08 Jun 2017

Image Masking in EverWeb

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials, Web Design

Masking has many different meanings, but is commonly used when describing something that is disguised or concealed. When used in EverWeb, masking is used to hide, or obscure, part of an image.

Masking is useful as you can display just the part of the image you want, without having to crop, or edit, the image itself. Masking keeps the original image intact so it can be used again in your Project. Having one image that you can ‘repurpose’ keeps your Project file size down as you don’t have to have multiple images of roughly the same image in your Project.

Masking and Unmasking Images
EverWeb’s Masking feature is accessed either from the Toolbar or from the Format-> Mask menu. If you have an image selected that has already been masked, the Toolbar button will be called ‘Unmask’. Additionally, the Format menu makes the ‘Unmask’ option available. If you prefer, you can use the Shift+Cmd+M keyboard shortcut to quickly unmask a selected masked object (Note that there is no equivalent shortcut key for Mask.)

Where and When Masking Can Be Applied
Masking is only available for images. You can’t mask other objects such as shapes, text, buttons etc. You can use masking in the Blog Editor Preview window if the image has been drag and dropped into the the Blog Post Preview Window. You can’t use masking if you have have drag and dropped images into the Blog Post Editor Window.

Applying the Masking
To mask an image, drag and drop the image you want on to the Editor Window if you have not done so already, either from its original source, or from the Assets List. All images in your Project should be optimized as best as possible before bringing them in to EverWeb. The image file size should be such that it doesn’t adversely slow page loading times and the file name itself should describe the image itself as this is better for your SEO.

Once the image is on the page, size and position it as desired. You can apply Shape Options to the image e.g. stroke and picture frame borders as these effects will generally be maintained when masking the image. However, it’s always advisable ti check the image once you have masked it to see if you get the effect you wanted. To apply the mask, select the image and click on the ‘Mask’ button in the Toolbar or using the Format-> Mask menu option.

The Editor Window will now have a grey semi-transparant ‘mask’ over it except for a square ‘window’ area in the center that you can see through on to part of the image underneath. This ‘unmasked’ area has a dashed line around it.

Moving and Resizing the Selected Image
When you apply the mask, the underlying image still retains its grab handles. This means that you can still manipulate the image as usual e.g. you can resize and reposition the image, apply Shape Options etc. To move the underlying image, click and hold the mouse button down whilst dragging the image to where you want it. Make sure that you don’t click inside the unmasked area itself or outside of the image’s grab handles.

Moving the Unmasked Area
To move the unmasked area over the top of the masked image, click and hold the centre of the unmasked area and drag and drop it to the desired location. When you have dropped the unmasked area in to place you will see its grab handles again so you can resize the area if you want.

Resizing The Unmasked Area
If you want to resize the unmasked area but don’t see any grab handles around it, click once inside the unmasked area. The grab handles will appear. Resize the unmasked area to reveal as much, or as little, of the image as you want.

Finishing The Masking
When you have finished positioning and sizing the mask, click on an area outside the image. The semi-transparent grey mask will disappear. The only part of the image you’ll see is the area you masked, the rest of the image will not be visible.

Masking The Same Image More Than Once
You may want to mask different parts of the same image. Once you have brought the image in to EverWeb, it is available in the Assets List so to reuse the image a second time, just drag and drop it from the Assets List on to your page. You do not need to drag and drop it again from the original source location.

Removing The Masking
Whilst there’s no visible indicator to show if an image has already been masked, you can easily find out by selecting the image and looking at the Mask button in the Toolbar. If it shows ‘Unmask’ then the selected image is currently masked. To remove the mask simply click on the ‘Unmask’ button. The whole image becomes visible again.

What Happens If The Mask Is Wrong?
If you have not masked the image how you wanted it, just reapply the mask. Additionally, it’s best not to use ‘Undo’ or ‘Redo’ commands as it may lead to unexpected results.

Masking is a handy feature, saving time, effort and Project file space! It’s worthwhile becoming familiar with how it works.

As always, if you have a question about this blog, feel free to comment in the Comments Section below!

25 May 2017

Handling ‘404 Page Not Found’

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tutorials

‘404 Page Not Found’ type messages are a standard way that your browser reports that there’s been some sort of problem with a page that you are trying to load. The ‘404 Page Not Found’ message is an HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) standard response code and the message can be generated for a number of reasons such as

  • The link to the page you’re looking for is dead e.g. the page has been removed.
  • The link could be ‘broken’ e.g. the page has been moved or the page filename changed.
  • It’s possible that the URL has simply been mistyped into the browser search bar.

How to Respond to 404 Type Messages

As a website developer you’ll want to control how your visitors respond to ‘404’ type messages as much as you can if they encounter them e.g. your visitor could just hit the ‘back’ button in their browser or they could go to a different website altogether. Ideally though, you’ll want them to stay in your website, perhaps for example, by directing them back to the ‘Home’ page.

