Quick Guide

Use Focus in Pix to create your own personalized photo books, cards, calendars, and posters. It features easy-to-use drag and drop functionality, along with a wide variety of professionally designed templates.  You can customize backgrounds, page layouts and color palettes to add extra depth and bring your photo memories to life. Download today, and start creating your own personalized memories to share with your family and friends!

If you need help downloading and installing Focus in Pix, please visit either the Mac Install Instructions or PC Install Instructions pages.

1. Select a product

  1. Click ‘Create a New Project’ button.
  2. Choose a Category. (Example: ‘Photo Books’ or ‘Calendars’.) Click on selected Category picture, then click ‘Next’ button.
  3. Choose a Product Type. Click on selected Product Type picture, then click ‘Next’ button.
  4. Choose a Product. (Note: Sometimes there is only one selection under ‘Choose Product’.) Click on the picture showing the item you wish to create, click ‘Next’ button.
  5. You will be asked to name your project. Type in a name for your project and click “Create.”

    If you don’t see the product you are looking for, click the “Check for Updates” button located in the lower left corner of the dialog box.  Add a check mark next to items that you wish to update your software with. Only select a few items at a time to keep your update times reasonable.

2. Load your pictures

Click on the “+” button located in the upper left corner of the Focus in Pix screen. Navigate to your pictures folder on your computer to add an entire folder or select individual pictures. Your pictures will be loaded into the “Pictures” palette and are now ready to insert into your project design.

Tip: We recommend creating one folder on your computer to store your photos for your project. Copy pictures into this folder and then add the entire folder to load your pictures. If you keep adding pictures to your folder, just re-add the folder again.

Important: Do not move your pictures from their location after you have loaded them into Focus in Pix! When adding pictures to your project, they are not being uploaded to a site or embedded into your software. They are simply being ‘linked’ to a location on your computer. If you move them, the software will not be able to find them and will give you a ‘missing pictures’ error.

3. Select a “Page Style” template

Click on the “Page Styles” tab located near the bottom of the screen to have access to Page Styles. Drag and drop preferred styles onto your page to select them. Most page styles can be further adjusted to fit your picture sizes.

4. Add your pictures to your layout

To insert a picture onto your page, simply drag and drop a picture from your “Pictures” palette onto an empty picture box on the page.

Tip: Before adding pictures, try to find “Page Layouts” that match the proportions of your pictures. For example, if your pictures are shot “vertically” (height is greater than width), you may want to find a “Page Layout” template that has vertically proportioned pictures on it before you start adding pictures to your page. You can always switch to a different “Page Layout” after you have added pictures, or crop and re-size photo boxes on the page.

5. Adjust cropping, size and rotation

Adjust Cropping: To keep the box on the page the same size and proportion, double-click on a filled photo box to adjust cropping. The cropping tool dialog box will appear.  To crop in on the picture, click and drag the “tab” located in the lower right of the picture. Use the hand tool to drag the cropping area to the desired area on the picture.

Adjust Size: Select a filled picture box on the page. Drag any of the blue handles that appear around the edge of a picture box to adjust the size of the box.

Rotate: Select a filled picture box on the page. With your mouse pointer, click on the green handle that appears near the upper left corner. The green handle is next to the blue corner handle on the top side of the picture box. Drag the green handle to the left or right to rotate the picture box.

Please note that if a picture box has been rotated, you will only be able to adjust the size of the box proportionally with the blue handles. To adjust the size of rotated picture box to be wider or taller, click on the “ruler” icon in the upper right corner to access additional picture box sizing attributes. In this toolbar, under “Size:” type in different numbers for “Width” and “Height” to alter the size of a rotated picture box.

6. Adjust pictures

There are several picture enhancement tools in Focus in Pix found under the “Picture” toolbar (the icon that looks like a white frame in the upper right corner of your screen).

Color Mode: Turning your pictures to “black and white” or “sepia tone” can add a special, unique look to your project.

Auto-Enhance: Automatically enhances the color, brightness and contrast of most photographs.

Brightness and Contrast: For photos that are too dark or too light, try adjusting the “Brightness” and “Contrast” slider bar.

Red Eye Removal: Remove red eye in most pictures by clicking on “Remove Red Eye”.

Tip #1: To preview each font style, type into the text box, select the text and then try different fonts by using the Font pull-down menu.

Tip #2: For text on a poster, you may need to type a number in the font size instead of using the pull down menu. We recommend starting at 100 pt. and adjust from there.

Tip #3: For projects that have a lot of text, you may want to check for spelling errors by typesetting in a program that uses spell check. You can then cut and paste your text into the Focus in Pix text box.

7. Add text and captions

Add special detail to your project by adding text or captions. You aren’t limited to font choices when using Focus in Pix! Use any font installed on your computer.

To edit a text box already on your page: Double-click on any text box to type or edit existing text in the text box. When editing text that has already been placed inside a text box, select the text with your mouse cursor first, then adjust text attributes.

To add a text box to your page: Simply click on the “Add Text Box” icon located above your page.  A resizable text box will be added to the center of your page. Move the new text box into position with your mouse, then double-click to add text.  When you see the blinking cursor inside the text box, type the text you want to show on your project using your keyboard. Note: Depending on your project and background colors, you may need to adjust text attributes to see the text large enough on your screen.

To customize your text: Look under the “T” icon in the upper right corner of your screen. Select the existing text with your mouse (click-hold and drag your mouse cursor to select the text inside your text box). Choose a font style under Font: by clicking on the pull-down menu and making a font selection. Adjust the size by selecting a number from the pull-down menu or typing in a size number. Continue to adjust color and paragraph settings if needed.  If your text has become too large for the text box on your page, a warning will be displayed inside your text box. To resize the the text box, click and drag the blue handles surrounding the text box.

8. Add colored borders & drop shadows

Enhance your photos by adding solid color borders and drop shadows. Click on the “Picture Box” icon to access the picture box attributes. Create a solid color border by clicking on the “Colour” mixer square. Set the border thickness by dragging the “Border > Size:” slider to the left and right (or typing in a point size).  Below the border settings, add a drop shadow by clicking on the “Drop Shadow” attribute. Customize your drop shadow by playing with Angle, Blur, Colour, Expand and Opacity settings.

Tip: You can create a glow effect when using the Drop Shadow tool. Instead of selecting the color “Black” for your drop shadow, choose white or bright color instead. When the picture is on a darker color background, it will appear to have a glow effect around the picture box.

9. Add backgrounds, scrapbook items, special frames and more!

Customize your project by selecting from our large library of Page Styles, Masks, Backgrounds, Frames and Scrapbook items. Simply drag and drop each item from the trays onto the page.

  • Page Styles will change the layout design of your page.
  • Masks will add a special effect to your picture box. Drag the mask from the Mask tray onto the picture box.
  • Backgrounds will change the page background to a background image. Drag and drop the background selection onto the background of the page. (Background images will cover any solid background colors applied to the page.)
  • Frames add special imaged frames around your picture box. Simply drag and drop the frame onto a picture box. (Frames will cover any solid borders applied to your picture box.)
  • Scrapbook items are similar to clip art. Simply drag and drop a selected scrapbook item onto the page.

Many of these items are found when you update your software. It may take a considerable amount of time to update your software with everything in our library, so try to only select a few items at a time.

10. Preview and submit order

Once you are done designing your project, preview by clicking on the green “Preview” button. If you need to make any additional changes, exit out of preview, make changes and then save your project.

When you are ready to order, click on the “Shopping Cart”. When prompted with a dialog box, click on “Order Now” to begin the order process.

11. Confirm details and make payment

A web browser will open and you will be directed to Focus in Pix online web order page. Create a new account or sign into your existing account. (Note: Login ID and Password are case-sensitive. Carefully document your Login ID and Password exactly how it was typed in for future use.)

Step 1:
– When the order details appear, verify or type in desired quantity.
– Select any special options available for your project.

Step 2:
– Confirm shipping and billing details.
– Select free store pickup or ground shipping.

Step 3:
– Enter any discount codes next to “Voucher” or gift card codes next tot “Gift Card.” Click “Redeem” to apply discounts and gift cards to order.
– Select payment option, then click “Confirm.”
– A secure payment site will appear. Enter credit card details and confirm.

Tip: For special promotion announcements and details, “Like” us on Facebook, or check our website.

12. Upload order artwork

Your order is not complete until your project has been uploaded. After the system has accepted your payment:

  • Close the web browser when prompted.
  • Go back to the Focus in Pix application which will still be open on your computer.
  • After a few seconds, a dialog box will appear in front of your Focus in Pix application window.
  • When the dialog box appears, click the “Upload Order” button, then click “Continue.”

