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Category Archives: Using WordPress

Create a collage-type header image for your WordPress site

Here’s how you can create a header image for your WordPress site using some of your photos joined into a single collage-type image. Have a look at JBMurchTravel as an example. You could achieve a similar result using Microsoft AutoCollage or Paint.NET but it’s a very simple, straightforward task when you use Microsoft Word 2007 or Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Publisher 2007 or Microsoft Publisher 2010.

We’ll use Word’s wide range of picture editing tools to soften the edges of our photos and then Publisher’s ability to move pictures to a specific location and save the result as a single file in JPG format.

So firstly browse through some photos in Live Photo Gallery. Tag each photo you want to use or possibly use with a tag such as WP header image. When you’ve found a number of photos, bring up the group using Find – Tags. It’s helpful if you change Live Photo Gallery’s View to Folders so you know where each photo is when it comes to using Insert Picture in Word.

Setting up Publisher

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Start Publisher, click File and choose New. Select the Blank A4 (Landscape) template to give plenty of room to work and fit together your photos.

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Secondly, on Publisher’s File menu, choose Options – Advanced and under Display, choose Show measurements in units of pixel.

Using Word

As mentioned, Word 2007 and Word 2010 have a range of picture editing tools. We’re only going to use on of them in this task, namely Picture Effects on the Picture Tools – Format ribbon.

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To start, choose Insert – Picture from the ribbon and load your first photo (click to Live Photo Gallery to find the folder name if you need to).

The picture loads and will be selected (if it’s not selected, click anywhere on the picture). Now you’ll need to click Format under Picture Tools on the ribbon.

 

 

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Now click Picture Effects (it’s alongside Picture Styles) and from the drop down list, choose Soft Edges. Hover over each choice to see which is best for your photo, probably 25 point. webDotWiz used 10 point for his screenshot images each of which has a light background. JBMurch Travel’s header image uses photos with 25 point soft edges.

After viewing the effect of different sizes, click the one you think suits best.

 

 

 

Now (with the picture still selected) we copy and paste it over to Publisher so it’s CTRL-C to copy.

In Publisher

Bring up Publisher and do CTRL-V to paste.

We don’t need the photo in full size. In fact, if you’re using WordPress’ Ten Twenty theme, you’re limited to a height of 200 pixels. So right-click your photo, choose Format and change it’s size so it’s height is about 200 pixels. For each subsequent photo you insert, you can simply drag a corner to reduce the size down to that of this first photo.

Move the image up and away from the centre of the page because that’s where each new pasted image will be placed.

Make sure you unselect the image by clicking anywhere on the Publisher page so all is in readiness for the next image to be pasted.

Repeat

Now return to Word. Do a couple of ENTERs to create some space and insert the next picture. Repeat the steps above to soften this photo’s edges and copy it with CTRL-C. Bring up Publisher and paste the image with CTRL-V. Remember to unselect this image before returning to Word.

The final step in Publisher

You can now arrange your soft-edged photos in the order you prefer by dragging them into position. Note that Publisher will help you out to either align by the top or bottom (a pink line appears as you drag in Publisher 2010).

You’ll see that you get a good effect if the colours at the edge of a photo roughly match the colours of the adjoining photo so you may want to swap them around for best effect. You can overlap your photos, too, so give this a try.

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Use PowerPoint’s Select All to group all your photos. Select Align and make a choice to line them up either by top or bottom.

At this stage it’s a good idea to save your Publisher document.

With all the pictures selected, we now want to save our collection as a JPG image.

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So go to File, Save As, choose a folder in Pictures (create a new one if you want to), click on Publisher Files to change the Save as type and scroll down to JPEG Interchange File Format and click this option. Now click Save to store your creation.

 

 

 

Crop in Live Photo Gallery

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When you look at your header image in Live Photo Gallery you’ll find there’s a tonne of white space because Publisher saves the complete page as a JPG so you’ll need to crop out this white space. So double click the image to bring up Live Photo Gallery’s Edit menu, choose Crop and adjust the cropping tool to only select your photo collection. Click Crop – Apply crop to finish off.

 

Check the information pane to see the final dimensions of your header image (webDotWiz’s image measured 1600 x 340 pixels and that worked ok once uploaded to WordPress).

Upload your new header image in WordPress

Now load your WordPress site in Internet Explorer, log in, go to the Dashboard – Appearance and change your header image to your new one.

Other uses for Word’s picture tools

Your brain should be ticking over now and you’ve probably come up with other uses for Word’s picture tools. As well as Picture Effects, there’s a whole range of styles you can apply, and a range of different borders to apply.

Other options

You could spend some time learning some new tricks with Paint.NET to create a collage-style image using layers. Alternatively you could use AutoCollage as long as you have more than seven pictures and crop the final collage to create a new header image.

However the Word + Publisher combination is easy to use and produces the desired result without any head-scratching.


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Posted using Windows Live Writer 2011.

Using WordPress-Links to tips and how-to’s

Here’s a list of tips to help you find and use some of WordPress’ features:


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Posted using Live Writer 2011.

Using WordPress-Changing the title and tagline at the top of your page-Adding a blog image / icon

Log in to your WordPress site and the Dashboard opens.

Look down on the left-hand side of the page and you’ll see Settings (it turns red when you hover your mouse over it).

When the new page opens and all the Settings options are visible, the General Settings page is displayed and at the top of this page you can change the Site Title that displays at the top of your site pages.

The tagline is a kind of subtitle that displays on all your pages. Unless you change it, it will show Just another WordPress.com site. Well, nobody has a site that is Just anothersite so use the tagline to better describe what you site is about for your readers and new visitors.

The General Settings page is where you can also add an image or icon so your ownership is recognised in other sections of WordPress, such as when you ask or answer questions on the WordPress forum.


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Posted using Live Writer 2011.

Using WordPress-Adding new content from the Dashboard’s Post / Add New Post

add_new_post_01Log in to your WordPress site and the Dashboard opens.

Look down on the left-hand side of the page and you’ll see Posts (it runs red when you hover your mouse over it).

Click Posts and a new page opens with available options under Posts on the left-hand side of the page. Click Add New to create new content and add it to your site.

add_new_post_02A new page opens with most of it occupied by an area for creating your new content.

The cursor is already sitting in a box waiting for you to type in a title for your new post.

A quick glance shows you have most of the usual features to format your text (e.g., bold, making a bullet list, centering, left and right justify).

Alongside Upload/Insert are buttons to enable you to insert images, video and other media.

The Visual tab is highlighted to indicate that you’ll see your content laid out on your site in the same format as you’re typing it.

add_new_post_03The second last icon (coloured blue) on the formatting toolbar enables you to do your typing in a full page view if you so want (Alt-Shift-G is the keyboard shortcut). This button is a toggle button so if you switch to full page view for your typing, click the button to return to your Add New Post page in Dashboard (or use Alt-Shift-G).

add_new_post_04On the right-hand side of the page is the button to Publish your new content in a new post to your site.

Also over there on the right-hand side of the page is your list of categories from which you can select for your new post (or you can add a new category).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you can use Windows Live Writer 2011 to add content to your WordPress website. As well, Live Writer can be used to edit a post.

Live Writer – webDotWiz’s preferred tool – makes it easy for you to insert photos and photo albums, whether from your computer or from your Live Photos online albums. In fact, if you want to insert a photo album in a post then Live Writer is the only tool for the job. As well, Live Writer enables you to insert a video or a map into a post and use tables when appropriate.


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Posted using Live Writer 2011.

Using WordPress-Changing your password

change_password_01Log in to your WordPress site and the Dashboard opens.

Look down on the left-hand side of the page and you’ll see Users (it runs red when you hover your mouse over it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

change_password_02Click Users and a new page opens now with the list of different adjustments you can make.

The one we want is Personal Settings so click it.

 

 

 

 

 

change_password_03The Personal Settings page opens. You need to scroll down to the bottom of this page until your see the heading Account Details.

You’ll see the instructions to create a new password.

 

 

 

 

webDotWiz recommends your password for your WordPress website should be different than your Live Spaces password.


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Posted using Live Writer 2011.

Using WordPress-Setting who can view your site

settings_privacy_01Log in to your WordPress site and the Dashboard opens.

