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Author Your Own Web Cards in RapidWeaver

This morning a nifty new stack from 1LD, Author, flattered into my mailbox. Author answers a question that I was asked just recently: How do I build a Web Card? Of course, with the right combination of stacks, building a web card is simple, but you will need a number of stacks.
1LD Author

Author puts a face on your website without the work and saves you having to do all the careful positioning that multiple stacks would require. The face can even say "Hi" when hovered.
What Author can do: In addition to the face (or logo) Author can add a name and title to that face. It has child stacks for personal details 'List Items' and a stack container for 'Further Information'. Author then has an optional footer/sidebar, which has child stacks for social icons.

By default, Author creates your web card in landscape mode and automatically morphs to portrait mode on mobile devices. When adding content, the card will adjust to fit that content.

Once you have added your image and details, you can, with just a few clicks, begin to adjust the layout to your liking. Author's minimum width is 300px. As far as I could tell, there is no maximum width so, in theory, you could position Author as a page footer. Only two things prevent you from doing so: The image size can not be defined and grows proportionally to Author's width and even at its narrowest width, Author morphs into portrait format at tablet (portrait) size already; i.e. whilst Author is fully responsive it does not have any settings for breakpoints.
However – for the purpose it was intended – Author is perfect and there's nothing stopping you from dropping your finished web card into the footer as it is.

1LD Author
Stack settings

Author Settings
Profile Image – Add your image here. Profile images should be square. Non-square images are cropped and centered.
Name – Add a name or business name.
Title – Add an occupation or subtitle.
Hover Greeting – This greeting will display in a white chat bubble above the profile image when the card is hovered. Keep this value short in order to prevent the chat bubble from covering too much of the image.
Enable Hover Greeting – Disable this option to remove the “Hover Greeting”.

General Settings
Theme – Choose from 4 card layout themes.
Width – This will adjust the width of the card (The height is determined by the content you add to the card). If the container width is less than the width of the card, the card will adjust to fit inside the container. On mobile screens the card will automatically display in “Vertical Mode”.
Vertical Mode – Optionally display the card in a vertical orientation on all screen sizes.
Name Font – Optionally declare a custom font that will only effect the Name text.
Text Font – Optionally declare a custom font that will effect all text excluding the Name text.
Round Corners – Adjust the radius of the card corners.
Shadow – Choose from 6 predefined shadow styles.
Show Content – Show/Hide the “Drop Stacks Here” section of the card.
Show List Items – Show/Hide the “List Item” section of the card.
Show Footer – Show/Hide the footer that contains the social media icons.

Theme Styles
Round Profile Image – Enable/disable a round profile image. This option is only available in the “Standard” and “Solid” themes.
Text – Adjust the colors of the Name, Title, Content in the “Drop Stacks Here” section and “List Item” section, All the links contained on the card.
Background – Adjust the colors of the Main background (Except for the “Solid” theme), Footer gradient left (Background gradient left of the “Solid” theme), Footer gradient right (Background gradient right of the “Solid” theme), Dividers found above the “Drop Stacks Here” section and “List Item” section.

The information icons and the social icons are set to Fontawesome by default. 1LD's Fontawesome stack is included with Author, for themes that don't have Fontawesome enabled by default. Can't remember the name of the icon you want? The settings panel has a notable feature – right click the help text below the icon settings to be taken to the FA icons page (similarly, a link in the social icon child settings takes you directly to the brand icons).
Clicking the info child stacks opens up a settings panel which allows you to set the icon you prefer, or to disable the icon entirely.
Whilst Author automatically adds a Facebook icon to the footer/sidebar, the social child stack may be deleted simply by clicking and hitting delete. When you have added your Facebook, Twitter, etc. account details to the settings panel, clicking the icons will beam you to the page in question.

Author is a nice stack that takes hours of work out of building contact cards. I needed 9 separate stacks to reproduce the beveled card – and that was before adding social icons, or a shadow. Even then, though, it would take a lot of juggling for the result to be 100% responsive! I'm sure that a number of people will find Author useful.

Comments

Just In Time – Advanced Publishing for RapidWeaver

Back in February, 2015, I compared five sets of stacks that allowed time-based publishing with RapidWeaver. One of the best of those stacks was Advanced Publisher from Tsooj Media. Advanced Publisher is now even better than before. It has been rewritten and improved by Will Woodgate and has been housed within the S4S stables.

