Lightroom: Ability to create custom book templates/sizes from scratch

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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  • (Edited)
Provide a way to create new pages completely from scratch by laying out the position of the picture frames and text frames instead of using just the provided templates. I like to do my own layouts that match the text.

Also can we have double page layouts where they are linked and cannot be broken apart.
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Sravan Nerella

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  • excited

Posted 7 years ago

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Rasmus K.

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It's really sad to be that limited when the rest of the module works so well.
I hope there will be an easy way do quickly sketch out own templates, otherwise I don't really have use for the module.
I mean every serious photo-book-print allows own templates nowadays.
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kevinashaw

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Need a Mac version.
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Crusoe

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I gave it a go, great for a quick page layout. In fact a lot quicker then writing the layout template code manually which I did for a bunch pages I use regularly. On the other hand, my pages can be pretty complex and include double spread layouts. You just need to learn the language of the .lua template file! So in fact you can make your own templates, it's just.... laborious, a bit complicated and takes a couple of iterations to iron out the inevitable errors!!!
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Butch_M

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That's great Crusoe ... but if we must do all the coding to achieve custom pages in the Book module ... what are we paying Adobe for? I thought that was part of the deal ... we pay the Lightroom team to do the coding for us.
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Butch_M

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That's great Crusoe ... but if we must do all the coding to achieve custom pages in the Book module ... what are we paying Adobe for? I thought that was part of the deal ... we pay the Lightroom team to do the coding for us.
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Crusoe

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Quite right, but while "Mr Adobe" is (or maybe is not) getting his derrière into gear, custom pages are still required. Until I read up on how to do this, I used to export my pics into a third party module (like most folk I suppose) which in principle works, but it sure makes life easier when you can pop back to the develop module at the drop of a hat for the inevitable touch-up that was missed, or simply something different was required when you finally get a page together.
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Matthew O Brien

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I am really disappointed that templates cannot be created or edited. I hope (but not optimistic) that this might improve before final product launch.

I am really disappointed that we now have (based on beta) an unusable book module (for me at least), a whole pile of effort on a new module...... yet basic features in the print module (such as ability to print my metatdata where I want to for Captions, titles, etc) is still crippled.
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TK

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When LR4 beta was out, the word was that LR4 final will contain the ability to define custom book templates.

What happened to this idea?
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Butch_M

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Still waiting ... but hold onto your hat ... it won't be a method to create a fluid custom page size within Lr ... you'll have to create your own templates in another app outside of Lr ... and you will have to do that for EVERY page size you use that isn't a standard Blurb book size ... you can read it here:

http://www.pixiq.com/article/kevin-ti...

Isn't that a well planned, well thought out and well executed method to simplify one's workflow?

Oh, and don't get me started on the fact you can't export pages or spreads as tiff or jpeg ... so if your vendor of choice doesn't accept PDF ... you have to take another step ... outside of Lr to convert the PDF to a file format that you can submit ...
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Cornelia-I

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What happened to this idea?

Among the many serious bugs that Adobe managed to introduce not into the beta, but the final LR4.0 version all matters concerning SDK got down-prioritized in favour of arriving at LR4.1RC.

As their specification of book templates is so convoluted they consider this a matter of developers i.o. every customer.

I am angry.
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Butch_M

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I'm not quite angry ... I'm just extremely disappointed in what Adobe is offering. To the point where I have not yet purchased the upgrade to Lr 4, though I did participate in the public beta and used the 30 day trial for v4.0. This is the first time since the very first beta of Lr that I have not plunked down my cash for Lr because with each earlier version, Lightroom was worth EVERY penny in the way it impacted my workflow. This is the first time where I have not been convinced that Adobe had my best interests at heart. Currently, I'm holding off to see if there is an Introduction from Apple to a new version of Aperture in the near future ... Lr 3.6 is doing fine for me now ... but if Aperture, which I am currently using for books/albums and slideshows, shows any promise, I will move to that for my workflow.

I have no issue with the point that Blurb is the first vendor on board for the Book module, though I take great issue that the Book module was designed specifically for the Blurb business model, and Adobe expects the rest of the Universe to adopt their methodology and conform to their structure in order to participate.

The Book module should have been designed to create and export books to ANY vendor ... not a closed system.

