Tutorial created using the Keynote app and an iPad 3
Have you ever seen one of these before? It’s a QR code, and lately I’ve been seeing them everywhere – on magazine ads, movie posters, flyers. I even saw some recently in my son’s school on classroom projects. A QR code is similar to a bar code, yet this code connects to an internet URL, like YouTube or any other website that holds pics, music, video, or even links to layouts in the Scrap Girls Gallery. Seeing all these QR codes around got me thinking about how to use them to connect outside media, like audio or video, to my digital scrapbooking layouts. The first project that came to mind was my family Christmas card for this year.
As I scanned through our pictures of 2013, I struggled to find one that told the whole story behind the memories it involved. By far, my favorite memory this year was of my children learning to surf in Cocoa Beach over the summer. So I decided to use a surfing picture as the focal point for the front of the card.
However, once I finished creating the card, I realized I really needed something showing her brother, too, but I struggled to find a good place to add a second picture. I also knew I would never hear the end of it from my family and friends if more of us were not on the card, but video coverage was all I had of my son that day. Then inspiration hit! Add a QR code to the Christmas card!
This tutorial will explain how to create a QR code and add the code to a layout using the Keynote app for the iPad. Even though this tutorial was created with an iPad, the technique works on any device. All that is needed is the web address where the picture, audio, or video is stored and a QR code generator.
To start, decide what you want to link to and where you will put it on the Internet. I uploaded the video of my son’s first surfing lesson to YouTube. This video is public for the purpose of the tutorial but settings can be changed to make the video password-protected. Then I highlighted and copied (Ctrl+C) the URL at the top.
Next, find a QR code generator online like www.the-qrcode-generator.com/. Paste (Ctrl+V) the YouTube link from the video in the URL block – and the QR code is automatically generated. Then choose the Save tab and select PNG (Portable Network Graphic). There is no need to sign up for an account because, after saving, the code is in your computer.
As a PNG, the code can be easily added to any layout just like any other picture or embellishment. When looking at the front of my card, I struggled to find a place where the QR would easily fit. So I reopened Keynote and created a back for a postcard-style Christmas card that used both Christmas and beach style collections from Scrap Girls. Just select the +symbol on the top to insert the code. Then use your finger to drag the code into place. Pinch the blue dots to make it bigger or smaller as with any other picture or embellishment. To read the code, a QR code reader is required, and most app stores (iTunes, Google, Windows, etc.) have many to choose from.
Tip: Add small instructions under the code, such as: “Scan the code with a mobile device or the password to view is…” to ensure that those who receive the card can use the code and access its link.
If you have never used or made a QR code before, give it a try. They are a creative and fun way to make layouts interactive by adding extra media like music and video. When finished, upload your layouts to the Scrap Girls Gallery to share the creative ways you discover to use QR codes on digital scrapbook layouts!
Digital scrapbooking products used: