Smartsign Template Creator is a new feature added in Smartsign 10.5. It's a tool to create and work with templates. Depending on the templates content it can be shown either as a static snapshot or be loaded live on screen with for example visual effects and dynamic data updates.

To create a new template, click "Create new template" in the Media menu or in the action bar while in the media library. Select where to save it and give it a name in the dialog that appears.

An empty template will be created, this will usually take a few seconds. Once it finishes loading you will be presented with the Template Creator. If you are familiar with the screen layout editor, you will probably recognize many of the features.

Before doing any changes to the template, we recommend you configure the size you want for the template. The default is 1920x1080, in other words full screen, on a normal Full HD screen. Commonly, you may want to use the same size as the target layer if you're not using full screen. The size is set in pixels. As default, the template background is white. You can change the color or remove it completely to make the template transparent.

Layout elements

You can add images, video, shapes and text elements to the template.

Images

To add images to the template, click the "add media" button. You can upload new images or select an existing from the media library. Select the image in the template to tweak its settings, such as position and content properties. You can also add CSS effects to it like rounded corners or drop shadow.

Video

To add a video to the template, click the "add media" button. You can either upload a new video or select an existing from the media library. Select the video in the template to tweak its settings, such as position and content properties. Only one video is allowed and the format must be .mp4. Please note that playback performance for template embedded video varies greatly between different screens/players. 

Text

To add text to the template, click the "T" icon and then drag to create the text area. Then select the "Text" tab on the right to input your desired text message and make your formatting choices.

Shapes

You can create filled square and round shapes in the same way as you create text boxes. Click the square or circle icon and then drag to create the desired shape. Then select the shape and select the Content tab on the right to adjust its settings.

Layout tools

Smartsign 10.6 adds multi-select, multi-edit and alignment tools to help you make the best templates possible.

Multi-select

Hold Ctrl and click each object to select multiple.

Multi-edit

When you have selected multiple objects, you can perform changes to several of their common properties at the same time. Such as position, size and content. You can input values manually or move them all by dragging an also make small adjustments by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Arrange

When you have selected multiple objects, the arrange menu will be enabled. It allows you to arrange the different objects horizontally or vertically. For example, select Align left to align the left edge of all objects to the same position as the currently leftmost one.

Grid

It's possible to show a grid and make objects snap to it. This can make it easier to position and align objects, especially when dragging them using the mouse. To enable, deselect everything so that you can see the template settings, go to the Grid tab and configure as desired.

Effects

It's possible to apply effects to objects. To do so, select the object and go to the Effects tab.
From here it's also possible to add an animation and control the speed of the animation.
Please not that performance and results may vary since effects are rendered live on screen using the screens browser. For this reason it may not be possible to use some effects on some screens.

Triggers

Similar to triggers in screen layouts, it's possible to control a trigger when clicking/touching an object in a template on screen.Select the object that you want to connect to a trigger, and then select the Triggers tab on the right. Select which trigger should be controlled and what should happen to it when the object is clicked.What should actually happen when a trigger is changed is configured in the screen layout, where you can control which layers should listen to different triggers.

Template data sources

To connect a template to a data source, deselect everything so that settings for the template itself become visible. You can do this by clicking on the gray background around the template. Then select the "Data source" tab and select the data source that you want to use for the template. Once you have selected and configured a data source, you can bind data from it to different objects, such as text fields, in your template.

Available data sources

Please see section Template data sources

Notice

Available data sources are subject to change. Data sources may depend on 3rd party services or other factors outside of Smartsign's control. As such, Smartsign reserves the unilateral right to adjust or discontinue any data source as deemed appropriate. Some data sources may depend on Smartsign provided services that require a valid agreement or subscription. Smartsign reserves the right to enforce such requirements and block unauthorized use without prior notice.

Locking templates

An important aspect with templates is the possibility to lock the feel and look of it. In Smartsign Template Creator you can lock all objects (text, images, rectangles) in two different ways. Either "Lock", which is a full lock and no editing at all will be allowed, or "Lock formatting", which allows the users to edit the text or replace the image, but not change positions or formatting. After you have selected the correct lock properties for all objects in the template you can proceed to lock the template. This is done by deselecting everything. You'll then see the template settings and can select the lock tab. Enable the lock and enter a password which is necessary to unlock the template. Finish it by clicking save. Now your template is locked for everyone. To unlock it, you must enter the correct password in the tab "Unlock" and then click the "Unlock" button.