fixed : quickly create a printable grayscale picture from a color photo using Preview.app

Question :

I often have color pictures (like photos) that I would like to print in grayscale, but I don’t have a grayscale printer.

What is the simplest way to do so ?

 

Answer :

Having a color printer is great, and the easiest way to print grayscale pictures is to just select the grayscale-option before printing :

  • open the picture (ussually a .jpg) in Preview.app
  • in the top-bar, go to File and select Print from the pulldown list ; or press the [CMD]+[P] key-combo on your keyboard
  • in the pulldown window that opens, click on Preview and select Graphics from the pulldown menu
  • then, at Color Mode, select “Grayscale” (instead of “Color”)
  • then click the Print-button and see what comes out of your printer
  • Note that if you would make a PDF now, that it’s not going to be a grayscale picture…

Sometimes this will do just fine, but often that isn’t enough, and you will need to do a few extra steps to get an acceptable result out of your printer :

  • open the picture (usually a .jpg) in Preview.app
  • click on the “Show Markup toolbar”-button (the circle with the pen-point in it, just left of the Search-bar top-right)
  • first, crop the image if needed :
    • then, click on the DashedSquare-icon (top-left) and select the “Rectangular Selection” option
    • on the picture, select the area you want to use (click the top-left of the envisioned area, than botom-right) and the selection area will be displayed
    • if you need to, adjust the selection area by dragging it’s edges
    • then, in the top-bar, go to Tools and select Crop from the pulldown list ; or type the [CMD]+[K] key-combo on your keyboard
    • now the picture will be croped to the smaller ‘selection only’ size
  • then, in the top-bar, go to Tools and select Adjust Color from the pulldown list ; or type the [CMD]+[ALT]+[C] key combo on your keyboard
  • in the AdjusColor-window that opens there is a ‘histogram’ (a picture with red/green/blue (a.k.a. RGB) graphs) with an AutoLevels-button, a list of 9 sliders and a ResetAll-button below it
  • attached to the base of the histogram, there are 3 slider-pointers (a.k.a. histogram-sliders)
  • set the middle histogram-slider lower (a little to the left)
  • then set the right histogram-slider lower (a little to the left)
  • then set the Exposure-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • set the Contrast-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • set the Sepia-slider in the middle
  • set the Sharpness-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • see if the (color) picture’s look is now clearer …if not go back and adjust the sliders until it is a brighter picture with more detail
  • then, in the top-bar, go to File and select Print from the pulldown list ; or press the [CMD]+[P] key-combo on your keyboard
  • in the pulldown window that opens, click on Preview and select Graphics from the pulldown menu
  • then, at Color Mode, select “Grayscale” (instead of “Color”)
  • then click the Print-button

that’s it !

Note : if you would make a PDF now, that it’s going to be a color-picture, not a grayscale picture… if you need a grayscale picture digitally, you will need to use Photoshop  or something similar…

Important extra note : once the picture is a PDF, you can no longer adjust the colors

enjoy 😉

 

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fixed : animated GIFs not playing in Preview.app

Question :

For my work I regularly get animated-GIF for online advertising campaigns send to me offline. As it turns out I can only view them in the Finder’s preview, but when I double-click on them, they open in Preview.app as a static picture…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

As any .gif-file is considered as a picture by OSX, both static and animated GIFs will be opened in Preview.app by default. Too bad, but Preview.app can only display static pictures, no movies, nor dynamic pictures…

The solution is simple ; just make OSX by default open all .gif-files in an application that can handle animations, like your web browser.

to do so :

  • locate and select any of your animated .gif-files in the Finder
  • then press the [cmd]+[i] key-combo on your keyboard (a.k.a. “get info”)
  • in the info-window that opens, scroll down to “Open with:”
  • make sure the triangular arrow in front of “Open with:” is pointing down
  • if the triangular arrow is pointing to the right, click on it
  • just below “Open with:” you will see “Preview (default)”
  • click on that, and change it to “Safari” (or any other application that can handle animated GIFs, if you don’t see the application you’re looking for listed, select “Other…” and select the one you prefer from you Applications folder)
  • then, don’t forget to click on the “Change All…”-button also

…that’s it, from now on, any .gif-file on your Mac will be opened in Safari (or your chosen alternative) by default, and you will see all animated-GIFs opened as animations when you lick on them.

enjoy !

😉

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fixed : get usable (.tif or .jpg) pictures out of a PowerPoint-presentation

Question :

My colleague sent me a PowerPoint-presentation with pictures in it that I want to use in my own Keynote-presentation. But, whenever I select a picture in the PowerPoint-presentation and drag-&-drop it onto my Desktop (as I usually do in OSX to get a picture out of a website or alike), I get a file named “Picture Clipping.pictClipping”. When I double-click on that, I get a Finder window with the correct preview and a line of info saying “Clipping contents: TIFF image”. But I can’t import that .pictClipping file into my Keynote-presentation as a picture. Neither can I find any way to get the TIFF-image out of the .pictClipping-file.

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

You’ve stumbled upon a hard-to-tackle problem with PowerPoint-presentations.

