Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Your First Scrapbook Layout with GIMP - Part 7

So you're all done!  (At least mostly.)

You've added a picture, several elements and embellishments, you've learned to move, rotate, crop and resize.  Before we move on to converting this Gimp file to a printable image, let's talk a little about text.

Text was my first MAJOR struggle in Gimp.  It drove me nearly crazy at the beginning.  I'm hoping I can help you avoid the crazy and move right on into being an accomplished user of the text tool.

Right now, your image should look something like this:

Let's assume that you wanted to add a little blurb to your finished image, something about Kindergarten, or the year your cutie-patootie started school, or some sweet little thing your angel said to you that year.  Anything you'd like. Let's put it in the bottom, left-hand corner.

From your Toolbox, select the Text tool.  It looks like this:

Then click in the area of your image where you'd like your text to be and drag to make a box about the size you think you'd like your text area to be, like this:

Notice that the bottom half of your Toolbox has now become devoted to text, like this:

Settings to be aware of as you look at the Toolbox, from top to bottom of the text portion.  See that mine is using the Sans font.  It's also at a size of 18 pixels, which in an image that's 3600 x 3600 pixels big is really, really, extra, super, teeny-tiny.  And the font color is black.

If you have similar settings, and you begin to type in your text box (which you do by clicking inside the box and typing away), you will very swiftly notice a couple of things.  One is that you can't see any text at all, even though you've been typing, like this:

See how that box looks empty?  Even though the little yellow-cursor-thing (yes, that's the technical term for it) has moved over to the right?  It probably doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you can't see a darned thing in there because the whole 18 pixels thing makes it near microscopic.

And?  In case there was a question, I am not a rocket scientist.

But I generally think I'm at least as intelligent as the average bear.  It frustrated me like crazy that I couldn't see my text while I was typing... until I thought of... um... yeah... making it bigger.  I know.  It's so profound.  You should be paying me for this stuff. 

The other thing you should notice, the thing that might make you feel a little bit better while you're typing in microscopic font and wondering if anything is actually happening, is that you have a brand, spanking new text layer in your Layers dialog.  And if your fingers are nimble, you'll see your words there, like this:

But let's not leave our texting fate to chance or depend on checking the Layers dialog repeatedly to see what's happening.  Let's DO actually make it a reasonable size--one we can see and, more importantly, one the peeps who will be looking at this awesome page for many years to come can see.

The best (and quickest) way to increase the size of your font is to click the up arrow, just to the right of the Size box on your Toolbox, here:

When you click the up arrow, you can watch the font grow in your image, like this:

So much better now that we can see it, yes?

But... I am not really a fan of the Sans font, at least not for this kind of thing.  Lucky for me (and you), there are about a gazillion fonts out there on the web.  Even better?  Many of them are free!  I have posted some links on the Resources Page for places that you can go to get your very own free fonts for use in projects just like this one.

I'm going to select a font I have in my library and you can select any of the fun fonts you have installed on your computer right now.  In a not-too-far-in-the-future tutorial, I'll walk you through getting some adorable fonts you don't have yet, installing them, and using them like crazy.

For this project, click the Font button in your Toolbox, here:

Scroll through the list and find one that suits your fancy.  I like several of the fonts I've gotten from Kevin and Amanda.  Most are handwriting fonts and they look really cute with this kind of project, kind of like you wrote the words in your own script.  I'm going to pick one called "Pea Faith Dots".

Once you've selected the font you want, the Toolbox should look sort of like this:

 And your image should look something like this:

Even better.  Now I need it to be a little bit larger, and I want it to be centered.  So let's click the up arrow on the Toolbox next to the Size box again.  I increased mine to about 150.  Go smaller or larger, however you like it best.  There are also justification buttons on the Toolbox, left, right, center and full--just like in Word.  They're located here:

If you hover with your mouse over any of the buttons to the right of the word "Justify", a little text box pops up that tells you which one it is, for clarification. Let's click on the Center button (the one the arrow is pointing to, above) so that our text will be centered inside of the box we created.  Once that's done, your image should look something like this:

Love it!

Now I really am finished with this image, and I'm ready to convert it to a printable file type.

Let's click on the Move tool in the Toolbox so that the box around the text goes away, and we can see the whole image better, like this:

Then let's convert this .xcf file (Gimp's native file extension) to a .jpg file, one of the file types commonly used for digital photographs.

To do that, click File and Export from the work area menu bar.  Select the folder where you're storing your scrappin' files (mine is C:\Steph's Stuff\Scrappin\2004) and change the extension on your file from .xcf to .jpg, like this:

Then click the Export button and your file will be saved into a .jpg, a flattened version of the file you created in Gimp.  Flattened means that the layering you created with Gimp (where each item is moveable on its own) is gone and everything has been condensed into one image.

Save this one for uploading to your favorite printing establishment (.jpg and .png are the most common file types for having these printed) and save your .xcf in case you decide to make further changes down the line.

With me so far?  Awesome!

Next time we'll talk about great places to get things printed!


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