We’re happy to announce a highly-requested feature that may change the way you do your product templates forever: Build Your Own Custom Product Templates right in the WordPress/WooCommerce Admin!
Traditional MyStyle Product Templates: Now Optional for DIY Webmasters!
Normally we set up each template by hand for each client, and provide the template IDs for use in their website(s). This is still a service that is available, but is no longer required for most one-sided templates if you want to develop them yourself!
New DIY Custom Templates
Our new custom template options can be found the WooCommerce Product Data section of any product, in the MyStyle > Advanced tab.
See the screenshot below, where the example is setting up a Rectangular 18×14 inch product template:
With these two checkboxes, a width and a height, you’re good to go with a basic rectangular template! It will size down automatically to fit the web browser while designing, and it will render your print files at the full size when generating a print file.
Beta Features: Add Image Layers and More
There are even more beta features beneath these basic settings that are still being tested, but you can try those out to add image layers to your templates, like a background or foreground. We’ll cover those features in another upcoming post.
For common print workflows where the printer is not the order processor, the new feature in the MyStyle Renderer version 3.23.2 is perfect for you. Recently released, this new feature can really help speed things up for anyone with an order-processing and web-to-print workflow that requires sharing the print file with another person, team , or partner company: Render-to-Cloud!
Streamlining Common Web-to-Print Order Processing Workflows
A lot of MyStyle enabled clients and online stores have very similar fulfillment processes, that is, they always involve rendering a print file for production to make and send out the order(s) once the order is placed, to begin the on-demand production and fulfillment process. Often, the person processing the order is not the same as the person creating the print. In that case, the workflow would involved emailing or uploading the file to a dropbox, or an FTP, or something like that. Well, no more! Print files that are sent to someone at a production house or print department to do the print and/or dropship can now be sent without having to download or manually upload it to get a shareable URL or attachment. Instead, you can now just send the print direct to the MyStyle platform cloud storage, included at no extra charge with all licenses!
The render-to-cloud option is found in the print image toolbar right next to the normal print file download buttons.
It depends how large your image is, but it typically takes a few seconds on a broadband connection. Wait a couple seconds then…
Get Public Download Link to Share
Once the print image render reaches the cloud, a checkmark will show in place of the spinner, and a shareable public URL will be provided in the same window. The green button will copy the URL for quick sharing.
Instant Download Link The URL when, visited or clicked, will automatically download the print file to eliminate the Right-Click and Save-As type of steps for the production team receiving the URL.
This Is an Optional Feature for Sending to Out-of-House Production Teams
In-House Production Teams may not need this feature if doing rendering and printing in house. So, if you render and print your own images in the same place, you might not need this, as you can still download and print the images just as you always have.
A Couple Steps Less is Always More!
For anyone else sharing print file links regularly, though, this might be a great time to say goodbye to your premium dropbox accounts, save a little money if current online storage methods are not necessary anymore. Speed things up by eliminating a few steps!
The backgrounds browser is Step 1 in almost all MyStyle apps for good reason. It’s an easy step that anyone can do and doesn’t require any content from the user, only choices. It’s fun and shows what you can do quickly and provides instant gratification to users by giving them great colors and stock backgrounds to choose from to get them on their way to creating an awesome design that they love.
The Issue with Long Lists and Pagination
The only problem is, sometimes digging through that backgrounds library seemed daunting and unorganized, and naturally the images at the very end of the list didn’t get very much action (very few people press previous page first to go through the list in reverse order, almost everyone just goes page 1, 2, 3 etc). So this UX needed to be updated to make it easier to find the content you love in the BG library. Well, that’s where the Category browser comes in.
Enter the Library Category Browser
We’ve launched a new and improved component recently that is already proving to give users more control to get design they love.
