Archive for Tips and Tricks

20 Jul 2017

Mac OS Tools To Use With EverWeb

No Comments Software, Tips and Tricks, Web Design

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that macOS has a range of time and labor saving apps with features that can speed up your EverWeb website development. These apps are typically located in the ‘Utilities’ folder within the Applications folder of your Mac.

As these tools are part of your macOS, they’re absolutely free, and provide basic functionality, although there are sometimes great features hidden in these apps if you know how to find them. Let’s have a look…

Using Utilities Apps
The easiest way to open any of the apps described below is by a Spotlight Search. Just hit Cmd+Spacebar and start typing the name of the app in to the search box. As you type, the app you’re looking for will appear in the search results. Double click on the app to launch it.

Digital Color Meter
Good For: Matching Up Colors

Sometimes you may need to match up colours correctly in your website e.g. if you are converting an iWeb website to EverWeb you may want to retain your original color scheme in the process. Possibly you may reach for the Digital Color Meter app to do this as it matches color in a number of different ways e.g. HEX Code, RGB etc. There is, however, a quicker way.

In EverWeb open the Color Picker using the Color button in the Toolbar. In the Color Picker is a pipette symbol to the right of the colour swatch (i.e. to the left of the colors you have saved in the grid.) Click on the pipette and you’ll get the same functionality as you would using the Digital Color Meter.

Grab
Good For: Quick and Easy Screen, Window or Selection Captures.

Grab is macOS’s own screen capture utility. You can capture the whole screen, just the window you want or a specific selection. There’s even a timer function. The app supports shortcut keys for these features so it’s quick and easy to use. Files can be saved in PNG, JPG and TIFF formats. The limitation of Grab is that you can’t edit images you have captured which is where Preview comes in…

Preview
Good For: Basic Image Editing Tasks, Instant Alpha, Export File Formats

Preview is probably your go to app when it comes to useful tools to use in conjunction with EverWeb. It’s great for resizing images, especially when converting images to Retina display. There’s an image cropping tool which is useful if you need to refine your image a little after using tools such as Grab. Alternatively, remember that EverWeb’s Masking feature can do the much the same and is non-destructive to the image.

Preview has editing features so you can annotate your images with text or shapes. Adjusting image color is really where Preview does a great job with a host of features you would expect to find in more dedicated graphics apps.

Perhaps the tool that most iWeb users will want to use is Instant Alpha as this was included in iWeb. Instant Alpha replaces a color by making it invisible, thereby creating a transparent background where the color used to be. You’ll find Instant Alpha in other Apple iWork products such as in Pages.

Instant Alpha can be found in Preview’s Toolbar. I would recommend always having the Toolbar displayed as it brings all the features you really need immediately to hand.

Finally, you can export your images in a number of formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF and even PDF. To use the saved image, just drag and drop it on to the Editor Window in EverWeb or in to the Assets List if you want to use the image with EverWeb’s Image Gallery or Image Slider Widgets.

Font Book
Good For: System Font Management

Font Book is the place where all of your system fonts are stored. It’s also the place where you can add in additional third party fonts such as fonts from Google Fonts. Rememeber that if you use third party fonts other than Google Fonts, you’ll need to have them properly hosted so they’re reproduced correctly when users visit your website in their browser.

If you add fonts to Font Book, and they do not show up in EverWeb’s Font Panel, just close and relaunch EverWeb and they should appear.

Quick Time Player
Good For: Video and Audio Creation, Basic Video and Audio Editing

In addition to Preview, Quick Time Player is another of macOS’s unsung heroes. Using this versatile app, you can record both video and audio tracks. Video export options go to up to 1080p with macOS Sierra, but in macOS High Sierra expect 4K to be added.

Once you have recorded your video or audio, you can do some basic editing tasks such as splitting clips, adding clips to the end of an existing clip and even trimming a clip. All of these features can be found on the Edit menu.

Quick Time Player is great for when you want to use clips in EverWeb using it’s own Audio and Video widgets!

With macOS Utility Apps, it’s easy to add extra features to your website without any extra cost!

06 Jul 2017

Customizing Blog Navigation Links

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks

When you create blog posts in EverWeb you’ll want an easy way for your visitors to navigate from one post to another as well as to the Index and, possibly, archive page. EverWeb’s Blog Posts Navigation Links are the easy way to do this. Here’s how to add and customize navigation links in your Blog Post…

Customizing Your Blog Posts Navigation Links

To customize your blog posts Navigation Links, begin by selecting your Blog Posts page in the Web Page List. Next select the Blog Post widget. This ‘widget’ appears in the Blog Post Preview Window and contains the contents of the post itself such as any text and images that you’ve added in to the Blog Post Editor Window. The widget also contains the Blog Post header information.

With the Blog Post widget selected, go to the Widget Settings in the Inspector Window. If you don’t see the Widget Settings, click on the Inspector tab in the Inspector Window and click on the Widget Settings ‘cog’ button.

With the Widget Settings displayed you can now customize the look of your Blog’s Navigation Links. Remember that as you’re changing settings in the Blog Posts Preview Window, they’ll generally apply to all your blog posts.

Display Options
EverWeb displays the Blog Post titles as Navigation Links for the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ posts and a text label, ‘Index’, for the blog main index page. You can toggle these display defaults on and off using the ‘Include navigation links’ and ‘Include index page link’ check boxes in the ‘Post Options’ section of the Widget Settings.

Furthermore, if you want to change the name of the Index page label, just enter the name you want in the ‘Index page name’ box. This action doesn’t change the name of the blog main page itself.

Changing Navigation Link Colors and Underline
After you’ve set how your Navigation Links will be displayed, you can customize the links themselves in a number of ways.

Click on the ‘Navigation Links’ Fonts button in the Widget Settings to customize most aspects of the Navigation Links all at one time using the Fonts Panel. Change the font type, font weight and font size to suit your website style but, leave the color and underline options as they are.

Changing Navigation Links Color and Underline
Blog Posts Navigation Links are, as you’ve probably guessed, hyperlinks, so you change their color and underline properties in the same way as you would for other hyperlink. However, for blog posts, use the ‘Post Link Normal’, ‘Hover’ and ‘Visited’ and Underline toggle options in the ‘Post Options’ section of the Widget Settings. Do not Use the Hyperlinks tab from the Inspector Window.

The changes you make will apply to all hyperlinked text objects you create after the change e.g. if you add a hyperlink in the Editor Window it will inherit the changed hyperlinks attributes.

Changing the Navigation Links Separator Bar
If you want to customize the color of the separator bar between the previous, index and next Blog Post links click on the ‘Navigation Links’ Fonts button in the Widget Settings. This will display the Fonts Panel again. Click on the Text box button in the Fonts Panel Toolbar and change the color from the default black to the color of your choice. The separator bar will change color, but the text of your Navigation (Hyper)Links will remain the color that you set earlier.

Adding A Link To Your Archive Page
If you want to link your blog posts to your archive page, simply add a Text Box, or button shape with text on it, to the Blog Post Preview Window. Use the Hyperlinks Inspector tab to link the text to the archive page. As the hyperlinked text is in the Blog Post preview window, it will be displayed on all blog posts.

Alternatively, you can also add a hyperlink to the archive page on the blog main page. In this case, click on the blog main page in the Web Page List and click on the blog main widget in the Editor Window. In the Widget Settings, use the ‘Show full archive’ section to add the link to your archive page. If you don’t see this in your Widget Settings, make sure that you have EverWeb version 2.1 or higher installed.

Setting up navigation links is easy and versatile, but if you have any questions or problems, let us know below!

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!

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!