Picasa Tip: You’ll Flip for this Tip!

201308-001Picasa lovers out there have an endless source of simple tools for enjoying our pictures. I’ve been using Picasa for 10+ years now, and this ‘kaleidoscope’ effect never occurred to me. My friend, Vicki Wassenhove, from the Quad Cities Computer Society and their Digital Photography group had an assignment to use a given picture and improve it in a way that would prompt the question: How Did I Do It?

 

 

When I saw Vicki’s wonderful collage, I had to give it a try! With this original picture, Vicki created several works of art!

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She started with a simple picture of a flower, cropped it and made 4 copies. Then she flipped the copies, one had to be flipped horizontally, one vertically, and the third needed to be flipped both horizontally and vertically. Picasa’s command to flip horizontally is Ctrl-Shift-H (Cmd-Shift- on Mac) and Ctrl-Shift-V to flip Vertically. She put all 4 pictures into a square Collage, and voila!

Original
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Flip Horizontal
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Flip Vertical
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Flip Horizontal & Vertical
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And my picture, displayed at the top of this article, started with this original:

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For more information about flipping pictures, see this past article: Flipping Photos.

Geeks on Tour members may want to watch these tutorial videos. If you’re not a member, you can Join Now!

  1. For cropping in a perfect square: pics14a.Crop Size Options
  2. For making multiple copies of picture: pics14d.Ways to Save #140
  3. For making collages (8 videos): pics73.Picasa Short Course: Collages and Banners
  4. For adding a frame/border: pics24d.More Effects 31-36

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

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Adding Text to a Collage

Question: As historian for a club of mine I just love Picasa’s Collage feature to put together the pictures I take of all the activities.  But, I need to identify the activities in the picture. Is it possible to add Text to the collage pictures that I have made?

Yes, indeed!  Adding text right on your picture is one of the very special and oh-so-easy features of Picasa.  Here’s a sample collage with three separate text items added:

GeeksOnTour Photos

Once your collage is created (members’ tutorial video: Quick Collage), it is a separate picture like any other .jpg file.  Just double-click the collage to make the editing tools available and find the Text tool at the left.  Click the Text tool and just start typing, your text will appear on the picture. Once you see the text, you have several options for making it bigger or smaller, changing the angle and changing colors. Members’ Tutorial Video: Adding Text to Pictures

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Check out all the options available on the left, including both the fill color and the outline color.   When you’re ready to add another item of text, just click in a new place and start typing.  Each instance can have its own formatting.  When you’re editing one instance of text, it will have that gray outline around it.  Grab that outline to drag the text anywhere on your image.  When you click ‘Apply’ the outline will disappear.

Text can even be entered by copying your caption.  This way, you’re assured that your identifying comments will be seen whether the viewer shows captions or not.

Here’s another example of text on a collage.  I took 4 faces and one graphic image for the collage, then I added text to identify each person.  In order for the text to be readable against the images, I made the fill white and the outline black.

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By the way, these faces are the teachers at our upcoming Techno-Geek Learning Rally.  Want some hands on training? If you’re near Bushnell, Florida at the end of April 2012, check out our Techno-Geek Learning Rally.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Picasa Tip: Print a Contact Sheet

Have you ever wanted to see all the pictures of a group printed on one sheet?  Like the old ‘contact sheets’ you used to get from the photo labs.  Guess what?  Picasa is your photo lab!  It can print contact sheets like this:

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Two Ways to Print Contact Sheets

There is a specific ‘Print Contact Sheet’ command in Picasa.  You can print contact sheets from a folder, or an album.  Just select a folder and you’ll see a ‘Folder’ menu in the menu bar.  On that menu you’ll see “Print Contact Sheet.”  If you select an Album, you see ‘Album’ in the menu bar.  On that menu you’ll also see “Print Contact Sheet.”   You can also add ‘Contact Sheet’ to the standard print options in Tools | Options | Printing | Available print sizes.

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The other way to make a contact sheet is to use the Collage feature in Picasa.  When you click on the drop down list for settings, you will see an option for Contact Sheet.

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The Differences Between Print Contact Sheet and Collage Contact Sheet

Print Contact Sheet

  1. Goes straight to the printer
  2. No control over size of images, it prints 7 across and 6 down, taking as many pages as necessary
  3. No control over orientation, some vertical pictures will print sideways to fit in row
  4. Allows a caption below each picture by selecting from the Border and Text options menu.  Only allows for a few words – longer captions will be cut off.

Collage in Contact Sheet Style

  1. Creates a new .jpg image with the selected pictures, then you print that one image
  2. Limited to one page, images will be sized to fit the page.  Lots of images – each one is very small; fewer images – they will be bigger.
  3. Orientation of images will be the same as in your library
  4. No captions
  5. Since the result is a .jpg – you can then use the Text Tool to add text if you want

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tou

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

collage-tip-framing-a-picture

quick-collage

printing-photos

Making a Banner Picture

I keep a personal blog, and I like to have a personalized top banner.  Here’s what my blog looks like today.  Notice the top banner with the title and picture at the right.  I made that using Picasa and this tip will tell you how.

