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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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NewsTicker For Rapidweaver Updated

After Joost's departure from the Stacks world, Tsooj Media has been formally integrated into Stacks4Stacks. The first stack to appear on the S4S page is NewsTicker.

A News ticker, or a marquee displays a running line of text – useful for displaying large amounts of information in the compactest possible space. You see marquees regularly, displaying the latest stock prices, or breaking news. The <marquee> tag was never actually an official HTML tag and is not supported by all browsers.

NewsTicker is a stack that was originally developed by Tsooj Media. It uses a combination of jQuery and CSS and works with all browsers. Originally NewsTicker wasn't fully responsive, the text would break and form multiple lines on narrower screens, making it difficult to read.

Will has rewritten NewsTicker. It is now fully responsive, and scrolls infinitely, it will now accept Styled Text, HTML, or Markdown and the colour options have been expanded. NewsTicker can now load with the text visible on the page, there is a new option for Line height and multiple NewsTicker stacks can be placed on the same page. All that's missing for a Nasdaq feed is an option for an API.

NewsTicker
Stack settings.

NewsTicker: General Settings
Content Type: Styled Text (Default), HTML and Markdown
Direction Left: (Default), Right
CSS Class: (editable)
Start Delay: In ms
Duration Default: 10000ms
Gap Default: 50px
NewsTicker has two option boxes – Pause On Mouse Over and Start Visible.

NewsTicker Styling
Styling: Custom Styling, Inherit Theme Styles
Font Style: Normal, Bold, Italic, Bold+Italic
Font Size: Default 15px
Line height: Default 2.5 em
Font Colours and Link Colours: Normal, Hover

Tips: NewsTicker breaks out of its container and runs across the whole page. If you wish to restrict it to a specific width, Useful Stack (available free from S4S) will come to your aid.
Always place NewsTicker in a containing stack e.g. Useful Stack, or a column stack, otherwise it may not be visible on the page.
Don't place NewsTicker in the same container as and immediately preceding a Headline! If you do, the headline develops an eratic marquee effect too! (I'm assuming that this is an oversight which will soon be fixed)

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Flexible Columns in RapidWeaver With Blueprint

A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing, documenting an architectural or an engineering design, using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets. The process was developed in the 19th century.
Fast-forward to 2017 and a blueprint is an extremely flexible system of columns in RapidWeaver developed by BWD.

Andrew Tavernor has done it again! If Andrew excels at one thing, it is extending the possibilities available in RapidWeaver (his support is also second to none). Blueprint is another set of stacks to prove the point.

If you need a column that has 45% page width within a Foundation project (or any other project), instead of adhering to the strict 12-column layout, Blueprint will come to your aid. Two columns with 85%, divided into 60/40% columns – no problem for Blueprint. Tired of not being able to view your SVG's in RW preview…
…read on.

Blueprint is currently a set of three stacks. ONE, Sidebar and Blueprint SVG.
ONE is a single column stack. O.K. there are dozens of those available for RapidWeaver, but it isn't until you investigate further that you realise just how incredible ONE is.
Blueprint will free you from the constraints of Foundation and Bootstrap (better known to Weavers as Foundry), by allowing you to define column widths in % instead of 1, 2, 3, etc. columns of a twelve column layout grid. But Blueprint doesn't stop there.
Let's say, you'd like to float an image caption over an image within a text block, whilst indenting the text. A simple undertaking with just three ONE stacks: Starting at the top – position your text and image within a ONE stack and go to Add Spacer in the settings panel and define the Width and Height of the space. This will move your content to the left or the right within the ONE stack, depending on the setting you chose.
Next add your image caption to a ONE stack and set the stack width to say, 10%. If your first stack contains more than a couple of lines of text and a larger image,drop the 'caption' stack into a third ONE stack (for the runaround). Just like Sections Pro, this third stack will automatically adapt to its content width.
Now go to the Overlap settings of the 'caption' stack, set it to Move Up and set the overlap in pixels.


Blueprint ONE


The Screenshot above is made entirely with the standard Stacks elements and Blueprint ONE. A setup such as the one above will, of course, require some tweaking for the mobile layout.Blueprint

Sidebar – the christening was perhaps made before the full potential of the stack was realised – is a two column stack that is, of course, ideal for sidebars, but is also flexible enough to build complex column layouts that would otherwise be impossible – especially with Foundation, or Bootstrap.


Blueprint Sidebar

The screenshot above demonstrates a possible use as the name states – a sidebar – a container for a menu. No more messing around with various column settings, trying to get approximately the width you'd like, but not quite because of those damned invisible columns in the background.
Set the Aside Position to Left. Set the Width to 5%. Define a Maximum Width and you're good to go! Take a closer look at http://bit.ly/vertitab

But Sidebar feels perfectly at home when functioning as a normal two column stack. A contact form, for instance. 70% of the page width, with 45/55% columns:

Blueprint Sidebar
Childsplay with Sidebar, but an hour's work with standard Foundation stacks – and then still not perfect. Not that I'm dissing Foundation, it's the only theme that I currently use, but with the addition of Blueprint, life suddenly gets so much easier. And – Sidebar stacks can be nested to create extremely responsive three, or four, (or five…) column stacks.

Annoyed that you can never see, or exactly position your SVG's in RW edit mode? Blueprint SVG to the rescue!
Open your SVG in a text editor, copy the content between (and including) the <svg> tags and drop the text into Blueprint SVG. The result: Not only can you suddenly see your SVG, you can also edit the stroke and fill colours from within the stack settings – apart from being able to just set the size and alignment.

A tip: if you're having problems with your SVGs, take a look at this page. You can drop in your SVG files and it will convert them to 'clean' SVGs without the added data that some illustration apps add.

I could probably write a book about Blueprint. Instead, I advise that you RTFM i.e. that you download and dismantle the demo project and take a look at the instruction videos that Andrew has kindly put online.

Blueprint is another game changing set of stacks from BWD.
Whilst the stacks are free to download, please don't forget to make a donation. Andrew spends up to 18 hours a day and more developing and supporting BWD stacks. He also pays ever rising annual fees to host them.

Comments

Zoom, Zoom – Magnify images in RapidWeaver

Many online stores have a useful feature – if you hover over an image of the article you're viewing, the image will enlarge underneath your mouse so that you can view details.
Image Zoom from RWextras used to do exactly that, however, it disappeared for a while. Now it's back – freshly updated and free of charge!
RWextras Zoomy

Zoomy is the new name for a simple stack that enables an attractive magnification effect for RapidWeaver images. Magnification can take place on mouseover, grab, or click. There are also a couple of other settings built in to change aspects such as the zoom amount, animation speed and mouse cursor.

Zoomy will work either with images you drag and drop into RapidWeaver or images stored in a warehouse location. Compatibility is offered with all major web browsers. And Zoomy is responsive.


Stack settings.
Image source allows you to add either Dragged and Dropped Images, or Warehoused Images.
Mouse Cursor gives you the option of seven different cursor styles.
Zoom Trigger has the options Click, Grab, Mousover, or Toggle – Grab is my favourite.
Duration sets the fadeout time once the cursor leaves the image.
Magnification is a percentage of the original size for the enlargement.

Looking for further settings? You'll be hard pressed to find any, the above are all that's needed.

Zoomy is a neat little stack that does exactly as it says on the tin and has the advantage of being both responsive and free.

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