In two earlier posts, I pointed to a post on MagCloud then added some points that will allow you to finesse the best results from the Lightroom to produce a great-looking printed magazine. Those posts were about the square formats supported by MagCloud. There is still no direct method to produce standard size, 8.5″ x 11″ magazines from Lightroom. The method I will explain in this post is not sanctioned by MagCloud, and it does require that you have Adobe Acrobat, not Acrobat Reader. Acrobat allows creating PDF documents and editing existing PDF documents.
The process outline is as follows:
- In Lightroom, choose from the available book formats, Large Square which is 12″ square, Book type as PDF, and keep the file resolution at 300 PPI since it will not be mapped to a different size in the end.
- Download the two files below, and place them in the same collection of your magazine photographs for easy access:
To save the file, click on each image, and when it is displayed against the dark backdrop, right-click on the image and select “Save Image” from the menu.
- Carefully arrange the content so that left and right page positions are firmed up, don’t forget to leave some blank pages if necessary. The final positioning of the images and text will come later, but you should drop each image on the page you would like to present. Keep in mind that eventually a good part on the outside of each page and the top of all pages will be cut. Choose layouts that are either multi-frame layouts that are mostly in the potentially usable area or layouts that can be adjusted using padding inside the content frames.
- For final adjustments, first, focus on the left pages. Go to the Background panel and drop on the square the image you downloaded in step 2, and make sure the Apply Background Globally is checked. It will look as follows, and a page spread will show the selected background.
- Working only on the left pages, make sure your entire content is within the white area and nothing spills into the red or the gray zones. Using proper frame options and adjusting the padding as necessary you should be able to produce the layout you want. Keep in mind, there are many layout options with multiple images, and as long as you do not populate all the frames you can use any layout you like, just do not use the frames that spill into the gray area.
- After you are done with the left pages (which includes the back cover by the way), replace the background image with the right page background you downloaded, and using the cautions in step 5 adjust the layouts to your liking. Your cover page may need to be redone.
- After your pages look how you like, and you are done with the layout, export the book to PDF by clicking on the button at the bottom of the panels on the right.
- Now comes the need for Acrobat, repeat NOT Acrobat Reader. Open the exported PDF file in Acrobat. Different versions of Acrobat have the option to “Crop” the pages in different places. Find that option. You will crop the right and left pages separately. On the right pages, crop the right side; on the left pages crop the left side by 3.38″. On both pages crop the top by 1″.
- Now your PDF file has the dimensions MagCloud wants, you need to “Print” it to produce a new PDF file so that the cropped version will be created. In Acrobat, choose File/Print and choose for your printer “Adobe PDF.“ Click to print and give it a new name.
- If you like, using another Adobe Acrobat feature, you can add numbers to pages. If I want to add page numbers that are on the outside bottom corners of the pages, I add a footer for odd pages, start numbering with the first content page that falls on the right side, apply it only to odd-numbered pages, and select the full range of content pages. I do not number the inside back cover and back cover itself. Then I repeat the same for even-numbered pages and start on the backside of page number 1. Adding page numbers at the center may be easier since it falls in the same place and you don’t need to worry about the odd-even page placement. If you add page numbers you need to save the file again, but this time a simple “Save” will do.
- The resulting file will be ready to upload to MagCloud for standard size magazine printing.