Picasa Photo App Series [Part 7] Text and Crop

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This is part 7 of the series where I'm teaching you how to use the Free Photo Organizing and Editing App called Picasa. If you need to catch up, check out my Picasa Series recap listing here and you will see the previous articles. Today we're going to be looking at Adding Text and Cropping Images.

Yesterday's tutorial was on creating a collage of two photos so that you could use the graphic in a blog post. This will continue with a couple more things to finish off that task.

First, let's look at adding text into the image. Click the Text tool button to get started. Next, you will want to click on your image where you want your text (don't worry it's easy to move after you type it in to better place it). When you select your inserted text object, you will get an "edit wheel" similar to what you had when you were making a collage. It controls both the size and rotation by grabbing and dragging the orange handle.

In the left hand palette while in text mode, you have quite a few controls. First of all pick a font that you want to use. You also have control over the color of the fill and color of the outline. Text can also be transparent do whatever degree you want by sliding the bar. (this is nice for watermarking, semi-transparent text. Move the text by dragging on the object to get just the right placement. When you are done, click Apply.

Next, click on the Crop tool

In yesterdays example, I created a collage and I set it up on "Letter" sized paper. Now after collage is ready (including text overlaid in the above notes), we're getting ready to take the graphic to our blog. We need to crop it down to get rid of all the extra surrounding white space. The crop tool is very straightforward and easy to use. First select the shape of your crop. In our case, we want an unconstrained boundary so pick "Manual" for the shape. (if you were doing a recrop of a digital photo, you would choose 4:3 to keep the same shape as the original and consistent with the other photos in your shoot).

Simply drag a box where you want to crop to fall. You can adjust the edges afterward to fine tune. Picasa grays out the outer areas to give you a feel for how your final crop will look. Click Apply when you are done.

The next step to create your final graphic for your blog is to resize it. The original resolution of a collage is very high, so you will need a downsized version. You will need to use the "Export" command for this and you can see more about that if you go back to this blog post.

So to recap the past two tutorials. This is what we did:
Selected two photos and created a collage. We added text captions onto the collage. We cropped the image to just the right size. We exported to get the right sized pixel width that works within a blog post.

Now to all you blog readers, try it out. I'll be watching your blogs. If you do this on an upcoming post and want to leave a comment here that you did it, it will help make sure I don't miss it.

(PS - for all of you waiting to see how to do the red text and arrows, sorry this is not the app for that... you'll have to wait for future tutorials for that, but I'll get there)

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Ambassador
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Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
FrankRubiRealEstate.com

Craig, this series has been most helpful. I may have missed the point on installing Picasa 3 but other than that. Please post if you know how to make a web template using these features.

thanks

Sep 17, 2010 01:17 PM #1
Rainer
166,415
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas

Hello Craig - Your posts are awesome.  I'm a bit behind in your series but will catch up this evening.

Sep 17, 2010 02:24 PM #2
Rainmaker
771,175
Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.

Craig I need to start from the beginning. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Great post.

Sep 17, 2010 06:55 PM #3
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Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Frank - if you give more more specific about "web template" perhaps I can help - not sure what you are trying to do... ?

Sep 18, 2010 03:11 AM #4
Rainmaker
450,342
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I'm on a mini getaway with my husband so can't take enough time to study this. Bookmarked as usual with your posts and will be coming back to read a few times next week! Thanks so much. I really wanted to know how to do this.

Sep 18, 2010 10:31 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,145,184
FN LN
Toronto, ON

Craig - I have enjoyed reading your excellent Picassa tutorial.  Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Sep 18, 2010 06:26 PM #6
Rainmaker
450,342
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Craig, I just tried it on my blog today with some personal pictures. It took me over an hour, I kept going back and forth between your two blogs. First this step, then that one. Ha.

It is not perfect. I did a couple things wrong but I learned alot and will try again with some before and after photos. I got the text and watermark thing wrong but it was okay for a first attempt.

Sep 20, 2010 04:31 AM #7
Rainmaker
450,342
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I am going to try this again with some before and afters. How did you get the "before" and "after" written above my photos above? With the "text" too? Or was that just for the "Rooms With Style" transparent one? Keep your fingers crossed!

Sep 21, 2010 06:34 AM #8
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Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Shar - all the text in the sample above is using the text tool (3 different text objects) - I used the transparency option in the text over the photo, but you could also just do plain white - look forward to your next creation!

Sep 21, 2010 06:41 AM #9
Rainer
231,338
Marcia Hawken
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. - Naples, FL
Naples Luxury Specialist

I just downloaded Picasa.  I will go back to the beginning of the series .  I had been using Elements. This looks way better and I guess Google likes it way better, too. Thanks.

Oct 13, 2010 03:27 AM #10
Rainer
6,681
Suzanne Scott
South Texas CRE, Inc. - San Antonio, TX

Hi Craig!  I've been using Picasa for awhile and have enjoyed your tips.  Can you do a post on how to organize your photos.  I have photos brought in from other software over the years and feel like they are all sitting in a pile in a drawer like my old pre digital ones.  Thanks again for your tips and Happy New Year!

Jan 02, 2011 04:44 AM #11
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