Thursday, November 29, 2012

Adding Text to a Photograph

I'm constantly amazed at the stuff I never identify as a problem. I've been sitting on a Facebook page reading all about several photographs that were lifted on Ancestry. Apparently, person one posted photos on Ancestry and person two took photos, cropped head shots, and added the photos to their tree...but misidentified the people in the photos. I've never had this problem but it's generating lots of traffic as people debate what you can do about the problem, whether it's a copyright violation, and how you go about adding a watermark to a photo.

I googled Watermark Photos and received lots of hits. In a light read, I can see that much of it is swatting a fly with a sledgehammer. If you have a need to do this task, you can do it directly in Paint.

Adding text to a photograph:
  1. Find a photo to which you want to add text or a watermark. 
  2. Open Paint. Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then Paint
  3. Open the photo. Select File, Open, navigate to the photo, and select it.
    Note that whatever format the photo is currently in (most likely .jpg) is the format in which it opens in Paint. After you add text, you will save the photo and it will be saved in the same format. 
  4. Save the photo under a new name (for example, Lillie with notes). Completing this important step preserves the original photo file. 
  5. Use the Text tool to add text to the photograph.
    --Click the Text Tool button, move your cursor over the photograph. The arrow cursor turns into an I-beam cursor.
    --Click somewhere in the photo and drag your cursor to draw a box. Paint adds an outline and the Text tab appears.

    --Type the text you want to add to the photo. 
  6. Use options on the Text tab to format the text. As long as you do not click outside of the text box outline, you can select text in the text box and apply formatting. 
  7. After you have the text you want in place, click anywhere outside of the text box outline to make the text a part of the picture.
  8. Save the annotated photo.  
I'm assuming that most of the Font buttons you see will make sense to you. The Background buttons may be a bit of a mystery. 
  • Opaque: Click it to make the background of the text box solid.
  • Transparent: Click it to make the background of the text box transparent (default).
If you need help with picking colors for the text (like gray if you want a more subtle watermark), see the post Much Ado About Graphic Software...Part 6.

To move the text--for example, to render the photo unusable--use the handles of the text box to re-size the text box so that the text is positioned in an inconvenient location for copying. 

And finally, if you make a mistake, use the undo key combo (Ctrl + Z) to make it all go away and start over. 

So there you have my suggestion for making lifting your photos a little harder for those who have sticky fingers. 

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