I am always exploring new software and online tools to simplify and streamline tasks related to my genealogy research and blogging and one tool I depend on is Microsoft Paint.
Previous posts have described old favorites such as ‘Photoscape‘, and all components of ‘My Ideal Setup…‘ in general. However, I use Microsoft Paint the most as it is a simple, reliable tool for genealogy research, accessible to everyone using the Microsoft Windows operating system.
One program I have neglected to mention in the past is Microsoft Paint. It has been the unsung hero of my genealogy research because it is an integral part of the Microsoft Windows operating system and resides quietly in the background, waiting for me to call upon it.
Recently, I have made some changes to how I prepare and write posts, and manage the images included. I do still use high quality images that are linked to be opened in a new window at full size. I have learned, however, that using the full size image and resizing it on the post page has a negative impact on page load speed. For these full size images, I use Photoscape and a Firefox Addon called ‘Awesome Screenshot‘ to take full page clips and clips of images larger than the visible screen, as Microsoft Paint and Snipping Tool can have a detrimental effect on the image quality and appearance, and can only clip what is visible in the window.
Instead, I now clip a small section of the original image or resize the image to use in the main post and link to an attachment page with the full size image. For these smaller image links, I use Paint. It is quick, easy, and used in conjunction with the ‘Snipping Tool’, makes creating these smaller image links very quick and easy.
To illustrate my procedure, I frequently use images from Wikipedia, making sure to publish credit for the image at the end of the post and in the ‘comments’ section of the ‘details’ tab of the ‘properties’ window for the file when right clicked to bring up the window.
To do this, I find an image I’d like to use. For this example, I accessed the ‘Acadians‘ article and selected the Acadian flag image. It will not be linked to the original, full size image, so I save the smaller image size as described in this post. Once clipped, I resize the image using either the ‘percentage’ or ‘pixels’ selections in the ‘Resize’ tab of ‘Paint’. Be sure to click the ‘maintain aspect ratio’ selection to avoid image distortion.
If I do still want to use full size versions of these images resized automatically, despite the negative impact on page load speed, I click through and save the full size image on the image attachment and description page, making sure to note the image credit information as described above. The link and post image size are set in the ‘add media’ window (see right). Adjust size using the percentage selections on the ‘Edit Image’. To link to the full size version of the image, select the ‘Link to Image’ button and the url will automatically fill the input box.
For the smaller version of the image, I still note the image credit information, but I use the ‘Snipping Tool’ to clip the image from the main Wikipedia page if it’s a suitable size for my needs. Then, I open the clipped image in ‘Paint’, resize it to the size I want to use if necessary, add any text, etc., and save the final image.
Step 1 – Open the clipped image in Paint.
Step 2 – Resize to the desired size if necessary and save.
Step 3 – Insert resized image into post (see top right at beginning of post).
I use the ‘ShortPixel Image Optimizer‘ plugin to optimize all images for size and quality, and diminish the negative impact of using large images.
Photo credit: Wikipedia.org