Tech Tips: Using PDFs on your digi pages

TechTips_onlineI recently got an email asking for someone asking how they would use my printable, which I provide in a PDF form, on their digital layouts. The timing of the question was perfect since starting this month I’ll be launching a new series here on the blog called “Tech Tips.” Most weeks, I’ll be sharing some sort of tech tip to help you in your memory keeping and crafting endeavors. Some weeks it will be a purely craft share (no technology, just crafty goodness).

Using a PDF or parts of a PDF on your digital page is super easy, so I wanted to show you how to do it, step-by-step. This of course is the way I do it. I’m sure there are a number of other ways to accomplish the same thing. Personally, I find this to be the easiest a quickest route.

Step 1: Open your PDF. I use Photoshop, so my instructions are based on Photoshop. I’m nearly certain it works the same way in Photoshop Elements  (though I’ve been known to be wrong on occasion, just ask my husband!).


Step 2: Select the rectangle marquee tool from your tool bar.

2_Select Tool

Step 3: Click and drag (draw) a box over the journaling card you want to use.

3_Select your Card

Step 4: Copy your selection. I use the keyboard commands (control + c), but you can also find this action under the “Edit” menu.


Step 5: Paste your selection onto to your Project Life template (that’s what I’m showing) or whatever template or document you might be using. Again, I use the keyboard shortcut (control + v), but you can access the action from the “Edit” menu.


Step 6: Now your selection will be on your document and you can rename it, move it around in the layers palette, adjust its size, clip it to a mask, etc.


Step 7: Clip your card to the the layer where you want it to be. This can be done by hovering over the thin black line between the journaling card layer and the mask layer and then selecting control + g. Once you’ve clipped your card to the layer, can resize the card to better fit the box. To resize proportionally: select one of the corners, hold down the shift key and then drag the card to the size you want it to be.


Step 8: All done!

8_All Finished


I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions, I’d be glad to help. Check back next week for another Tech Tip.

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8 Responses to Tech Tips: Using PDFs on your digi pages

  1. Anonymous says:

    First of all … thank you for all your PDFs and tips. I stumbled across your blog recently and I LOVE your PL layouts. They are so much fun to look at. I am motivated to try my hands on PL this year and your layouts are the inspiration. Thank you!

  2. Thank you sooo much. I had tried the marquee tool but it left a gray area around the card. But i bet when i clip it into the page i can size it so that won’t be seen. I am going to play around with it these next few days. You are so sweet and a genius. I am looking forward to the tips and tricks. And our husbands can think what they want about our wrongness, they would just be wrong (:

  3. suetrav says:

    You know I love your pdf files and use them all the time 🙂 I use Elements 9 and do mine a bit different. After opening them I use the crop tool and set it to 3×4″ so it is sized to fit in the PL templates. I save each image I crop off your .pdf sheets as a journaling card in .jpg format so that I can go back to them over and over again without having to do the crop again from the original .pdf file. I then tag them in Elements under my PL folder as 3×4 journaling cards. This makes it easy when I am looking for a card that size. I don’t mind grabbing some screen shots and writing up instructions for you if you want.

  4. Lili Garcia says:

    And here I was wondering how to use your beautiful journaling cards. Thanks a lot for the great tutorial, I really appreciate all your hardwork. Enjoy Denmark!!!

  5. Thank you suetrav! I guess I need to get PSE and play with it a some 🙂

  6. Barbara says:

    Thanks for sharing this tip…so simple but so handy!

    2 questions for you…

    Is it okay to recolor free printables others have shared (including you) to match my own personal color scheme for PL and if so, how do you do this?

    Also, would love to know the name of the font you’ve used on your blog header. I really like that one!

  7. Erin says:

    Thanks! I love your freebies! Your so AMAZING to share with all of us!

  8. KellyRae says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I adore your printables but LOVE the idea of being able to use them on my digi pages too.

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