To the point ... The Library and Develop modules do not read only Canon RAW files and expect other camera makers to conform ... the Print module does not only print to Epson printers and expect other printer firms to find a way to participate ... the Web module does not create files that only Internet Explorer can render shunning other browsers ... So why was the Book module deployed as a one-trick pony tied to a single vendor with such limitations that either take great effort to work with other vendors or options? It flies in the face of nearly everything that Adobe has developed in the past and is extremely disconcerting to say the least when trying to understand the motives and decision making behind the scenes to get us to this point.

As it stands now, the Book module is an incomplete half-measure for many users. I for one will not wait another two years just to see if there will be any improvements.
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Matthew O Brien

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As far as I am concerned, the book module is completely unusable without flexible templates. It is like the Print Module (ie incomplete). I have now abandoned the book module and use other tools. The proposal to use externally generated templates is a fudge and not a solution. If I want to adjust a template while producing a book I have to:
1.Go To an External App
2.Develop and Test a Template
3.Import it to Lightroom (assuming this procedure will be documented).
4.Test It Again.
5.Use It (and hope you do not need to fine tune)
6. Repeat as many times as are necessary.

Instead we should be able to tweak an existing image or text box or add an image or text box (not the existing fudge with the internal dimensions of a box).

Adobe should also provide a new text box called a "metadata" box, where we can specify a metadata field (or simply allow a text box have a default metadata field).

Anyway, other than the new processing engine (and soft proofing for some), Lightroom 4 to me is about glitz (ie glamour modules). How disappointing. I live in hope,,,,,,,,,,(but getting weaker all the time).
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TK

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What alternative tools are you using to produce books?
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Matthew O Brien

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Re Applications I Use for Books. I use Blurb, Aperture and InDesign for books. I do not use Lightroom

In summary.
Blurb.
The Blurb app is very good and make a show of Adobe in terms of use of templates. I have two criticisms of the Blurb app. 1) Tedious to get images correctly on the page and preserve sharpening and 2) I have to re-enter my meta data. Obviously only works with Blurb.

Apple apps.
I have held off for the moment getting too committed to Apple apps because a) I am mainly a Windows user and b) hoping that 4.1 would have progressed the critical issues (not optimistic at all, at all now). I think their implementation of metadata text fields is superb and should be a model for all field placement by Adobe on a book, print, slideshow or web page and in their product suite Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign)
InDesign.
I have done books using Ver 5 and 5.5. I found version 5 to be extremely hard work and tedious. I found major improvements with ver 5.5 (use of Caption tool avoids double entry of data plus drag and drop of image preserves native ppi and so preserves sharpening..as long as you do not re-scale inside InDesign). I was delighted to see the Caption tool within InDesign. Finally, Adobe gives us access to our metadata. However, several aspects re implementation of the Caption tool within InDesign are seriously clunky (especially in relation to layers and groups). I can write a paper on that subject and have posted suggestions to Adobe on the specifics. I am happy to reply to any queries.
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TK

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Thanks for your responses, Cornelia and Matthew.

Aperture and InDesign are not an option for me. I've read the Blurb software adds a watermark to PDF files. The search continues...
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TK

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Cornelia proposed a feature request suggesting that the print module could be used to create new book templates.
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Michael Qvortrup

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I would very much like to see page sizes like A4 in the Book module in Lightroom 4.

I am not likely to use Blurb much as I have my own Epson R2880 and like printing myself. But I would like to use the Book module for better layout.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Support of European paper sizes in the Book module.
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pavel.pola

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Hi all,

I think it would be very nice if any company can produce its own custom templates for LR. For example local book-maker companies. Do you plan to publish APIs or procedures to allow this?

I really love you new Book module and I think this could get even more...

Pavel Pola

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Custom Templates in Book module.
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Aron Schmukle

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I am just trying out the new book module and really like it very much. there are nice templates and graphics. however, i hope to see proper layouting options added in the final version.

For example:
- to create my own templates like it is possible in the print module.

I was asking myself why did adobe not take this nice aproach of picture packages over to the new book module?

For clear voting i opened separate, additional Feature requests close to this topic

cheers, Aron

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom 4 beta, Book Module, include proper layout features 3, own templates.
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Ole Lindhardt

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Hi

Love LR - using it from the very beginning.

the book module was very welcome to mee, making books often.

