Posts Tagged ‘image editing’

Techie Tip of the Week: Change the Color of an Object in Photoshop

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Have you ever wished you could change the color of a part of your photos in Photoshop? Ever wanted to see what that shirt or dress would have looked like as a different color? By modifying the hue of the object using an image editing tool like Photoshop, you can!

Here’s how:

  1. In Photoshop (or other image editing program), open the image and select the desired object. In this example, I’m going to change the color of the car from red to blue.

  2. Change the Hue (in Photoshop, under Image, select Adjustments, and then Hue/Saturation).

  3. Adjust the Hue until the object matches your desired color:

Techie Tip of the Week: Fit Photos to Shapes in PowerPoint

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Last week, we talked about how to autofit a photo into a text box using Picture or Texture Fill.

Today’s tip will show how you can fit a photo into a particular shape (oval, arrow, triangle, etc.).

  1. Select the picture or pictures that you want to crop to a specific shapeNote: If you are cropping multiple pictures, you must crop to the same shape. To crop to different shapes, crop the pictures individually.
  1. In PowerPoint 2007/2010 (Windows), in Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, click the arrow under Crop, and then click Crop to Shape.

    In PowerPoint 2011 (Mac), in Format Picture, in Adjust, click the arrow to the side of Crop, and then click Mask to Shape.

    List after click the Crop button



  1. Select the desired shape.


Techie Tip of the Week: AutoFit Photos in PowerPoint Boxes

Friday, January 11th, 2013

If you insert a photo into a PowerPoint presentation, by default the image will be inserted at the exact size it really is. That’s great if your photo matches the size of the slide and/or is already the desired size. But if the photo doesn’t match, you need to painstakingly manually drag the edges of the photo until it finally fits — a hugely time-consuming activity.

There’s a better way — instead of inserting a photo, create a text box. Then, format the text box to have as its content the desired photo as a picture fill.

Here’s how:

  1. In PowerPoint, create or select the desired text box.
  2. Right-click the box.
  3. Select Format Shape.
  4. In Fill, choose Picture or Texture Fill.
  5. In Insert from, click File.
  6. Locate the desired photo, and click Insert.
  7. Click Close.

The photo will match the size of your box. You can drag the box and resize, rotate, or otherwise manipulate as desired.

Techie Tip of the Week: Picking the right size for your Facebook profile picture

Friday, August 10th, 2012

20120811-151312.jpgCreated a Facebook page and picked out a great photo to be the profile picture, only to have it appear squished or otherwise out of sorts?

Here are some tips for making your profile picture look the way you want it to:

  1. Make sure your photo is square-shaped. Facebook automatically squishes rectangle-shaped images into square-shaped for the profile picture.
  2. Keep in mind that profile pictures display at 160 pixels wide by 160 pixels tall. Although the image you upload must be at least 180×180, the photo resizes to 160×160. A 320×320 picture should end up looking great as a profile picture.
  3. Because profile pictures show up next to your name around the site, pick a photo or logo that represents your Page well.

For more details, visit Facebook’s help page at:

Techie Tip of the Week: Use Puppet Warp to Manipulate Photos in Photoshop

Friday, May 11th, 2012

The Puppet Warp tool in Photoshop allows you to manipulate and distort specific image areas of an image while keeping other areas exactly as they are.

You can use Puppet Warp to do small manipulations, such as straightening walls, moving hair, and the like. You can also use Puppet Warp to do major alterations to the photo, such as repositioning arms and legs.

To use Puppet Warp, the section you wish to manipulate must be in a layer other than the default Background Layer.

For example, to turn the Mona Lisa’s smile into a frown:

  1. Open the photo in Photoshop (Puppet Warp is a feature in CS 5 and newer).
    mona lisa smiling
  2. Change the Background into a regular layer (Layer > New > Layer from Background).
  3. Select the portion you wish to warp (in this case, the smiling area).
    mona lisa -- smile selected
  4. On the Edit menu, select Puppet Warp.
  5. In the meshed area, click to select the “joints” you will use to warp the photo.
    mona lisa - joints selected
  6. Drag the “joints” to manipulate the photo until you achieve the desired result:
    mona lisa - sad face

Techie Tip of the Week: Use Content-Aware Scaling to Resize Images

Friday, May 4th, 2012

In Adobe Photoshop CS4 and newer, you can use Content-Aware Scaling to resize an image without distorting or changing surrounding content like people, buildings, animals, and so forth. Normally, when you scale an image, all of the pixels are uniformly modified. But with Content-Aware Scaling, Photoshop intelligently figures out what’s most important and only resizes those parts that aren’t (grass, sidewalks, water, and the like).

To use this feature:

  1. Select the photo (or part of the photo).
  2. On the Edit menu, select Content Aware Scale.
  3. Click and drag to obtain the effect you desire. Note that there are properties you can change in the properties palette for Content Aware Scale.
  4. Save!

