Unedited posts on Zazzle Quick Create
I don't have time to edit these right now, but they might help.
Start Quick Create
Choose Template Set
Find Your Set
Tweak Fit of Images
Create More to Select a second Template Set or different Images
Choose Quick Create Options
Post 5 -Basic concept
- Products can be created by adding one or more layers.
- The layers can be either text or image.
- Each layer has an "Advanced Options" selection that can make that layer into a template. Making something into a template means that when someone views the product they get a prompt to change the image or text for that particular layer.
- When the system presents the option to change the image or text it has to have some way of tracking WHICH image or text it is supposed to swap.
- The "URL parameter name:" is the instruction for the system as to what to swap.
- Also the user needs some kind of label or prompt to know what to do.
The "Product page label:" is the prompt for the human.
Don't understand this bit? Spend some time opening each quick create product and comparing them to a non-quick create product.
When using quick create if the system finds multiple products with template fields it has to make some kind of "decision" about what to show if the products are not consistent. Don't understand this bit? Then it is time to explore. Spend some time opening each quick create product and comparing them.
To keep things simple and predictable the idea is that the "Product page label:" and "URL parameter name:" be exactly the same on each of the products for quick create.
ANY PRODUCT CAN BE MADE INTO A QUICK CREATE TEMPLATE (well ... ok, I haven't tried skateboards) postage, posters, binders, untiled ties ALL of them, simply by marking the layer to be replaced as a template, and making sure those fields match.
So - create a folder to hold your own set of quick create templates. Go through the process of deleting, sizing etc. When you get to the end look for "Quick Create Product Options" Choose "Templates to Reuse for Quick Create" - save to that folder. Now go find the additional products you want, make the layer to be swapped making sure those fields map and save those to the same folder. Now wait 24 hours or so. And you will have your own quick create set. It isn't perfect. Sometimes the gremlins get in there and rename your "URL parameter name:" - if that happens the layer for that particular product won't be replaced during quick create. Easy fix. Just "customize" the product, fix the "URL parameter name:" save it to the same folder, wait until it is published and then delete the defective one.
When you get to the last step there is a drop down box that asks how you want to publish. One of the choices is to publish as quick create templates. When you do that those fields are editable by the customer. That was the fastest and smoothest way for me to create different template sets. Let's say I have template set one. I have images that look good with a dark background. I trigger the template process, then when I'm looking at the products I can customize each one with a dark background. (Well the ones that let me add background color). Then when I get to the end I can save that set into a different folder. Now if I have a different image that looks best with a light background I can use that template set, tweak the background, save as quick create templates to a different folder. From then on I only need to choose the light background template set or the dark background template set and I no longer have to tweak each product.
What I did is started with one of the provided template quick creates.
That provides only one replaceable image space. I then dumped the items I didn't want. Then I clicked "customize" for each of the remaining products adding, for example, a text template field, and one or two additional image fields. Critical piece is to make sure that each template field uses the same name.
An easy way to see an example of how that works is with the mug or tie templates. For the mug you will see that they are two layers using the same field names. It is easier to take a look than to explain.
Another thing to know - you don't have to "replace" a replaceable image or text. If you don't change it, then it will get kept. So if you are trying to retain a field for the customers to change you set it up "enter name" and just don't touch it when creating your next set of products. Just be sure to save it as template items at the last step.
You also can leave OUT a field if it isn't right for a particular product. For example, the necktie. As I mentioned elsewhere I like to use the ability to layer images. So I have a top image, a center image and a bottom image. In most cases the top and bottom images are curved, wavy or other text that can't be done in the text editor. But that doesn't look right for the neckties. So I just leave the top and bottom pieces off for the necktie. It can stay in the same group and the center image will be applied as the tiled image.
If you have created product templates (create a field that prompts the
customer to change the text or image) you can use those for quick
create. Quick create detects the existence of templates in your
product lines and thus lists the product lines. If there is only one
product with a template in a particular product line, then that is all
quick create will create.
If there are multiple template products in a particular product line
then quick create picks one, which will include all products that
shares the same field. I don't know how it chooses which to use, I
just found out by trial that it would probably not pick the one I
wanted. For example, in one product line I had one product with a
template field for changing a line of text. And I had about twenty
products all with identical fields, for an image and a line of text.
Quick create ignored the twenty products and showed me only the one
prompting for new text.
Problem solved by having only matching templates in a product line. I
just moved the 20 products to a product line by themselves. Now quick
create showed me the correct template fields and created all 20
products. By matching templates I mean each product shares at least
one template field of exactly the same name. If there are
non-templated products in that product line they will be ignored, as
will templated products that don't have any matching field.
OK - now here is something really really cool and useful. What if
quick create prompts you to change an image - and you don't change it.