I must say, that i was disappointed when the beta 4 showed up.

The book module is far to ristrictive for creative use. You May have the oppertunity to free movement of the "picture- and textboxes". This means Rotate, Overlay for other frames, individual frames on a pic and things like this.

It is standard features on free "bookmaker" programs :-) on printerservice websites. See and try the free http://www.smilebooks.com/thank-you-f...

and http://www.smilebooks.com/photo-book-...

that is the freedom we need to make creative books.

Sorry Adobe freinds, but I hope this is a VERY early version ;-)

Keep the spirit

Best regards

olimage

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Creative use of the LR4 Bookmodule.
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Lieven Coudenys

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Book module: With the latest update of LR4, it's great you can now export your book as .jpeg. But please, we need custom sizes in stead of the fixed ones you can choose from now, or at least a book size in a 2/3 ratio! All pro cameras shoot in 2/3 so we need a book that can hold full page photos without losing parts of the image!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LR4 book module 2/3 ratio needed!.
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Kevan Barton

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When working in the book module, I should be able to:
1 - Positon a text window anywhere I want
2 - Position a photo anywhere I want
3 - Size the text window to any dimension I want so long as the page can handle it
4 - Size the photo window to any dimension I want so long as the page allows it
5 - Use the provided frames on any dimension text or photo window I want
7 - Create and save my own page templates
8 - Be able to share page templates (has adobe thought of having a free market for saved templates provided by people)
9 - Import shared page templates from the free market
The pring module already has the built structure (the way you can organize a print page) that might be borrowed for the book module to provide the functionality of one through 4 above.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom? Book Module: flexibility in text and photo windows.
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dan

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Even though the LR Book Module has 180 or so templates, it never seems to have the one I want. Prior to LR 4, I used Blurb's BookSmart SW to create Blurb books and was hoping LR would at least have all the templates that ship with BookSmart. However it seems they do not. For example I can't find a LR template for a 3 photo page with 2 landscape and 1 portrait which is a mainstay of my books. So, here is my requst:

1) At a minumum include in LR all the templates that come with Blurb's BookSmart SW.

2) Allow us to create our own templates from scratch

3) Allow us to create our won templates by modifying a pre-exisitng template.

Perhaps allow LR to import templates from BookSmart including both those that shipped with BookSmart or were created by the use using BookSmart (thus avoiding the need for Adobe to build a template editor from scratch right away). As the BookSmart SW is free to end users this is a similar concept to using Google Maps in LR3 while the Adobe folks built their own mapping SW that showed up in LR4.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Need more LR Book module templates as well as ability to create/edit them.
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Jeff

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When LR 4 was released we were told we would be able to edit/create book templates using one of several other apps. (Illustrator and InDesign come to mind.) That still hasn't happened months later. I had to give up on LR for making books. I guess if I wanted an alternative to creating books in iPhoto LR4 would be it, but I want a much more robust/flexible product. LR has so much potential for this. Why waste time and code adding stuff like Twitter and Flicker integration and give us a crippled book module?
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Matthew O Brien

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I have completely given up on this. I put a lot of effort trying to find a workable solution.

As bad as the book module is ... a promise to deliver a workable alternative ....... and NOT deliver .....is in-excusable.

I give up.
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GWu

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In the current form, Book module is useless.

Primarily because of lack of custom page sizes for JPEG/PDF books.

I could live with the fixed layouts, but the fixed pages sizes are a restriction, which makes the module utterly useless: online print shops use all kind of different paper sizes and mine doesn't offer ANY of the sizes Lightroom forces me to use.
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Markus Schlegel

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Custom Page Size is really required. Blurb's printing service is a joke, no good quality at all.
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Richard Olpin

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I don't have an issue with Blurb, their quality is ok, though they are a bit behind the times as they don't do a lie-flat page option.

The only issue I have is that we don't have any sensible control over page layouts and I simply can't do the designs I want to in the book module compared to the stand-alone book creator, which makes it worthless to me.

