Creating and customising a brochure template for a property

Alto allows you to create and customise publisher templates (brochures/window cards) to make them truly unique for any given property. This is done via the Alto brochure designer, which is a full WYSIWYG design tool.

This article includes: 

Creating and printing a standard brochure

The short video below guides you through how to create and customise a brochure template for a property. 

 

To create a brochure:

  1. Click Property on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1.  Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Docs
  4. In the dropdown menu, click Brochure Setup
  5. The Property Brochure window opens. Use the dropdown menu and click the relevant brochure style from the list, or, click through the carousel
  6. From here you can:
    1. Click Customise to alter the text, imagery or details (address)
    2. Click Preview (PDF) to preview the brochure design
    3. Click Use this Template, if you don’t need to edit it, which will then default that brochure template for the property
  7. From the Docs dropdown:
    1. Click Send Brochure to open the Output Wizard, where you can add in a recipient and message, and email the brochure
    2. Click Print Brochure to open the brochure .pdf ready to print. Then, click the Print icon

Customising a brochure template

Permissions setup

The Customise feature is only available once your Group Administrator has assigned you the CustomiseTemplate role with Read/Write or Full access.  If you don't have this role, you'll only be able to preview and print customised brochures.

To enable the CustomiseTemplate role:

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Roles
  4. Click Edit next to the role you want to amend
  5. Set the CustomiseTemplate permission to Read/Write
  6. Scroll down and click Save

Once enabled, the Customise feature will be available within the Property Brochure carousel and selecting it will launch the Alto brochure designer.

Selecting a brochure to customise

When it comes to customising templates, you have 2 choices. You can either:

  • Design a new template from scratch (Tools>Publisher Templates>Actions>Create Brochure Template)
    OR
  • Customise an existing template

If you customise an existing template, these are created on a per-property basis. The branch templates aren't affected and will still be available in their original form for use on other properties.

To customise an existing brochure template:

  1. Click Property on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant property from Recent & Favourite Properties
    1.  Alternatively, find the property using the Search Properties bar in the top right
  3. Click Docs
  4. In the dropdown menu, click Brochure Setup
  5. The Property Brochure window opens. Use the dropdown menu and click the relevant brochure style from the list, or, click through the carousel
  6. Click Customise 

Customise_a_brochure.png

This launches the Alto brochure designer using the selected brochure template, and it will show text and images from the currently selected property.

Customise_a_brochure2.png

Adding sections, images, and more to a brochure template

Brochures are composed of different types of sections. These act as the basic building blocks of the design (i.e. Dynamic Text and Photograph).

To add sections within the Alto brochure designer:

  1. From the position on the template where you'd like to add a section, click once to activate the top menu
  2. Click Add Section
  3. A menu appears, where you can choose from several types of sections

    Customise_a_brochure3.png
    1. Main Flow - Allows you to add one, or a selection of fields, from the property record.
      When you double click on an item in the right column (Available Items), it will move into the left column (Order of Content). Anything in the left column will be what appears on the brochure, and you can click and drag to change the order of items.
      Once added, you will need to resize the box, then position it on the page

      Customise_a_window_card5.png
    2. Dynamic Text - Allows you to add one, or multiple merge fields, using a dynamic text editor to pull in information about the property, such as address, price and branch information. If you double click on the field once you have created it, you can make further changes

      Customise_a_window_card6.png
    3. Photograph - Allows you to add a photograph of the property
      For more information, please see Adding images below
    4. Floorplan - Allows you to add a floorplan. The Photo # on the floorplan menu refers to the order you have uploaded your floorplans to the property
    5. EPC Chart - Allows you to add an EPC. Once selected, there are 3 drop down menus on the left:
      Prefer Auto Images - This will pull the EPC from the sliders that are found on the EPC
      tab of the property
      Prefer Uploaded Images - This will pull in any EPC that you upload to the EPC tab on
      the property
      Show Both Charts - This will show both the EE and EI graphs
      Energy Efficiency Only - This will show just the EE graph
      Env. Impact Only - This will show just the EI Graph
      Side by Side - This will show the graphs next to each other
      Stacked - This will show the graphs stacked on top of each other
    6. Map - Allows you to add a Google Map. Once selected, on the left you can adjust the map Background colour, the Map Type, the Map Zoom, and the colour of the Property Marker
    7. Library Image - Allows you to add in any artwork that you have previously uploaded to the group
      or branch, such as your logo or headers & footers
      For more information, please see Adding images below
    8. Repeater - Gives the ability to repeat pages
    9. Profile Image - Allows you to insert a profile image if you have one set up in Tools

Once you've chosen a section, you'll often see a new toolbar on the left. Whilst this changes depending on the section selected, the options are relatively similar throughout.

