As Sharon Draper says, ‘’perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.’’ Small things in life matter.
It is crucial to make every little celebration special. A small video on birthday for someone special can make their day. Alternatively, an unusual invitation for a party can make the person feel important. You might never know how some small things can change a day or life for someone.
Smilebox allows you to deliver your invitations, birthday wishes, and congratulations note uniquely through a presentation. You can create beautiful presentations for your loved and special ones for yours and their special days.
Smilebox is an online slideshow editor that allows you to create, edit, and share the presentations. The editor comes with several templates to choose from.
If you are seeking for ways of making your parties and invitations unique, Smilebox can be one of the names on your list.
You can create personalized visual invitations and advertisements for your occasion. You can choose different categories for your templates.
Throughout his review, we shall try to explore various features and functionalities of the editor. We shall try to elaborate on some of them. We shall try to find out if it quells enough features to contend you.
Hopefully, we shall be able to make a verdict regarding the product. Let us begin.
The image above shows the home page of the Smilebox website. The page shows several templates, to begin with, your editing.
By default, the software shows the featured templates. Featured templates are the standard templates that are classic and are commonly used by people.
You can sort the templates according to your preferences. You can allow the website to show the new templates or all the available templates at once.
The left side of the site screen provides you options to filter the templates by categories or formats. Alternatively, you can directly choose business or personal templates.
The formats of the templates include greeting, invitation, slideshow, flyer, collage. We shall discuss these formats of the template in the upcoming section.
Similarly, ‘categories’ consists of options like holidays, occasions, education, special moments, and sympathy. We shall discuss each of the categories one by one.
The interface of the home page looks exciting and can attract users. To arrive at the home page, you need to create an account and then log into the website.
You cannot access any feature of the Smilebox in any way. Even signing in doesn’t mean that you can now access every shown or hidden feature of the editor. To do so, you require having a premium account, which is not free.
After choosing the template, you can choose to personalize it.
When you select to personalize, you can add various entries to create your presentation. You can add the business name, add logo, industry, website, phone number, Facebook, Instagram.
These details are useful if you are creating some professional or business presentations. By default, the above details appear in the last slide of the presentation.
To create your presentation, you can add several photos that are already available on the computer. You can also upload your photos by importing them from your mobile or your Facebook or Instagram account.
When you upload the photos, you create your gallery in Smilebox. The editor keeps all your uploaded photos in one place. You can choose any of these photos to add to the slide.
After you upload the photos once, for any of the templates, you can have them for every new template. Thus, you can choose the same photos as one template. If you do not want to keep the photos anymore, you can delete them.
For importing them from social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, you need to sign in to the respective account. If you are already signed in to any of the accounts, the editor directly leads you to that account.
The uploading of photos, whether from the computer or other websites or applications, remains the same for the editor.
You cannot add the photos to the templates according to your consent. You are required to place them at the location, the template says.
After you have selected the template followed by a picture. It’s time to know about the editing actions that you can take on the presentation.
In editing, you can choose colors, add text, and have a few customizations with them. There are a few more editing options that we shall see in this section.
Naturally, the template that you choose does not necessarily contain the text that you want to show during the presentations. Therefore, you need to add the text in the slide.
You can edit or entirely remove the text that already appears on the slide. You get a few customizations with the text you add.
You can choose the color of the font of the text, font size, font style, alignment, and a few effects to add to your text. The image below shows the customizations that you get with the text.
Though the options available for editing seem enough at once, the sub-options or the customizations might not suit the needs of some users. For example, the font style that is present is minimal.
Frankly, there are only four styles for the font to choose, at least with the non-premium version. Similarly, you can choose the size of the font depends upon the template. Some templates may provide you a range of 10 to 34 while some limit themselves from 12 to 28.
The problem also persists with the choice of colors. The number of available colors is very less. They do not provide a full range of even primary colors.
Further, you can choose the bold, italic, or underline effect for the text. Moreover, you can choose the position and the alignment of the text you add.
In total, the number of editing features is enough, but the customizations they provide with these features are not very contending.
You can get more features if you use a premium plan and even more if you switch to a pro plan of the software. But, as far as the basic plan is concerned, you get only the features that we have discussed above.
Further, you get options to change the background of the template. You get a few options to change the background of the template. The background options are generally the same for every chosen template. To change the background, you only get a few colors.
It means that you cannot change the effect and theme of the background of the template. The most you can do is change the contrast of the color. You can get more options for background if you use some different plans of Smilebox other than the basic plan.
They may vary slightly for some templates. If the title text that is available by default in the template does not suit you, you can change it by using the option ‘title text.’ With this option, you can enter the text that you want to show in the title of the slide.
You get the same customizations of color, style, size, and alignment that you get with the regular text. Unlike a standard textbox, you cannot add as many characters as you want.
The space that you get to enter the text, whether in the title or the main content is limited. Thus, you can neither exceed nor reduce the limit of the characters of the text.
So far, you might be wondering about the photos that we added to the gallery of the editor. You can add those photos to the slide.
To do so, you need to enable the ‘Photo option’ of the template. When you enable this option, the template automatically provides you some space to add the photos.
