Creating a Header using Windows Live Photo Gallery

If your blogs theme allows you to use your own header, its nice to be able to use one of your favourite Vistas or scenes so that you can really make your blog really personal to you. Whether you use WordPress or Blogger, here’s how to make a fantastic header using the panoramic feature available in Windows Live Photo Gallery. You don’t need an expensive camera either, so here’s the step by step way to make that favourite scene or spot feature as a header on your blog.

1. Download Windows Live Photo Gallery from  http://explore.live.com/windows-live-photo-gallery?os=other and install on your computer.

2. Now you need to go and take your pictures of your favourite vista or view. You will need to take your shots of the scene from either left or right, and slowly swing your camera horizontally along the entire scene from one side to the other taking your individual shots. Try to keep the camera on the same plane as you pan either left or right. Each shot should overlap each other so that Photo Gallery can ‘stitch’ them all together. See the separate shots below and how they overlap one another as I took them.

DSC02551DSC02552DSC02553

3. Next we need to make our Panorama inside Photo Gallery, so select all three (or however many shots you took of your chosen vista) and then click on the Create tab from the ribbon in Photo Gallery.

Making a panoramic photo

4. From the Create ribbon, choose the Panorama icon and Photo Gallery will then begin to ‘stitch’ the individual photo together into a panoramic shot.  Once completed it will ask you to give the panorama a name and then you can click on Save.

5. It’s highly likely that your newly created panoramic shot will need cropping, so click on the Crop icon in the ribbon and then crop out all of the black excess from the panoramic shot. When you are certain that all of the black has been cropped out, click on Crop once more to tidy up your shot.

Cropping out the excess black

6. Now that our panoramic shot is complete, we can use it on WordPress or Blogger as our header. I’ll deal with WordPress first. Go to your WordPress Dashboard and click on Appearance and then Header from the left hand Menu list.

Choosing your header

7. Next you will need to upload your panoramic photo so click on Choose File and then navigate to your panoramic shot and select it, then click on Upload. As it will probably be a large file it may take some time to upload.

8. Once uploaded, you may have to do some more cropping of the panoramic shot depending on the width of the header that your theme uses, then once you are happy with your final crop, click on Crop and Publish.

Cropping your header on WordPress

9. Now go to your blog by clicking on Visit your Site and admire  your new personal header!

New header in place!

10. Now let’s use our panoramic shot as a header on Blogger. Go to your Blogger Dashboard and select Design, then click on Edit in your current Header.

choosing header in Blogger

11. Next, from the window that opened click on From your computer and then Choose File.  If you want your blog Title to still be shown, then also select Behind Title and Description from the list. It’s also a good idea to tick Shrink to Fit so that the header fits into your chosen theme.

New header on Blogger

12. Once your new header has uploaded click on Save. Now you can go and view your newly created header on your blog!

TG

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Windows Live Writer, Dual postings.

One if the big advantages of using Windows Live Writer to publish your blogs posts is if you have more than one blog and each is on different blogging platforms. I am in this position, I have two blogs on WordPress.com and also two on Blogger. Windows Live Writer allows me to send the same post to both at the same time, so I can do a ‘double’ posting to each one. In this post, I will be showing you how to do this, step by step.  Firstly you will need to set up both your WordPress.com blog in Live Writer and also your Blogger blog. For this how to, I’m going to use my Photo blogs in order to demonstrate how to set them up in Writer and then how to publish the exact same post to both of them.

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Beginning Blogging. Tips and Tricks.

This will be my very last post in this Beginning Blogging series for anyone new to blogging. I do hope you have all found my posts on Blogger and WordPress.com to be helpful. Which blogging platform you choose is of course entirely up to you and where you feel that your blog fits in. To end, here are some tips and tricks to try and help all of you newbie bloggers out there achieve a long lasting readership of your blog.

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Beginning Blogging 12. Social Blogging.

I think that one of the most enjoyable sides to Blogging, unless you happen to keep your blog private of course, is the socialising side of it. I have found that when compared to forming online friendships via other social network methods such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, blogging is the only way that you can feel confident that you know the person concerned and can decide whether you feel comfortable in forming an online friendship with them. Because of the more detailed information contained inside their blog posts, its easier to feel as if you actually know that person even if they live at the other side of the world from you and you will probably never meet each other in person. It would be very difficult to do this from the limited insight you can gain from a short sentence or a 140 letter comment!  So how do you find other peoples blog posts to read them and then form any online friendships on Blogger or WordPress?

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Beginning Blogging 6. The Template Designer.

In this post, I am going to completely alter my Template with the aid of Bloggers template designer. The main post  area (blog) will be made full width so that means that the sidebar will have to disappear. Any Gadgets  I already have included will therefore have to move either to the bottom Gadget area or the top area. I will also add a background  to my blog using the template designer. Fonts and colours will also be changed. So let’s work our way through using the Template Designer.

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Beginning Blogging 4. The Design tab.

Next we move on to the Design and layout of your chosen Template. From the Blogger dashboard, click on the Design tab. You will then be in the ‘layout’ area (referred to on Blogger as Page Elements) of your chosen Template showing all of the separate areas that you can edit or add Gadgets to such as the sidebar.  The bottom area is called Attribution and you can use this area to include a copyright name to your blog if you so wish. You do not have to add any Gadgets in the top area or the lower areas if you don’t want to use those areas, you can use just the sidebar for your gadgets if you prefer. If you do not add any Gadgets to those areas, they will simply be invisible on your blog page.

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Beginning Blogging 3. set up those settings.

This post is entirely dedicated to setting up your settings for your blog on Blogger. As these are fairly comprehensive I will try to be as detailed as I possibly can.

Firstly access your blogger dashboard and then click on Settings, where you will find several different tabs running across the top of the page consisting of the following, Basic, Publishing, Formatting, Comments, Archiving , Site Feed, Email & Mobile,Open ID and Permissions. Let’s work our way through the most important of these tabs.

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Beginning Blogging. 2. Setting up your Blogger Profile.

For these next posts,  I plan to work my way through using the Blogger Dashboard. This is your ‘control centre’ for your blog, and its fairly comprehensive in content. Because it can be quite complicated to understand and set up for anyone who is new to Blogger, I intend to tackle this area in separate posts because I want to be as detailed as possible. If you have already set up all of your Dashboard to your satisfaction, then you can simply wait until I tackle those areas where you might need more information and guidance.

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Decisions decisions, which one do I choose?

I am going to have to make some fairly tough decisions soon regarding which blogging platform I am going to reside on permanently. At the moment I seem to be all over the place, and have practically as many blogs on the go as I have social networking sites! Each one has to have a separate username and password, and being of the ‘muddle headed, lousy memory’ type, I am constantly having to move from one persona to the other, causing me to have to keep a very large writing pad handy just so that I can check on which username is for which blog. I have even got one or two blogs on the go which are simply used for testing themes etc out!

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