PI6 CD Jewel Case Inserts

front of CDMany of us have CD burners to backup important files, but it's also fun to make CD's with favorite music, our graphics collections, or even to make a PI6 slide show of a wedding, birthday party or other special event. 

This tutorial shows how to edit a CD jewel case cover and back tray insert that I've made for you as PI6 objects. If you have PI7, it's much easier to use Print Multiple to make CD labels.

You'll need to download the CD Cover ZIP file and the CD Back Insert ZIP file to follow along. 

back of CDBefore we get started, be aware that I made these objects at a Resolution of 300 dpi. A higher dpi means that the text is at a very large font size (70). High Resolution means that the detail on the printed CD inserts will be sharp. A lower dpi results in less crisp, fuzzy looking printed output. 

Each main object has a very narrow, pale gray outline around it. The reason for this is so that after you print out the jewel case inserts, you can cut them out along the gray lines. If you have a paper cutter, you will get a better cutting line, but scissors will work fine if you're careful to cut straight. 

To begin, open the cdcover.ufo file. Hit the space bar to deactivate all the objects. You'll see a big white square, some text, a 2D Outline Path border object and my snowcat.ufo objects grouped together. All of these objects can be edited, including changing the color of the background, using different objects to decorate the CD cover, changing the color of the border outline (or deleting it), and changing the text, font, font size and font color. I'm going to edit these objects to make a jewel case cover for a CD backing up all of my PI6 Gallery, Library and other special files (a very good idea, btw). 

First we need to select the large white square object, on which the objects and text appear. We'll need to be careful, you do not want to select the base image here, only the large white square object. To make sure you're selecting the correct objects as you go along, open the EasyPalette's Layer Manager and click on the thumbnail for the Jewel Case Cover to select it.

select cd jewel case cover object

We'll fill this with a dark blue fill. Open the EasyPalette's Fill Gallery, Gradient, and double click on Navy to fill the object. Don't be alarmed if the text and outline border don't show up now. In the Layer Manager, select the thumbnail for the blue border. 

select blue border

Select the Path Outline Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and choose white to change the color of the border. Actually, you can change to any color or texture fill, but white seems to go well with this color scheme.

Select the Pick tool. In the Layer Manager, click on the "my clipart cd" thumbnail to select the text. Right click on the thumbnail and choose Edit Text (note that you don't need to use the Text tool to edit text). When the Text Entry Box opens, select "Fit in Window" so you can see all of the text at the same time. Select the text and replace it with your own text. I'm using "My PI6 Backup CD." Click in the text Color box and select white or another color that will show up on the background you've selected. Change the font or font size as desired. Click OK to close the box.

edit text

In the Layer Manager, select the thumbnail for the "by your name" object. Right click on the thumbnail and choose Edit Text. When the Text Entry Box opens, edit the text to reflect your name. Change the font color to white, and click OK to close the box. 

In the Layer Manager, Shift+Click the "my clipart cd" thumbnail, so that it and the "by your name" thumbnail are both selected at the same time. Right click on one of these two thumbnails and choose Align, Center Horizontally. Doing so will center both sets of text. To make it easier to move them together later on, right click on one of these thumbnails and choose Group.

With the Pick tool, click on the Grouped snowcat objects to select them. Switch to the Transform tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Resize option. Hold down on the Shift key while dragging a corner control point, making the grouped objects very large. Align the lower left corner so that it blends into the white border object.

align with left vertical edge of border outline

Right click on the Grouped objects and Duplicate. Drag the duplicate into an empty area of the work space, where it will open in its own window. Right click and Ungroup. Hit the space bar to deactivate the objects. Select the snowdrift at the bottom, under the snowcat's feet. Drag it over to the CD cover, aligning the right vertical edge with the white border. Use the Pick tool's Order options to Send Backwards until it is behind the other snowcat objects. Select the Transform tool, Resize option, and drag down slightly from the top center control point, "flattening" the snowdrift a little, so that it blends in with the rest of the snowcat objects.

