April 20, 2020
Update: Pexels Integration, Loading screen & more
After a longer break we are back with an update today. We are aware that there are more appropriate moments and that attention is currently focused on more essential things than news about a storytelling software.
Still, even though the pandemic has turned a lot of things upside down, we as webworkers can be glad to be able to maintain a certain normality. The Internet shows us more than ever that work, proximity and culture do not necessarily have to be physical. Despite the shutdown, we are fortunate to be able to establish connections with family, friends, readers, colleagues, customers and partners that way. Digital stories want to be told, especially in times like these. We can tell from the rising number of requests to our servers and a significant increase in new Pageflow accounts.
Discounts for small businesses, education, art & culture
As is well known, the crisis has hit art & culture professionals, gastronomy, small businesses and event organizers particularly hard, with revenues falling sharply or even to zero overnight. We therefore decided to offer discounts to whoever needs access to Pageflow and would like to purchase a plan in order to start e.g. calls for donations, conduct virtual exhibitions or impart knowledge. Feel free to contact us with a few lines about the project at: npo (at) hosted-pageflow (dot) com
New: Pexels picture import
Now to the centrepiece of this update, the new Pexels integration. It provides direct access to the entire image archive of the free stock platform. So if you’re missing a strong background image and don’t know where to get free photos, there’s now a simple solution.
The Pexels community offers a huge selection of brilliant images, all of which can be used for free – even for commercial purposes. Information about the Pexels license can be found here: https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/
The integration can be found in the editor by clicking on “Manage Files” and “Import”. Choose “Pexels”, search for pictures, select, import, done. Several pictures can be selected and imported at once per search process. As with your own uploads, Pageflow converts Pexels files in best source quality into different sizes and target formats. Therefore it takes a short time until the files are processed and visible in the editor preview. When importing, the photo credits are automatically transferred to the imprint box and can be edited later via the file settings dialog.
Landscape vs. Portrait
The Pexels interface does not yet offer the possibility to filter by portrait or landscape format and so hits from both orientations will always be found. For portrait images, please always make sure that you select the appropriate image detail for the different aspect ratios in landscape and portrait mode. Backgrounds that allow enough space for both motif and text are still considered to be the most suitable for Pageflow. Here is an example of how a vertical photo in Pageflow can be used in the best possible way to provide the appropriate motif space for left-aligned text:
The setting for selecting the displayed image detail can be found for each page under “Files”. Simply move the mouse over the blue box beside the thumbnail and click on “Adjust Image Detail”.
Configurable Loading Screen
Already available for a while – and still too rarely used: Pageflow’s feature to create intro-like loading scenes. It is especially suited for the introduction to longer, immersive or cinematic storytelling pieces. The feature lets you soften a background image using a slider with a blur effect and merge it with a title text.
Slightly animated, the centred title and subtitle text floats to the middle of the screen and disappears before the first page of the story becomes visible. By default, this variant uses the image of the first page as background, but you can also choose an individual start image and optionally hide the logo.
The configuration can be found under “Title & Options” -> “Appearance”. Try it out immediately? Click here for the Login
Videos for mobile hotspots
From now on, background and hover videos for hotspots can also be played on mobile devices, but there is a technical restriction: Videos with sound still have to be muted on mobile devices due to the different “Autoplay Policies” of the browser manufacturers, so that they can be started by autoplay. Since hover videos are actively clicked by the user, however, it is also possible to play hover videos with sound on mobile devices.
Which social media channels should your story be shared on? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Telegram or by email? Via “Title & Options” -> “Social” you can now select which share icons should be displayed in the navigation bar. WhatsApp and Telegram are only available for the mobile version of your story.
Advanced Text Formatting
And a little something at the end: Besides bullets, numbering and a centred text alignment, the text editor can now display emojis 🥳
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, we are happy to receive your mail at support (at) pageflow (dot) io