Tag Archives: images

WordPress – how to add a slideshow to your blog

The following how-to uses the WordPress interface [as at July, 2020], not the old Admin. Dashboard. When you’re done, you’ll end up with a small, slideshow of images that can be quite effective at catching the eye of casual visitors.

Requirements

You will need at least one sidebar in your theme – i.e. a visible area next to or below the spot at which your blog posts normally appear. I have two sidebars on my theme and they both appear to the right of the blog post area:

WordPress sidebars depend on the chosen theme

My particular theme also allows me to have a ‘footer’ bar, and this is where I’m going to put my slideshow.

Next, you will need to have images to place in your slideshow. Yes, obvious, I know, but you will need to:

  • edit the images so they’re all the same size – it looks better,
  • upload the required images to the WordPress media library before you begin creating the gallery.

Once all the images have been uploaded* to your media library, you’re ready to begin:

  1. If you are in Reader, click the tab for ‘My Sites’ [top left of your WordPress screen],
  2. From the list of available options in My Sites, click ‘Design’,
  3. Design has two further options – Customize and Themes. Click ‘Customize’,
  4. From the Customize options click ‘Widgets’,
  5. You should now see the areas that can take Widgets**

As mentioned earlier, my particular theme has three such areas and they look like this:

Areas capable of taking Widgets

Finally, select the area in which you want your gallery [Widget] to appear. For me it was ‘Footer Widget Area’.

You should now see a button for ‘+ Add a Widget’. Click it to be taken to a list of available widgets [listed in alphabetical order]:

List of available widgets

Scroll down the list until you reach ‘Gallery’. Select it. You should now see the gallery widget, ready for you to use:

Type a title for your gallery [because you can have more than one], and then click the ‘Add Images’ area as shown above [big red arrow].

You should now see the images in your Media Library. Unfortunately, there is no helpful message to tell you what to do next. A simple ‘Select an image’ would have been so helpful…ahem.

Click the first image you want to include in your gallery. Don’t worry about the order because you can change that later.

On the right of the library of images you will now see a box for adding information about the image you have chosen. Type in the title and…

DO. NOT. CLICK. ‘Add a New Gallery’ ! ! ! This is not how you complete the selection of your first image! ! !

Okay, I’m really going to get grumpy here with the WordPress developers. Not giving any clues as to where bloggers are supposed to go next is just asking for trouble. Most people are not mind readers. Really poor design.

To complete the selection of the first image and go on to select a second image…just click another image. Yes, I know, about as intuitive as a kick to the head.

Continuing clicking images until you have selected all the images you want to place in your slideshow. At this point, mine looked like this:

Images selected for the gallery/slideshow

Down the bottom of the screenshot you can see the six images I chose. The bit on the right shows details for the last image I chose. I added a title for clarity, but you will get a chance to add a caption later. Last but not least, there is the blue ‘Create a new gallery’ button. Now you can click it.

The next screen will be the ‘Edit Gallery’ page. Here you can re-order the sequence of images by dragging and dropping them into the correct position. You can also add captions to each image and change the size of the image [Thumbnail is the default]:

The Edit Gallery page

I only added two captions to these images, but I did move the image for The Vintage Egg to the end of the list.

When I was happy with the sequence of images, I clicked the small down arrow next to ‘Type’ to show the available display options [the default is Thumbnail Grid]. Down the bottom of the list is ‘Slideshow’. Click it and then click the blue ‘Insert gallery’ button as shown.

Almost done! You should now be looking at a preview screen. As my gallery is in the footer, I had to scroll all the way to the bottom to see it working:

The preview screen showing the slideshow working

If the preview doesn’t work as expected, click the ‘Edit Gallery’ button to the left of the preview. If everything does work as expected, click ‘Done’ [to save the gallery].

Finally, click ‘Save Changes’ to save the whole lot.

To exit from the customize area, click either the back button or the ‘X’ button [to the left of Save Changes].

Apologies for making this such a long how-to, but I wanted it to be suitable for even the newest blogger. And some of the interface was down right murky.

Have fun,
Meeks

p.s. this post was created using the block editor. To get the * asterisks down the bottom to show as asterisks [instead of automatically beginning a bullet point list], I had to press the spacebar a couple of times. Apparently this ‘told’ the block editor that I wanted to stay in the paragraph block. -rolls eyes-

* Please contact me in Comments if you need help getting to this step.

