Onward and Upward from Paint to POTN
When we last chatted, or that is you listened, we had learned the essentials of preparing a single screenshot image. We were ready to save the image and then upload! Actually, Save is straightforward and, as long as you followed the advice about resizing for image size and file size limits you should have no problems.
There is one little thing that may interest you, though: sometimes you may want or need to post more than one ScreenShot "snippet" in one image, kind of a composite showing more than one facet of your work? Or, if, say, you have three of those snippets that belong in a sinle post the two-image limit would prevent you from posting the three.
But, if you are dealing with small snippets, you can put them together in one image as long as it stays withing the size guidelines.
Now in Photoshop I typically use separate images to load each screenshot and have a New document that I create with my "final" dimensions. I then just crop, copy and paste the "pieces" from each screen shot into the new doc, they go into their own blank layer and can be moved around and everything gets shown because the blank layers are transparent. Easy!
Well, Paint ain't Photoshop. Not only are there no layers to play with, there is not even the capabiliy to open more than one image at once! Try it and see -- if you have an image open an then do a New, the first order of business is to close your current image!
So, what do we do? I've thought about it, and I think I have an approach that will work OK.
First, create your screen shot snippets -- small panels or dialogs and crops of anything too big to share "canvas space". Then save them (make sure there is no blank canvas space) -- I just keep all my pics for a project like this in a dedicated folder.
Now, in Paint open a New image. It will by default open to the latest-used canvas size. Now, click that Resize tool and it will open that dialog we've seen. Remember to click pixels and then change one of the dimensions to somewhat bigger than you'll actuall need. On a rectangular canvas in landscape orientation I changed my width to 900 pixels and it came out as a 900x600 canvas size.
Now, remember the Paste drop-down list that had Paste from? Here's what we do: click Paste from and get to one of your little images and open/paste it. You will note that the item will appear at the upper left of the canvas. If that's right where you want it, all well and good, or if you hover over the selected item you will see a crosshairs and you can click and drag the item around to place it.
Once you move on, the item will be unselected and you will not be able to go back and move it around without possibly causing a mess, although if it's all on white canvas you can use that quick select rectangle and do it.
Now, do it again with a second image. It will again land in the upper left corner, and here you have to be decisive about your moving -- as long as it stays in the "fresh" state you can move it freely. But if, say, you deselect it to do something else then, if you try to reselect and move it, well, you will have a rectangle of blank white canvas underneath instead of the pic that was on the bottom.
That's just a word of warning -- if you want you can open the "last first" by moving an image all the way to the right, then the next one over, etc.
But, if you work efficiently, you should have left over some canvas on the lower right that you can use the corner handle to "shrink the canvas" without shrinking the actual images, and then you are good to go! Check the file size, of course.
For the uploading section, I will create composite screenshots like this!
Uploading to POTN
Many of us have Web image hosting sites that we use both to upload images to our online galleries but also then to easily post an image on POTN. You've seen references to Flickr, Smugmug, Zenfolio, and PBase, to name a few popular ones. Many of them have a free service as well as a pay service.
The pros of doing things this way are a few. First, you have more flexibility. For one thing, even though you have to follow the POTN limit for image size in pixels, 1024 at the widest, the file size restriction isn't there like it is in POTN because the image we see here is a rendering of the image, rather than a file uploaded to POTN. So, I can upload a higher quality image to my host PBase and link to POTN and I still have the "quality" image in PBase. Also, many sites like PBase and Flickr produce smaller versions of the image for more "normal" viewing sizes, and I often will post one of those here for pic that I share for a reason but not so much as an "image sharing" pic.
The one downside I've seen about this is that unless your galleries that you are posting from are all "keepers" you will in time likely move them or remove them altogether. So, if you look at an image sharing thread, like say a lens archive thread, that has been active for a fair amount of time and page through the earliest posts, well, you will see a lot of disappeared images!
Well, in this tutorial we will use the "Layman's Alternative". I'm aiming this largely toward those who are just getting started, as well as those who want a "quick" way of doing all this without bogging down a Web Host with screen captures coming out the ears. I admit, I have screen captures I've put in one gallery in particular -- it's the one I put my contributions into for our Raw Conversion thread, but for day-to-day screen captures I've been doing it this way and am quite happy!
So, here's how to get an image from your Paint-saved PC folder to POTN!
First, if you look at the bottom of the text box for "Post Quick Reply" you will see the "Go Advanced" button. Click it!
Next, note in the upper toolbar, you will see toward the center of this "window" a little staple-shaped icon -- hover over it and you may see a "Attachments" tool tip. As you may guess, this is the Attachments tool!
When you click it for the first time in a post, there will be no attachments yet, so you will get a dialog for Browsing and Uploading up to two photos -- click browse and select your image (there won't be icons, so make sure of the right image). Do that once or twice and then you can click Upload -- the image or images should upload into Photoshop.
The first of the two combined screenshot clips, made using the "quick select/crop" method I mentioned in the prior post on cropping, shows this first dialog box, made as I write this, and next to it to the right you will see the little paper clip Attachments icon in the upper toolbar, so you will know...
From there, you actually have to attach your images to the post. This step requires again clicking the Attachments icon. You will now see three choices -- Manage Attachments if you want to reopen the previous dialog, or, if you are ready to attach an image, it (or more than one) is/are shown in the list. Click it and an ID number surrounded by ATTACH tags is pasted into your post. If it is properly positioned (good to have an empty line between text and an attachment or between two attachments) then you are good to continue on! When you hit Submit Reply, if you did things properly the image(s) should show up.
The second "combined" screenshot clip will show that second dialog and also you should (if I'm successful) see the tagged attachment ID of an actual pic.
So, assuming everything goes as planned, I'm about to create all this stuff and post the result here:
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And that's it, folks! I've spent some time on this, learning as I've gone along, but I really hope it's been some help to folks! This is a great place to learn, and then to give back to help others! Pay it forward!THE END!!