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Image Composer How - to's

Make a shape
Add text to a shape
Save your creation
Tweak your image
Change the graphics in a bulleted list

How To:    1 Make a shape.

1. Open Microsoft Image Composer

2. Click the Shapes button (the one with the circle, square, and polygon).

3. In the Shapes dialog box, click the shape you want for your image.

4. Create the shape (follow instructions below)

Oval or rectangle:
Click once in white area of the main window; then hold the mouse button and drag your cursor until you have the shape and size you want. To get a perfect circle or square, hold down the Shift key as you drag.

Curve or polygon:
Click a few times in your composition area to set the points of your shape. To remove a point, right-click the point and choose Delete (or Add or Move, depending on what you want to do).

5. When you're satisfied with the shape you want, decide how transparent you want it to be. Under Opacity for New Shape, move the slider to the left to make the shape more transparent; move it to the right to make the shape less transparent.

6. At the bottom of the Toolbar (to the left of the composition area) is the Colour Swatch (an icon that has one block of colour). Right click the colour to see a palette. Choose the colour for your shape.

7. Right-click your shape and choose Create.

8. Save your shape: Choose File + Save, type in a name for your image, and click Save.

How To:    2 Add text to a shape to create a text image for your Web page.

1. Open the shape you want in Image Composer by choosing File + Open and double-click your file.

2. Click the Text button on the left-hand side of the screen (it's the one with the "A" on it).

3. In the Text dialog box, select the font name, style, and size; choose a colour from the colour palette;
and indicate how transparent you want the text. Also make sure that the Smoothing box is deselected to ensure that your text doesn't have jaggy edges.

4. Move the cursor over the white composition area of your screen (the cursor turns into a cross-hatch with an "A" next to it) and click to create a box; then type text in the box.

5. After you enter your text, click anywhere in the composition area outside the text box to close the Text dialog box.

6. Move your cursor over the text. When the cursor changes into a cross-hatch with an arrow facing in every direction, click and drag the text to where you want it to appear.

If you save an image in Image Composer's default format, you get a file with the .mic extension, and you won't be able to add your creation to your Web page. Your image files need to have a .GIF or .jpeg extension in order to work on the Web.

How To:    3 Save your creation so that you can use it on the Web:

1. From Microsoft Image Composer, open the image file (choose File + Open).

2. Choose File + Save As. In the Save as Type drop-down list, select CompuServe GIF; then name the file and click Save.

3. A message appears saying this format flattens out the sprites in your composition. (In other words, the text and the shape are glued together permanently, and you won't be able to move or edit them separately.) If this is acceptable, click OK. If you think that you might want to do some tweaking in the future, click Cancel. Then choose File, Save and type a name for your file. Click Save and your image will be stored in the default file format, .mic.

How To:    4 Tweak your image

After you create a text image and save it in the right format for the Web go to FrontPage Editor, place your cursor where you want the image to appear, and insert it (choose Insert + Image and double-click the file). However, if your image appears HUGE on the page! You just need to do a little more tweaking in Microsoft Image Composer.

1. Open Image Composer  and open the text image you created.

2. Click the image once. A box with handles appears around the image.

3. Using your mouse, click and grab a corner handle until the image is the size you want.

4. Your image might be the right size, but now you need to resize the white composition space to fit the size of the image. Drag your cursor over the dotted line around the composition area until the cursor changes to a line with an arrow at either end; then click and drag the surrounding lines until they fit your text image perfectly.

5. Resave your image (click File + Save).

6. Go back to FrontPage Editor and insert the image again. If it's still not the size you want, keep tweaking, resaving, and reinserting the image until you get it how you want it.

If you want a bulleted list, and you want to use images instead of little circles, do the following:

How To:    5 Change the graphics in a bulleted list:

1. Click where you want the list to begin.

2. Choose Insert + Image; then navigate to and double-click the image. (Tip-in-a-tip: Think small. Remember that people won't be able to see all the detail of a complex image that's been resized as a button.)

3. Click OK. The image appears on your page.

4. If the image is too large, click it once; then grab a corner handle to resize it.

5. When the image is the right size, click on either side of the image to insert your text.

6. Select the image and choose Ctrl + C (to copy it) and Ctrl + V (to paste it) as many times as you need.