Customer versions of templates for online viewing and ordering

Applies to: IOS


Version 4.2 introduced the ability to optionally create two new versions of pack layouts - Customer versions and Preview versions.

Each pack layout template (extension .plt) can therefore be considered to have three possible versions

  1. Printable version: The version of the template that will be printed
  2. Customer version: A version of the template used for online ordering with live rendering
  3. Preview version: A version of the template that is used as a preview in the print queue

Customer and Preview versions are never printed. They are for viewing purposes only. Only the printing version is ever printed.

Prior to version 4.2, a tempate was all of these things - the same template was used to print, to preview products online and to display pages ready to print in the print queue.

With Version 4.2 a template still defaults to a printable version but it is also possible to create customer and preview versions of any pack layout template

This article will discuss Customer versions of templates. A future article will discuss preview versions

Customer versions of templates are used in the Timestone Internet Ordering System (IOS) when live rendering is chosen as the option to display products. (Live rendering means the customer sees their subject image inside the products as opposed to a generic static preview for all subjects).

Example 1

Consider a simple potrait package comprising of an 8"x10" portrait, 2 5"x7" portraits and 4 smaller wallet sizes at 3.5"x 2.5". In order to maximise the efficiency in printing this combination the layout is often designed for 10" paper giving a template that is 18.5" long by 10" high. Arranging the image holes in the most efficient manner results in a template as shown below.


Figure 1: A template designed for printing

If this product is then used online with the option of live rendering a customer would ordinarily see the printing version of the product. this is undesirable since some images will be in the correct portrait orientation whereas most will be 'sideways'


Figure 2: Viewing the product online

Using customer versions

With the introduction of Customer Versions of templates it is possible to create a version of a pack layout template that is displayed to customers when viewing and ordering online. The customer version can be designed in any manner, making creative use of graphics, text and images to enhance the appeal of the product. Online, the customer will see this version of the product complete with live rendering - the subject image is displayed rather than a generic image for all subjects.

To make a customer version of a template

  1. Open any pack layout template or start a new template
  2. From the menu select Version>Make customer version
  3. Design the customer version. Any of the design tools and objects may be used
  4. Save the template

Once a customer version has been made toggle between the customer version and printable version via the Version menu


Figure 3: A customer version of the template

The customer version retains live rendering so each customer will see their correct image but in a more pleasing and informative way. When the order is printed the printing version of the template is then used


Figure 4: The same product displayed using the customer version of the template

Example 2

The example above is but one of many uses of customer templates. Novelty products provide many more instances where the printing version of a template is vastly different to what a photographer may wish the customer to see online. Keychains, water bottles, mugs are such examples

Consider a keychain where the front of the keychain includes the subject's portrait while a team photo is used on the back of the keychain. The printable version of the template could be as illustrated below.


Figure 5: The template to print the keychain product

The customer version of the template can be far more decorative and informative.


Figure 6: Customer version of the keychain template

Using the customer version means the online customer has a far bettecustomertemplatesr appreciation of the product they are ordering.


Figure 7: The keychain product online

End of article


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