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Chart of the Month – August 2011 – Cropped Photos for Collages

Here's a technique that can help you keep the important parts of a collage or photograph grouping as large as possible when template borders occupy some of the content area on a slide. As you can see by this Chart of the Month, there is a border on the bottom of the template. If a collage is simply added to the available content area, the text in the screenshots will probably be too small to read, rendering the slide less effective. A good choice might be to crop the bottom of the collage so that it cuts off horizontally at the border. Here are the steps.

Start with a blank slide in your company's template.

Choose the photographs or screenshots you wish to assemble into a collage.

Rotate the photos/screenshots in a pleasing angle, keeping the top photo/screenshot unrotated.

Notice that they hang over the bottom border, which obscures any text contained in the border (confidentiality blurb, company identification and logo, etc.). You don't want to reduce them too much or the details of the photograph/screenshots will be obscured. Also, the bottom edges of these screenshots are abruptly cut off and are not that visually pleasing. (Note: notice too that drop shadows have been added to the screenshots so that they "lift off" the slide and appear more separate from each other.)

You need to decide whether you want to make the collage one picture or if you want each photograph/screenshot to be its own picture. If you want to create one picture of the whole collage, simply select all the photographs/screenshots, right click on one of them, and click on "Save as picture." Bring the newly made picture onto the slide and crop the bottom of the picture.

Make sure that the cropped edge of the collage picture is placed right above the bottom border of the template, with no space between the border and the cropped picture. Then just add your other content and you're done.

You can also rotate each photo, save them as individual pictures, rotate each picture and assemble your collage, and crop each photograph/screenshot if you want. If you think you might want to be able to adjust the layout at a later date, this is a good strategy. It just takes a few more minutes to save each photograph/screenshot individually.

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