Now in step 1 when you browse backgrounds, you’re greeted with a scrolling single page list of thumbnails that represent each category, and are labeled as such to make it easy to understand what each category tile is a collection of. Now, a customer can see “Fine Art” for example without ever having to click to a next page, and they can click that to see our collection of great fine art images without having to dig through a whole list to find them. This is way easier and more fun, and immediately makes it so much faster to create a design you already start to like in the first step.
Live and Doing Great!
This feature automatically updates in your app so you should already have it live on your own MyStyle enabled sites if you have a Step 1 for backgrounds (it’s the default, so you probably do).
Stats Show Increased Performance
We’ve already seen an increase in the amount of designs and purchases that make use of background assets that we do not normally see many sales on. This is the proof that the new feature is getting used on designs that make it all the way through to sale, and that customers are happier than ever using MyStyle to personalize their designs with our collections of free graphics.
MyStyle Platform’s new Renderer feature empowers clients to edit and fix their own print files. In just a few simple clicks, you can now edit and change text, emojis, etc.
Gone are the days of escalating renders just to switch out and edit text within your design! MyStyle Platform is happy to announce our newly released feature that lets you edit a design’s text directly within the renderer. Simply click, edit as desired, and save your print file!
How to Edit Text and Emoji’s the Renderer
Open the renderer and scroll down to the section “PRINT IMAGE(S)”
Right click on the text/emoji/”object” you wish to edit.
From the pulldown options, select “edit object”
4. The “Text Lines” edit box will open. The text you selected and wish to edit will be in the text slot “Text line#1”
5. Highlight the text within the “Text line#1” & edit as desired
This is a very old, very small, very annoying issue with resolution of JPEG and PNG files that every designer and printer is familiar with, and we’ve finally beat it. Especially when it comes to JPG, if it wasn’t made with Photoshop, even though it was the right pixel size, it just wouldn’t open up at the DPI that it was created for (ie 300), and Photoshop defaults to whatever it wants (usually 72 or 96). Well, we’re happy to say in 3.19.0+ we broke through and were able to add a new feature under the hood that automatically fixes this and makes rewrites the file data so that it will open up at the intended DPI in almost any software – Photoshop, Print Software – etc. Ring the bells. We did it.
The Decades-Old JPG DPI Issue
You may know the situation well: the image is the right size in pixels, but it’s reading at the wrong DPI and so the “inches” measurement of the image is not correct. That is, until someone opens it up, and changes the DPI in Photoshop or print software manually to 300 or whatever it needs to be – most systems default DPI is typically 72 or 96 dpi, sometimes 100. But, most images are rendered for print at 300dpi (Pro Magazine-level print standard), so opening at 72 etc is annoying and can cause wasted time in the production workflow.
One Does Not Simply, Set the JPG DPI
The reason that 300dpi doesn’t open up in Photoshop or print software, though, is because the JPG file format doesn’t natively support resolution settings, so there’s traditionally almost no online resources for setting unsupported meta data. In HTML5 it doesn’t have any parameters to specify resolution, it’s purely pixel data. In the eyes of the raw JPG format, resolution is irrelevant, there is image data at a size of pixels, and the resolution can be whatever the screen (or software) wants it to be, which is subjective and relative to the system / software, so it doesn’t specify it natively. Additionally, the file code is not easily read or edited, so it’s not something that anything besides graphic design software can or would try to set. The problem is that Photoshop etc doesn’t have a setting to allow you to set the default image resolution, it detects it from your system (ie “72”) and just goes with that. That by itself, is also very annoying (re: Photoshop fix this please).
Interestingly enough, as we dissect the byte code for a JPEG we see that there are meta data points for resolution that do allow us to inject settings here that Photoshop will read, and they’re actually in Dots Per Meter, as if ANYONE would even use that when DPI is the standard! Imagine how old that must be. We digress.
The New Age Fix. Good News: We’ve Made It Automatic.
We’ve developed a way to set this DPI setting within JPG output in our MyStyle Renderer software. With 3.19.0+ every JPG comes with resolution meta data.
