Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Showit Books

Today we announce the introduction of Showit Books to our Showit Media Lab. This includes an update to Showit Web version 2.7 which will now allow you to sell 5"x5" fine art books directly from your Showit Web shows. This free update to Showit Web also includes two new songs and templates for each of the three lengths of the songs.

We are offering a great introductory price on the books through December 1st so that those orders can be ready for Christmas.

Check out some of the pictures of the books below:

We've also been doing a lot of work on getting all of our tutorial videos in one place including this tutorial to get you started selling books. We also added a quick start video for Showit Sites to help you get up to speed with the Showit Sites interface. Enjoy!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Did You Know? Invisible Buttons

Did you know that buttons on your site don't have to be visible in order for them to work? You can do all kinds of fun stuff with this in your site... like creating hidden links to hidden pages. But this feature can also be useful for some very straight forward things as well.

Let's say you have a text box with a script font in it. The text box needs to be a sufficient size in order to display the text properly. But when you turn this text into a link to a different page... the entire text box turns into the link and causes problems with other layers on the page.

You can see on the picture below... the text box from above makes the mouse cursor change to alert the user that there is something there to click. But we want to avoid this so far away from the actual text itself.

The solution is an invisible button!

Add a square from the Showit Library's Flash section. Then position and size it to the area where you would actually like to have the text respond as a link.

Once you have the square sized and positioned properly, you will jump up to the Effects tab. You want to change the opacity of the square layer to zero. Then jump over the the Link tab and have the square layer link to the page rather than the text.

Now you can see that the text doesn't change the mouse cursor too far away. You're using an invisible button!

Do you have need for an invisible button? Try it out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Live Q & A

DJ hosted a live question and answer time and if you missed it you can watch the recorded event below:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Basics: Forms

Here's a tutorial to help with some basic understanding of how to create a form from scratch. The tutorial covers:

- Adding a form through the Page Layout wizard.
- Adding text layers and enabling a text layer for input.
- Making a text input required for form submission.
- Making the user input appear in the subject of the email.
- Labeling information inside the email.
- Some basic tricks for duplicating, aligning, and resizing layers.

Make sure to post any questions in the comments.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Contact Form Update

We are excited to announce the roll out of a major Showit Sites update this week that includes new features such as contact forms and progress indicators along with a bunch of bug fixes.

The easy way to add a contact form would be to click the new "Add Page Layout" button in the bottom left under the pages list. From there, click on contact forms, a layout and then "Add Page". This will have a predesigned form and you can work from there.

You'll notice the "Advanced" tab for a text field now has a lot more options including a check box for "Enable Input". When this box is checked, a user can then type in that text area on your site. You can make it required and even include text in the text area, include the text in the subject of the email sent to you, and include a label for the text.

Once you enable a text field for input, you then need to add a button that will submit the form. You can use any of your normal layer buttons for this that go to another page in your site, probably you'll want a page that says, "Thanks for contacting us" or something like that. Under the previous options for links we added a check box for "Submit Form". Checking this box means that when a user clicks on the button, it will submit the form and then take them to the page you specified. When a user submits a form, an email will be sent to the email address used to login for that site.

The second big update includes progress indicators which help a user get feedback on the status of a loading site. Website visitors are used to the way HTML progressively loads content so it can sometimes feel slow when a Flash site is loading content in the background before the site responds and displays it. This is why it is important to indicate that content is being loaded and the progress of the loading.

In Showit Sites we provide a "Preload Layer" on each style group that you can put text, images and now Flash preloaders that indicate the exact loading progress. You can find these new Flash components under the "Preloader" tag in the Showit Library. In addition, there are now more options for your initial site load under the site settings including choosing the position of the loader and also the addition of "Flash" as a "Loader Type". You can choose one of the preloaders from the library to be used on the initial load of your site to give your site visitors a better idea of the loading progress. Also, the site information xml is now compressed which turns out to be about 90% smaller than the original xml and dramatically improves the initial site load speed.

In addition, there are also a bunch of great new features including:

- Lock a layer in place
- Stand alone video options for finish by fading, looping or jumping to a page
- Auto save and recovery of the auto save file after an unexpected quit
- Add Page Layout Wizard for easily adding single pages
- Option for background image to fit inside the height or width of a page
- Option to tile a background image
- Home page indicator and right click to set home page in the pages list
- Improved combo boxes and numeric sliders
- Text background and border color
- Single line text
- Import Showit Web by selecting showit.xml or showit.swf
- Save dialog on logout

Finally, for those that have recently experienced issues with uploading, saving, or publishing, we were having some intermittent server issues which have been resolved and dramatically increased the reliability of these server interactions.

We hope you enjoy the update and we appreciate your feedback!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Based on a lot of feedback from our beloved users, we're happy to introduce Slimline, a brand new style group we just added to Showit Sites. As you'll see, Slimline is very minimal in graphical nature, allowing your photos and content to take center stage.

Log into Showit Sites and tweak it out to make it your own. (If you don't see it in the "Add Style Group" panel, be sure to go to the Help menu and choose "Clear Library Cache".)

We'd love your feedback as we continue to create more designs to help you build a successful web presence.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Join us in congratulating one of our support gurus, Jason Lackey, on his marriage this last weekend to his new wife Kara!

Also check out more pictures and the slideshow from the photographers Christopher Wren and Tira J.
Jason has been working for Showit for over a year helping customers with their questions and solving problems they may run into. Make sure to say congrats next time he helps you out ;)