** Widgets are small ‘apps’ that you can insert into your blog to make it work the way you want it to. Widgets can include anything from images and buttons to galleries and links. Widgets can only be placed in certain areas of your blog. Those areas will depend upon the type of theme you chose when you first created your blog.


How to generate a Table of Figures with Word 16

Click here to display the Table of Contents

Once you have created all the captions for your images [see Adding captions to pictures in Word 16], it’s remarkably easy to generate a Table of Figures from them.

To begin, move to the back matter of your document and click the mouse at the point where you want the Table of Figures to appear.

Next, open the References tab and click Insert Table of Figures:

You should now be looking at the Table of Figures dialog box:

As you can see, the default settings are to:

  • Show page numbers
  • Right align page numbers
  • and ‘Caption label: Figure’

If you are happy with these default settings, click the OK button.

Note: if you have created different kinds of captions – for example, one for ‘Figures’ and a second one for ‘Tables’ –  clicking the down arrow next to ‘Caption label’ will allow you to choose a different label. In this way you can generate a separate table for each label.

How to customise a Table of Figures

To change the default settings of the Table of Figures, click the Modify button on the bottom right of the dialog box [circled in orange above].

You should now see a second dialog box that displays a summary of the current style settings for the Table of Figures:

These settings include font size and spacing, etc.

To change the default style settings, click the Modify button to the right of the preview pane.

Note: these settings control how the table is displayed, not how the captions are formatted. To modify the appearance of the captions, see Adding captions to pictures in Word 16

You should now be looking at the ‘Modify Style’ dialog box you first encountered when you changed the ‘Normal Style’ for your document] :

Format the Table of Figures as you wish and then click OK to save and exit the Modify Style dialog box. The appearance of the Table of Figures should now be customised to your specifications.

How to update a Table of Figures

No matter how carefully a document is prepared, some last minute editing is inevitable, so the Table of Figures may need to be updated.

To begin, click inside the table to select it. The whole table will be highlighted.

Next, open the References tab and select ‘Update Table’ from the options available in the Table of Figures:

Word will automatically update the caption and page numbering in the Table of Figures.

Note: Word may sometimes prompt you to update the page numbers or the whole table. If the editing has been substantial, update the whole table.

How to delete a Table of Figures

Unlike the Table of Contents, there is no specific command that allows you to delete the Table of Figures.

To delete the whole Table of Figures, you will have to manually select the entire table as if you were selecting a paragraph of text.

Note: simply clicking inside the Table of Figures will not work.

Once you have manually selected the whole table, press the Delete key on the keyboard. The Table of Figures will now be deleted, but the captions underneath the actual images still remain so you can reinstate a Table of Figures at any time.

This is the last of the graphics related how-tos, but the defunct ‘How to Print Non Fiction…’ also contains advanced help on Indexes etc. If anyone would like me to post this information, please let me know in comments.

Click here to display the Table of Contents


Adding captions to pictures in Word 16

Click here to display the Table of Contents

At their most basic, captions are simply labels that describe the content of an image. As such, you can simply type a label beneath each image and leave it at that, or you can opt to not have captions at all. But if you are going to have captions, I’d strongly recommend using the ‘Insert Caption’ command found on the References tab.

If you use the ‘Insert Caption’ command, Word will automatically label and number each caption for you. Once all the captions have been entered, you have the option of getting Word to generate a Table of Figures like the example shown below:

When images are moved or deleted, Word not only updates the page numbering, it also updates the caption numbering.

How to use the ‘Insert Caption’ command

To begin, select the first image that requires a caption.

Next, check that the text wrapping of the image is not ‘In Line with Text’. If it is, change it to another option. [See Wrap Text options].

The next step is to open the References tab on the Ribbon and click the option to Insert Caption:

Word will now display the Caption popup:

Click inside the Caption box [after ‘Figure 1’], press the spacebar and type the description of the image.

Click OK to complete the caption. Word will automatically create a text box for the caption and insert it into the document, directly below the image to which it belongs.

How to change the label of the caption

If you do not want to use ‘Figure’ as the label for your caption, click the small down arrow next to the Label box:

The drop down list displays the three, pre-set labels: Equation, Figure and Table.

Note: you can also add your own labels to this list.

Click a Caption label to select it.

How to create a new Label for Captions

You can create your own label by clicking the button for New Label option on the Caption popup:

Type the new label into the ‘New Label’ popup and click OK. In the example shown above, the new label is ‘Photos’.

You can now select the new label from the ‘Labels’ list.

