button takes you to the Arrange Photos Panel, described here

Saving and Opening Projects

To the left of the preview panel you will find the Save Project button, which opens a Windows file requestor where you can save a copy of your project.

  • When making any significant customizations to a product, we recommend that you use this button frequently.
  • Be sure to enter a new name for each project. If desired, you can double-click on the icon for a project to save over it, and a warning message will appear.
  • To open a previous project, return to the Product Catalog using the Go Back and Return to Catalog button at the top left, where the Open Project button will appear.

Adding to the Cart and Checking Out

When you have selected one or more products in the Order Panel and set an order quantity, a green Add to Cart button is available at the bottom right of the screen. Click here and your products will be saved and added to the cart.

Any time you have products in your cart, or selected in an Order Panel, the orange Check Out button will be available at the bottom right of the screen. Click here to view your cart, and it will change to Continue with Check Out.

Uploading Your Order

From the Cart screen, click the orange Continue with Check Out button at the bottom right.

You will see the Enter Order Information screen.

  • Enter your information in the form
  • Select a Shipping Method in the box to the left and confirm your order total
  • Also be sure to verify your e-mail and shipping address!

The Continue with Check Out button will proceed to the Upload screen.

  • A progress indicator will appear while your order is being uploaded
  • This may take several minutes - high-resolution imagery is being uploaded for optimal print quality

When the upload is complete, the Order Confirmation screen will appear.

  • A receipt page shows your order information
  • Click the Print Receipt button at the top right to keep the receipt for your records
  • A confirmation e-mail containing a copy of your receipt will also be sent to you.

You will be notified by e-mail when your order has been shipped.

Thank you for using 10 Dollar Designs Photo Store RocketLife Software!

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