Creating Collages for Your Blog Posts - Picasa Tool

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

So by now you know the news that Picnik is closing shop coming up in April. For the most part, this does not bother me! Picasa (free photo organizing/editing tool by Google, download link) is picking up the slack (especially in its v3.9 release and hopefully even more so in the upcoming v4.0).

Samples of Picnik Collage Options

However, there was one feature of Picnik that I have yet to meet a match in ease of use. That feature is the collage tool. You could pick a collage box pattern, drop your photos in. Slide them as needed to get the crop just right. And 1-2-3 you were done with a cool looking collage!

Until this feature pops up again in either Google+ or Picasa (or the up and coming Picnik competitor - I'm off on another brainstorming session to figure out "the next best thing." So here's what I have come up with.

Picasa does collages. However, they just are not "presets" like Picnik. So here I have charted some different collage patterns that can be a useful reference. For the individual component photos, I am mixing some common crop sizes like square (1:1, aspect 1.0), standard digital photo (4:3, aspect 1.333), 4x6 (aspect 1.5), and HD/Widescreen aspect (16:9, aspect 1.777). By composing with these different shapes, you can create several different interesting patterns. Aspect ratio is simply the mathematics of the ratio of the sides, therefore a square is 1 (equal sides) and the larger the aspect ratio, the WIDER the shape is in relation to its height. Crops that travel in either direction away from the standard 4:3 such as to square or to a wide 16:9 format creates some eye appealing interest! Don't be afraid of the crop tool!

So a quick checklist to create Picasa grid collages is as follows:

  1. look above and pick the pattern you want to use, count how many photos you need to select (2, 3, 4, or 6)
  2. Since we are cropping the photos, we'll want to make a copy so we don't alter the originals - use the export command for the selected photos - use the original resolution setting and put a copy in a temporary folder (exports folder)
  3. now switch to the exports folder for the cropping to begin - crop in the right counts of each shape type according to the collage pattern above that you chose
  4. once the crops are done, select all the photos and use the collage tool button
  5. now we are on the canvas, pick a canvas size in landscape mode and pick a background color of black (or any color of your choosing)
  6. Move the photos around into their approximate positions
  7. size the photos so they are big, but you have enough room on the canvas to fit the entire assembly - coordinate matching side sizes to get alignments
  8. now move them around into their final positions - now mind the gap! - make sure there is a small but noticeable and EVEN gap between all photos
  9. Click the create collage button when completed
  10. Use the crop tool on the overall collage (manual shape mode) to cut off the excess canvas
  11. Use the export tool to create a "blog sized" graphic - 684 pixel max width if sending the image to an ActiveRain post
  12. upload the photo from the "exports" subfolder into your blog post

You can see a sample collage that I created using this technique below:

Further, now let me SHOW you how to do all this since it is probably easier for you to understand once you see it. Here's my tutorial video.


If you want to learn more about how to make your blog posts OUTSTANDING by using graphics, be sure and check out my online course "Graphics for Bloggers 101". It is 4.5 hours of pre-recorded instruction that you can watch at your own pace! There is just a few more days left at the introductory discounted rate!

Thanks for coming to the classroom today, I hope you learned something new! :)


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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gloria Matthews 02/12/2012 03:29 AM
  2. Pacita Dimacali 02/14/2012 06:43 PM
  3. Charles Stallions 02/17/2012 12:37 PM
  4. Joni Bailey 03/02/2012 12:49 PM
  5. Cheryl Ritchie 03/02/2012 06:54 PM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
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Lisa Hicks
Hoang Realty - Augusta, ME
Serving Central and Southern Maine

Thank you, thank you!  Once again you provide AWESOME info!

Feb 17, 2012 03:54 AM #86
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Caprice - so glad you have subscribed - thanks so much enjoy the video! :)

Lisa - you are very welcome, glad to see you again :)

Feb 17, 2012 11:53 PM #87
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

I swear,

I just get comfortable with one app and it changes.  lol, thats okay, I'm enjoying my lessons.