How to change the position of the caption

Captions can be placed above or below the image. With the Caption popup open, click the small arrow opposite ‘Position’:

Select either ‘Above selected item’ or ‘Below selected item’ from the list.

How to change the number format of a caption

With the Caption popup open, click Numbering… :

The Caption Numbering popup will open.

Click the small down arrow next to ‘Format:’ to display the list of available number formats.

Click the number format of your choice and click OK.

Type the caption and click OK to save and exit the Caption popup.

How to move the caption

Click the caption to select it. When the text box frame appears around the caption, hover the mouse over the frame until the mouse changes to a black, four-headed arrow as shown below:

Click-hold-and-drag the text box to a new location.

How to group the caption with its image

Until now,  the image and its caption have acted as two, separate objects, but it is possible to ‘lock’ them to each other via the ‘Group’ function. Grouping creates an outer ‘envelope’ around the two objects so they can be moved as one.

To group an image and its caption, first check that the text wrapping of the image is not ‘In Line with Text’.

Note: Grouping is only possible if the text wrapping of the image is not set to ‘In Line with Text’. 

The first step is to click the caption. A text box will appear around it.

Next, hold down the Shift key on the keyboard while you click the image.

Now, both the image and the caption will have ‘handles’ around them, but they are not yet grouped:

Next, right click either the image or the caption.

Note: right clicking causes a context sensitive menu to be displayed.

You should now see a menu with ‘Group’ as one of the options:

   

Click Group to display the Group sub-menu.

Now click Group on the sub-menu. The image and its caption will now remain locked to each other until you ungroup them.

How to ungroup two objects

To ungroup an image from its caption, right click the grouped object. Click Group on the context sensitive menu and Ungroup on the sub-menu.

How to move a grouped object

To move a grouped object, click on the image to display the outer frame and handles.

Note: if you click in the caption area, you will select the caption text box as well as the outer frame.

Next, point the mouse at the top of the outer frame until it changes to a black, four-headed arrow [as shown]:

Click-hold-and-drag the group to the required position.

The type of movement available to the grouped object will depend upon the text wrapping chosen for the image before it was grouped. For example, if ‘Square’ was chosen as the original text wrapping, the text will flow around the grouped object in a ‘box’ shape.

You can change the text wrapping of a grouped object in exactly the same way as for a single image [see How to work with images in Word 16, Part 1].

How to delete a grouped object

To delete the whole grouped object – i.e. the image and its caption – click the outer frame of the object to select it. Then press the Delete key on the keyboard.

In the next post, I’ll explain how to use these captions to create a Table of Figures.

Click here to display the Table of Contents


Pamukkale thermal pools in Turkey

I needed some cheering up and found this amazing image on jigsawplanet.com:

The caption read only ‘Turkey’ so I didn’t like my chances of learning more. Wrong. This place is famous with a capital ‘F’ and, as you’ve probably gathered, it’s called Pamukkale.

I’m not doing free advertising for this tourist company, just love their photos, particularly the sunset one:

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g297992-d306348-Reviews-Pamukkale_Thermal_Pools-Pamukkale.html

Now I’m off to bed to dream of flying to Pamukkale in my Lear jet…:)

Night, night,

Meeks

 


Eyeballs Update 24/2/2018

Sorry! Just a few more responses needed, promise. 🙂

I uploaded the background graphics that worked the best and took screenshots so you could see what they looked like on Medium and here they are:

And here’s the reworked pic for No. 4:

I’ll be honest. I do like this last one, but I couldn’t resist making a few tweaks. The gold circuitry on the left looks very similar to the original shape of No. 4:

And yes, there’s more on this pic than on the actual background pic. That’s because Medium doesn’t display the whole graphic. Luckily it does give you the option of choosing which area to keep so I kept more of the sky. Anyway, the small additions on the left hand side are minimal.

On the right hand side, however, I tweaked a bit more:

Now, the big questions. Do you like it with the gold? Do you prefer it with the Left pattern or the Right pattern? Or…radical thought, should I leave the two sides asymmetrical?

I promise, this is the last, and I really appreciate your feedback. 🙂

-hugs-

Meeks


More eyeballs please!

Okay, I’ve been trying to come up with a background image for my new home, but nothing quite grabs me so…do any of these grab you? [Apologies for the loading times].

