Archive for the ‘Windows Graphics’ Category

Screenshots for social networks

Friday, August 19th, 2011

runs as Online Serviceruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of TinyGrab

Whichever social networks you're active in, you're there because you want to share stuff. Whether it's your thoughts and ideas, or maybe your pictures, you're looking for an easy and painless way to get it all out there. One way to help with getting your screenshot images out into the world is with TinyGrab.

TinyGrab is both a desktop application and an online service. Once you install the app on your system, hit the trigger keys, drag the crosshairs across your display, and off your image goes. In return for your not-so-hard work, a URL for the destination of that image is stuck on your clipboard, which will let you paste it into IMs, emails, tweets, and so forth. You've now shared that interesting thing from your desktop to all your dedicated followers out there in social network-land, and you didn't have to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it happen.

You can grab desktop clients for Mac (OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and later) and Windows (XP and later, with .NET ver 4 installed).

Download TinyGrab

Free screen capture tool

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

runs on Windows
screenshot of PrtScr

It's easy for you to see what's showing on your monitor, because you're sitting right in front of it. If you want somebody else to see what's there, you have to be very descriptive in telling them what you see, or you can just take a picture of it. Most of the time, that graphical representation of the display is going to win out.

PrtScr lets you do just what its name implies: do a printscreen. Unlike the standard Windows configuration, however, you can choose to grab the whole screen, the active window, as well as a region you choose, or even a freehand area on the screen. Unlike lots of screen capture tools, this one lets you include your mouse pointer in the picture, which can come in handy if you're using your image to show somebody what to do (click the button THERE, right next to the mouse cursor) with your image. You can even annotate your images by writing or drawing over the top of them with your mouse. And you have your choice of sticking your screenshot on the clipboard, or going directly to an image file, as a JPEG, BMP, or PNG.

PrtScr is a free download. It's a Windows app and runs under XP and Vista.

Download PrtScr

Match on-screen colors with Color Seizer

Monday, July 25th, 2011

runs on Windows
screenshot of Color Seizer

What is that color? You're building a logo or otherwise fiddling with an image file, and you need to match a color. Yes, maybe you could download that web page, open the image file in your paint program, and then figure out what the color is, but that entails a lot of extra steps, and if that image was in the background or otherwise hidden away in CSS land, you've got nothing to show for your work anyway.

Color Seizer is a tool that can help you figure what that color is you're looking at on your screen. Just fire it up, drag the little pointing finger icon over the color on your screen that you're interested in, and it will let you know what that color is in any of half a dozen different formats, including HTML hex values for pasting into your web page, decimal RGB values, those funny little Visual Basic codes, and more. No more guesswork, no more download folder littered with grabbed images that you really don't need any more.

Color Seizer is free download. It runs under Windows.

Download Color Seizer

Enhanced free image compressor

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

runs on Windows
screenshot of Caesium

While digital photos and other images are handy for posting to blogs and including in web sites and are pretty easy to work with, they can also tend to get rather large. That means that you're investing a lot of storage space to keep these guys on your system or your server, and that your visitors are going to use a fair amount of bandwidth in loading those images each time they visit your pages or download your images to their local drive. Well, it turns out that often those pictures have more data in them than is really necessary. Trimming that excess is the job of applications like Caesium.

Caesium is a tool that can reduce the size of your pictures by upwards of 90%. That can mean a big savings in terms of storage space, and can help your web pages to load much faster. Compress your images individually, or process them in batches, whichever is more convenient for you. You can set the compression individually for different images, and you've always got the option of previewing your pictures before you commit your changes.

It's easy to take Caesium out for a drive: it's a free download. It's a Windows application, although they do say a Linux version may be available in the near future, and a Mac port is a possibly further down the road.

Download Caesium

Free colorful and animated cursors

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

runs on Windows
screenshot of Joe's Cursors

Whether you're wandering through the local mall or hiking through the great outdoors, it's always helpful to be able to find the big map laid out for you with the "you are here" designator prominently displayed. Whether you're heading toward the food court or trying to make that campsite by sundown, knowing where you are helps you understand everything in context. While your computer doesn't display a big map, it does have the "you are here" designator: your mouse cursor.

In Windows there are several different cursor designs that work out of the box. While those will get the job done, you might enjoy something a bit more interesting from time to time. Maybe you're using your laptop in a very bright area and need a cursor that's larger or brightly colored to make it stand out. Or maybe it's the holidays, and you'd like to add something a bit more festive to your system.

Joe's Cursors offers a bunch of different cursors you can use. Pick from animated cursors, 3-D cursors, holiday-themed cursors (we particularly like the waving Santa), and more. They're easy to install and fun to use, and they're all free for non-commercial use. Go nuts and grab a couple of sets to really jazz up your system.

