Saturday, July 23, 2011

Image Editing Like Crazy

     I am so thrilled! I love being able to do exactly what I want and be successful!

     When I create things like binder covers and newsletters, I like to include images and I usually know exactly what I want the image to look like. A website that has enabled me to do this is Microsoft Office's image website: It has good images for free (most free clip art is mediocre at best).

     Even with the good images from Microsoft* they often aren't quite right for what I have in mind. For example, I usually need images to be black and white, but most of the images I like best have a little bit of color. This is where Irfanview comes in. It is a free image editing software that lets me "fix" the images I find. Here is an example:

     I loved this flag for a July newsletter I did, but everything in the newsletter needed to be black and white. You can probably do this in Paint, but I think it is easier in Irfanview. Here is a different example:

     The original image has several butterflies, but I only wanted one. Irfanview let me cut out the butterfly I wanted, edit the background, and rotate the image just perfectly.

     Tangent: I think that if I had the money to buy Adobe Illustrator or something I could get the functionality I want all in one program. Right now I sometimes have to open an image in up to three different free programs to make it look like I want it too. That's okay with me for now, but someday it would be nice to have a program that did everything (provided such a program exists).

     So the thing that I'm thrilled about today is that I recently learned how to create a transparent background. I have been trying to figure this out for, um, possibly years. I was looking at a tutorial on Kevin and Amanda's blog about how to create a cute blog signature and BAM! It was right there! How to create a transparent background! THANK YOU, AMANDA!! The secret? You have to save the image as .PNG (Portable Network Graphics). But you also have to have a program that lets you select a transparent background. I don't think Photoscape can do it (at least I haven't figured it out if Photoscape does). But Irfanview lets you covert a white background to a transparent background, and Pixlr Editor (a free online image editing site) lets you create an image with a transparent background. Hallelujah!

     Okay, so this is what I did today that I'm so excited about:

     I started with two images, removed the color and made the backgrounds transparent, inserted them into a word document, and overlapped them! Yay! (Figuring out how to save them as a combined image was a chore! I think you can do it in Microsoft Word using group, but I have Open Office and there must be a bug or something because I had to "Select All" to select them, then cut and paste them into paint to make them into a .jpg. Whew!)

     Here is my new blog signature made in Pixlr Editor. The font and star (which is actually a font character) are from Kevin & Amanda's free font blog Fonts for Peas (which I love).


  1. Thanks for this post Ryann, it was super helpful!

  2. I was going to mention about how cool your signature is!
    You are amazing doing this kind of things.