The really annoying thing is that level of control is there in the print module already!
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Kent Messamore

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I agree. We need flexible layouts. In addition we need layouts on various size papers. I wanted to do a layout on 8.5 x 11 paper and Blurb doesn't allow it, just 8 x 10. We should be able to do layouts like the Print module.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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Obviously Adobe has had bigger fish to fry, such as creating and launching the Creative Cloud (no small undertaking) - then weathering the outrage from photographers related to the price of the Cloud (now re-mediated by the Photographers subscription plan).

I have no insights into Adobe (although I worked for them for 4 years in the 90's) but my speculation goes like this.

1) Adobe decided to compete with other consumer image SW products in the non standard output arena and decided to do books and web.

2) As Adobe is not a "printing" lab, they needed a partner to do the actual printing.

3) They did some research and were able to cut the best deal with Blurb. Perhaps with constraints and restrictions (exclusivity for a number of years?). But certainly with estimates of the new business Blurb would get (what's in it for Blurb)

4) To meet the next release date for LR, they slammed together what they could in the short amount of time available as most of the time had slipped away negotiating with Blurb and probably other vendors. Anyone who's worked on projects for big corporations know what I'm talking about on this one.

5) Uptake by users was not as vigorous as anticipated (perhaps due in part to the weak implementation).

6) Some Harvard MBA was brought in and did an analysis that determined in this day and age of everything "Cloud" and "Kindle", the market for physical books was not likely to grow very much and that this was not the place for continued investment, especially as it may take resources away from the development and launch of the CC and other projects centered around electronic delivery of media

7) CC launched and as with all such things has taken the best part of a year for the dust to settle

8) Now, (several years after Book Module first appeared), usage has not increased (self fulfilling prophecy from consultant?) and Blurb is pissed that the work they put into the book module implementation has not resulted in the expected new revenue. So, even if Adobe approached them with Part B, they may not be interested in throwing good money after bad. And, Adobe may be thinking the same thing.

9) Result: Don't expect much (if anything)

Anyway - That's the screen play as I image it played out.
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Matthew O Brien

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I agree with most of the points here.

1. I use InDesign but would prefer to do books in Lightroom for lots of workflow efficiency reasons.
2. I am not overly concerned re Blurb, but I agree ... it should be called the Blurb module.
3. My personal nickname for Adobe is Adobe 80%. Adobe do a good job doing the first 80% and then get lost and take another 10 years to do the next 10% and so on. So, so many examples across the entire creative suite.
4. I am depressed as usual that the Book module has been left literally "on the shelf".
5. It is clear that a lot of effort went into the initial book module, a pity its overall template design was so badly flawed and misconceived.
6. A lot of good stuff under the hood in Lr6 / CC. The only new feature I see useful is the panorama merge, clever to hold the details in a dng file. As this was already in Photoshop, most of the new features are badly needed improvements in the core architecture of Lr. Having waited patiently so long for a new release, I have to say I am disappointed.
7. I do not use the Book module. Lots of people I know avoid this module also.
8. I can create really good pdf's. word docs, html pages using Microsoft MailMerge with Word or Publisher. It is really simple to create a page template and merge with a file created by John Beardsworth Lightroom plug-in called ListView. This does a good job for me of placing images on a page with professionally formatted Title, Caption, Date,Time, Copyright info relative to the image. To me this is a sad workaround. Adobe could so easily do the right thing here.
9. I still do not understand why the mobile version does not allow me enter metadata and lock an image if I am happy with its current status from further developments. This is real usable stuff.

I suspect many people who are serious about books already have InDesign. I would be happy to pay for a pro version of Lightroom which had a functional book module. Also, I would happy to purchase a dedicated Book app.

So, I will set the alarm clock for another 2 years or so and see what the next version will bring.
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Santiago Rodriguez

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Good summary. I will look into ListView as a work around for the lack of a working book module. I have been using the book module just to organize pictures and pages. Then I use the print module with custom templates for each page type to create one jpeg for each page. Once I get all the pages in jpg format, I go to the software from the book printing service, and I manually sort the pages using the book module as a guide. This is a tedious process similar to what one would have to do without a computer.
I wonder what would be a good forum to exchange ideas for a better workflow.
It would be great if one could get a collection with the pictures in a Lightroom book module sorted as in the book and with tags noting which page template was used.
I wonder if a working book module could be created as a plug-in. If someone where to do that, I would be ready to buy it.
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Matthew O Brien

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Listiew provides the Metadata of your choice from Lightroom in an Excel or text file which you can then use to merge with a Photoshop, InDesign, Word or Publisher mailmerge style document. I have used all of these options. The disadvantage is that you can only use a single template, so not good for books. The disadvantage of Photoshop and InDesign is that the workflow is tedious (I have written JavaScript to automate this in InDesign and Photoshop, but still tedious) and you can only work with a single template page layout at a time. The advantage of Word is that I can run a script to get rid of the soft page breaks, so I end up with a document which has a flow of photographs, with professionally constructed Titles, Captions, Location, Date/Time, Copyright, etc. This is perfect for creating PDF documents or web pages, where I can use the full editing power of Word or Publisher to adjust the layout to my needs with the perfect marriage of image and metadata, perfectly formatted.

What is really aggravating is that Adobe provide us with the tools to manage metadata with an image, but seriously constrain our ability to use the metadata with our images. The annoying thing is that the feature is in the Slideshow module (which I do not use) but not in the Print module, which I use all the time. The Book module is crippled, so do not use that. I use JavaScript + Mailmerge + Photoshop to produce high quality PSD's for printing of images, but the techniques I use are beyond the scope of most Creative Suite users. Shame on Adobe for making it so difficult for us to work with our images and metadata.

A tip re Listview. There is a setting which allows you replace a space by another character (eg underscore) in column titles, to make mail merges less painful.

I would love to spend a month with the Adobe Lightroom and Creative team to show them what really needs improvement to streamline workflow for the serious user.

Sorry for the long post... but I thought this info might be useful to you. You can email me directly if you want to ask any specific questions. I
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Santiago Rodriguez

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Thank you very much for for explaining
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Matthew O Brien

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Following the release of Lr6, I am just reviewing my personal wish list relative to the top requests in this forum. I notice this is in the top 10 requested by users to Adobe, but has been ignored completely in LR6.

This request was originally posted more than 3 years ago.
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Matthew O Brien

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When the Book module was launched initially and this issue arose, Adobe promised publically on one of their forums that they would publish a means by which templates could be adjusted. As far as I am aware (and I am eagerly open to correction) that has never happed.

For me, modifying templates is just a poor workaround. It will cause an iterative approach to dealing with small adjustments needed on individual pages, depending on the nature and size of images and text. It would be worse than the "padding" solution. Real world needs the ability to tweak templates on the fly on a page by page basis, and if the need applies tweak and save the relevant template as well.

As there was not an official Adobe means to deal with this I can use InDesign. As this is too labour intensive for me most of the time, I only produce books under extreme duress. If the Book module was more usable, I would create a book for every project I do, trip I take, etc. Bottom line, if Adobe are getting a percentage of revenue from Blurb for books created from the Book module then they are losing at least 95% of the potential.

Thanks for the links, I will explore later in the week, when I will have some breathing space.
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Santiago Rodriguez

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I agree that this would be a very poor workaround, only practical for computer savvy users that need few additional templates that are not changed for individual pages.
If anybody from Adobe is reading this, I hope they realize that they still need to offer a flexible book module.
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Tobin Rogers

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Also disappointed that now 4 years of this string and there's not update for custom book sizes.  I sat here about the entire day playing with the functionality of the print module only to find that I can't create a custom size.  Wish I ran across that issue right from the beginning.  Was very surprised. Very disappointing.  
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Lucinda Lewis

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Book module needs functionality to change size restrictions. This is CR....

Why will Adobe not release the ability to create custom size templates within Lightroom?

There are many photo editors out here who need to prepare custom layout books for export to pdf.
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Cornelius Fischer

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Create custom book sizes & templates.

Since years, the community searches for workarounds of the limitations of the book module. Many professional photographers are not using Blurb for their client photobooks. Especially in Europe, we have different page rations for landscape books.

The book module of Lightroom is an awesome tool to speed the personal workflow (especially of professional wedding photographers) massively up with the only limitation, it can't be used due to the Blurb limitation.

Please Adobe, we are asking since more than 5 years for an enhancement of the book module with the ability to create custom book sizes and templates. This update would increase the value of Lightroom in a professional environment a lot!