From cropping photos to applying fancy fonts, there are many techniques that will make your e-scrapbooks fun and effective.
Audio and Video
Both audio and video can be incorporated into an e-scrapbook environment. Most software such as Microsoft Word/PowerPoint, Inspiration, and others can link to sounds and movie clips. They can also play music.
- Create a template. Add audio instructions. For example, create comparisons at the zoo using antonyms.
Regardless of whether your images were created on a scanner or digital camera, the use of graphics software can enhance your final product.
- Brightness and Contrast. Many times a small adjustment in a visual can make it more effective. For example, photos are sometimes too dark. A simple adjustment to brightness and contrast may be helpful. Most graphics packages have an "automatic" adjustment that is effective.
- Colors. Use of color is important for the overall appeal and usability of an e-scrapbook. For example if you use dark colored lettering on a dark solid or patterened background, it will be difficult to read. Sometimes color an impact the mood of the page. Consider using color as part of the theme of the page. For example, you might use blue and red for a political debate. Also, consider when a black and white photo might be used rather than a color photo.
- Compose. As you place images consider the elements of design. For example, objects should point into the page rather than away from the page.
- Crop. With graphics tools you can focus in on the aspects of the photo that are most important. The key to cropping is to select the important elements of the visual and eliminate unnecessary pieces. What are you trying to emphasize in this photo? In many cases you can zoom in on the photo and only select a small area.
Pros: focus attention on a detail; focus on a subject; remove distracting information
Cons: you might miss a car, piano, memory; you might change an idea; you might miss a clue about time period or story
- Resize. In many cases, you'll need to resize images for e-scrapbooks. Rather than "scrunching" pictures, use graphics software to proportionally adjust the size of visuals.
- Resolution. As you plan a project, consider whether it will be placed on the web or printed. This will impact the resolution needs of the visuals. If the images will be shown on a screen such as PowerPoint or web-based projects, then 72dpi is all that is necessary. If you plan to print pictures, check the capability of your printer. You may want to save your pictures as 300, 600, or even 2400dpi for high quality printouts.
- Rotate. Most software allows you to rotate an image. Consider tilting images at an angle.
- Shapes. With traditional scrapbooking, many people like to use photos cut into fun shapes. You can do the same with e-scrapbooks. You can crop photos into different shapes. You can also create interesting colored frames in different shapes.
Many software packages allow interesting interactive features such as pop-up boxes and comments.
- Action Buttons
- Buttons on maps – how town has changed
- Buttons on historic site – key information
- Buttons on artifacts – tickets, documents, science elements
- Comments and Notes
- PowerPoint Speakernotes
- Microsoft Word and Excel Comments
- About page in website; comments in webpage
Although the content of your writing is critical, it's also essential to make your text readable and interesting visually.
- Colors. Be sure you provide enough contrast between the foreground text and background color of your page.
- Fonts. Your computer comes with a few fonts, but you may want to download or purchase additional choices. Consider thematic fonts that depict a particular theme or mood. For example, you can get fancy fonts, kid's fonts, and Old English fonts.
- Font Sources. There are many online sources for free and inexpensive fonts: