In class this week we talked about graphics – how to make, edit and use them:

  • Graphics are either pixel or vector based. I haven’t thought about this stuff in so long, but my background in mapping and remote sensing was where I initially learned about these terms. Sometimes I forget that I do have quite a bit of experience dealing with graphics, it was always just on the side so I didn’t really know I was learning it
  • The most commonly used programs for creating and editing graphics are Adobe Photoshop (pixels) and Illustrator (vector)
    • I’ve used these without any instruction and muddled my way through. There’s definitely a lot to learn.
    • They are expensive to buy (thank goodness for a student price 5 years ago), and now have annual subscriptions which increase the price as well
    • Most school districts don’t have access to these, so using them in our future classes is likely not possible
  • There are lots of other options. Some are also proprietary, others are open source or browser based. There’s also freeware, where you can use it initially for free but some functions are off limits with paying
  • A few I jotted down and will check out later were GIMP, Vectr, and Pixlr
  • BUT Michael mainly wanted to show us some of the capabilities of using Microsoft Powerpoint for editing (and creating) graphics
    • Widely accessible, not nearly as expensive
    • Familiar to most people
    • The early Microsoft take over of the office product suite really was incredible in how it still continues to dominate despite most of our class using apple products for everything else
  • So, in using Powerpoint, anything on the slides can be exported as a graphic, and it won’t be the size and shape of a slide, but the actual graphics you are interested in
    • You can save as all different kinds of file types
    • All the slides in a deck can be saved as individual images (I need to find out if there’s an automated way to do this because that would be great. Do they append the names?)
    • There are different artistic effects and formatting tools
    • You can add text, and use cropping and flipping/rotation to alter images
    • Smart Art can do a lot for you, or at least give some ideas

So I tried it out and made this image, which I’m going to use in a post soon to get into the weeds a bit about what really makes Middle Eastern food what it is….. a spice and ingredient round up! Stay tuned.