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A Little-Known Graphics Source

A Little-Known Graphics Source

Teacher: Thomas Benton

You'll find thousands of free graphics on the web. And, as you surf, you'll see the same graphics again and again. There is one source that won't show up in your search for graphics on your favorite search engine (you are using SlingSearch.com, aren't you?). That source is *big daddy* Microsoft.

In Microsoft's Design Gallery you'll find clip art, photos, animations, and sounds that you can use on your web page. (You must own a licensed version of one of Microsoft's apps to use them legally. Be sure to read the license details.) Here's the URL: http://dgl.microsoft.com.

Each month Microsoft features new collections for you to choose from. The previous month's collections are archived for a year so you'll have hundreds of selections. The search feature affords an easy way to find the graphic you're looking for. For example, I searched for *photos* of *people*. The search returned 84 pages of jpegs! Download is easy.

You can download a single graphic by clicking on the drive icon. Or, you can download several by clicking the checkbox by each image you want. Files are downloaded in a file format that will automatically insert the graphic in the proper location in your Microsoft Clip Gallery. After downloading, the graphics are installed when you click on the file.

When you want to use a graphic in a Word document, you click Insert - Picture - Clip Art in the menu. The Microsoft Clip Gallery window pops up. You then choose the graphic you want to use from the window. The graphics are already cataloged for you. If you are building web pages using an editor, you'll need to locate the images on your hard drive. Open MS Word, launch the Clip Gallery window by clicking Insert - Picture - Clip Art in the menu. Then right click on a clip art image. Select the properties and note the path to the file. Do this again for photos.

Now that you know where the images are kept on your hard drive you can use them with your text editor. For ease of use, you may want to copy the image files to another file folder. While copying you may also want to convert the images to another file type such as GIF. They are then ready for insertion into your web page.

If you don't have a graphics viewer/editor, try IrfanView. This is a FREE application that will allow you to convert image files, crop, and manipulate the image somewhat. You can download IrfanView at http://www.ryansimmons.com/users/irfanview or at http://www.irfanview.com/ . Visit http://dgl.microsoft.com/ regularly and you can build a large collection of clip art and photos that everyone else isn't already using on the web. And, best of all, it won't cost you a penny!

About the teacher:
Thomas Benton's WebDesignWisdom.com is a comprehensive website design and Internet marketing resource featuring free articles and tutorials to help beginning netrepreneurs get it right the first time. Subscribe to his ezine, Active-eBuilder, at http://www.active-ebuilder.com or at http://www.webdesignwisdom.com

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