How to Make a Shutterfly Book from a PowerPoint Presentation

This month I turned a PowerPoint booklet about my husband’s genealogy into a Shutterfly book.  You can see a copy of it here.  I learned some tricks while doing this, so I am sharing them here.

I am starting with a PowerPoint booklet with a title slide, content slides with page numbers starting at 1 after the title slide, and an ending final slide for the back cover with no page number.  I talk about creating my content in How to Make a Family History Booklet.

Pages in a book have a margin by the binding called a gutter.  This is space where the pages fold together, so we move content away from it.  A gutter is about 0.25″.  After designing the booklet centered on the page, the first task is to arrange information on the page away from the gutters, with page 1 in the presentation (and odd pages following) generally a right-hand page and even pages on left-hand pages.  (The title and final slides on the outside of the book remain centered.)

Arranging items in PowerPoint

(I am using PowerPoint 2010.)  Turn on the ruler so we can verify we are arranging items properly:

  1. Select the View tab.
  2. Check the box next to Ruler.
  3. Also check the box next to Gridlines to help your alignment.

Open the Format Shape dialog box to double-check the position of items on the page:

  1. Select any item so you can select the Format tab.
  2. In the Size area select the diagonal arrow to pop out the Format Shape dialog box.
  3. Select the Position menu to see the exact position (to the 0.01″) of the item on the page.

Move page numbers on left-hand pages to the left side of the slides (usually even pages) instead of their default right position.

  1. Select the box that holds the page number.
  2. Calculate the new desired position: new position = page width (default 10″) – current horizontal position (e.g. 7.17″) – box width shown in Format tab, Size area (e.g. 2.33″) = e.g. 0.5″.
  3. Enter the new desired position in the Horizontal position field. (Click in the Vertical position field to avoid having to close and reopen the window.)
  4. Move the page number to the left side of the box by selecting the Home tab and Align Text Left in the Paragraph area.

Shift each item on the page to the side by a quarter inch:

  1. Start on the first page after the title.
  2. Select all the object on the page except the page number.  Either use Ctrl-A to select all of the items on the page, and Shift-click to unselect the page number.  Or click a box around them and/or adding individual items by Shift-clicking each one.
  3. Select Home tab, Arrange in the Drawing area, Group.
  4. Read the number in the Horizontal position field; add 0.25″ to move right or subtract 0.25″ to move left.  Write that number into the Horizontal position field. (Just click into the Vertical field to see your change; you don’t need to Close and Open the dialog box multiple times.)
  5. Sanity check the move.  Does it look about a quarter inch?  You can also use the ruler above the slide to check alignment, especially if the contents were originally centered.  Be warned however, that your arrow on the slide does not line up perfectly with the ruler grid marks!  When your arrow is exactly aligned with the center of the object, the ruler will show a mark slightly to the left.  That’s why the Horizontal position field is so useful.
  6. Move the page numbers.  Since they should be the same place on each odd or even page, you just need to compute the move once for each.
  7. Continue moving the objects on each of your pages the same amount throughout the presentation, alternating right and left for the odd and even pages.  Remember that the front and back cover images do not need to be moved.

When the pages have been completed, export the file to a PDF:

  1. Go to the File menu, select Print.
  2. In the Printer section, choose a PDF printer, like Microsoft Print to PDF.
  3. Set the layout as Full Page Slides.
  4. Select the Print button.

Take Snapshots of Images from Adobe Reader

Open your PDF file in Adobe Reader.  Check your snapshot resolution.  The default produces lower-quality images than should be used in a photo book.  

  1. Select Edit menu, select Preferences.
  2. On the General page, select 720 pixels/inch (the max) next to Use fixed resolution for Snapshot tool images:.
  3. Select OK.

Take an image snapshot.

  1. Select Edit menu, select Take a snapshot.
  2. Make sure the zoom view shows the entire page (otherwise only part of the page gets copied).
  3. Click on the first page, and then click OK when the notification pops up that it has been copied.

Save image to JPEG in Paint

Open Paint.

  1. Paste the image you just took, using Ctrl-v or Home tab, Paste.
  2. Crop the image using Home tab, Crop in the Image area.
  3. Select File, Save as, JPEG picture.
  4. Name the file, for example p1.

Repeat, returning to Adobe Reader for the next image.  Just double-click on the next page; you don’t need to select Take a snapshot again.  Then when you return to Paint, you can select File, New to help make sure you don’t alter the previous image.  Continue making snapshots in Adobe Reader and saving images to JPEG in Paint until all of the pages have been completed.

Format Book in Shutterfly

When you have JPEG images of all of your pages, add the images to your 8×11 Shutterfly photo book.  The images should fit the pages just perfectly in any page format that has a full image to a page.

Start your book:

  1. Log into Shutterfly.
  2. Select Photo Books
  3. Select Custom Path
  4. Choose 8×11 book
  5. Choose format Simple White (or other Standard format if you prefer; you are not likely to use any features in any of the special Storytelling styles, which have additional cost).

Add to your book:

  1. Select Add Photos, then navigate to and select your page image files.
  2. Add the cover page image twice if you would like to use it again for the title page, as I did.
  3. Add the cover page to the book.  Choose the layout with the full picture on the page (left column, seventh down for Simple White).
  4. Write the title on the book spine.  You can change the spine color by clicking the Backgrounds tab for the spine.  If none of the four default colors work for you, just click Enter in the Search box in Backgrounds to see many other options.
  5. Add the content images to the pages of the book, adding more pages as necessary.  For each, select the Layout with a full image to a page (right column, fourth down for Simple White).

I set the cover page image as the Title Page (first interior page), zooming on this one image slightly and selecting the left side of the image to compensate for that gutter space between pages.  (No other page needs a zoom, they have already been shifted for the gutter margin.)  I left the reverse of the Title Page blank.  My first page with material started on what is labeled page 3, the next right-hand page.  Adding a separate Title Page is optional, but can look more polished.

Following these steps, you can create a professional-looking Shutterfly book with your family history.

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