The location the template provides you to add photos to it may differ from template to template. That is not the problem; the problem is that you cannot change this location. What does that mean?
It means that you cannot add the photo anywhere on the template you want. You can only add it to the space provided by the template.
Moreover, in some of the templates, you cannot add more than one photo, at least not in the basic plan. The editor provides you to choose various layouts to choose from. These layouts are marked as A, B, C, and D. All of them present different views of the template.
Also, you get a few customizations for the photo that you add. You can add a few effects to the image like B&W or Sepia.
You can change the size of the image within the available range. You can also rotate the image clockwise or anticlockwise. Further, you can have a mirror effect for your image to show the inverse of the image.
Again, the customizations you get with the image are minimal. The available effects do not seem enough for everyone that uses the editor.
Another problem the user can face is the alignment of the image. The space that the various templates provide for the image is precisely horizontal or vertical. It means that if the space provided is vertical, you cannot use a horizontal image. If you do so, the editor automatically aligns it vertically.
This mismatching of alignment undoubtedly comes with a compromise with the presentability of the template and further the slide and the presentation.
A presentation is a combined package of video and audio. After you have added the images to the templates, you need to make them presentable with the help of music.
The editor allows you to add different kinds of music to the presentation. Before we discuss the addition of music to the presentation, you need to know that, you cannot add any music to your presentation, if you use a basic plan. You require having a premium or pro plan for this.
However, you get some music for every template by default. The editor provides you a pre-defined playlist with generally two kinds of music. You can add any of the available music to the playlist.
If the available music does not suit you, and you wish to add some music of your choice from those who are already available on the computer, get a plan other than the basic one.
With the pro plan of the editor, you can add different music or say songs for different slides. Every time, when you run the presentation, a new song plays when a new slide appears in it.
You do not get any customizations with the music in a basic plan. Some of them are available in the premium plan, but to access all of them; you need to have a pro plan of the editor.
So far, we have discussed creating and editing the presentations. These features would remain the same in all plans, with a few customizations.
The editor quells a few more features that you should know and some of which can affect your decision regarding this slideshow editor.
When you choose a template and add various entries to it, you might want to have a look at how the presentation would appear. The preview option helps you to achieve this.
With this option, you can have a dummy presentation that allows you to make any required changes to acquire the required presentation. You get this function with every plan of the editor.
After you have created the presentation, you would undoubtedly require sharing it. The sharing features and options that the editor provides are vibrant and seem enough.
The image above shows you several ways by which you can share the presentation. You can share the presentation directly through email. Alternatively, you can copy the link and paste it anywhere you want to share it.
The other ways to share it are through an embed code or by SMS. The editor also provides two social media platforms, namely, Facebook and Twitter, for sharing.
The unavailability of other social media platforms does not create a problem because you can always share the presentation on any desired platform by merely copying and pasting the link.
Moreover, if you do not wish to share the created presentation but want to have a record with yourself, you can download it.
You can download the full video presentation or only the images that you have used with the templates. Also, you can print the entire presentation to have it as a permanent record in the form of its hard copy.
One thing to keep in mind here is that Facebook and Twitter are the only options that are available with the basic plan. Some of the remaining options are available with the premium plan, but to access all the options, you ought to have a pro plan of the editor.
The ‘create new’ option leads you to the homepage of the website, from where you choose the template.
Online or offline support is necessary when you work on some software or website. The need increases even more if you are a beginner. Everybody likes to have a vibrant and active help section in any software or website.
The help section of Smilebox is somewhere in the middle of your expectations. It is not very rich in areas like FAQs, or online community. In fact, they do not have an online community. The FAQs are very minimal.
They allow you to contact their team by message, but of course, you need to wait for the reply. However, the team assures to reply within 48 hours of receiving the message or email. Further, there is no way of providing any feedback regarding the user experience.
Therefore, if seen through the perspective of a beginner, the help section of the slideshow editor is of little help. Even for a regular user, it might become cumbersome sometimes, if they face some issue.
Smilebox is a beautiful package to realize your creativity. As stated in the beginning, the user interface is quite convincing, but unfortunately, merely user interface cannot compel users to come to it.
At a glance, the slideshow creator seems appealing and utilitarian for users. But as we explore it, drawbacks grab the attention.
The presence of very minimal features with the basic plan is the very first thing that disappoints the users. Though the difference of features depending upon the plan is natural, but it has come a long way on that road.
The editing customizations are not enough and seem incapable of contending the users. The changes it allows for templates can be enough for some of the users, but those too fail to overshadow the missing features.
The compulsion of having a Smilebox account even for a basic plan is also something that most of the users do not admire.
In the middle of these cons, some features are quite noteworthy. The number of templates that it provides is satisfactory.
Moreover, the idea of advertising the business on the last slide, merely by entering details, is also spellbinding and can be a reason for becoming a user’s choice.
Therefore, the slideshow software might prove utilitarian for a beginner, but it had to go the extra mile to become a choice of professional users.
For now, if you want to begin with presentation creation, you can try giving it a chance.