You've prepared an article that you don't wish to appear until August 25th, or you have a special promotion that is only available between September and November and only during business hours. Or maybe you have student's examination results, or study material that should only be available to a specific student, or group of students…

Advanced Publisher from Stacks4Stacks is a suite of five PHP based stacks which will allow you to publish time sensitive content at specific times, or when a URL query is fulfilled.
Because AP is PHP based your content will never be loaded unnecessarily. It will never appear within your code until it is requested. This means that advanced users and hackers can not view your unpublished content until the defined time range has been reached, or the specific URL query has been requested.
The inclusion of the AP Secret stack gives you the option of supplying unique content to unique visitors. You can also create your own tabbed content using AP Secret, to ensure that your pages load faster.

Advanced Publisher

Stack settings

A single Advanced Publisher Base stack must be present on the page containing your AP content, preferably above the other AP stacks. The AP Base stack allows you to set the time zone that your scheduled data will appear in. The time zone can be set to 'Webserver', 'Predefined' or 'Custom'. Predefined gives you a choice of locations from each time zone around the world – including the half and quarter hour steps of some locations. If you choose custom, you can enter the zone manually, e.g. Asia/Kathmandu.

The AP Base Stack can refresh the pages content every n minutes and also has options to display or hide the preview in RapidWeaver and to display the publishing details so that there will be no surprises if you'd forgotten that a previous promotion, or article was on your page. It's interesting to note that the publishing details also include the server's PHP version.

The AP Days Stack is for stacks that you wish to be displayed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; Mondays to Fridays, or Fridays to Mondays, for instance. The settings panel contains checkboxes for the days of the week that content is to be published on.

AP Days also has a choice of settings to publish content on Even Days, Odd Days, the First Day of the Month, Last Day of the Month, Month Days (with settings for up to four separate days), Particular Month Days (with settings for the range of days) and, as with all of the Advanced Publisher Content stacks, an option to display alternative content outside of the publishing dates.

The AP Time Stack supplies the options for your publishing timeframe. This can be set to
Full Date. Full Date can be set to Display: Not Until (Start Date), Between and Only Before, With a Date and Time Range for each of those settings.
Repeatable Date has the same settings.
Hours and Minutes also has the above settings, but is restricted to a Time Range
Months also shares the above settings, but is restricted to months.

The AP Weeks Stack will allow you to publish content during different weeks. You may choose Odd Weeks, Even Weeks, Week(s) with options for up to four different weeks, Weeks (Not Until), Weeks (Between) and Weeks (Not Before).

The AP Secret Stack will allow you to publish stacks that are only accessible when a URL query is fulfilled. This means that you may either add a specific link to your page to display your hidden content, or you could give your user a page link to access specific content within your page.
The stack settings allow you to define a Secret Key and a Secret Value. Only when both are contained within the URL e.g. ["?secret_key=secret_value"], will your content be revealed.

Note: AP stacks can be nested to further refine your publishing dates. Hence, if you wish your content to appear during weeks 32 and 33, but only between the hours of 9–5, you can carefully nest your AP stacks to fulfil this wish.

Advanced Publisher 4 has been greatly improved over the previous version. Everything that was missing in version 3 has now been added. As Will himself says: It's like having a personal assistant for your website!

Comments

Kick-Ass Gallery For RapidWeaver

Gallery 3.4 for InStacks isn't a new product, but it is an extremely powerful gallery that is constantly being updated. Jannis just updated Gallery again – for Stacks 3.5 and is currently working on a new feature, revising the documentation and working on instruction videos. I just went through the documentation and don't find it lacking in any way, but Jannis obviously has other thoughts.

Jannis describes Gallery 3 [G3] as 'Kick-Ass', so what puts the kick into this stack?
Well, first off, you can choose from 10 different grids, 6 different lightboxes and 5 different sliders.
These choices alone are kick-ass, but then come Gallery 3's integration options. You can integrate G3 with the Bootstrap, Foundry and Foundation frameworks, plus Armadillo, Easy CMS, Pulse CMS, Sentry and Total CMS; and – if that's not enough – Adobe Behance, Apple iCloud and FTP folders. Oh, I almost forgot, you can drag and drop your images directly into G3 too and Thumbnail images are created automatically. Now tell me that's not as versatile an egg*!

