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Thread: Comparing Blurb's BookSmart & Lightroom 5 for Blurb

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    Join Date
    May 2012
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC

    Comparing Blurb's BookSmart & Lightroom 5 for Blurb

    There are two ways (among others) that you can design a book and upload it to Blurb for printing. One way is to download and install Blurb's free software called BookSmart. Another way is to design the book using Lightroom 5 and to upload it directly from within Lightroom. I have explored both software apps and am happy to make the comparisons shown below that I have discovered.

    I am brand new to both applications, so I might have some of this stuff incorrect and look forward to being corrected.

    Also please feel free to add to the list.

    Promotional Discount
    LR5: The first book that you order provides a 25% discount through all of 2014 up to a maximum of $200, EUR €155, or GBP 130.

    BookSmart: Blurb seems to run discounts from time to time that offer 20% off the regular selling price.

    Logo Discount
    When using either software, there is a significant increase of about 20% to 25% when opting not to include a Blurb logo in the book. That's a small amount when perhaps ordering only a few books but the savings of opting to include the logo might pay for an inexpensive lens or a software upgrade depending on the cost of the order.

    LR5: The last page displays a Blurb logo and a reference to Lightroom.

    BookSmart: The default setting displays the Blurb logo on one of the early pages (I think the second page) and the last page. However, if you remove the early page and then replace it, that logo will no longer appear.

    Text Placement
    LR5: Text can be displayed anywhere on the book except that it can't be displayed on a softcover spine.

    BookSmart: There are limitations, such as text fields are not allowed to collide. (I may not have grasped the nuances or workarounds pertaining to that, so maybe I'm wrong.) Text can't be displayed on a two-page spread. It can be displayed on a softcover spine if the book has at least 80 pages.

    BookSmart: The spellchecker is built into the order process.

    LR5: I haven't ordered a book using LR5 yet, so I don't know if that's built into the order process. I haven't found a spellchecker anywhere else.

    Font Sizes
    LR5: It seems possible to select virtually any font size. Text cells automatically expand to accommodate whatever font size you select.

    BookSmart: Font sizes are limited, such as skipping from size 10 to 12. The text cells don't seem to automatically accommodate whatever font size you choose.

    Auto Alignment of Text and Photo Cells
    LR5: I don't see any way to automatically align the top, bottom and sides of selected text cells or photo cells relative to each other. This seems to be a manual process that is not measured; it requires using your eye as best as possible to make the alignment.

    BookSmart: Selected text cells and/or photo cells can be automatically aligned at the top, bottom or side.

    Automatic Text Padding, Kerning, Leading, Tracking and Opacity
    LR5: Can be done

    BookSmart: Can't be done, at least not that I could determine.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 5th July 2013 at 11:17 AM.

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