Monday, September 19, 2011

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Have you ever taken a photo that needs to be cropped, re-sized, or brightened up a bit? Do red-eyes make you see red? There's a great photo editing program already installed on any computer with Microsoft Office . Here's the catch. If you don't already know about this program, your photos are probably opening in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer which is great for viewing or rotating images but not much else.

It's really easy to change the default image editing program so that your photos always open up in Microsoft Office 2010 (also known as Microsoft Office Picture Manager if you are still using Office 2003 at home).
  1. Right-click on any image you have already saved to your computer or an external drive.
  2. Choose 'open with'.
  3. Drop down to the 'choose program' at the bottom of the list.
  4. Choose Microsoft Office 2010 (or Microsoft Office Picture Manager)
  5. Make sure the box next to "always use the selected program to open this type of file" is checked.
  6. Click OK
You will now be able to crop, rotate, re-size, adjust brightness and contrast, remove red eyes and much more. Click here for an introduction to Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Website of the Week
Bitly isn't just another URL shortener. Not only can you shorten and share your links, but with Bitly, you can customize the links and track them as well. And as a bonus, Bitly lets you bundle several sites together. Here's my bundle of 16 online photo editors *, just in case you want to be more creative than Microsoft Office Picture Manager allows. Try Bitly today. Signup is free and quick.
*Even though none of these 16 sites are blocked in the district, teachers should evaluate them before recommending to students.

Tip of the Week
Keyboard shortcuts can save you time and frustration. Here are a few for ActivInspire:

Ctrl + U will bring up the Edit Profiles window where you can quickly add tools to you main tool bar.
Ctrl + B will open and close the browsers.
F11 will bring up the dashboard.

Look for other keyboard shortcuts for almost any program by clicking on the file menu, and hovering over the other menus. When a shortcut is available, it will be listed to the right of an option.

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