Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Program Should I Use to Create My Products for TpT?


What Program Should I Use to Create My Products for TpT?

Scrolling through the forum topics, I often see this question from newbies, “What program should I use to create my products for TpT?” My opinion/answer seems to mirror that of many of the other sellers on TpT, and is in two parts.



First, use whatever program works for you. There are at least a dozen different programs that are used to create products for sale on TpT. If the program you are using works for you, then there’s no reason why you should not continue. However, if you’re the one posting the question, or checking the answers left by the other sellers, then chances are that your program of choice is NOT working for you. These questions are usually broken down further into a choice between Word and PowerPoint. That’s where the second part of my answer comes into play.

If your product consists mostly of text, then Word is the program to use. That’s why it’s named “Word.” :D It’s designed for typing and formatting text, and it’s pretty easy to use for that purpose. In addition, most schools and businesses have computers with Word installed, and most users are familiar with the program. That’s why my first several products were designed in Word.

Here comes the “But,” part. If your product contains a lot of graphics or other elements designed to make it more visually pleasing, then Word may just drive you nuts. I know this from my own experience. I had used Word for years, was familiar with it, and didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t use it to create my products, BUT it irritated me no end when it came time to add graphics to my pages. Clipart seemed to “jump” or “hide” behind other features whenever I added a new one. I could never seem to get things lined up and STAY the way I wanted them. Instead, the whole page seemed to be “melting” off the edge. My work definitely did not look professional!

After a few months of this, I finally stumbled onto the TpT Sellers Forum, where I read one of those, “What Program Should I Use to Create My Products for TpT?” posts. Seller after seller recommended PowerPoint! They extolled its virtues at great length, saying how much easier it was to use in every way, especially with products which included visuals. Although I had used PowerPoint in my classroom, it was not my “go to” program. After reading all the sellers comments, however, I decided to give it a try.

I have to admit it was difficult at first. Word was second nature to me, while PowerPoint was not. However, when I placed graphics into my new products, they actually STAYED where I put them! No more tracking them down or playing frustrating games of “Hide and Seek” with visual elements! Plus, little crosshairs magically appeared whenever I placed items on the page, and “told” me whenever items were lined up perfectly straight with other page elements, even items that were all the way on the other side of the page! AND if I wanted to copy all the formatting on a given page (especially when I was making task cards or other repetitive pages) all I had to do was click on the page thumbnail to the left of the main screen, go to “Edit, Copy,” and then paste an exact copy of that page as an entirely new page! WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!! Ridiculous excitement ensued, plus I saved untold hours of work over the next several months. Now I would never go back to Word to create my products, unless I was creating a literature unit, or something else text-heavy like that.

Now I am definitely in the “PowerPoint Sellers Club," so to speak. I still stumble onto new features all the time, all of which makes creating products easier. It especially helps when I am adding copyright information to my products, which I’ll review in a different post.

I hope this post has helped you! If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll try my best to answer it. J

Have a wonderful week!
Carol (Carol’s Teaching Garden)


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