Gallery 3
Stack settings

When you drag G3 onto a Stacks page, you'll find a container with two child stacks.
You can play around with the upper container for hours choosing the Grid, or Slider that suits your taste/purposes. There are fifteen options to choose from, five of the options are framework based. Not having all of the Frameworks, I was only able to test the Foundation Grid. However, the other Grids/Sliders offer plenty of choice.

When you've selected your grid, you can open the settings panel – I'd begin with the main G3 panel where you can set the number of columns displayed in edit mode, a smaller grid makes it so much easier to add images.
Main Max Width sets the gallery width, you can add your own size definition in px, %, or rem. Setting 0 allows G3 to fill the container it is placed within.
CSS Filter. There is a choice of 21 different CSS Filters for your thumbnails.
Disable Context menu does just that – your visitor will be unable to right click an image to download it.
Shuffle / Randomize Images loads the images in a different order every time the page is reloaded.

Grid/Slider settings panel. In the settings panel for Grids, you can set the maximum number of columns for four different viewports.
In the settings panel for Sliders, you can set the maximum image height.

The lower child stack is where you add your images. The child stacks include:
Image – drag your images into the child stack.
Image + Thumb – drag and drop your images – thumbnails are automatically created.
Image + Thumb Pro – Drag your images into the settings panel container and add an Alt Text.
Adobe Behance images – Set the API and Project name in the settings panel.
Apple iCloud - Set the URL and number of images to be displayed in the settings panel.
FTP Directory/Web Folder – Set the path and the information to be displayed in the settings panel.
Armadillo/Sentry Integration - No settings necessary.

Each thumbnail is set to Square by default in the image settings panel. If you wish to use the Grid-A-Licious (Masonry) option, you will probably want to deactivate this option for each image.

If you wish to add G3 to one of the CMS solutions available, you'll find detailed instruction on how to do so on the Tutorial Page.

G3 – not new, but freshly and regularly updated. You won't find a more powerful gallery in the RW or any other scene!

*Boiled, poached, scrambled, fried, coddled, 1000 year old, pickled and a myriad of culinary functions.

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Fancy Introduction To RapidWeaver

Just a few days ago, I mentioned that the one time Tsooj Media stack, FancyIntro would soon be reclothed as a Stacks4Stacks product. Well, two days ago it flattered into my mailbox.
Of course, I immediately took out my magnifying glass and inspected it! During my inspection FancyIntro was updated, so this review took a little longer than expected.

Now if you were expecting FancyIntro to be a larger, more luxurious version of Curtains (think VW Passat/Phaeton), think again. FancyIntro is an entirely different stack. More of a Mercedes AMG.

Curtains can display a line of text and opens it's curtains horizontally. FancyIntro can display two lines of text, or two images – or one image plus a single line of text (or stacks content), and opens vertically. However, if you're expecting FancyIntro to open two curtains and reveal the underlying content, you'll be disappointed. Instead, a line travels across the page from left to right, dividing the upper and lower section, then expands vertically to create a coloured page overlay. The page overlay then fades out to reveal the underlying webpage.

Having just taken Curtains through its paces and expecting similar results, it took me a couple of minutes to work out exactly how FancyIntro works. However, once you've put away the curtain concept, FancyIntro is very easy to use.

The default setting displays a white to grey gradient and two lines of text. A mauve coloured line then travels across the page, expands to fill the page and then fades to reveal the content.
Both the initial background and the line have colour settings for top and bottom, so that the line can expand to a gradient too. Obviously, the gradients don't need to be so blatant as below.

FancyIntro
I soon tried dragging two 'halved' images into both the upper and lower content wells. In the latest version of FancyIntro this is possible (the 1.0 version duplicated the upper image). Of course, with an image in both sections, no accompanying text is possible. If images are to be present in both upper and lower containers, it is recommended that they are kept as small as possible. In fact an image size of max 150px is recommended by S4S.
SVG images can be loaded as warehoused images, but be warned – if you have stripped out the pixel sizes, they will scale to fill the screen width.

