Homeschool Creations

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Asked!: Scribd, Creating Thumbnails, & Clip Art

Quite a few of you have emailed me or commented asking different questions and since they are piling up in my 'blog questions' folder, it's time to answer a few of the questions!

Q: If you don't mind my asking, I was wondering where you get your photographic clipart for your printables (the consonant cards, color cards, etc.) I have a subscription to, but was wondering if there was another source for good clipart?

A: Microsoft, baby.

For most of the documents that I create, I use Microsoft Publisher and then convert it into a pdf file {don't worry, I'll explain that in a bit}. I am ever-so-cautious about the graphics I use because of copyright issues. The clip art that is included in the printables will come from copyright free sources {or ones that give permission to use them}.

I do numerous searches in Microsoft {both the program and online} to find the right 'photo' or piece of clip art. Sometimes I will edit the graphic {crop, etc...} to make it work, but otherwise, it all comes from Microsoft. The only exception I can think of right off hand were the preschool number cards that used graphics from the public domain site Disney Clip Art.

Personally, I am a little skeptical about doing Google searches, because I just don't know where the graphics originated. While I might make something for my own personal use, I am careful with what I share so that I don't infringe on other's copyrights.

To convert my documents into pdf's I use a program called CutePDF Writer - it's free and ever-so-handy!

Q: How do you make the tilted thumbnails of your scribd documents?

A: I use two different things to create my thumbnails ~ screenshots and Picasa. I usually pick a page or two from the document that 'jump' out at me the most and use the 'print screen' feature on my keyboard to capture a jpeg image of each document page. If your computer has that feature it's usually located up in the top right of your keyboard. :)

Once I have the jpeg image saved, I use the program Picasa {a free download from Google} to do quick edits and create those thumbnail images that have text on them. Picasa makes it super-easy to add a border around a picture, add text to an image, create collages and even touch up colors and lighting on pictures.

Another great feature of Picasa is that you can rotate, tilt and mix images together when you create your collages. So when you see two of the pages in my thumbnail, I've just created a different collage. I LOVE it!!

When I'm done editing and cropping the picture I upload it, copy/paste the code and then link it to Picasa {and I'm aware that some of you are just hearing 'blah, blah, blah, blah...' ~ but I promise it's a great program!!}.

Q: I just signed up with Scribd (cause I saw that was how you do it) and it uploaded fine. I just can't figure out how to get that uploaded to my blog.

A: Hopefully this screenshot will help you out some. Toward the top of the page {the top red arrow on this graphic points to it} you will see a tab that says 'Share & Embed'. Click on that tab.

Underneath the blue bar where it says 'Embed' you will copy that code and enter it into your blog post while you are in the 'edit html' part of writing your blog post.

Hope that helps some of you all out some! Let me know if you have any other questions!




  • Thanks for the free program tips! I love Scribd already, but have wanted to convert to pdf in the past and didn't have a program. THANK YOU!!

    By Anonymous Kristi_runwatch, At September 22, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

  • Thanks for the mention of the free pdf file converter. Didn't know that one.
    On another note, I tried the trifle last night and realized my hubby didn't grab the "instant" pudding, so we still have a huge bowl of pudding in the fridge that hasn't hardened yet. : ( I may have to go get the instant pudding today!

    By Blogger Brenda @ Tie That Binds Us, At September 22, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

  • Great info! For my graphics I use I draw them, scan them and then color them or make them into whatever in my pspx program. Time consuming, but I like using my own images (or dh's, he does some of the drawing too). LOL!

    By Blogger E, At September 22, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

  • thank you for answering my question. now i'm gonna ask another....when answering the last question and using the screenshot, did you use picasa to get the text boxes and arrows on the screen shot? if not, how'd ya do that?

    thanks again-

    By Blogger CLEM, At September 22, 2009 at 4:23 PM  

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