Main Flow for example will have functions so you can make changes to the appearance (colours, sizes and spacing) of your new field(s). Below is a list on how each option works:

  • Data Fields - If you click Edit Flow, this will bring the Main Flow box back up so you can edit the content of the field
  • Vertical Align - Changes where the field vertically aligns to
  • Background - Changes the background colour of the field/section you have selected. You can either use the colour selector or type the RGB values in for a specific colour
  • Columns - Change the amount of columns that the field is split into and the spacing that is between each column
  • Case - Change the case (upper case, lower case, natural) of the text
  • Font - Change the font used for the selected section, along with the font size
  • Text Styling - The U will underline the text, I will make it italic, and B will make your text bold. The coloured box next to these is where you can edit the colour of the text, in the same way as the background colour
  • Align/Spacing - Changes the alignment of your text and the spacing
  • Padding - Adjusting this will add an invisible border on each side of the field/section so that the contents will start in from the edge
  • Border - Adds a border around the whole field/section. You can change the style, thickness and the colour
  • Corners - Changes the corners of the field to be square or rounded
  • Z-Index - Choose the order that the fields/sections are layered on the page. 0 is the bottom and 3 is the top

Adding images (Photographs/Library Images)

Any images which need to be added to a brochure template need to first be added into the System Administration part of Alto.

If the images are only needed for an individual branch, they will need to be uploaded via Tools>System Administration>Branches>Edit Branch>Upload New File

If the images are needed across all branches, you can add these into your Group Settings to save time. To do this:

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Settings
  4. Scroll down to the Media Items section and click Upload New File
    1. In the Caption field, type the name of the image
    2. Media Type - In the dropdown menu, click Public Image 
    3. Sub Type - In the dropdown menu, click Publisher Template Image
    4. Tick Printable Library Image? 
    5. Click Choose file, locate the image on your computer or network that you want to upload. Click Open
    6. Click Upload
      For more information on Adding flashes on brochures and window cards, click here

Customise_a_window_card2.png

Once images are uploaded, you'll be able to select them from within the Alto brochure designer. To do that:

  1. From the position on the template where you'd like to add an image section, click once to activate the top menu
  2. Click Add Section
  3. A menu appears. Click Photograph or Library Image
  4. The Library Image Browser opens. Select either Group or Branch depending on where you uploaded the image
  5. A list of all files which have previously been uploaded to the Group or Branch settings will display. Select the relevant image file and click Ok

    Customise_a_window_card7.png

When you have an image selected, a new toolbar will appear on the left hand side.
Below are details on each option within this menu:

  • Image Position - You can click, drag and drop to position your image but also choose how your image will fill the box you have created for it
    • Size to Fit - This will stretch the image so that it will fill the box exactly (If the box and image are different aspect ratios, there may be some cropping)
    • Size to Fill - This will reduce the size of the image until it is small enough for all of it to fit into the frame, with no cropping (If the box and image are different aspects, rather than cropping it, it will leave blank space at the sides)
    • Manual - If you double click on the image, this will allow you to manually move it around the frame so that if cropping has occurred, you can fine tune it
  • Zoom - Set the overall image zoom
  • Background - Changes the colour of the background of the image. If you have the image set to Size to Fit, this is the colour that will occupy any blank space you have on there
  • Photo # - Select which numbered image will pull into that box. The numbers correspond to the photos under the Media>Photos>Brochure tab on the property

Previewing a brochure template

Once you've finished designing a new template from scratch, or customising an existing template, it can be saved and previewed using the buttons in the top right of the designer.

  1. Click either:
    1. RAW Test - Previews the template using a RAW (unprocessed) format
    2. PDF Test - Previews the template as a .pdf document
    3. Save - Saves the template

      Customise_a_window_card8.png
  2. Back in Alto, on the property record, click Docs
  3. In the dropdown menu, click Brochure Setup
  4. The Property Brochure window opens. You should see the brochure name as Customised Brochure, and the Customise button will now show as Edit. Selecting Edit will load the currently customised brochure into the Alto brochure designer, allowing further changes to be made if required
  5. Click Preview (PDF) to ensure you are happy with the layout
  6. From the Docs dropdown:
    1. Click Send Brochure to open the Output Wizard, where you can add in a recipient and message, and email the brochure
    2. Click Print Brochure to open the brochure .pdf ready to print. Then, click the Print icon

Related articles:

Creating and customising a window card template for a property

Adding flashes on brochures and window cards

Uploading external brochures to a property

Live Templates

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