Thursday, February 23, 2012

Using Power Point as a Powerful Image Editing Tool

Hailing from a Visual Communication background, I always thought that editing an image is impossible without Photoshop.
But today, 90 % of my image editing is done in Powerpoint itself. Let’s check out some cool ways of editing images in power point –
  1. Cropping Images
With the Freeform tool, you can easily crop images to a fair degree of perfection.
For instance, here is a photo that I took from Microsoft Clipart. I just need to keep the one who is throwing the ball. So here is how I would do it –

First, maximize the picture (shortcut – Press Ctrl and scroll up your mouse, and vice versa for zooming out) and stencil out the picture, as perfectly as you can. At first, you might need a little bit extra effort and patience, but I assure you that you will be just fine with a little practice.  
We are almost there. Now, crop the real picture and keep only the frame that’s required.
Now copy the image. And then, right click on your stenciled shape> Format Shape > Fill > Picture or Text Fill
You will find that the cut image has fit in the stencil, but not quite perfectly. Now, the trick is to select `Tile picture as texture'. Try playing around with the Offsets, until you get the perfect crop.
Bingo, the image is cropped!
Tip - If you choose to use the Curve tool, you can get a sharp/straight curve by pressing Ctrl.
2.       Removing Image Backgrounds
If you are lucky, the image might just have a plain background. In this case, removing the plain background is just a click’s effort.
First, select the picture.
Reset Picture > Set transparent color
Now select the color you want to delete.
Here is a sample-
Here is a before and after version of the picture –
3.       A tricky way to use the Crop tool in Power Point
My teammate Tom Thomas has shared a clever way of using the crop tool. Read it here .

Giving an iPad touch to your e learning course

I was very fascinated by Tom Kuhlmann's idea of developing an e learning course template resembling an i pad.
Click here if you want to download Tom's iPad mock up. I was so much wowed by it, that I created a little more stuff, in order to accomodate my course material which had a heavier chunk of text.

You can download the additional templates here.
Go ahead and show off to your learners with a stylish iPad themed course!