Thursday, October 8, 2015

All About Editable Products

I am an avid TpT shopper!
I always love finding awesome activities to use with my classroom kids.
One thing I love to look for on TpT are editable products.
I love making editable products too; that way different teachers can modify the products to fit their own needs.
But I think some people may be hesitant to buy editable products though, because they aren't quite sure how to edit them.
So I thought I'd write a little post today and explain some of the most common and easiest ways to edit a document.
First, we need to talk about what cannot be edited. 
  1. Graphics, borders, backgrounds - if you purchase an editable product from TpT or elsewhere, you will NOT be able to modify, move, resize, or delete any graphics, borders, or backgrounds.  The graphics artists who design these are protected by copyright.  So when someone sells a TpT product, you should not be able to move these things.  They will be locked down.
I've heard people say "this isn't editable, I couldn't change the background."  Correct, you cannot change the background, but it is editable.
FYI - Most of the time an editable document will be in PowerPoint, although sometimes it can be in a PDF as well.
My favorite editable documents to work with are PowerPoint because you can cover things up and add things wherever you want.  With an editable PDF document, you can usually only type text in a specific place, and you wont be able to change the font or size of the text.
So today we'll only be talking about editing documents in PowerPoint.
Now that we've talked about what cannot be edited, lets talk about the things that you can do to an editable document.
First thing, and the one you will probably use the most is:
Add your own text

When you first open an editable PowerPoint document, you will notice that you everything will be locked down. 
On this particular page, you cannot move a single thing.
So right now, it probably looks like it is completely uneditable.

All you need to do is add a text box.

Type what you want to say.

Position the textbox where you want it to go.  You can resize it if you need to.

And then click away from the text box to unselect it.

Every month I make a snack calendar for my classroom.
First, I add a text box to the bottom of the page.

Type in my text.

I like to center my text and then change the font and size.

Then I add little text boxes to each school day with my kids names so that parents will know when they are responsible for providing snack.
Side note - if you ever have trouble printing an editable document.
First, close out of every program and restart your computer.
Next, restart your printer.
9/10 times this will solve your problem.
Seems silly, I know.
My dad works with computers and is really great with them.  Whenever I have a computer issue, he asks me if I've restarted my computer.  And usually that solves the problem.
It's annoying when he's right.
If you are still having printing issues, make sure that your programs are updated.
Another thing you can do when you have an editable document is:
Cover-up things you don't want to print.

I seriously do this all the time because I do not want to waste my expensive toner.
So lets say you have some center cards.
You don't have an Alphabet Center, so printing this page will waste some of your ink because you won't use the Alphabet Center card after its printed.

First, you're going to add a shape.
Since the card I'm covering up is a rectangle, I'm going to use a rectangle shape.

Draw the shape over the card.

Make sure it's completely covered up.

 Then you're going to right click on the shape (if you have a PC) or press the control key and click (if you have a Mac) on the shape so that this little toolbar pops up.
Click "Format Shape."

I'm using a Mac for this tutorial so it may look a little different on a PC but the basic idea will be the same.
Next, you're going to change the shape from blue to white.
Click "fill."  Then click the white background choice.
Sometimes, depending on your computer settings, you will have a line around the shape.  To get rid of this outline, click "line" and then choose "No Line."

It literally looks like nothing is there and it will print that way too!
So now when I print, I wont waste my ink on a card that I'm going to throw away.

This same tip can be used on my schedule cards.
In fact, my schedule cards file is filled with white boxes.  Because when I made this file, I tried to think of every part of the day, whether we did the activity or not.  So of course I didn't want to print all those cards I wouldn't use.

Find the page with cards you want to cover up.
The schedule cards are rectangles, so I'm going to choose a rectangle shape again.

Click and drag to cover up the cards you don't want.

Make sure everything is covered up.

Then change the rectangle to a white background color and choose "no line."
Now, that we know how to add a text box and how to cover up shapes, let's combine these two skills and make these schedule cards editable.
Cover up text and add your own text

Sometimes when you buy an editable document, you may think that the text is not editable.
For example, with these schedule cards, some have text and pictures that are locked while others have just pictures so that you can add your own text.
But what if you want to use the picture on a card, but need to change the wording or terminology.
For example, what if my school calls P.E. Gym Time instead.  So we need to cover up the words P.E. and insert the words Gym Time.

First, you're going to choose a rectangle shape.

Cover up the text you want to change.

Right click, or control click, to choose "format shape."

Fill the shape with a white background.

Choose "no line."

Now the card looks blank so that you can add your own text.

So add a textbox.

Type in what you want your card to say.

Change the font and size of your text.

You edited the schedule card to make it say what you needed.

These skills could be used on any of the editable cards.
Just remember, you wont be able to change the background or the clip art because they are protected by copyright, but you can change the text and cover things up.
So if a product claims to be editable, why is the text locked?
Good question.

Because if I use a fun font in a document but don't lock it down, when you go to open up the file, you wont see the fun font.  You'll see Cambria or Times New Roman because you probably wont have the particular font I used on your computer. 
This is why when I create an editable document, I always try to state what font I used so that if someone is editing the file, the fonts will remain consistent.
FYI - the font on the schedule cards is a free download from KG Fonts called Corner of the Sky.  It is one of my favorite fonts to use on signs for my classroom because it is super kid-friendly.

So now we can apply the same skills to these center cards.
I love the graphic of the blocks center.  But at my school we have specific names for our centers. 
So I need to change it.

Same as last time.
Add a rectangle shape.

Draw it over the text.

Right click or control click to pull up the toolbar and choose "format shape."

Change the shape to white.

Get rid of the outline.

Add a text box.
Type in your center name. (All of our center names rhyme)
Change the font and size of the text.

And there you go.
Now you know how to take a locked document and add a text box, cover up cards you don't want to print, and cover and change the text on cards.
I hope these tips help the next time your are working with an editable PowerPoint document.
If you're looking for fun fonts to download, these are my favorites!
And they're free for personal use!

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