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

The gold circuits are from Nabatea, and I started with them. Unfortunately, each small part is ‘cut’ from a picture, so the overall file size becomes rather big and hard to work with. I was also a bit concerned the colours didn’t quite work together. So then I started with the silver circuits and wasn’t happy with any of them either. That’s when I redesigned no. 4 from scratch. But…eh. I need to step away now. :/

Thanks for the feedback.

cheers

Meeks


More captcha?

Okay, can someone please tell me which of the captcha pics I should have ticked???

This is why I hate captcha so much. 😦


My first purchases from iStock :)

I can’t tell you what I’ve been working on just yet, but I will show you some photos I just bought from iStock:

I was looking for a visual image of Nabatea when I found this first one on iStock. It’s a lovely image and only cost $36 AUD, but then I also found this one:

This is a painting of an oasis and nowhere near as beautiful as the previous, photographic image, but it does have a ‘waterhole’…and it’s no more real than Miira’s Nabatea.

As most of you have already guessed, I’m struggling with a cover for Innerscape. Here are two more images that I’m pondering, both created by The Offspring :

and…

I’m still a very long way from being happy with any of my preliminary concepts so I’ve turned comments off for this post. Tomorrow I hope to begin a new technical series on how to prepare a manuscript for Createspace. It’ll be full of the things I learned while making every mistake under the sun, so stay tuned. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Innerscape – beautiful one day, deadly the next

Just about to race off to work, but I’d really like your feedback on the tagline – too cheesy? Not science-fictiony enough? Or for my fellow Aussies – too much like the Queensland advert.?

And just a quick word about http://www.freeimages.com. This seems to be a great place to find free images. The one below is one of the ones I’ve found:

black-and-white

In case you’re wondering, it’s a stylized drawing of a circuit…for a computer. 😀

I won’t be using the image as is, but I’m not game to reveal the ‘real’ cover just yet. Maybe on Thursday when I’m not rushed off my feet with work.

’till then, cheers

Meeks

 


Canva for ebook covers

Never heard of Canva? Don’t worry, neither had I until this morning. Canva is a [free-ish] online graphics program? facility? that allows us cash-strapped writers to design our own ebook covers. It also allows us to do a lot of other things, but I only needed an ebook cover so that’s what I played with.

After doing the 2 minute tutorial, I spent about an hour playing with the graphics and, I have to say, I am very impressed. The image below is a draft of the cover I came up with for Innerscape:

innerscape cover draft

The cross hatching is part of the watermark [along with the name CANVA in the middle of the image]. The reason for the watermark is that I chose 2 non-free images for the cover – the landscape and the picture frame. Each image costs $1 – yes, that was not a typo, just one solitary dollar – for both personal and commercial use. So all up, my costs would have been $2.

I was very tempted to just pay my money and be done with it, but they have a special deal whereby you can buy 11 images for ten dollars, and I thought ‘oh, parts 3 & 4, and 5 & 6….’.

-cough-

Anyway, a bit about the design. The final, ‘real’ cover will have a different graphic on it, but for the moment I like the idea of mirror images and worlds within worlds and the visual tension of seeing the title as a not-so-subtle price tag. Paradise is only for the rich, after all.

Of course that could all be a bit of BS – there is a reason why I’m a writer not a graphics designer. -sigh-

Once you are ready to download your newly created image/cover, you are given the option of either paying for any non-free images you have used, or downloading a draft. I haven’t tried the paid option but assume it is the same as the draft one – you get to choose between downloading a 70 DPI resolution image or a 300 DPI pdf file.

DPI stands for dots per inch so 70 DPI would give you a reasonable resolution [as in my cover image] but nothing great. The good thing about it is that it doesn’t chew up your bandwidth. My image weighs in at about 75 kb, which is next to nothing. When I downloaded the 300 DPI pdf however, it took quite a while to download and was HUGE. Well over a megabyte of data.

I would use the 300 DPI for actual print covers but not for ebook covers. Finding the right balance for the cover image will require a bit of trial and error so that it looks good but doesn’t take half an hour to download.

Oh and one last thing. I converted the 300 DPI pdf file to a more reasonably sized jpg file but discovered that my version of the software didn’t include the fonts used by CANVA. My app substituted similar fonts but you can see that they do not look quite right. Next time I’ll either use fonts that I know I have, or I won’t mess with the image. 🙂

And for those who might like to play with CANVA themselves, here’s the link to a great Indies Unlimited tutorial on how to use it.

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2015/05/11/canva-for-free-ebook-covers-and-more/

Comments? Please feel free to let rip. I haven’t paid for anything so you’re not going to hurt my feelings or my wallet. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


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