Feb 18, 2012 04:07 AM #88
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Craig - very cool! Thanks so much for all the info!

Feb 18, 2012 10:45 PM #89
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Craig, I have stuck my head in the sand regarding Picnick closing... Thanks for sharing Picassa with me, perhaps I have to investigate it further.

Feb 19, 2012 12:24 AM #90
PRG Real Estate - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area

Wow. This is a very great tool! Thanks for sharing!

Feb 24, 2012 09:15 AM #91
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

I agree with Jane, I'm always bookmarking your posts.  Thanks.

Mar 02, 2012 12:53 PM #92
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thanks for the useful info and tools to improve our graphics.

Mar 02, 2012 01:16 PM #93
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Wow, you hit a nerve with almost 100 comments! Collages are my biggest THUD factor when the plug gets pulled on Picnik. Reblogged!

Mar 02, 2012 06:59 PM #94
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

I love graphic design, advertising layout. Presentation is everything and it amplifies what ever the subject matter is using lots of media streams to create a quality on line real estate buyer experience. 

Mar 02, 2012 08:09 PM #95
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage, NMLS 6666 - Roseville, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

Somehow I missed this post until I saw that Joni reblogged it.  I haven't done a collage before but your post has inspired me to do great things with this.  Thanks for the great information on this topic.

Mar 02, 2012 08:47 PM #96
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Craig, can you do a customized collage with Picasa? In other words, can I do a collage that fits Facebook's 851 x 315 size for cover photos, and use 15-20 images?

Also, there's another Picnik replacement coming soon, ostensibly put together by ex-Picnikers, called PicMonkey. It's not out yet but you can sign up to be notified when it's live here:


Mar 04, 2012 09:02 AM #97
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

thanks everybody in the last batch of comments - AR email notifications not working for a while and I lost track of you coming to visit! I appreciate your comments! :) (now that I have finally seen them)

Harrimans - you can do a collage in picasa as you say - you should try the "mosaic" or "grid" collage modes instead of the picture pile - you can pick as many photos as you want (but best in multiples of how many rows and columns you want to make an even number) - set your aspect ratio to "custom" and enter the 815 x 315 target size - voila! - nice idea :)

and thanks for sharing the picmonkey headsup - we'll see!

Mar 04, 2012 11:24 AM #98
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Craig, Thanks for the great tutorial, this is very useful information. It would be great to have one on how to make some still shots into a video with narration and an arrow we could move around on the pics while describing different features.

Mar 11, 2012 02:31 PM #99
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Wayne - glad you liked! I see about the ideas you mentioned if I can include somehow in my upcoming video course (currently on the boards!) thx

Mar 12, 2012 03:31 AM #100
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Hi Craig we are trying these out and found yours and another to be so helpful thanks for the post

Apr 06, 2012 09:54 AM #101
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

I seem to "favorite" your blog posts more than anyone else.  Another very helpful post for us techno-phobes.  Thanks!

Oct 23, 2012 04:40 AM #102
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I'm looking for a collage creator if you use a lot of pictures( 50+), I can not find anything good for my mac. There are some good apps for Ipad and Iphone, but I can not find something easy to use that I can create collage instantly for the event blog. Any advice?

Oct 28, 2013 06:43 PM #103
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I just made a collage using an updated Picasa.

Love it! They did improve it and it is very easy to use.

Thanks for this information~ still  timeless!

Oct 28, 2013 07:07 PM #104
Lisa Aguilera
The Aguilera Real Estate Team - Homes in Tracy and Mountain House, Central Valley California - Tracy, CA
The Aguilera Real Estate Team

Thanks for the great info Craig. Another great free collage tool to download is Photoscape. You can add text with it too. Just make sure you save your images at a high enough DPI.

Oct 30, 2013 04:05 AM #105
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