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Create a Collage

I used Picasa’s collage feature to make that banner.  You might not think to use the collage feature when you’re only working with one picture.  That’s why I decided to write this tip.  I started by selecting that photo of Jim and me and Odie in front of our Visited States Map.  With just that one pictures selected, I clicked the collage button.  I set the background to a solid red, and move the picture over to the right side, and create the collage.

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Add the Text

Once the collage is done and I’m back at the Picasa library, I use the Text Tool to type ‘Geeks on Tour Blog.’  Using all the text formatting tools, I choose our special ‘geeky’ font (Coolvetica) and set the colors so they look good against the dark red background.  After applying that, I add another block of text for the blog description.

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Crop and Export

Now I have all the elements I want in my banner, I just need to make it banner-size.  So I crop it.  And finally, I export it to a separate folder that I use for uploading to my blog.

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The export feature allows me to specify a size.  The instructions for Blogger header images tell me to make it 910 pixels, so that’s what I specify:

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There’s a lot you can do with Picasa’s collage feature … get creative!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Quick Collage

Collage Tip – Framing a Picture

Adding Text to Pictures

Crop Size Options

Basic Edits

Exporting Pictures for Use in Another Program

Resizing Pictures to Width and Height

 

 

 

 

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Cover Slides and Collages

So you have some beautiful photos of your summer travels (after improving them with Picasa’s edit tools!) and you know how to play a slide show – even to accompany it with some music – but you need some section headings for each portion of your travels.  Like ‘Drive through Vermont’ and ‘Boston Harbor cruise’ and ‘Cathy’s Wedding.’  How do you do that with Picasa?

If you want to get fancy with artwork, gradient backgrounds, and curved text – you need something other than Picasa.  I recommend something like Powerpoint.  You create the slide in Powerpoint, then export it as a .jpg picture file and Picasa can use it like any other picture.

But, if you just want a Cover slides and some occasional titles, Picasa’s Collage and text features can fit the bill quite nicely.

I have a lot of pictures from our stays at the Thousand Trails parks around the US.  To make a cover slide for them, I’ll select several of the photos and then click on ‘Collage.’  Using the picture pile style, I’ll arrange the photos leaving plenty of space for the Title.

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After creating the collage, I add text using the Text tool.  That’s a pretty nice cover slide for my slide show.

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Now I want some simpler title slides for the rest of the show.  I just want a blank background, no pictures.  If you understand Picasa, you know that it *only* works with pictures.  So, we have to trick it into making a ‘picture’ with no pictures!  Once again, we start with a collage.

Select one picture in your library – any old picture – because we’re just going to get rid of it.  Then click Collage.  If you use the Picture Pile type of collage you know that you can move a picture anywhere on the slide … you can even drag it off the slide altogether!  That leaves you with a blank background.  And, you can make the background be any color you like with the Background options on the left.

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When you ‘Create’ this collage – you get a blank picture that you can now add text to.  Pretty slick.  Now you can arrange your pictures and your titles all in an album for a great slide show!

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This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

If you want to add narration to your slide show we highly recommend the free program from Microsoft called Photo Story 3.  Geeks on Tour has several ‘Show-Me-How’ videos on Photo Story.

If you need to learn Picasa, the best way is with the bookBeginner’s Guide to Picasa 3.5  it includes Show-Me-How videos.

Picasa Tip: Import from Camera

Many people use the software that came with their camera to import pictures to their computers. That’s fine. Picasa doesn’t care how your pictures get onto your computer. As long as they get saved into a folder that is being watched by Picasa (like your Pictures folder), you will see them next time you open Picasa.

But you can use Picasa to do the import process as well. Then, you don’t need the software that came with the camera. picture-autoplayAs soon as you plug in the cable from your camera to your computer, or insert the camera card into a card-reader in your computer, you should see a screen pop up that looks like this image. (Member Tutorial Video:Import from Camera)

You may have more options. You may even have another pop-up window from your camera’s software. You can ignore, or close, any other popups and select ‘Copy pictures and view them using Picasa3’, as shown in the image at left.

Once you click on ‘Copy pictures and view them using Picasa3’, you will see the ‘Import Tray.’

import-tray4Can you tell I’m writing this tip right after Valentine’s Day?! The roses Jim gave me keep getting prettier every day. I just have to get out the camera and take a few more pictures as they unfold! I even got a little creative and laid my black bathrobe on the ground to make the background go away.

Ok, anyway … this will take a minute for Picasa to see all the photos. Wait till you see the message ‘Copying 15 of 15’ – your number will be different – the point is that it has finished getting all of them. Then click on ‘Import All.’ Now you will see this screen:import-folder1

If you want these photos to get saved into an existing folder, you just click the Browse button and find the existing folder. If you want to put them into a new folder, you first make sure the ‘parent’ folder is selected in the ‘Location’ field, then enter the name of the subfolder you want to create in the top line. Make your choice for what to do with the camera card after the copy, and click ‘Finish.’ I usually choose the ‘Safe Delete.’ So, every time I use Picasa to transfer photos from my camera to the computer, the end result is a clean card to put back in my camera.

So now all my photos of the roses show up in Picasa and I can crop, sharpen, make collages and add text. Wanna see the end result?

 

Rose Collage

You can do it too — watch the member tutorial videos. Not a member?  Join now.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.