I recently downloaded a free copy of Laughingbird Software's "The Logo Creator" and have already become a huge fan. It can be used for more than just logos because you can create the page to be almost any size you want.
The software is simple to use anf has many features not found on some expensive programs.
When you open a new logo, the default window size is 560×420 but you can drag any corner or side to make the size you want.
The new window opens with an Element Setter for Text or Images. Clicking "text" opens a box for you to type in and then you click the "Add New Text" button to add it to the page. To edit, click on the text in the logo and in the element setter, edit the text.
Text formatting is done from the buttons in the separate Text Menu and the buttons are Format, Color, Shadow, Blur, Outline and "More text effects…" Inside each of these areas are more options such as rotatable text, gradient colors, 3D, mirror and many more.
Choosing Images from the Element Setter brings up some fancy letters and a menu for more logo objects including banners & star, glass objects, arrows, orbs, swishes etc.
Instead of starting with your own design from scratch, you can load an existing logo from one of the two included Logo Libraries, make your own changes and then save it as a new template for later use or modification.
The example below was made fairly quickly, using a ready made logo, but inserted my own graphic and changed the text and fonts just to give you an idea. Your creations can be exported in a wide variety of graphic formats and various sizes, making it particularly useful for larger projects like book covers or web pages..
There is more to yourÂ computer than the monitor, the keyboard and the mouse, though most of the other components are hidden away.
In that big box that you often complain about being too bulky, lies the heart of the computer.
It houses all the vital parts that make your computer fully functioning.
Get to know some of these parts.
The processor or CPU (Central Processing Unit) determines how fast your PC will be & is perhaps one of the vital parts of a computer, if not the most vital. Having a fast processor will allow your computer to convert data faster
I’m sure we have all complained that our PC is slowing down at some stage, so perhaps some of the tips here can help in your own particular case. They are all fairly simple, designed for beginners to implement if you follow the steps given.
1. Defrag Your Disks to Speed Up Access to Data
One of the factors that slow the performance of the computer is disk fragmentation. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. To speed up the response time, you should monthly run Disk Defragmenter, a Windows utility that defrags and consolidates fragmented files for quicker computer response.
* Follow Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
* Click the drives you want to defrag and click Analyze
* Click Defragment
This may take some time, so perhaps leave a defrag running overnight or while you do something away from your PC.
2. Detect and Repair Disk Errors
Over time, your hard disk develops bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing difficult or even impossible. To detect and repair disk errors, Windows has a built-in tool called the Error Checking utility. Itâ€™ll search the hard disk for bad sectors and system errors and repair them for faster performance.
* Follow Start > My Computer
* In My Computer right-click the hard disk you want to scan and click Properties
* Click the Tools tab
* Click Check Now
* Select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box
* Click Start
3. Disable Indexing Services
Indexing Services is a little application that uses a lot of CPU. By indexing and updating lists of all the files on the computer, it helps you to do a search for something faster as it scans the index list. But if you know where your files are, you can disable this system service. It wonâ€™t do any harm to you machine, whether you search often or not very often.
* Go to Start
* Click Settings
* Click Control Panel
* Double-click Add/Remove Programs
* Click the Add/Remove Window Components
* Uncheck the Indexing services
* Click Next
4. Optimize Display Settings
Windows XP has a nice visual appearance but it costs you system resources that are used to display all the visual items and effects. To customize your settings, right click My Computer, select Properties and then the Advanced tab and under Performance, click Settings. Windows looks fine if you disable most of the settings and leave the following:
* Show shadows under menus
* Show shadows under mouse pointer
* Show translucent selection rectangle
* Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
* Use visual styles on windows and buttons
5. Speedup Folder Browsing
You may have noticed that every time you open My Computer to browse folders that there is a little delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for network files and printers every time you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing speed, you can disable the â€œAutomatically search for network folders and printersâ€ option as follows:
Click Start, and then click Control Panel, Double-click Folder Options and on the View tab, de-select the â€œAutomatically search for network folders and printersâ€ check box.
6. Optimize Your Pagefile
You can optimize your pagefile. Setting a fixed size to your pagefile saves the operating system from the need to resize the pagefile.
