Lions SMiLE Social Media for Lions by Lions

Social Media Directory Observations – Logo Tweaks (2)

So this is the Hands-On Tour promised in the last post of this series 😉

The objective

Tweak a non-square base picture so that it can be used as Facebook “Profile Picture”.

Requirements

LCI SMiLE: Social Media Directory observations

First of all you need:

  • a base picture
  • some graphic tools

In this tour the official LCI logo in GIF format will be used.

About the tools …

“It’s all about choice …” – meaning there are so many tools out there, whether offline installed at your PC or online in the Internet, that it is not possible to point out the “right” tool. You can go with a “big” product suite like Adobe Photoshop, because you use it for other stuff already, or you can use some tiny freeware tools down to the “one-trick-ponies”.

For the sake of this example some freeware tools are listed below, which are small, portable (not necessarily to be installed but rather just copied to your PC hard drive or USB stick) and just do the job:

  • Irfanview
  • FastStone Photo Resizer
  • FastStone Image Viewer
  • SmillaEnlarger
  • jpg-Illuminator

And yes, there are tons of similar useful software packages out there (like, Gimp, Adobe Photoshop Elements, etc.). Just use Google to find a convenient download link for Irfanview (or use the link provided) in order to run this tour on your own. Download the tool and install it.

This is all MS Windows based. Similar tools exist for Mac OS or Linux. There might be even tools for tablets or smartphones. But this is beyond the scope of this article.

Tour Start

Step #1 – Get the original picture dimension

The first step is to identify, which resolution the base picture has. One simple option is, to get this information displayed in Windows Explorer. Simply do a right click on one of the column headers (like “Name”) and select the attribute “Dimension” to be displayed.

Windows Explorer: Displaying picture dimension information

Another option is to open the picture with  IrfanView and click on the “i” shortcut symbol below the menu bar. A dialog box will open, displaying a lot of useful information, like the dimension of the picture.

IrfanView: Displaying picture dimension information

Btw. the Irfanview screenshot already shows the picture after adjusting the base logo to be square format.

Step #2 – Make the picture square

The result of this step is already shown in above screenshot. So the question is, how to achieve this?

Simply use the “Image -> Change Canvas Size” Menu item in Irfanview, select Method #1 and enter the right amount of pixels for each side of the original picture to make it square.

IrfanView: Menu change canvas size

In the example, the original LCI logo has a dimension of 216 x 204 pixel. So 6 pixel have to be added to the top and bottom equally to get a 216 x 216 image.

IrfanView: Dialog change canvas size

The color of the added pixels gets selected at the bottom of that dialog. In the example the default “white” was used. Click on “Choose” to change that –  if necessary.

Once done, click the “OK” button.
To verify, click again on the “i” shortcut icon as before.

Step #3 – Tweak and resize

Now a decision has to be made whether to already use the picture by uploading it as Facebook “Profile Picture” or tweak it a bit more. Going that route, Facebook will scale / re-size it to fit into the 200 x 200 pixel placeholder.

Let’s assume, the re-size step and some more tweaking should  be done before uploading …

To give the image a bit more white space within the bounding box of the Facebook placeholder, add additional 10 white pixels on each side (left, right, top, bottom) by either repeating the Step #2, now entering the value 10 for each side at Method #1. Of course, this could have been done in one step by using the values 10, 10, 16, 16.

That leads to a 236 x 236 pixel image, which needs to be scaled down to 200 x 200 pixel.

Use the menu item “Image -> Resize/resample”. Enter the values 200, 200 for the new size and do not forget to mark the “Preserve aspect ratio (proportional)” check box (see screenshot below).

IrfanView: Dialog resize

Hit the “OK” button and voila, finally done!

Step #4 – Save the result

Just save the result under a new name. In the example, the LCI logo with GIF format has been used, so save it as GIF again. As an option, the image can be saved with a transparent color. Simply click into the image while continue saving and pick the color which should be transparent while using the image later. Give it a try and discover the differences 🙂

IrfanView: Dialog save

 End of the tour

This completes this little Hands-On tour.

The SMiLE team encourages those, who are a bit hesitant about such things to give it a try. It is not really difficult. Make your own experiences!

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