Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.
Chapter 14. About images
Image files is a document type that gains increasing importance. Many private people invest in scanners and digital cameras, and Windows XP is equipped with different facilities that are tailor made for the work with digital pictures. Here follows a review with a couple of exercises in this theme.
Dress up a landscape
Windows XP shows a big landscape on the desktop. Now you need to try to draw a bit in this picture. But you need to start by making a backup copy of the picture.
1. Open Windows Explorer. Click on the C-drive to open it. Find the Windows folder, and click on that. Then open the folder Web and then the folder Wallpaper.
2. You have now clicked your way through the path: C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper, can you see that?
3. The Wallpaper folder is a system folder that contains pictures. Therefore the content is default presented with the picture series view (see Figure 59).
5. Now can you see each individual picture file in a long list. Select the file Landskab.bmp:
6. Make a copy with Control+c and insert the copy with Control+v.
7. The copy is placed in the bottom of the list; it is named Kopi af Landskab.bmp – can you see that?
8. Select the copy and rename it (with F2) to Landskab2.bmp. You can correct the file name with the ArrowLeft, ArrowRight and Del-keys.
9. Leave Windows Explorer on the screen.
Figure 59. System folders with pictures are presented by default with the picture series view.
Drag a file from window to window
Now you need to open the graphics file Landskab.bmp in Paint. That can be done in many ways; you can for example ask Paint to open it, but then you need to click your way through the folder hierarchy to find the folder Wallpaper, and that is cumbersome. Here I show another method, where you drag the file with the mouse – from one window to another.
1. Open the graphics program Paint, and minimize the window.
2. Shift back to Windows Explorer. Now drag the file Landskab.bmp with the mouse. Drag it down to the Paint-button in the task bar:
3. Do not release the mouse button! When you touch the button in the task bar, the Paint window opens. Drag the mouse with the file up in the window, and then release the mouse button. Then the picture is opened in Paint. First time you do this operation it is somewhat cumbersome, but once you get the skill it is very practical. You can drag documents into all user programs this way.
4. You now have the landscape picture in Paint. Choose a yellow color and draw a yellow sun in the upper right corner of the picture:
5. Save the picture with Control+s.
6. Save the picture also in the folder Pictures. To do that you need to select menu item Save as…, and you need to click on the large button My Documents in the left side for to get access to the folder Pictures:
7. Finally close Paint.
Now you have changed the picture that forms the background for Windows desktop. Next time you restart Windows XP, the version with the yellow sun will open. Try that in a little while!
If you do not like your own version of the landscape picture, you can just delete it. Use Windows Explorer: in the folder Wallpaper you first need to delete Landskab.bmp and then rename Landskab2.bmp to Landskab.bmp. After the next restart Windows desktop is like reborn! But I think that you should keep your own version!
Besides any picture that you save either in the folder Wallpaper or folder Pictures can be used as background on Windows desktop (see page 48). You can have a lot of fun with that.
The Folder Pictures
You have seen that Windows XP makes the folder My Documents available for the user’s documents. This folder has the sub folder Pictures, which has a similar function. The idea is that you can save your graphics files here.
1. Try to open the folder My Documents with the start menu. Doubleclick on the folder Pictures.
2. Choose the picture series view and select the picture Landskab.bmp (which you made in the preceding exercise):
3. The picture series view is designed to give you a quick review of your graphics files. You see the selected picture in large format, and then you have a ”film clip” in the bottom of the window that shows the other pictures.
4. Try for yourself to switch from picture to picture by clicking on the small control buttons here:
5. The two green buttons can be used to rotate the pictures in 90 degree increments, which is very practical, when you for example work with pictures from the digital camera. Try them!
Figure 60. In the picture series view you can rotate the picturea in 90 degree increments.
Other folders for graphics files
It is Microsoft’s idea that you in your daily work need to use the folder Pictures, and that is a very good system. Use that as a kind of deault folder, when you need to save an image folder quickly.
However, in the long run the system is not reliable. You often want to save files that belong to the same work task or project in the same folder – regardless of whether they are image files or other documents.
If you as an example create a folder C:\Texts\graphics for saving of your photo collection, you can choose that this folder will be shown in the same way as the folder Pictures.
Figure 61. All folders can be fitted with the Pictures template.
You need to right click on the particular folder in Windows Explorer and select Properties. On the Settings tab you can choose which template the views will be based on. If you choose the Pictures templat e (as in Figure 61), you can among other things use the picture series view.
Windows Picture- and fax viewer
Microsoft has done a lot of work with image handling in Windows XP. The picture series view is one of the new items. Another is the small viewer, which is called Windows picture- and fax viewer. Try that:
1. You still have the folder Pictures open. Doubleclick on the picture Landskab.bmp.
2. Then Windows picture- and fax viewer opens, which is a small program in itself. You work in that with the buttons under the picture:
3. Now try the buttons one by one, so you see what the program can do:
Figure 62. The functions in Windows picture and fax viewer.
The picture printing guide
If you click on the print button (Figure 62), the pkicure printing guide starts. It is quite smart, since you can choose between a lot of different print options and make a printout fast.
You need to start by selecting the pictures to be printed. Then you select a layout. I chose to get
Four photos per page in size 9 x 13:
Below I have selected 27 pictures, and I can print them on a sheet with the layout Contact sheet prints. The picture printing guide is really a good addition in Windows XP!
Figure 63. The picture printing guide is excellent to make fast prinouts of picture collections.
Now you have seen how you can print your digital pictures. But it can also be practical to burn a CD-ROM with a picture collection. We will look at that in the next chapter.