The solutions is rather simple, but takes a some effort. You can choose to either export  only one picture, or export all pictures from the PowerPoint-presentation :

If you only need one picture :

1- make sure you have GraphicConverter installed (if you don’t have it, you can download it from the LemkeSoft.de website for FREE and use it in “try it”-mode)

2- open your PowerPoint-presentation and drag&drop the picture you need onto the Desktop ; it will appear as a file named “Picture Clipping.pictClipping”

3- right-click on the “Picture Clipping.pictClipping”-icon and select “Open with…” from the pulldown menu that appears, then select “Other…” and select GraphicConverter 9 from the list that appears

4- GraphicConverter will now display the picture ; select “File” from the top menu bar, and “Save As…” from the pulldown menu that appears

5- in the window that opens, select select the destination folder and at “File Format:” choose JPEG/JFIF, PNG or TIFF and click the “Save”-button

6- then in the Finder, go to the destination folder and drag&drop the picture into your Keynote-presentation

…that’s it 😉

If you need multiple (or even all) pictures  :

1- make sure you have GraphicConverter installed (if you don’t have it, you can download it from the LemkeSoft.de website for FREE and use it in “try it”-mode)

2- right-click on the PowerPoint-presentation’s icon and click on “Duplicate” from the pulldown list that appears ; if your original was named “presentation.ppt” the duplicate will be named “presentation copy.ppt”

3- select the icon of the “presentation copy”-file and change the .ppt or .pptx file extension into .dat (when asked “Are you sure… ?”, click on the “Use .dat”-button)

4- now, right-click on the “presentation copy.dat”-file’s icon and click on “Open With” in the pulldown list that appears, then select “GraphicConverter” and click on it

5- in GraphicConverter, you will now see only the first picture from the PowerPoint-presentation, but in the bottom bar, you will see “Page: 1 of X” (in which X is the total number of pictures), there you can scroll through all pictures ; then, from the “File”-menu, select “Convert & Modify”

6- in the window that opens, you will see 3 columns : in the left column, make sure that “Function: Convert” is selected, and “Destination Format:” is set to JPEG/JFIF, PNG or TIFF

7- in the middle column, you will see the “From:”-button and the file named “presentation copy.dat” (with the first picture as it’s icon) ; in the right column you will see the “To:”-button ; there you should select your desired destination folder

8- then, click on the “Go”-button at the bottom of the left column (and all pictures will be exported the way you have asked)

9- do not forget to drag the “presentation copy.dat”-file to the Trash (and empty the Trash)

10- in the Finder, you can now open the destination folder and drag&drop the picture(s) you need into your Keynote-presentation

…that’s it – enjoy !

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tip : quickly cut-out part of a picture in OSX

Question :

I have a nice picture I want to use in a presentation, but I don’t want the entire picture, just part of it.

Is there an easy way to cut the desired piece out ?

…even if I don’t have Photoshop ?

Answer :

Even if you don’t have Photoshop, cutting out part of a picture for (re)use in PowerPoint, Keynote, Word, Pages, your website, LinkedIn, FaceBook, etc. is very easy on your Mac :

1- open the picture in Preview app (usually that would only require you to double-click on the picture’s icon)

2- click on the Image-button (Edit button)

3- in the Editing-toolbar that appears, click on the Image-button (Selection button)

4- now the + (Plus sign) appears, so : click on one corner of the part of the picture you want to select and drag to the opposite corner [ you can do this rather ‘roughly’ ]

5- then the selection area appears [ normally a rectangle with dots in the corners and on the middle of the side ] ; drag the dots so, that the selection area exactly fits the part of the picture that you want to take out

6- then press the ‘Copy key-combo’ (CMD + C)

7- now choose “New From Clipboard” from the “File”-menu, or press the ‘New key-combo’ (CMD + N), and you will get a new window with only your ‘cut-out part’ in it

8- if that looks as you envisioned it, choose “Save” from the “File”-menu, or press the ‘Save key-combo’ (CMD + S), and save the cut-out picture as a JPEG or PNG (or TIFF)

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fixed : place a picture behind an Excel chart or graph

Question :

I am using Excel (from Microsoft Office) and I want to put the chart I’ve just made on top of a picture. How can I do that ?

Answer :

In Excel v14 (from MS Office 2011 for Mac), this can be done like this :

1- create the chart

2- select the chart area (you will see a bold, light blue frame around the entire chart area), then click the “Charts>Format”-tab (the purple tab in-between the green tabs), then in “Current Selection” click the “Format Selection”-button

3- in the window that opens select “Fill”, then the “Solid”-tab, and set the “Color:”-dial to “No Fill” and click “OK”

4- select the chart itself (inside the chart area – you will see a black lined square with light blue dots on the corners around the actual chart), then again, click “Charts>Format”-tab (the purple tab in-between the green tabs), and again, in “Current Selection” click the “Format Selection”-button

5- in the window that opens, again select “Fill”, then the “Solid”-tab, and set the “Color:”-dail to “No Fill” and click “OK”

6- then de-select the chart

7- in the upper Excel menu bar that’s fixed in the Finder, select the “Insert”-tab, and from the drop down menu that appears, select “Photo > Picture From File” and in the “Choose a Picture”-window that appears, select the image you need and click “OK”

8- the image will appear on top of your chart, now first resize it (by dragging the light blue corner-dots) and place it over your chart area

9- select the image (again, if it’s not already selected), click the “Format Picture”-tab and remove the background color(s) of the image if you need (using the “Remove Background”-option from “Adjust”)

10- then, also in the “Format Picture”-tab, select the “Reorder”-option from “Arrange”, and select “Send to Back” from the 4 options that appear in the pulldown menu ; your image will now be behind your chart

11- for fine-tuning, if needed, you can now resize or rearrange the image and the chart until the align exactly as you need them to

12- if you want the Excel-cell-grid behind your chart to disappear also, select the area of cells behind and around your chart and select WHITE (or any other color you need) from small triangle-shaped arrow just next to the “Fill Color”-button (the paint bucket icon)

That’s it !

Enjoy !

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