Category Archives: Computer stuff

Layer mask in Photoshop

At last I have found a brief and simple explanation of how to make and use a layer mask in Photoshop.

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Filed under Adobe, Computer stuff, Photoshop, YouTube videos

Problem with video loop in PowerPoint

It just would not play! I followed all the instructions about inserting video. Including this one which is as clear as a bell.
The image appeared in the Powerpoint, yet still it would not play in presentation mode. Finally, after much googling, I found the answer – a simple one! Videos in PowerPoint are not embedded, merely linked to. The problem lies in the player that Powerpoint uses being able to follow a path to the file (which should, incidentally, be in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation).
This player is limited to following a path of only a certain number of characters (a hundred and something, as I recall). My video and Powerpoint was so deep in the folder structure, and the video loop had such a long file name, that the path exceeded the allotted characters.

Solution? Easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy…when you know how! Simply shorten the name of the video loop file. I suppose I could have copied the whole shebang onto my desktop and relinked the videos from there.

So now, job done! Everything plays nicely when it should It even works in PowerPoint Viewer, when packaged for CD. All that is left is to get the background music syncing with the voiceover and we’ll be done.

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Filed under Computer stuff, PowerPoint

101 photoshop tips in 5 minutes

Can you believe it? This is amazing – Deke McLelland really knows his stuff!
I am learning little by little how to use Photoshop and this video is a fun challenge to use the tools.

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Filed under Adobe, Computer stuff, Photoshop

Photshop layers tutorial- creating a border

I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out a solution to a Photoshop problem –  how to put a white border around an image .

I tried all sorts of things, but every time I drew a rectangle it filled with colour, instead of being an empty frame for the picture to sit in.

Then I found a great tutorial – clear and well illustrated. In there are instructions for setting up a border layer.

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Filed under Adobe, Computer stuff, Photoshop


Isn’t it fascinating how many words have changed their meaning over the years.  When I first dipped my toe into computing it was a whole new language. Mouse, driver, wallpaper, copy and paste – everything seemed to be old words with new meanings.

The word I found hardest to use was avatar [ the little picture that accompanies a post and is a logo representing the poster] .  I had known this term before, but its only meaning to me was the Hindu concept of a higher god-like being. So it kind of jarred with me. This is because I am a Christian and didn’t want to call any representation of myself an avatar. My belief is that there is only one God, supreme, unique.

Now, of course, I realize that in addition to the original use avatar means something else.  I use the words mouse and wallpaper without even thinking of the original meanings, so now use avatar in an equally untroubled way.

All this has come to the front of my mind as I’m setting up this blog and tweaking a few things. I would like to use the option given here at WordPress to upload an avatar. That’s another design challenge for another day!

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Filed under Blogging, Christianity, Computer stuff, WordPress

Adobe InDesign CS3 rocks!

I just love InDesign CS3. After all the problems I had getting the new CS3 suite installed I am delighted with it.

The upgrade from CS2 has been well worth while and I am discovering new benefits every day. So far the best thing for me has been the new tool panels (or are they palettes? I always get mixed up because I think the different programs in the suite call them different things). They dock perfectly, the icons are easily recognized, they fly out and slide back very elegantly. And the new effects pallet/panel is great. Applying effects so quickly to fill, stroke, text or objects – the versatility and usability is far better than CS2.

There is still heaps to learn about InDesign, but I get great help from the podcast done by David Blatner and Ann-Marie Concepcion. They speak so personally to us listeners; as a noobie I get a lot from it, and yet don’t feel they speak down to me, or over my head. They are not only very knowledgeable and informative, but also personable and humorous. Their podcast (InDesign Secrets) is the highlight of my week-eek-eek-eek (You have got to hear an episode to get that reference!!)

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Filed under Adobe, Computer stuff

Stay calm and follow instructions

Last week I hit a bad patch with my computer software.

I had been using Adobe CS2 for a while, and now I was to upgrade to CS3.  As always, I did a web search of any known issues and discovered that some people had hit bad problems – all the programs in the suite loaded without difficulty, except Acrobat and Acrobat reader 8.

I imagined that I would be one of those who had a trouble-free install and pressed ahead.  It wasn’t to be.  All went well – Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge, InDesign all loaded smoothly; then, just as the green bar had crept almost to the end, and just as Acrobat was loading, the installation stopped and a message told me that one element had failed to install – Acrobat.  Forty minutes to install and almost an hour  to uninstall the whole suite ate into that evening. I tried again – twice! Install…get stuck…uninstall.

Drastic measures were called for, so it was a late night spent scouring the web for a solution.  Finally I found it, in the shape of post by Larry Riggs. This analysed the problem, explained a solution and then led me by the hand through the inplementation.  Adobe CS3 is now fully installed and operating sweetly.

Larry’s solution led me “to boldly go…” into the depths of the registry.  It sounds really neat in Larry’s words: “drilling down to CLSID at the fifth level.”  ;-)!!!

The lesson I learned in all this is to stay calm and follow instructions.  This guy knows what he is talking about, explains in a crystal-clear manner ( even I could understand it), has helped hundreds to resolve their computer problems and gave me confidence to go ahead and do it.

I prayed for God to help me and as I set off following the info on Larry’s page, I realized that what he was asking me to do would not crash anything – indeed it was reversable. So, having read carefully the whole thing, I followed step by step and ticked everything off as I completed it.  IT WORKED!

If you have this problem, or are contemplating upgrading to CS3, you’ll want to see Larry’s masterly piece .  

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Filed under Computer stuff