As well as keeping your visitor in your website, capturing and responding appropriately to a ‘404’ type message adds a professional touch. Even though many of us are Internet savvy, many people will be baffled or irritated by ‘404’ messages. Giving your visitors information on how and why the ‘404’ happened, and options on what to do next is informative and diffuses frustration and confusion.

Managing ‘404’ Type Messages

The easiest way to control ‘404’ type messages is to create a ‘404’ page in EverWeb. Just add a page to your website and call it something appropriate such as ‘404 Page’. On this page add information that explains to your visitor that they’ve come across a ‘404’ type error and what they can do about it. You may want to detail the possible reasons why they’ve come across this message in the first place (see the first paragraph above.) Remember to exclude the page from your Navigation Menu as it’s used solely for handling the ‘404 Page Not Found’ event.

Your ‘404 Page’ should link back to your Home page or include a Navigation Menu as this will help keep your visitor in your website. You may also want to include a contact email address if visitors want to contact you about the problem.

If you have mobile website pages, create a mobile version of your ‘404’page. Once you have created the page, go to the Inspector tab and then to the ‘Mobile Settings’ section. ‘Mobile Page’ should be set to ‘None’ and ‘This page is for mobile devices’ should be checked.

For the desktop version of the 404 Page again go to the Inspector tab for the page and scroll down to the ‘Mobile Settings’. Set the ‘Mobile Page’ as ‘One of My Pages’ and use the ‘Page’ drop down to select the mobile 404 Page counterpart. These steps ensure that the 404 Page is always properly redirected.

If you have an EverWeb+Hosting account go to your Project’s ‘Site Publishing Settings’ by clicking on the Project name in the Web Page List, or via the File-> Edit Publishing Settings menu. Scroll down to the ‘Advanced Options’ section. In the ‘Not Found Page’ section select your 404 Page. Remember to select the desktop page unless your Project only contains mobile style pages. To finish, publish your changes!

If you don’t have an EverWeb+Hosting account you won’t have the above option in the Site Publishing Settings and so you will need to contact your Hosting Provider who should have information or guidance on how you can set up a page that handles 404 type messages.

As always, test your website to make sure that the changes have been put in to effect. It should be as simple as mistyping one of the names of your website pages in a browser window!

Stopping Errors Happening in the First Place

In the best scenario your website will be up to date so as to avoid 404 errors as much as is possible. Remember to test your links, especially those to external pages. And don’t forget to test links that you’ve set up manually just in case of mistyped URL entries!

404 error messages are here to stay, but with a few minutes work you can keep your visitors within your website if they ever get such messages!

11 May 2017

Easily Move & Resize Objects in EverWeb

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials, Web Design

If you use EverWeb version 2.1 or higher, you may not have discovered a couple of new, really useful features for selecting, moving and resizing objects in the Editor Window. These new features save you time and effort, as manipulating objects will not affect other objects on the page you’re working on. So you can work more quickly, more efficiently and with fewer mistakes.

Here’s a walkthrough of these super new features!

  1. Moving objects that are partially,or completely, covered by other objects
  2. When designing web pages, you may find that you have objects such as shapes or images that overlap, or cover, most of another object. That’s probably because your design requires this, or that doing so solves a particular page design issue. Whatever the reason, there may be times where you want to change your design which requires you to move an object out from underneath a pile of others. Like playing ‘Jack Straws’ you want to take one object out without disturbing the rest.

    Before EverWeb version 2.1, the tricky part would be keeping the object you wanted to move selected. Once you selected the object, it would deselect when clicked on to move it. The only way round this was to select and move the objects on top of it out of the way first then put them back later. That takes time and is frustrating and can lead to your page design becoming unnecessarily disrupted.

    With EverWeb 2.1 or higher, things are a lot better. First select the object that you want to move. The best way to do this is to click on the overlapping area of an object that covers the one you want selected. When you do this the object on top is selected. Now right (secondary) click to bring up the menu of options. At the bottom of the list is ‘Pick Layer’. When you mouse over this menu option you will see all of the objects at the location that you clicked on. Choose the object that you want to select i.e. the one that is under the overlapping object.

    You should see the object beneath the overlapping object is now selected. Next hold down the Command+Option Keys and drag the selected object out from under the rest. That’s all there is to it!

  3. Moving objects up or down the page without disrupting the page layout
  4. The second keyboard short cut enables you to move objects down (or up) your page without the whole page layout needing to be reorganised e.g. you may want to insert an Image Slider or YouTube Video widget in to the middle of your page. To create the space for the widget, you will need to move some of the page content down en masse. You could select all of the objects then move them but this often leads to some objects being left behind. To solve this problem just use the shortcut instead.