FancyIntro
Stack settings

General Settings
Overlay Fill Top/Bottom. Whilst the colour palette displays transparency settings, they are ignored by FancyIntro.
Line Fill Top/Bottom
Breakpoint. FancyIntro is hidden below the breakpoint.
Line Height. Set the height of the dividing line in %.
Start Delay
Line Slide Speed
Line Grow Speed
Fade Speed. All of the speed settings are in ms and would seem to be unlimited. Hence, with inappropriate settings, you could sit all day, waiting for the dividing line to travel across the page.
Challenge Mode. The same as Asynchronous Mode in Curtains.
Hide period. Sets a hide cookie for Days (default), or Hours.

Upper Content. Styled Content (default), Dropped Image, HTML, Markdown, None, Stacks, Warehoused Image.
Offset. In %
Text Colours. Text / Shadow
Text Sizing / Spacing
Text Alignment
Text Styling

Lower Content analogue to above.

FancyIntro is less gimmicky than Curtains and is ideal for splash screens that make way for an underlying web page. Announcements such as special offers, upcoming events, or just an attractive 'welcome' message.

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Pagelit Is The New Booklit For RapidWeaver

1LD just announced that the popular Booklit stack has been replaced by Pagelit. Pagelit has been rebuilt from the ground up with a focus on performance and realism using the latest web development techniques.

I used Booklit a number of times for online menus and catalogues, When I downloaded Pagelit, I didn't know what improvements to expect, but there are quite a few.
But let's start at the beginning – you may not have seen Booklit.

What is Pagelit?
Pagelit is a stack that will allow you to build an online book(let) with pages that turn when either the page, or the navigation is clicked.
Yes, there is software available that will transform a PDF into a flip book, but Pagelit lets you build your books, or magazines directly within RapidWeaver – using stacks to build the pages.

Booklit was, in my opinion, hampered by the fact that it only allow preset page ratio formats e.g. 16:9, or 4:3 etc. This limitation has now disappeared and you can build your books at any size you please – full page, if you wish – so, with the fact that you are using stack functions, you can just imagine the possibilities…

One important restriction has remained – as with most lightboxes, you can not use stacks within Pagelit that must load in an opened state when the page is parsed. Otherwise, almost anything is possible. The iFrame above displays a very simple example with images, or a single text box on each page. The page size is deliberately small at 400px x 400px. The images have not been optimised and are quite large. I have made no attempt at designing a complicated layout. The settings are otherwise the basic settings.
However, I may just publish my next book as a Pagelit book.

Due to the page ratio restrictions, Booklit's layout options were somewhat restricted and a page could appear disrupted at some screen sizes.
Pagelit has displayed no such problems in my tests – it is fully responsive – but you may wish to hide your book from view on mobile phones if you have a lot of text content.

The new page turning options in Pagelit are Book with hard cover and 'soft' pages as demonstrated above. Book with 'stiff' pages, similar to children's books and the previously available option with 'soft' Title page and content – Magazine.

Whereas Booklit could display an online option to show your books with a fullscreen overlay, with Pagelit, you will need to decide before publishing whether to display your book, or magazine inline, or as an overlay.

One useful new feature is the option to automatically add page numbers to your publication. The pagination may then be used as a navigation help, resulting in three methods of navigation – Simply by clicking on the next/previous page; clicking on the forward/back buttons, or by entering the page number.

1LD PagelitStack settings
General Settings
Type Book - Soft Pages, Book - Stiff Pages, Magazine
Page Width / Page Height
Margin Top/Bottom
Cover Size+ (%)
Navigation Page Click, Buttons, Page Click & Buttons

Page Settings
Page Rounding
Page Padding
Page Shading (enable/disble shadowing)
Enable Page Numbers
Font Size
Animation Speed/Quality
Pop Out (enable page overlay)
Loader Size / Loader Colour

The Page Child stacks also display settings when active – they will allow you to add full sized images, or a background colour to each page. Images may be local, or warehoused.

Pagelit is a unique stack for creating booklets within RapidWeaver. I can't imagine writing a 500 page book with it, but for an restaurant's interactive menu, or a product catalogue Pagelit is ideal. I'm sure that it will be even more popular than Booklit.

For further demos and a full list of new and optimised functions, list the Pagelit homepage.

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