Saturday, March 3, 2012

Much Ado About Graphic Software...Part 2

See Much Ado About Graphic Software...Part 1 for background on this post. 

After you have a graphic, you can do a number of tasks with it. One of the primary tasks that you'll do is to annotate. Annotation can be as simple as drawing a rectangle around an item in a list that you want someone to look at or as elaborate as drawing the rectangle, and then adding lines that go to a call out box where you make a comment. Here's a census sample that has been annotated using Paint.

Click the graphic to see a larger version.
Click the ESC (escape) key to return to this post.
I'm going to talk about draws rectangles, squares, ovals, circles, and lines today. In the next post in this series, I'll tell you how to get text in a call out box.

Paint (2007) Drawing Rectangles and Ovals
  1. Open Paint, and then open a graphic. Any graphic will do for the sake of this post. However, if you use a list, the instructions will have more meaning to you. 
  2. Look at the Home tab. It contains the tools you'll need. 
  3. Pick a color on the color palette. I like a bright contrasting color for something that is going online; for example, as an attachment in an email. For a graphic that will appear in print, I pick black because printing in color is expensive. 
  4. Pick a shape from the Shapes group. I mostly use rectangles, ovals, and lines. For this exercise, pick a rectangle. 
  5. Pick a line size (thickness) from the Size group. Click the down arrow to display a few sizes. I usually use the second or third line thickness.
  6. Select the area you want included in the square. This action is just like selecting to clip, which you did in the last post. You start in the upper left of what you want included in the square, click and hold your mouse, and drag your mouse to the lower right. As you move your mouse, Paint draws the rectangle.
  7. Let go of your mouse button. 
  8. Notice that the square has dotted lines and handles (circles). The dotted lines mark the area that you can resize using the handles. 
  9. Resize your square. Click any circle and a double headed arrow appears. Click the arrow and move your mouse to resize the rectangle. 
  10. Click anywhere else in the drawing and the dotted lines and handles disappear. You're committed to the rectangle you've drawn. 
These exact same instruction work for drawing an oval. Paint has assumed that you will want to draw a rectangle or an oval. To draw a perfect square (or circle), pick the rectangle (or oval), press the Shift key, click where you want to start drawing the shape, and drag your mouse. You'll get a perfect square (or circle). 

Draw a Line
The process is the same. Pick a color, pick a line tool, pick a line size, click where you want to start, press the Shift key (to get a straight line) and drag your mouse to where you want to stop.

When you make a mistake...
Because Paint is a Microsoft product, the same fix-all method works...undo (Ctrl + Z)...use the key combo to undo what you've done. 

Paint (Earlier Versions)

If you're using an earlier version of Windows, you have an earlier version of Paint, and as a result, you don't have as many options. 
  • You can pick a line color from the color palette at the bottom of the screen.
  • You can select a rectangle, oval, and line; however, you only have one line weight...too thin so pick a bright color.
  • You can hold down the Shift key while drawing a rectangle or oval to get a perfect square or circle. 
  • You can hold down the Shift key while drawing a line to get a straight line. 
  • You get one shot at dotted handles to resize...nothing.
  • You can use  the same fix-all method...undo (Ctrl + Z) remove anything you've messed up. 

The Word 2003 advantage...
If you are using Word 2003 (or an earlier version), you have a drawing toolbar built in to Word. The toolbar works the same as what you see in Paint. What does that mean to you? You can insert a graphic directly into a document and annotate it in the document. 

This same toolbar was removed from Word 2007 and 2010. Some of the functionality was added back to the ribbons; however, much of it was removed. If you're going to annotate using either of these versions of Word, you need graphics software to do it. 

The Upshot...
Learning to annotate takes patience because it's tedious. However, when you see the results, you'll want to add annotation to your skill set. Next post in this series is call out boxes. 

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