* Right click on My Computer and select Properties
* Select the Advanced tab
* Under Performance choose the Settings button
* Select the Advanced tab again and under Virtual Memory select Change
* Highlight the drive containing your page file and make the initial Size of the file the same as the Maximum Size of the file.
Windows XP sizes the page file to about 1.5X the amount of actual physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512MB) it is unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512MB or more of virtual memory. If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.
7. Remove Fonts for Speed
Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. For optimal performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may require.
* Open Control Panel
* Open Fonts folder
* Move fonts you donâ€™t need to a temporary directory (e.g. C:\FONTBKUP?) just in case you need or want to bring a few of them back. The more fonts you uninstall, the more system resources you will gain.
Hope you find these tips useful.
Yesterday I went to a friend’s house to help her add pictures to a Word project, but while showing her what to do first – oh the frustration of trying to use a mouse that needed surgery (all body parts removed & replaced I think). It reminded me how much we rely on the mouse these days and I was very thankful for my background in DOS, when we didn’t have a mouse at all!
Many of those old keyboard shortcuts are handy to know, even if you don’t use them often, so I thought I’d share the ones I find most useful with you today.
CTRL+C / CTRL+V: This one is obvious and probably the most used keyboard shortcut in the world. CTRL+C copies whatever is currently marked and CTRL+V pastes the contents again. (C for Copy, V for Verbose)
CTRL+X: Cut – Copies the text for pasting, but removes it from original place (for moving text)
CTRL+A: Select All – The copy and paste shortcuts work well with this one
CTRL+Z: Undo the last action
CTRL+ESC: Displays/hides the Windows Start Menu
ALT+F4: Closes the active window
ALT+TAB: Switches between open applications.
CTRL+P: Opens the Print Screen dialog.
F1: Help with the current program
F2: Rename the active item
F3: Opens the Windows Search
SHIFT+DEL: Deletes the item immediately without moving it into the trashbin
TAB: Move to the next control, excellent for forms.
Spacebar: Checks a checkbox, presses a button if on a button, selects an option if on an option
ESC: Cancels the current task.
The Windows Key (next to Ctrl and Alt keys, usually has the Windows logo on it) is very handy for shortcuts, pressing it will display/hide the Start menu.
Windows+E: Open My Computer
Windows+F: Search for a file or a folder
To Open Programs when you can’t click the start button
Press the Windows key or Ctrl+Esc then use your down arrow key to get to Programs, Enter, then use up, down, left & right arrow keys to navigate to the program you want, then press Enter.
No mouse – Moving Up and Down Directory Levels in Windows Explorer
To go one directory deeper, use the RIGHT Arrow. To back out one directory level, use the LEFT Arrow
Automatically Adjusting Right-Panel Column Widths in Windows Explorer
The column widths in the right hand panel of the Explorer might not be the correct sizes to display all the file information. To automatically adjust all the columns at once to show all the information, Click somewhere on the right-hand panel, then simply press Ctrl+ (Ctrl and the plus key). The Name, Size, Type and Modified columns will automatically adjust themselves to display all their information.
Browsers â€“ Firefox or Internet Explorer – Scroll Through Web Pages
The spacebar will scroll down a page; Shift+spacebar will scroll up a page.
The following are related to the work I was doing with my friend yesterday, so thought I might add them, too.
Windows – Getting Screen Shots
If you want to save what you have on your screen but you donâ€™t have a screen capture program, you can use Windows built-in capture as follows:
Hit the Print Screen key. This copies a bitmap of the full screen into the Windows clipboard. To capture only the active window, use Alt+Print Screen
Start up a graphics editor (or Word) and paste it in (Edit, paste OR Ctrl-V). If you only want a small part of the screen, use the programmeâ€™s cropping tool.
I prepared a small document to help my friend cropping her images in Word; if you’d like a copy, send an email to [email protected]hfindlay.com with “Word Cropping file” in the subject line & I ‘ll email it to you.
MS Word – Selecting Columns
Selections in MS Word are usually lines or paragraphs. To make a selection for a column across lines or blocks just press Alt key while you select your text. You will see that the selection does not select all of the line. It just selects the block or the area. This is really useful sometimes.