align with right border

Close out the duplicate snowcat objects without saving them. You don't need them anymore. Using the Layer Manager, select individual objects in the CD cover to make them active, then move them around to make an attractive arrangement. You may need to Zoom In to grab ahold of the objects so you can move them. I added a 2D white Path object, the Star 4 Custom Shape, to add a little something to the background. You should end up with something like the screen shot shown below at 25% magnification.

final cd cover, at 25% magnification 

When you're satisfied with your arrangement, right click and Merge All. Save the image as a BMP file, or some other format which will preserve all of the color information (not as a GIF or JPG). Now you're ready to print the CD jewel case cover. I'd recommend that you print out in draft quality on cheap paper first to make sure that the finished size and proportions of the objects is absolutely correct for your jewel case. If it's not, go back and Undo the Merge All command and fix whatever needs fixing.

When your draft print looks good, switch to your printer's highest quality setting for best results. Print the CD jewel case cover on heavy paper or card stock, or print on glossy photo paper, then paste it onto heavy paper or card stock, and cut out from there.

The next step is to make the insert for the CD jewel case back tray. Open the cdtrayback.ufo file. Hit the space bar to deactivate the objects. This one should be easier to edit, now that you have had some practice with the CD jewel case cover.  I put a reindeer object in there, but if you don't want to use it, just select it and hit Delete. Then you can replace it with an object of your own.

Because the back of the jewel case is mostly for providing information, I'm going to leave the basic jewel case tray back object plain white to allow the text to show up well. If you want to change the color or fill it with a texture, select its thumbnail in the Layer Manager and do so now. Similarly, I'm going to leave the outline border blue, but if you want to change the color, select it and edit with the Path Outline Drawing tool.

In the Layer Manager, select the thumbnail for the "cd contents" object. Right click on the thumbnail and choose Edit Text. When the Text Entry Box opens, select and edit the text as desired. To add another line of text, hold down on the Control key while hitting Enter, then type in another line of text. Edit the font, font size and color as desired, then click OK to close the box. Select the "copyright info" thumbnail in the Layer Manager, right click and Edit Text, then edit it as desired.

In the Layer Manager, select the "title for spine" object thumbnail. Note that the text is vertical because this part of the jewel case tray back is folded up to show on the side of the jewel case. Right click on the thumbnail and choose Edit Text. Select the text in the Text Entry Box, then edit as desired and click OK. 

If you want to put this text on the other side of the tray insert, right click and Duplicate the vertical text. While it's still selected, switch to the Transform tool and rotate 180 degrees counterclockwise. Whatever you do, don't just try to Flip Horizontally -- it won't work right and you'll end up with "mirrored" text. Position the duplicate vertical text on the other side of the tray insert.

Finally, select the reindeer object, if you're using it, and use the Transform tool's Resize option to make the object larger. When you're satisfied with the arrangement of the objects, right click and Merge All. 

cd jewel case tray back

Save your jewel case tray back as a .BMP and you're ready to print it out. As you did for the jewel case cover, first print a draft to make sure it fits properly, then print on heavy paper or card stock, and cut out along the pale gray cutting lines. Alternatively, print the jewel case tray back on glossy photo paper, then paste it onto heavier stock and cut it out. The right and left sides, where the vertical text was placed, get folded about 1/4 inch in from the edges, so that they cover the sides of the jewel case. You may need to experiment a little to get the folds just right. Similarly, you may have to do a little extra trimming at the top or bottom to get it to fit the jewel case correctly.

Remember that you can custom edit these jewel case cover and tray insert objects any way you like. For example, if you plan to offer a CD with your own original clip art, you could put your own images on the the objects and change the text to reflect the CD's purpose. 

If you normally use a CD labeling program (e.g., CD Stomper) to make your jewel case inserts and CD labels, you can make a 4.25 inch square new image at 300 dpi, fill it with the navy blue background, and put the snowcat over on the left side to create an original background. Many CD programs will let you make use own backgrounds. Just remember to leave room for the text on the CD label, and don't put anything in the middle because that's where the hole for the CD will be placed when you print it out on a label. Here's a background I made for my PI6 Backup CD.

CD label

This tutorial uploaded 12/22/00

Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.



Back to Homepage