Whatever it says on page is the DPI, will be the DPI when re-opened in other software:
Drumroll… JPG Opens with Correct DPI!
JPG output files will open up at whatever DPI it says in the Renderer when viewed in Photoshop or Print Software, including both if that was the template’s original setting, and if you change the resolution manually after rendering it and then download the JPG.
150 dpi? Sure. 300? Of course. 632 dpi? Why not!
Bad News: There Is None.
This should alleviate one of the most annoying parts of printing with JPGs, and we’re so happy to advanced this aspect of the workflow for everyone who’s taking designs from web to print like our team does every day.
Goodbye, Extra Manual or Batch Processes!
Please note that if you have batch processes already made that set the DPI for your print files as a workaround for this, you can (or may need to) adjust or get rid of that now to streamline things a bit more knowing that the DPI is already set correctly.
We’ve corrected some issues view and mobile usability in the MyStyle Custom Product Designer plugin for WordPress/WooCommerce. This was an issue that some devices have had with the app not fitting the page well, sticking off the page to the right on small screens. We’ve also added a few more tweaks and tunes to make usability a little more natural for mobile. If you update to the most recent version of our core plugin (any version 3.9.0 or above), you will get the new updates that fix these issues for smart, responsive page auto-adjustments.
Viewport Zooming for Mobile Devices: Better Than Just “Responsive”
Responsive was always supported with the app, and the viewport zooming too to some extent, but it was limited and had some problems with some screen sizes. In many cases, the theme often can leave the page unfitted for the app. The viewport now automatically adjusts much better so that the design app can fit in portrait mode to the screen without any pinching or zooming. Essentially, we’re doing the perfect pinch-zoom for the user, so that they don’t have to, and locking it in there. We update this on page resize events so that if the user turns the phone or tablet sideways, it re-calibrates the zoom, in addition to switching modes from Portrait (buttons on bottom) vs Landscape (buttons on top/left). This should help most sites automatically leave enough room for dragging on the handlebars on the sides as well.
Disabling Viewport Rewriting for the Customize Page
You can disable the viewport zooming in the MyStyle settings, if your theme or your custom code already takes care of this. Just be sure to allow a minimum app width of 550px to allow for the application plus draggable side handle space.
Full Screen Button Moved Up to Top
Full screen, the app really works best. The full screen button, however, was beneath the app where it might go unnoticed. So, we’ve moved the button to the top of the page to make it quicker to see right away before getting down into the app on page by scrolling. This should encourage a lot more users to go full screen, where scrolling is eliminated entirely.
We’ve added some subtle handlebars to the left and right of the app for users to be able to scroll easier if they’re on a smaller size screen, since the main design area touch-and-drag will move the design elements rather than the page.
Adjustments for DIVI
DIVI is a popular theme for wordpress that uses an 80% page width. We’ve overridden this now to allow the app to use more of page size by reducing their default margins and page size just on the Customizer page itself.
If you utilize the MyStyle Print File Renderer with your production process, then at least one person on that team will appreciate this! We’ve released a new Dark Theme that can be chosen from the new minimized menu (three dots …). Once you choose this theme, it will fade the screen to dark greys instead of light greys.
Choose the Dark Theme from the menu and it will save your preference in your browser. Any time you use that browser it will automatically reload the theme. Click the same option again to turn it off and go back to the standard light theme. Now that I’ve been using it for about a month in beta I can’t even go back to the light theme at all! It’s soothing to use the theme.
I can also see why Adobe adopted a similar look in Photoshop as the dark neutral look allows for the print images themselves to really breathe and pop even in the darker ranges.
So, this can be a great eye saver (and battery saver) especially at night when darker UIs help reduce eye strain. And, it looks pretty cool, too. Have a look:
If you or your staff use the Print Renderer then enjoy the Dark Theme, your eyes will thank you!