Note: This dialog box sometimes takes several seconds to appear. If it hasn’t appeared after a few minutes, the dialog box may have opened behind the Focus in Pix application window. Simply minimize the Focus in Pix application to find the dialog box.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Missing Pictures

This problem must be fixed before submitting order or the missing picture will not appear on final print.

How did this happen? The ‘Missing Picture’ message will appear on pictures whose files have been moved from their original location on your computer. The original location is where the pictures were stored when they were imported (or linked) into Focus in Pix.

How to fix this problem: Move the pictures back into their original location on your computer, or re-link the pictures from a different/new location by clicking on the + button in the upper left corner of  your screen. Re-linking the pictures to a new location on your computer will require the newly linked pictures to be added to your poster to replace the previously linked pictures. Alternatively, you can choose the option to ‘find pictures’ using the Missing Pictures dialog box. The Missing Pictures dialog box will appear when attempting to open a project with missing pictures.


Low Quality Picture

It is optional (but recommended) to fix this problem before submitting your order. Lower resolution pictures may print soft or out of focus. The degree to how poor the quality will print depends on the file size and can vary between only slightly soft to greatly out of focus.

How did this happen? The ‘Low Quality Picture’ message will appear on pictures that were saved at a lower resolution than what is recommended for print. This may appear on pictures that were emailed or copied off web pages, cell phone pictures, or pictures that were not scanned at a high enough resolution (dpi). This message may also appear when over-enlarging pictures and scrapbook images on your page.

How to fix this problem: We recommend any of the following solutions to fix this problem.

  • Resize the picture box smaller on the page to see if the alert disappears.
  • Replace the picture with a higher resolution version that was saved off the original camera (if available).
  • If the picture was scanned, re-scan the picture at a higher resolution and/or larger dimension. Generally, pictures used in Focus in Pix should be scanned at 100% size at 200-300 DPI.

Even though the resolution of the picture may not be optimal, it still may still be satisfactory to you. You may want to view the picture magnified on your screen to see if the quality is to your satisfaction. To magnify the picture on your screen, open it with another software program and enlarge it on your screen to around the same size it will appear on the poster. If you are satisfied with how the picture looks on your screen magnified, you will most likely be satisfied with how it will print on your poster.

Text Overflows Box

This problem must be fixed before submitting order.

How did this happen? The ‘Text Overflows Box’ message will appear on a text box when there are too many characters or the font size and/or line spacing is too large to fit inside text box. Sometimes this happens when extra lines and/or extra spaces have been added either before or after the text inside the text box.

How to fix this problem: We recommend any of the following solutions to fix this problem.

  • Make the text box larger to accommodate all the text inside the text box.
    • Click once on the text box to select it.
    • Sizing handles (dots) will appear on corners and sides of the text box.
    • Click and drag on any of the sizing handles (dots) to them to make the box larger.
  • Delete any extra characters, blank spaces and extra lines not needed.
    • Double-click on the text box that shows the error to begin editing the text.
    • Check for extra line returns and/or extra blank spaces by putting your cursor after what appears to be the last character in the text box.
    • Use the ‘delete x >’ key on the keyboard that deletes spaces in front of the character selected.
    • Note: You may find this step easier by first making the text box larger and then deleting any extra empty spaces or lines. When done, resize the text box smaller to its original size. 
  • Reduce the font size of the text inside the text box.
    • Double-click on the text box that shows the error to begin editing the text.
    • Use your mouse to select any or all text to make smaller. Use keyboard keys Ctl+A (PC) or Command+A (Mac) to select all the text in the text box.
    • On the right side of your screen, look for text attributes (under the ‘T’ icon.)
    • Near the top under ‘Font’ change the font size number to a smaller number by using the font size pull down or typing in a new number + return.
  • Reduce the line spacing of the text inside the text box.
    • Double-click on the text box that shows the error to begin editing the text.
    • Use your mouse to select any or all text to make smaller. Use keyboard keys Ctl+A (PC) or Command+A (Mac) to select all the text in the text box.
    • On the right side of your screen, look for text attributes (under the ‘T’ icon.)
    • Under ‘Spacing’ change the ‘Paragraph’ setting to a smaller number by using the slider or by typing in a new number + return.

If you are having problems with any of these steps, please contact us. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 2 pm. Email support is available Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm.

Custom Quality Memories