FAQ’s

I need to download the software again but the system won’t allow me

If you need to download the software again but are unable to do so because our system is remembering your email address you can download it using the direct download links below:

 

Problems installing on Mac

Apple’s ‘Gatekeeper’ security feature (Mountain Lion Operating System) will need to be overridden in order to install our software. We’re working to get the application verified by Apple so this message won’t appear. However, in the interim it can be bypassed by doing the following.

 

Change the security settings within System Preferences to allow any application to launch:

gatekeeper-2

If your antivirus program is flagging our Vanilla Photobooks software as malware or a security threat it is called a ‘False Positive’. This can happen occasionally, where your antivirus mistakenly thinks a program is harmful when it is actually safe.

At your discretion you can turn off your antivirus protection in order to complete the installation but don’t forget to re-enable it immediately afterwards to protect your system against genuine threats.

Vanilla Photobooks cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur whilst using software downloaded from this site.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Adding your photos

Your photos need to be saved as RGB JPEGs (with sRGB colour profile). They should be copied to a folder on a local hard drive before adding them to the Vanilla software. Do not add photos directly from a USB drive or CD as this could cause a problem when uploading your order.

Once you have started creating a book you should avoid moving the folder of photos, as this will break the link between them and the software. If this happens don’t worry, you will be warned that the images are missing and will have to show the software the new folder location.

Do I have to use the pre-set pages?

No, you can change the layout to suit you. Vanilla photobooks start with plain pages that can be used and edited as you wish. Simply choose a page style and drag it onto your page.

What should I do when I get a message about updates?

Check the updates and decide whether to update the software. Select the relevant box, click on start and your software will start the update process.

How do I edit, scale or crop an image after I’ve placed it into a picture box?

Double click on the image. This will open the image box editor where you can define the area you want by using the drag and drop resize tool. You can also move the area around to select the part of image you want to use.

Can I rotate my images?

Yes, it’s easy. Right click on the image in the left hand panel before using it within your document. If you’ve already placed the image into your document you simply select the orientation tool in the Inspector panel to rotate the image on the page.

How can I stop an image resizing when I rotate it?

Open the picture box by double clicking and select the area of the picture that you want to be displayed using drag and drop.

Can I cut and paste text from other packages into my Vanilla photobook?

Absolutely. Use Ctrl-C or Apple-C to copy from your package, double click your text box on the Vanilla Photobooks page and then use Ctrl-V or Apple-V to paste the text into the text box.

Can I select my own image as a background?

Yes. Simply add your image to the backgrounds tab using the ‘+’ button on the right hand side of the tab. Or you can drag and drop your image onto the page, right click, select fit to page or spread and send to back if required. You can change the opacity of your image using the Inspector palette.

Can I add a printed cover after creating my book without one?

No, sorry. You must select the printed cover option before creating your Vanilla photobook.

What size or resolution should my image be?

Ideally images should be 300dpi at actual size of print – this will give you the very best possible result.

What happens if I get warning triangles with the ‘low quality message’?

Most images will reproduce fine in the printed product. If you’re using images from a mobile phone or a low megapixel (eg 2 megapixel) camera then the finished print quality will only be as good as the image provided. It’s completely up to you whether to continue using lower resolution images.

Why does the image on the cover look slightly different from the same image used on an inside page?

There will always be a difference between the cover and text pages for the following reasons:

Different material between text and covers will create slight variation

Different finish between text and covers will create slight variation i.e. laminate against UV varnish

Slight showthrough of greyboard on cover material may darken image slightly.

I’m trying to order my Vanilla photobook, but the software is telling me that I have empty text boxes. What does this mean?

Don’t worry! If any text boxes on the pages are left empty the software recognises this and is simply alerting you to the fact before you order. You can ignore the message and continue with your order.

Can I re-order the same book without having to upload my pages again?

Yes, but we only retain files for three months. To reorder your Vanilla photobook just email our customer service team and quote your previous order confirmation number. If you reorder more than three months after your original order, you will have to upload your pages again.

What is the standard turnaround for orders?

Up to 10 working days.

I’m in a hurry! What is the quickest turnaround?

Please see Photobook prices for further details.

Got more questions?

If we haven’t answered all your questions or you’d like to make a suggestion or comment, please contact us, complete the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Yes! VIP Parent books are available when ordering a VIP Wedding Album or VIP 10 / 12 Inch Square Photobook. Parent books can be added at checkout when you order your main album. VIP parent books are supplied with black faux leather cover only. Linen pouches and laser etching are not available for parent books.

Please visit our prices page for more information about parent books.

Method 1 – WeTransfer (Free online service)

wetransfer-instructions-thumb

You can send us your photos using a FREE online service called ‘WeTransfer’.