If you don’t see it yet, clear your cache and refresh :)
You may have noticed the green lock in our address bar signifying a secure URL, because we’ve gone fully secure with our whole website as well as all of our HTML5 and Render apps!
Fully SSL Support for All Customizers and Now All Website Services
MyStyle HTML5 Customizer in all of our flavors of WordPress WooCommerce plugins, OpenCart and Magento plugins, etc all support full HTTPS connections (SSL websites). This is a standard some of our development teammates such as IBM have urged us to move forward with and we are happy to say we’ve completed that transition. You can now use our HTML5 customizer on any fully SSL (https://) website, rather than http://, and this has been available in testing for months, but now we’ve also followed suit with our website and our website based services, too. With this change we’re now forwarding all http:// traffic to the https:// URL instead, with the exception of some special case URLs for legacy Renderer users.
Google and IBM Strongly Recommend It.
This standard was also suggested by Google as the new standard for all websites to move to using for their entire websites, not just the traditional usage we’ve typically used where we only use SSL for checkout and register/login (where passwords or sensitive data is used). As far as standards go, partners like Google and IBM are definitely two we like to trust and generally heed their advice!
Test Your Sites and Workflows
Please test your sites and log a ticket for any issues you may encounter on your own sites while switching to https:// with regard to our HTML5 Customizer and Print Image Renderer, and we’ll be happy to help you with the transition. For most sites, it should be as easy as changing your site to SSL and our updated plugins will automatically follow suit if the outer site is SSL.
SSL Is Recommended, but Not Required
If you’re not using an SSL website yourself, that’s ok, too. Your site can use regular http:// and our apps will adopt that protocol and use our own secure calls in the background.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us Q/A during the transition and all of our clients who made the jump to SSL right away.
Many people do not realize that we can change the color palette to be a custom color palette for any app. So, instead of the default color palette containing our standard set of common web colors, you can have your own set of colors for users to choose from.
Where Are The Color Palettes?
Color palettes can be found in the solid Background color UI, the Background Fade (Gradient) UI, the Edit-Text UI, Edit Monogam UI, Patterns UI, and special UIs for things like frame colors, vehicle paint colors, etc. Basically, anywhere the user can choose a color for something in their design.
How is This Useful?
If you or your manufacturer or fulfillment partner uses a CMYK printer, as most do, you may want to use a CMYK color palette to be sure that users are not able to select colors that are only possible in the RGB color space. Generally speaking, this means RGB colors are so bright and saturated on screen where there is light projecting the color to that extra bright range, that they generally cannot be printed with traditional CMYK printers.
Some sites use a curated color palette where they have hand selected a set of colors they know work well with their products, and match well with each other, and can be printed well.
Conversely, if you know certain colors do not work well for your products or your printer, you can use a custom color palette to be sure you can’t use them!
Where to Buy
If you need a new UI entirely or complex color palette, or if you have a Standard or Managed license, talk to your account manager about what’s best for your site.
If you have a Developer License and want this upgrade with a set of color codes you have yourself, you can find this upgrade in the MyStyle Marketplace:
Today we’re pilot testing a new feature update for the improving the custom text tool to easily allow the user to create custom text on multiple lines, rather than having to add them one line at a time as it’s always been in the past. The feature will still yield to single-line text as the default text tool, as it’s simpler and works better for many products that way. But, you can elect to upgrade to the multiple-line text tool for no extra cost. Both versions are supported by the desktop MyStyle Customizer at this time.
Poems, Song Lyrics, Quotes and Passages Welcome!
We see a lot of custom text designs created all the time, and the biggest need for this new multi-line text tool has got to be for Poems, Song Lyrics, or Quotes and Passages where there are anywhere from 5 to 50 lines of text. These designs previously would really take a long time to create one line at a time, and getting the line spacing and alignments even was really tough unless you have a really great eye for detail. Now, using the new tool, all of that is eliminated and the alignments and line heights will all be automatic. Just drop your poem or long paragraph into the new feature and you’re done when it comes to line spacing and alignments.