Download Joe's Cursors

Printable Luggage Tags

Monday, June 27th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Printable Luggage Tags

If you're going on a trip, you're going to bring luggage. Unless you can live for a day or a week with just a toothbrush shoved in your pocket, you'll want to have a change of clothes or two, some toiletries, as well as a camera, sporting goods, and other toys. Take those suitcases, trunks, and duffel bags and pack them full of stuff, and head off to the terminal. Whether you check your bags or try to stick them under the seat in front of you, you need to identify them—after all, everybody else has that same exact bag that you have. Time for a luggage tag or two.

Printable Luggage Tags offers a big range of luggage tags you can download, personalize, and print. Choose from luggage tags with animal themes, images from nature, sports, or plain old luggage tags. Luggage tags come ten to a page and can be printed on heavy paper or on special business card stock. Choose from PDF versions to print out and enter your information by hand, or grab a Word DOC version, where you can type your name and contact information into the luggage tags before you print them out.

Printable Luggage Tags are free to download, so grab as many as you need. And bon voyage.

Download Printable Luggage Tags

Add a border to your digital images

Friday, May 27th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of BorderMaker

Sometimes what a picture really needs to set it off is a nice frame. Look at all the framing shops that have spring up over the past several years to see how important that can be. So if you've got a Picasso sitting in the corner collecting dust, it's easy to grab it and head off to get it framed. But what about the digital images on your computer? While they may not be the next Matisse, they might look better wrapped in a nice frame. Unfortunately, you're probably going to have a problem jamming that picture frame into your computer.

BorderMaker might be the alternative you're looking for. Rather than shoving a bunch of fancy molding into your hard drive, this app will help you craft the just-right border your digital images need. You decide the size and shape you want, and before you know it, your pictures are all fancied up. If you like, you can also add text and titles ("How I Spent My Summer Vacation"), or watermark them with your copyright information, or even all the vital info regarding camera settings when you took that great shot.

BorderMaker is a free download. It's available for Linux, Mac, and Windows machines.

Download BorderMaker

Image converter and resizer

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of XnConvert

Some big jobs require a fully-packed toolbox and a highly-trained mechanic; other somewhat smaller undertakings can be completed with nothing more complicated than the screwdriver from the kitchen junk drawer and the neighbor kid. If you've got big image manipulation tasks to take care of, you probably want Photoshop, GIMP, or some other similar full-featured app; but if your needs are more modest, you might get away with something a bit smaller.

XnConvert is a tool you can use to tweak your digital images. Not a full-on image editor, you can use it to resize, rotate, and watermark your images, as well as playing with brightness, shadows, and more. It supports hundreds of image formats (I didn't know there were hundreds of image formats), so you probably can't find a file it won't handle. And it's cross-platform, running on Linux, Mac, and Windows machines, with both 32- and 64-bit flavors, and has been localized for over a dozen languages.

XnConvert is a free download.

Download XnConvert

Browse through your digital images

Monday, April 25th, 2011

runs on Windows
screenshot of WildBit Viewer

How many images do you suppose you have on your computer? Whether it's all the digital photos from the family get-together last Thanksgiving, the logos for that new killer website you're working on, or whatever else there may be on there, you know you've got a bunch of pictures. While having them sit there might be nice, it would be even better to be able to look at them.

WildBit Viewer is an app that makes it easy to browse through your collection of digital images. You can put together a slideshow to look through last Summer's vacation, using dozens of different transition effects. It also supports a fair amount of editing functionality, letting you crop and rotate pictures, add shadows and banish the dreaded red-eye. You can even use it with your scanner to acquire additional images, so you'll have more stuff for your next slideshow.

You can grab a copy of WildBit Viewer for free. It's a Windows app and is compatible with systems running Win2k and later.

Download WildBit Viewer

Color picker tool

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

runs on Windows
screenshot of Color Cop

So there you sit in front of your computer, looking for inspiration for your next graphics project. You've surfed around for a while, and find yourself looking at an image and you decide you really like the blue in that logo or the green in that photo. But how are you going to match that color? If you're trying to match colors on your display, there seem to be two choices: either you have a really good eye, or you find an easy-to-use tool to help you out.

Color Cap is a tool that helps take the guesswork out of this process. Start it up and drag the little eyedropper to the location on your screen where that color lives, and you get the RGB values in decimal and hex versions. You can zoom in if you're looking at a complicated image, so that you get just the right pixel. And while you're at it, Color Cop will also offer its own suggestions on colors that would complement your choice—it's like getting a whole palette to work with from just that one pixel. Now that's efficiency!

Color Cop is a Windows application. While there's no cost to use it, the publisher suggests that a nominal donation might be appropriate if you feel so moved.

Download Color Cop