1. Visit this website – https://www.wetransfer.com

2. Click ‘Add Files’ to add your photos (hold down shift key to select multiple photos)

3. Enter contact@vanillaphotobooks.co.uk in ‘Friend’s Email’

4. Enter your email address in ‘Your Email’

5. Click ‘Transfer’ to send us your files
A full guide to using WeTransfer can be found here

 

 

Method 2 – Dropbox (Free online service)

dropbox-website-thumb

You can send us your photos using a FREE online service called ‘Dropbox’.

1. Visit this website – https://www.dropbox.com/

2. Sign up for FREE by entering your details

3. Download the Dropbox installer

4. Follow the instructions on screen

5. Copy your photos into a Dropbox folder

6. Share the folder with us – contact@vanillaphotobooks.co.uk
A full guide to using Dropbox can be found here

Yes you can! If you’re an experienced graphic designer, or familar with using layout software (e.g. InDesign or Photoshop), you can export your layouts as ‘.jpg’ files and import them easily into the Vanilla Photobook software. Simply follow the instructions below:

Step 1

Choose a photobook style and format from our wide range of photobooks.

Set the document size and bleed settings within your chosen layout software to the relevant page dimensions shown below and create your photobook layout. We recommend creating your layout as spreads although single pages can also be created.

Step 2

If you are using Adobe InDesign:


Export layouts from Indesign as .jpg Files

• Choose ‘File’ > ‘Export’ from the main menu

– Enter a suitable filename, e.g. ‘My Photobook’

– Select JPEG in the ‘Format’ dropdown

– Choose an empty folder to save your files to

– Select ‘All Pages’

– Select ‘Spreads’

– Select ‘Quality’ (Maximum), ‘Format Method’ (Baseline),
‘Resolution’ ( 300ppi), ‘Colour Space’ (RGB)

– Tick ‘Embed Colour Profile (sRGB colour profile should be used)’

– Tick ‘Anti-alias’

– Tick ‘Use Document Bleed’ Settings

• Click’ Export’ and the files will be saved to the empty folder.

Indesign will automatically number your ‘.jpg’ files for you.

 

If you are using Adobe Photoshop:


Export layouts from Photoshop as Jpg Files

• Choose ‘File’ > ‘Save as…’ from the main menu

– Enter a suitable filename, e.g. ‘Spread 001’ for example,
and ‘Cover 000’ for the front cover

– Choose an empty folder to save your files to

– Select ‘JPEG’ in the ‘Format’ dropdown

– Tick ‘Embed Colour Profile’

• Click ‘Save’

– Select ‘Quality’ (Maximum)

– Tick ‘Format Options’ (Baseline)

• Click ‘OK’

• Repeat above for all the spreads in your layout, naming the files with the relevant spread number.

 

now continue to Step 3 opposite…

Step 3

Importing your JPG files into the Vanilla Photobook software

– Setting up the template

• Open the Vanilla Photobooks software

• Click ‘Create a New Project’

• Select your required Photobook from the list of products

• Enter a suitable name for your project and click ‘Create’

• Click on the first spread in the preview window at the top of the screen (Spread 1-2)

• Drag a full spread page style (Van 006) from the ‘Page Styles’ pane at the bottom of the screen up into the main layout area and drop it onto the spread.

•  Repeat this process for all spreads within the layout, and the cover page if required.

• Add additional spreads to your layout if your book has more than 12 spreads – do this by choosing ‘Page’ > ‘Add’ from the top menu


– Add the JPG files you made saved earlier

• Click on the ‘+’ button in the left hand ‘Pictures’ pane

– Select ‘Computer’ > ‘Add folder containing pictures’

– Select the folder containing your saved ‘.jpg’ files

• Click ‘ Select’

Your ‘.jpg’ files will now appear in the left hand pane in numerical order

• Click the ‘Autoflow’ button in the central toolbar to automatically flow your ‘.jpg’ files into the layout.

(You can manually drag and drop the ‘.jpg’ file into your layouts if you do not wish to use the ‘Autoflow’ feature.)

Step 4

We would recommend that you now check your photobook layout using the ‘Check Project’ and ‘Preview’ functions within the software before placing your order.

When you are happy with the layout, click on the ‘Shopping Cart’ icon in the central toolbar to proceed to checkout.

 

Tips:

If your layout software will not allow you to export pages as ‘.jpg’ files directly you can export them as PDF files (300DPI RGB with sRGB colour profile) and then convert them in Photoshop or similar editing software to ‘.jpg’ format.

Simply open the PDF in Photoshop; a dialogue box will open asking for DPI, and color settings. Select ‘Bleed Box’. Select all of your pages, set your DPI to 300 (preferred, but 150 DPI is okay), and set the color mode to RGB.

You can then follow ‘Step 2’ onwards to create your book.