For example, here is the original photo of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of his bedroom:

Vincent Van Gogh's Bedroom

Original version of Vincent Van Gogh's Bedroom

Here is a version of this painting scaled using Content-Aware Scaling:

Van Gogh's painting of his bedroom scaled using Content Aware Scaling

Van Gogh's painting of his bedroom scaled using Content Aware Scaling

And here is what the same picture would look like using traditional scaling (using Image>Image Size or Edit>Transform):

Van Gogh's painting of his bedroom scaled using traditional scaling methods

Van Gogh's painting of his bedroom scaled using traditional scaling methods

Note the bed, pillows, paintings, chairs, and the objects on the table look relatively normal when using Content-Aware Scaling, but look squished, flattened, and distorted when scaled using traditional scaling methods. Content Aware Scaling keeps the important objects (in this case, the bed, pillows, paintings, chairs, and objects on the tables) looking as they originally did while only resizing the relatively unimportant objects (in this case, the floor and walls).

Techie Tip of the Week: Free Online Alternatives to Photoshop

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Last week, we looked at the free, open source desktop program GIMP, a fully featured alternative to Photoshop.

This week, I want to introduce you to some of the free, online tools that can also be used to modify photos and other pictures/artwork.

  • Picnik:
    • Free, online image editing service. Upload a photo, and make your edits. No need to sign in unless you want to. Upgrade (for a fee) to gain access to more effects and other editing features.
  • Fotoflexer:
    • Another free, online image editing service.  Like Picnik, you can upload photos and gain access to a wide variety of image editing tools and effects. (They tout themselves as the “world’s most advanced online image editor”.) As with Picnik, there is no need to sign in unless you want to.
  • Pixenate:
    • Pixenate allows you to edit photos directly on their website, OR you can download and install the software directly on your own web server to add photo-editing capabilities to your web site. As they say on their web site, “Pixenate is fully customizable so you can change any aspect of Pixenate’s appearance to suit your own website’s unique identity.” You can install Pixenate on any web server that allows for CGI, and like both Picnik and Fotoflexer, there are a wide variety of image editing tools available.
  • Photoshop Express:
    • Adobe recently released a web version of its popular image editing tool. requires you to create an Adobe account, and limits you to 2 GB of disk space for free. (You can upgrade, for a fee, to increase the amount of disk space.) Many of the image editing features found in the desktop version of Photoshop are found in its online cousin, Photoshop Express.
Enjoy tweaking your photos!

Techie Tip of the Week:

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Did you know that there is a free, open source, fully featured alternative to Photoshop?

The Gnu Image Manipulation Program is a fully-featured, sophisticated desktop-based image editing and manipulation tool. In many ways, the GIMP rivals and even exceeds the capabilities of Photoshop (especially if you download and install the many and varied plugins for GIMP).

The GIMP is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

More information, including download, and installation instructions is found on the GIMP website:

To enhance functionality in the GIMP, visit the Plug-in Registry:

For documentation on using GIMP visit the docs section:

My favorite GIMP plugins:

Liquid Rescale:

  • This plugin performs content-aware scaling  in GIMP (and preceded Photoshop’s ability to do so by at least a year!)
  • Video Example of Liquid Rescale:


  • This plugin performs content-aware fill in GIMP (and preceded Photoshop’s ability to do so by years!)
  • Video Example of Resynthesizer:

Techie Tip of the Week – Photoshop: Using Content-Aware Fill to Remove Unwanted Material

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Need to remove something from your photograph and make it look like it never was there in the first place? Photoshop CS4 and CS5′s Content Aware Fill is just what you need!

  1. In Photoshop, open the image.
  2. Using one of the selection tools, select the part of the image you wish to remove. In this example, we’ll remove the legs of the players in the upper part of the image.By Johnmaxmena (talk)john mena.Johnmaxmena at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
  3. On your keyboard, press the Delete key (or, on the Edit menu, choose Fill). The Fill window appears.
    1. In the Contents section, in the field Use, select Content-Aware.
    2. In the Blending section, in the field Mode, select Normal and Opacity 100%.
    3. Click OK.

The unwanted portion of your photo will no longer appear – Photoshop analyzes the contents of the photo and attempts to figure out what the photo would have looked like if they had never been there.

In this example, note, however, that the shadows of the unwanted players still exist – repeat the same steps to eliminate the shadows.

By Johnmaxmena (talk)john mena.Johnmaxmena at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

    Want to learn more great Photoshop tips? Come take our class Photoshop 101 on April 11, or Photoshop Level 1 on May 16!

    For more information on the classes, watch the course preview video , or visit

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Techie Tip of the Week: Photoshop – Adding Drop Shadows

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Want to add some pizazz to your text or photo? Consider adding a drop shadow!

  1. In Photoshop, open the image.Stanford University

  3. In Layers, right-click (on a Mac, control-click) the layer containing the part of the image on which you want the drop shadow to appear and click Blending Options.
    In Photoshop, choose Layers -> Blending Options

  5. Check the box Drop Shadow.
    • In Structure, adjust the Blend Mode, Opacity, Angle, Distance, Spread, and Size as desired.
    • In Quality, choose the desired Contour and Noise percentage.

    In Layer Style, in Drop Shadow, choose desired Structure and Quality

  6. Click  OK.


Stanford University (no shadow) --> Stanford University (with shadow)

Drop Shadow Example


Want to learn more great Photoshop tips? Come take our class Photoshop 101 on March 24, Photoshop Level 1 on February 28, or Photoshop Level 2 on March 10!

For more information on the classes, watch the course preview video , or visit

Play Video

Course Preview