Friday, September 11, 2020

Proofing a Mixbook Book

 I have been using two different printers for photo books for the past several years.  I tend to use Printique (formerly AdoramaPix) for my "serious" books, those where I anticipate wanting full spread images and top quality printed images.  

I also like using Mixbook.  I find it easier to use and less expensive, though the lack of a practical lay flat option and my perception of their print quality keeps me from using them for books where I know I have top notch images.  

Covid-19 has me delving into my archives to create new books of events well in the past.  Mixbook is the right choice for me on these as: 

  1. My images back then tended to be a bit off -- no need for big prints.
  2. Ease of book creation is more important given potential volume and time constraints.
  3. Lower cost encourages more generous allocation of pages for marginal materials.
  4. Thinner finished size takes less bookshelf space.
One of the advantages of Mixbook over Printique is the ability to collaborate and review.  This post will delve into that a bit deeper.


Mixbook offers one-at-a-time collaboration.  What this means is the book owner can invite one or more people to co-create the book with him or her self.  People who accept the invitation can then open the book in edit mode and make any changes (this can be a bad thing, so be careful).  They can view the pages close up and really see what is on the pages which is great for detailed review, much better than a shared low-res PDF approach offered by competitors.

When the book is opened for editing by anyone, it is locked to everyone else, so there is no simultaneous editing.  This is a bit of a drawback, but can be worked around as long as everyone is aware of the issue.

To add someone as a collaborator, access the overview page for the project.  Then simply set permissions you want to grant and add their email address and possibly a message to include in the invite and then Send Invite.


I stumbled upon a page on Mixbook's Inspiration blog that outlines how to review all of the text in a book in one concise format.  It even allows use of tools such as Microsoft Word to be used for editing of the text elements.  This would be amazing.  Unfortunately, I can't get it to work.  I am contacting their technical support and hope to have something more useful to say about this in the future. 

Update: I spoke with Joanna at Mixbook.  She confirmed that this feature no longer exists but did offer to add it as an enhancement request.  For now though, this is only a memory.

Final Check for Empty Frames

Mixbook checks for empty frames as a step in ordering.  One element that they look for are empty photo frames.  I tend to have them as placeholders can be covered with larger images.  They don't actually matter, but still, getting rid of them is a good idea.  

The check screen, with located errors appears like this:

To eliminate the errors, make note of the pages and click on the Make Changes button which will open the book in the editor.  Navigate to the pages, and search for empty frames.  I typically do this by pushing visual images "back" on the page so that any hidden frames will become visible.  When I find the empty frame, I'll delete it and then shuffle elements back to their correct order.

Restarting the ordering process runs the check again and it should be clean if all the empty frames were found and eliminated. 

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