    First select an object that’s at the place where you want to open up some space. The object should be one that you want moved down the page. When selecting the object, hold down the Cmd+Shift keys at the same time. With these keys held down, drag the object down the page. As you do this, all objects underneath it will also be dragged down the page in synch. Release the mouse and keyboard keys to finish.

    Note that it’s the selected object and those below it that get moved down. If you have other objects on the same (horizontal) level as the selected object, they will not move down.

    This is also a great option if you have too much space and need to drag page contents up the page en masse and in synch!

  5. Resizing an object without disrupting the page layout
  6. There may be times when you want to resize an object and want all of the objects below it to move down, or up, the page as you resize it. For example, you have a full width rectangle containing text. You want to add more text but need to size the rectangle so it is large enough to contain the extra text. In this instance select the rectangle, press the Cmd+Shift keys (i.e. the same keys as in the last example) and resize the rectangle using one of its grab handles. You’ll notice that all content below the rectangle moves down in synch.

Moving and resizing objects around your page becomes just became incredibly easy and effective using these simple keyboard shortcuts!

03 May 2017

Finding the Distance Between Objects in EverWeb

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials

The latest release of EverWeb, version 2.2, adds a simple, but great, feature that makes it easy for you to find the distance between two or more objects on a web page just by using a keyboard shortcut. Finding how far objects are apart from each other can help you achieve complete accuracy when placing objects in your page design. Using the new ‘distance to objects’ feature does this with a quick, easy visual reference right in the Editor window.

When designing your web pages you probably use the Arrange-> Distribute menu options to evenly space objects, such as groups of images, shapes, text boxes, social media buttons etc., either horizontally or vertically. That’s fine, but there may be times where you have a different scenario that means this approach will not work, or is more time consuming to achieve e.g. on your page you have a text box, or Heading Tags widget, that is used for a paragraph title. Underneath this is text box containing some text content relating to the paragraph title. Beneath this are two more title/paragraph content sections.

Finding the distance between objects

As you can see here, the distance between the end of the first paragraph and second title is less than for the end of the second paragraph and the third title.

In the above screenshot, you can see that the Heading Tags widgets and Text Boxes have just been copied and pasted in to the page, so the distance between the end of the first paragraph and the second title is different from the distance between the end of the second paragraph and the third title. To make sure that the distance between the end of the paragraphs and the next title is always the same, is where the new distance between objects feature comes in to its own. It’s easier and quicker to check the distances with a shortcut rather than by using the Metrics Inspector.

Finding the Distance Between Objects

  1. First select the source object. This is the object that you want to know how far from other objects it is.
  2. Next hold the Alt (Option) key down on your keyboard.
  3. Mouse over to other ‘target’ objects on the page.
  4. You will see horizontal and/or vertical lines displayed between the source and target objects. The distance between the source and target objects is displayed in pixels.
  5. To finish, release the Alt (option) key.

The screenshot below shows the source paragraph selected with the mouse hovering over the target object.

The distance between objects feature in action.

An Extra Feature!
With the distance between object lines displayed, release the Alt (Option) key and take your hand off the mouse or trackpad. You’ll notice that the distance is still shown on screen. Now if you use the arrow keys on your keyboard, you can move the selected object and see the distance change as you do so. This is really handy when you just need to nudge a shape a few pixels. Remember though that this only works using the keys on your keyboard.

Remember as well that when you select an object then press and hold down the Alt (Option) key, you can mouse over anywhere in the Editor Window. Also, be smart when using this feature, for example, if you have three paragraphs and you want to know the distance between the each paragraph, select the second (middle) paragraph and mouse over the first and third paragraphs so you can quickly see the distance between the second and first, and second and third paragraphs.

Next time…

The new ‘distance between objects’ feature comes hot on the heels of a couple of other recently introduced keyboard shortcuts. Our next blog will take you through moving objects easily around your page whilst retaining the page content layout.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the Comments below!

25 Apr 2017

News Flash! EverWeb 2.3 Out Now!

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Web Design

Hot on the heels of the animation featured release of EverWeb comes the new version 2.3! This new version is essentially all about speed and performance with many optimizations to help make publishing faster and make your website’s performance that bit snappier! EverWeb version 2.3 includes lots of code tweaks and some important fixes and improvements.

You can download the latest version through the EverWeb-> Check for Update… menu or directly from the EverWeb website. Always remember to check that you have a valid software and support license before you download the new version. If you’re unsure, have a look at the EverWeb 2.3 release notes before you update your product. first!

Once you have updated to EverWeb 2.3, you may want to republish your websites (use File-> Publish Entire Site) to get the benefits of all the code optimizations!

As always, if you have a question let us know and we’ll do our best to help you out! Enjoy the speed and performance improvements in the meantime!