If you do not have Adobe Photoshop, you can download a free version of Photoshop CS2 from www.techspot.com

Yes, you can supply your finished layouts to us as high resolution pdf files. Please ensure they are set up to the page dimensions below, including bleed where required.

We will convert your pdf to ‘.jpg’ files and order them for you via our software. A charge will be made for converting your files

Please email your pdfs to contact@vanillaphotobooks.co.uk with your order details. An invoice will then be issued for you to make payment by BACS to our bank.

Wedding Albums

VIP – 12″ Square Wedding Album – Photographically Printed View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – 12″ Square Wedding Album – Press Printed View Page Dimensions
Premium – 12″ Square Wedding – Press Printed View Page Dimensions

 

VIP Photographic Seamless Photobooks

VIP – A3 Landscape Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – A3 Landscape Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – 12″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – 12″ Square Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – 10″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – 10″ Square Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – A4 Portrait Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – A4 Portrait Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – A4 Landscape Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – A4 Landscape Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – 8″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
VIP – 8″ Square Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions

 

LayFlat Premium Photobooks – Press Printed

LayFlat Premium – 12″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – 12″ Square Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – 10″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – 10″ Square Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – A4 Portrait Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – A4 Portrait Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – A4 Landscape Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – A4 Landscape Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – 8″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
LayFlat Premium – 8″ Square Faux Leather Cover View Page Dimensions

 

Premium Photobooks – Press Printed

Premium – 12″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
Premium – 10″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
Premium – A4 Portrait Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
Premium – A4 Landscape Picture Cover View Page Dimensions
Premium – 8″ Square Picture Cover View Page Dimensions

 

Softcover Photobooks – VIP Mini Photographic

VIP Mini Photographic – 5.25″ Square View Page Dimensions

 

Softcover Photobooks – Press Printed

Softcover – A5 Landscape View Page Dimensions

Images on screen appear punchy and clean as they are backlit by your screen. Dark images on screen will appear darker when printed on the page, so keep in mind that the photos won’t have light shining through them as is the case on your monitor – please adjust your photos accordingly. You may wish to adjust images using a photo-editing program such as Photoshop.

We recommend calibrating your monitor using a program similar to Coloreyes Display Pro or Spyder4.

spyder4

Watch the Datacolor / Vanilla Webinar: How to get the colours in your photobooks spot on with Vanilla Photobooks

If your image is dark on screen we recommend you either lighten it or remove it from your book.

We cannot be responsible for problems with your images as we do not and cannot adjust the fully encrypted page files you upload to us.

Image size and resolution can also contribute to a difference in what your image looks like on screen compared to when printed. Your computer’s monitor most likely has a resolution of 72PPI ( pixels per inch) and images will appear sharp and clear. If you use this image in your book it will print out pixelated as the resolution is too low, so don’t be fooled by what looks good on screen.

The ideal resolution for images is 300 PPI ( pixels per inch) at 100% size.

The minimum resolution we recommend is 150PPI at 100%.

If an image is placed in your book at less than our recommended minimum resolution, a warning will appear.

You can still proceed with your order with this image, but the image may appear slightly pixilated when printed, subject to the actual resolution. In many cases an image at 100PPI will be fine but not recommended.

We understand how important your images are to you. Digital printing has advanced considerably over the last year, but still has a way go to match true offset litho and Silver Halide quality. Results can be amazing, but getting an image, from your back-lit RGB monitor to a printed photobook printed in CMYK  can sometimes be a challenge.

Several variables come into play between your monitor and our global print network. In POD, books – covers and pages – are printed on different print devices, which means that even though everything is calibrated variables are a given. Controlling as many variables as possible is what colour management is all about.

A properly calibrated monitor helps you manage colour and balance more accurately. But please set your expectations appropriately. It is simply not possible for our digital presses to duplicate the finely controlled colour management that is possible with offset litho and Silver Halide printing, so some differences may appear from book to book.

Please remember – every image is unique and the information above should only be used as a rough guide. Further adjustments may be required depending on the nature of the image. We would always recommend that adjustments be carried out on a calibrated screen to give the best results.

Adjusting colour images

Please see this information about how to adjust your colour images using Photoshop

Below are some Photoshop action files which may improve some flat or dark images (please note these will not necessarily work for all images – always use a calibrated screen for best results).

photoshop-action-iconPhotoshop action file for basic image adjustment (zipped)

photoshop-action-iconPhotoshop action file for very dark images (zipped)

Adjusting black and white images


Please note:

Images that are in Greyscale colour mode need to be re-saved as RGB Jpegs (with sRGB colour profile) before they can be imported into the Vanilla Photobooks software. This can be achieved by using image editing software, for example Adobe Photoshop.

If you do not have Adobe Photoshop, you can download a free version of Photoshop CS2 from www.techspot.com

If a black and white photograph is appearing flat (lacking in contrast) – the following levels settings can be applied in Photoshop which should improve the contrast of the image.

flat-images

If a B&W photograph is appearing a bit dark then applying the following settings for shadows and highlights in Photoshop may help improve it.

dark-images

The terms DPI and PPI have evolved into meaning the same thing, but in actuality, the terms are as different as a printed catalog and a web page.

DPI (Dots per Inch)  was the common term used in the pre-computer era of printing  onto paper.

The more dots per inch (a higher DPI) the higher the printing quality.

PPI (Pixels per Inch) is the term for the new digital age of graphic reproduction.  Scanners, digital cameras, and digital print devices use PPI to measure  image quality. Images are measured in PPI.

Images are measured in PPI so what does this mean to you when making your book.

To understand PPI, let’s try an example:

We scan a 1-inch square photo at 200 PPI and place it into Quark or InDesign (professional page layout programs) and resize it to 50%. The Pixels per Inch are now closer together when the image is at 50%, so the PPI is now 400 PPI. If we take that original 1-inch 200 PPI image and resize it to 200%, we are spreading the Pixels per Inch further apart so the PPI is now 100 PPI.

What is Auto Update?

Ensure that the Auto Update feature is turned on to ensure you are working with the latest software. We are constantly making improvements for your benefit. When you open your software for the first time agree to auto updates or alternatively check your preferences under the file menu and ensure ‘Automatically Check For Updates’ is ticked. Watch our short video tutorial below to see how to check for software updates.

 

 

How do I log in to my account?

You can log in to your account by clicking on the login link in the new account confirmation email that you will receive after setting up a new account.

I can’t remember my login details.

If this is the first time you have made a project and are looking to log in for the first time you need to make a new user account. The original registration on the website to get the free book offer is unrelated.

Make sure that orders@vanillaphotobooks.co.uk is approved in your mail software to ensure you get our emails.

My job status is showing as ‘Waiting For Files’ — what does this mean?

After the checkout process the software will create and then upload your finished pages to our server for production.

You have not yet uploaded your files.

Go back into the software, open the project, click the trolley icon, agree to the T&Cs and then, when the box pops up, select the option ‘Upload Finished Pages’ and press continue.

You will not be charged for this as you have already paid.

Your computer will then upload the files to us for production.

I have gone to upload my files and the software says my pictures are missing.

You have used images that the software can no longer find on your PC. You have either moved them or deleted them. Please either put them back or restore the link by opening them in the left hand picture library window.

Please ensure that your image files have a standard 3 character .jpg suffix to the filename as the software will not recognise files with a non-standard suffix such as .jpeg

Why are my files taking a very long time to upload?

At peak times we can have several hundred people trying to upload files simultaneously. Our servers will only allow a certain number meaning you can’t connect or you will get a slow connection. Please try again at a later time.

A broadband connection is recommended and uploading via 3G may take a long time or fail to complete.

I have not received an order confirmation, why?

Make sure you can receive emails from orders@vanillaphotobooks.co.uk
The emails have probably gone in to your spam folder.

I am being asked to pay for postage even though it is supposed to be free, why?

We offer Free First Class Post from time to time. To take advantage of this offer select FREE First Class Post in the Shipping Method Section when placing your order.

I have made an error in my book, can I resubmit the images?

Our system is fully automated and can produce thousands of photo products a day. Once files have been uploaded to our servers they are automatically processed and queued for production. If you have made a mistake please contact us using the contact button but we cannot guarantee we can stop production as it may be too late.

Can I order more copies of a book I have already received?

Yes, to create a new order from an existing project that has already been ordered please do the following:

  1. Open the Vanilla Photobook Creator software
  2. Select ‘Open an Existing Project’
  3. Select the Duplicate Project button at the bottom of the screen
  4. Give the reprint a name that is different to the original and click OK
  5. Now open the new project and proceed to the checkout to re-order
  6. You can make any amendments you want to the project before re-ordering

Why does my software hang after I accept the terms & conditions / why am I getting an error message “Can’t connect to server”?

Once you have accepted our terms and conditions the software sends a URL link request. Your default browser should open and the login page open. If your computer hangs this may be because no default browser is selected. You need to make a browser on your computer the default. Instructions on how to do this with some common browsers are shown here:

Default Web Browser Instructions

When I click the ‘Continue’ button in the online order form, it takes me back to the login screen?

This means that your browser has been set to block cookies which means that the online order form will not function correctly. You must enable cookies in the security or privacy settings within your browser then begin the order process again from within the Vanilla Photobooks software.

I have checked my job status and it still says ‘In Production’, what does this mean?

This means your files have uploaded correctly to our servers but your order is not yet despatched. Once received your order goes through several production processes before despatch. This process can take anything from 24 hours to 7 working days. Once completed and despatched you will receive an email confirming that your product is on it’s way. Ensure you can receive emails from orders@vanillaphotobooks.co.uk.