Multi-Line Text as Easy as Can Be
The new feature update has really made it super easy to control a paragraph of custom text. When you type in the text editor, simply press “enter” as you would in any word processor to break one line to the next. Then, you can use the Left, Center, and Right buttons to align the paragraph to any one of those settings. Other than that, it’s the same old awesome text features that were always available, including lots of great fonts, custom colors, advanced effects like dropshadow and glow.
Try Out New Multi-Line Text
To try out the new feature, head over to the best Custom Canvas Print site on the web, MakeCanvasPrints.com
A new feature for Custom Patterns has been released in the current version of the MyStyle Customizer (desktop only right now). With this new feature, the user is able to create very unique pattern based designs using premade pattern assets for patterns like Chevron, Polka Dots, Floral, and many more. These patterns add a whole new dimension to the aesthetics users can achieve very quickly thru our app, and includes some very popular current trends that match up with monograms or uploaded photos and other features in the app.
New Custom Patterns
With the controls shown above, found in the Backgrounds step of the MyStyle customizer, the user can now try different pattern designs very easily, and apply any color to the pattern. The current library includes pattern assets for Chevron, Polka Dot, Stripes, Optical Illusions, and much more. The patterns themselves have transparent negative space once loaded by the app, giving the user the ability to also choose solid colors and fades for the background to show through the pattern. This creates some very interesting design aesthetics, especially with interesting background gradients or images combined with the pattern assets. Our proprietary process allows the patterns to maintain excellent anti-aliasing for smooth curves and lines at just about any size or rotation.
Custom Libraries for Custom Patterns
The library of pattern assets available will grow over time, and exclusive pattern libraries per-site are also supported if clients want to provide their own collection of pattern assets just for their own site(s). To provide pattern assets to us, you simply need to provide black and white versions of your pattern around 3000px in size, and we can take it and integrate it from there either in our main library or as a private asset for your MyStyle enabled site.
Making Canvas Wraps Easier Than Ever with this Awesome New Feature: 3D Wrap Views
We’re happy to announce the availability of a new feature for Canvas Wraps Customizer (or any custom rectangular printed product where the graphic wraps around the squared edges). The 3D Wrap view helps users understand instantly where the “bleed” and “wrap” zones are instantly, without having to think about what a “bleed” is or read the help bubble trying to explain the concept. This makes accuracy of print images increase significantly, as many users previously were a bit confused about where their text should and shouldn’t go.
3 Automatic View Modes In Customization
The feature consists of automatically switching between a 3D-Wrap View, a 2-D Full Template view including outer bleed/wrap areas, and the final Cropped Straight-On View. The first two, the 3D wrap view and the 2D Full Template view, switches back and forth automatically as the user works on their design. When they mouse over the canvas, they see the full view, to position their objects inside the red bleed/wrap guide line, keeping their text inside the “safe zone”. When they reach step 4 to complete their order, the outer areas of both views are cropped off and hidden to show the final product straight on, eliminating any question of what will be cut off around the edges vs on the front face of the canvas. This final straight on view sends thru as their main image, staying consistent with the traditional artwork view that is expected on art print and canvas sites.
DPI, Accuracy, Inches & Pixels
Our manufacturers’ specs are met to the inch and pixel with exact settings to ensure accuracy. Users can’t be bothered with understanding DPI, PPI, bleed in inches, or any of that. The information is there for them in a help bubble if they are curious, but really they want to know what they see on screen is what they get in the mail, and that’s exactly what our accuracy can ensure.
Try It Out at MakeCanvasPrints
Our Beta release is testing now on MakeCanvasPrints.com – perhaps the easiest custom canvas print design tool on the web today. MCP enables happy customers who design their own canvas prints with photos, effects, and tons of cool custom text additions every single day: