Introduction to Web Design - 11. MicroSoft PhotoDraw
11.1 Creating a New Image | 11.2 Using Templates | 11.3 Saving Your Image | 11.4 Enhancing a Digital Photo | 11.5 Composite Photos |
  1. Preface
  2. Markup Languages – A Definition and Some History
  3. Beginning HTML
  4. HTML Lists
  5. HTML Tables
  6. HTML - Color, Fonts and Special Characters
  7. HTML Links
  8. HTML Images
  9. HTML Frames
  10. Cascading Style Sheets
  11. MicroSoft PhotoDraw
  12. JavaScript
  13. HTML Forms and Form Handling
  14. VBScript
  15. MicroSoft FrontPage
  16. Active Server Pages
  17. Java Applets
  18. XML Meaning and More
  19. Macromedia Flash 5.0
  20. References
PhotoDraw is an application that allows you to create images from scratch, modify existing images, and combine clip-art, scanned images or photos with text and a number of effects to create professional images. PhotoDraw can save images in GIF, JPEG, PNG, bitmap and a number of other formats. So, it can be a useful application to create images for use in web pages.

PhotoDraw has a series of tutorials under the Help menu, which are quite good. Therefore, this document will discuss briefly point out some of the capabilities of PhotoDraw and how to access them.

11.1 Creating a New Image

Go to the File menu and choose New. A dialog box with a number of different tabs will appear. You can choose Default Picture, unless you want to create an image for something specific, like a label for a disk, a CD insert, etc.

In the main part of the window, you will see a large, white rectangle. This is the background. The grey area around the background is the “scratch” space.

You can add some text to the image by clicking on the Text box located on the bar under the menubar. A box will appear in the workspace. On the right side of the window, a text workpane will appear. Click inside of the box on the workpane that says “Your text here”. Delete that and type in your own text.

Below that box is a set of formatting selections for font faces, sizes, and styles that allow you to change the appearance of the text. However, you can also change the appearance by choosing one of the options in the top of the workpane. Designer Text provides a variety of interesting, but very busy effects. For something simpler, just choose Bend Text which will puts one of a variety of curvatures to the text.

You can move the text box around the background simply by clicking on it (Make sure the “handles” appear to show that it is selected.) and dragging it where you want. You can even drag it off of the background onto the scratch area. However, only the items you place on the background will be saved when you save the image in a format other than the PhotoDraw (.mix) format.

You can size the background of the image to the text box itself by going to the View menu and choosing Fit Background to Selection. If you have more than one item on the background and would like to fit the background to their current arrangement, select all of them by holding down the “shift” key and clicking on each.

If you wish to overlay one object, say a text box, over another one, say a photo, but the photo is currently on top of the text, simply go to the Picture List (the pane on the left side of the PhotoDraw window) and click the small arrow next to the picture that you are working on. All of the objects in the current picture will be listed. Simply drag the object you want on top so that it is above the other object.

11.2 Using Templates

From the File menu, you can also choose New from Template. If you choose this option, you will see a number of different templates for specific items such as cards, announcements, labels, banner logos, powerpoint backgrounds and more.

11.3 Saving Your Image

You can save your image in a variety of formats, but it is a good idea to save it in the PhotoDraw (.mix) format first. That allows you to come back and edit any of the components of the image later on. When you save as a different format, all of the objects in the image are combined as one image and you can no longer edit individual objects in the image.

If you decide to save the image as a GIF file, you can alter some aspects of the image by choosing the Options button on the Save As dialog box. You can set a different size (in inches or pixels), you can choose a color palette (including a palette called “web safe colors”) or grayscale, and keep the background transparent.

Alternatively, you can save the file using a “wizard”. Select Save for Use in from the File menu and answer the questions on each dialog box. It will lead you through the process and choose the format for you.

11.4 Enhancing Digital Photos

Using PhotoDraw, you can edit digital photos either by scanning them in using PhotoDraw (if you have a scanner attached to the PC), download pictures from a digital camera, or modify a photo that you have saved on a disk already. You can easily correct “red eye” and other photo defects such as scratches. Open a photo and click on the Touch Up menu. The area you want to touch up can be zoomed in on by clicking the Zoom button (the magnifying glass). A Pan and Zoom window will appear. Increase the zoom by moving the slider control upwards. The red rectangle in the Pan and Zoom window is the View Finder. The view finder can be moved so that the area you want is brought into focus. Then, from the Touch Up menu, select the function you need.

11.5 Composite Photos

New pictures can be composed from two other photos. The tutorial in PhotoDraw can take you through this process. In the tutorial, choose Composing Pictures and follow the example there.

Cynthia J. Martincic
CIS Department
Saint Vincent College
Latrobe, PA 15650