Thursday, May 3, 2012

Much Ado About Graphic Software...Part 10

Sorry I haven't been posting this week. Work has been challenging...a combo of the words hell and handbasket come to mind. So, in exasperation, I'm going to do a post in the graphic series, and then try to catch up on my sleep. Perhaps I'll be able to do better next week.

Moving Pieces of Graphics 
In the last post, one of the steps you completed to construct the graphic from pieces involved you grabbing a pasted piece and moving it to a position so that it wasn't covering another pasted piece that you wanted to show. You can take that idea one step further and alter displays to present data in a different way.

Think about a census. My people are usually listed starting on about line 17 or worse. I'm usually fussing with a copy of census headings and trying to match them to interpret the data.

Using Paint, I can move the census lines I want to see and align them directly under column headings.

Turn this...
Into this... 
Click the graphic to see a larger version, and then click the Esc key to close the graphics. 

Altering the Display
  1. Use the PRT SC button to capture a copy of a census page on your clipboard. Remember to press the extra button if you're on a laptop.
  2. Open Paint (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Paint). 
  3. Paste (Ctr + V) the copy of the census into the Paint palette.
  4. Use the Select tool to select the lines in the census that you want to move. Paint adds a dotted line around the area you selected.
  5. Click inside the dotted line and do not release your mouse button. You just grabbed the selected area and you're holding on to it. 
  6. Move your mouse around and you'll find that the selected area moves too.
  7. Align the select lines with the column headings.
  8. When you're happy with the display, release your mouse button. The dotted lines remain so if you need to make adjustments, just click in the dotted area and do not release your mouse button. Make the adjustment, and then release your mouse button.
  9. Click anywhere outside of the dotted area to make the change permanent. 

This same method works if you open a scanned census page (or whatever) that you've saved as a .jpg.

Are you going to want to alter every census page like this? Certainly not. However, when you need to make a point with a picture, knowing how to alter the picture to illustrate your point certainly can't hurt.


  1. I definitely will be putting this feature to use! Thank you. Hope your weekend is good!

    1. When we had that conversation at RootsTech, moving piece and placing several pieces into one graphic to create the pictures you want was what I was trying to describe to you. I'm not sure if you can do this in the capture software like SnagIt. I use RoboCapture at work and you can't do these tasks in that software. I still have one or two posts to do in this series. I'm glad you think you'll use these skills. I find that being able to create the graphics I want gives me some options that I might not otherwise have.