Mother’s Day is fast approaching, but that doesn’t have to mean giving mom just another basket of flowers or a phone call (not that she’d mind either or both). With iPhoto ’11, you can design a beautiful and memorable custom card to accompany your other heartfelt messages. Here’s how.
Choose your pictures
The first step is picking photos. You know your mom, so choose pictures with maximum appeal (for me, that means flowers and a baby picture of yours truly). You can select a single picture in your iPhoto library, or you can build a card by selecting multiple pictures, an event, album, or even a Faces collection of pictures. After I was satisfied with my photographs, I created a new photo album by selecting File -> New -> Album, and dragged in a handful of additional appropriate pictures to have several options in easy reach. Select the pictures (or album or event) you want to use, then choose File -> New -> Card, or click Create in the toolbar at the bottom of iPhoto’s window and choose Card to get started.
Pick a card, any card
The iPhoto interface will be replaced by a workspace where you can choose a card and customize its design. You can print two types of iPhoto cards at home: folded and flat (letterpress cards must be printed by Apple). Choose your card by clicking the buttons at the top of the new screen.
Cards are organized into different categories. The default view shows all categories, but you can move among them by clicking the arrows beside the category name at the top of the window. Within each category (Baby & Kids, Formal & Wedding, Holidays, Invitation & Thank You) are several themes. To browse them, click one to select it or swipe your Magic Mouse or trackpad to quickly move through your options. Some are festive, others formal, but most are simple enough to make elegant cards for Mother’s Day (unfortunately, there are no Mother’s Day-specific cards in the Holidays category). In the last iPhoto update, Apple added new card themes to the flat and folded collections (but not the Letterpress set), so check Software Update to make sure you’re running version 9.1.2 or better.
No matter which template you choose, you can pick a horizontal or vertical layout and a range of color options. To select them, click the swatch and layout icons below the card themes in each category. The selected card updates automatically. When you’re ready to start working, click the blue Create button at the bottom of the window. Note that your card will be saved in iPhoto’s Sidebar under Projects. You can edit its default name by double-clicking it and typing your own title.
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