Does it re-apply the image - or leave it alone? Answer - it leaves it
alone. So .... I had a line of buttons all with different
silhouettes. When I created it (before quick create existed) my
thinking was to let people swap the image so I made that a template -
a whole lot of buttons, each with a different image, but sharing the
same template field name. I also have an image that is text
surrounding the silhouette. I made that a template field too. So in
quick create I carefully don't change the field with the silhouette. I
do change the image with the text. Presto I instantly make a whole new
set of buttons all with different center images, but the same text
surrounding them - and the customer still can change the center image.
I've been doing a lot of playing with quick
create. First, for me the best way to use quick create is with an
existing product line instead of the default set. Create a product
line that will be your "template" section. You can use quick create
as a starting place, or do it manually, it doesn't matter.
First you need to know how to make any product into a template. Start
making your product. Let's say you add one element of image, and one
of text. You will see for each of them "Advanced Options". Click on
that and select "Make this a template object". The first field is
"Product page label" - That is simply the display text that describes
what kind of image to select. You might put "Add Your Image" or "Dog
Picture" or whatever. The second field is kind of the background code
for the same thing - all lowercase, no spaces. e.g. addimage or dogpic
- notice it doesn't need to be the same as the display text but making
it related will make your life easier. OK, now write those down, they
have to be exactly the same for all the other items.
Your goal is to make each product in that product line into a template
that has at least one template field with the exact same name as all
the other products. Now start creating your product set. Use
whatever products you want, set them up with a default image and/or
default text. You can have only one image, or several images. You can
have only one text field or no text fields or several text fields.
Just make sure you name them the same. You can leave out a field.
For example, I include the tie with just the image field, and I leave
ot the text field.
Just like at CP your default image sizing will affect how the
replacement image is applied. OK so when all your products are
looking the way you want them to .... wait ... it takes a bit for the
system to catch up with created templates. 15 mintues is plenty of
time. Now when you click on the quick create link you should see your
product line listed. Click on that. It will show you the default
fields. Make your replacements, click, it will show you the products.
You can "customize" to make changes as necessary.
Now - when you get to the point of applying the name, catagories etc
here is something important. One of your choices under Quick Create
Product Options is "templates to reuse for quick create" - if you had
to do a lot of tweaking and you would like to create another quick
create set choose that option - and - very important - save it to a
different product line.
> I can't Quick Create shoes, binders, posters, photo sculptures,
> skateboards, postage, and I think there are a few other things. I
> finally made a template so I can sort of QC the business cards.
> Unfortunately, when I make them in QC with my template, they go into "in
> progress designs", and then I have to submit them one by one. But it's
> better than starting from scratch on every card.
Well that would be only because you don't know how, not because it can't be done. All you have to do to make these items available in quick create is to put the template fields on those products and make sure the parameter names match. So I have added posters, postage and binders to my quick create template sets. Here is one quick create set I created http://www.zazzle.com/justpretty/gifts?cg=196431754471395054
and here is another http://www.zazzle.com/justpretty/gifts?cg=196205772890730037 stamps, posters and binders. I've done quick create with photo sculpture too but that is in a store I don't share. You can even do shoes, although it doesn't make any sense to do them.
The basic process to creating a quick create template set is
1. Create a folder to hold them.
2. Decide how many template fields you want, and what their names will be. Typically I create "top image" "center image" and "bottom image" and then sometimes a text field "custom text"
3. Start with the first product you want in the set. Put your first image on. Make it a template. Use a useful name for the template field name, copy that name to the url parameter (it will become lower case and words all run together). Keep adding images until you have all the template layers you want. Each layer should have a different name and url parameter unless you want the same image applied twice (as is done on the mug - the mug is a really good thing to examine to see how this stuff works). Not all layers have to be templates.
4. Save to your quick create folder
5. Start the next product. Make sure that each layer you create matches the name and url parameter of the first product. As long as the template layers match and have the same names it will work. Click away from the layers and then go back and double check the naming, sometimes the sneaky little thing puts its own name in but it will stick if you fix it.
6. Save that to your quick create folder.
7. When you have all the products you want to make at the same time you are ready = now you have to wait for the system to notice that you have created a quick create template set. It usually takes a couple hours, sometimes longer.
8. Eventually you can fire up quick create, navigate to your folder and poof, there you go.
Shopalholicchick's tutorial is here http://www.shopaholicchick.com/zazzletutor/template.html
If you just leave the products you created in the "in progress folder" they will eventually publish on their own. It is just a matter of whether you have the patience to wait. It is a current bug that it is taking quite some time for those to publish but so far everything I have done that way does eventually publish. I think my longest wait was about 36 hours. It is getting faster again, we shall see.