Look down on the left-hand side of the page and you’ll see Settings (it runs red when you hover your mouse over it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

settings_privacy_02Click Settings and a new page opens with the list of different settings you can make.

The one we want is Privacy so click it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Privacy Settings page open with the available options listed.

settings_privacy_03Choose the privacy setting you want for your site. Usually, following on from your setting you had for your former Live Spaces website, the top one is the most appropriate.

Remember to click the Save Changes button if you make a change.

Return to your Dashboard by using the link at the top left of the screen.


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Posted using Live Writer 2011.

Using WordPress-Log in-Intro to the Dashboard-Appearance (themes)

To make any changes to your WordPress site after you’ve migrated your Live Space website to WordPress you’ll need to log in. From there, you can make changes such as choose a new theme, add a graphic to the top of your page, and add a new post to your site.

Log in

intro_01After the migration finishes, your site will come up. Scroll down and look on the right-hand side of the page until you find the Meta heading and under that you’ll see Log in. At this stage, this will be the same for all those who’ve migrated from Live Spaces since the migration process ends up giving us all the same WordPress template design, namely Twenty Ten. Later we’ll show you where to go to change your theme to one of many, many that are available.

intro_02Click this Log in link and you’ll be asked for your Username and Password. If you let the migration process proceed to the end, your username will be the first part of your former Live Spaces web address (e.g., webdotwiz, from webdotwiz.spaces.live.com) and your password will be what you used when WordPress asked you to enter during migration.

 

After successfully logging in, your WordPress Dashboard comes up. Think of the Dashboard as similar to Windows Control Panel – it’s where you change settings, adjust how things look including choosing another theme, change your password, and get lots of information about your WordPress site.

Top of page toolbar

intro_03Across the top of the page is a toolbar for quick access to various functions – the handy one to take note of at the moment is My Blog that enables you to return to your Dashboard from another section (such as the Appearance section).

intro_04Before going further, check for the amount of spam that your Live Spaces website may have accumulated over the past few years. One of the problems with Live Spaces was the amount of spam comments left on posts. For example, webDotWiz has nearly 300 spam comments (mostly tens of links to other sites hosted by spammers). If you’ve got lots, now’s the time to get rid of it.

WordPress uses Akismet to protect our WordPress site from spam and one way that works is that any comment left by a reader of our site is that we receive an email to confirm or deny that we’ll allow that comment to remain on our site. If you want to tidy up any spam, click the Spam link, a page lists all comments left on your site and you work through the list by ticking those comments you want to delete.

Add a new post from inside WordPress

intro_05When you want to add a post directly from WordPress, click on Posts in the left-hand column and a new page opens which on the left has the option to Add new or there’s a button alongside the Posts heading.

We’ll look at adding posts in more detail in a later post.

 

Appearance

intro_06Clicking Appearance on the left-hand column of your Dashboard takes you to a page headed Manage Themes that gives you a description and properties of the theme you’re currently using and enables you to view other themes that are available.

You’ll notice a number of options are available under Appearance including Header which enables you to change the graphic at the top of your site pages (assuming the theme has this functionality). The Twenty Ten theme does as you can see from the information under Current Theme.

intro_07Also on the Manage Themes page is where you can browse through all the available themes. You can browse by Random (automatically selected when you first open the page), A to Z, Popular and Recently added.

As you browse all the possibilities, bear in mind a couple of things: whether you want to be able to add a graphic or photo to the top of your pages (in other words, can you change the Header for a particular theme) and colour combinations (e.g., Will my site be easy to read?).

As an aside, the Twenty Ten theme may seem plain but the trend of web page designers is to use lots and lots of white space with a reasonably large font size for ease of reading.

Use the Preview link to see what a particular theme looks like and get a full description of its properties. Use Activate to see how your site will display. You can always change the current theme to another until you’re happy with your choice.

More to come

webDotWiz will post about the following as soon as he can:

  • How to add a new post to your WordPress site (from within the WordPress Dashboard)
  • How to change your WordPress password
  • How to change who can view your WordPress site
  • How to change your tagline (the sub-title at the top of your page).


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Posted using Live Writer 2011.