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Fxfoto - quick start of photo editing

Import Photos from Your Camera
Connect and turn on your camera, setting it for transferring pictures. Press the Import button. Type a new Folder Name and press Next. View thumbnails of all photos on the camera and choose those to be imported. You can also rotate them and apply keywords as desired. For most cameras, press Next again to choose the photos to be erased from camera memory. Finally press Import and the pictures will appear in the chosen folder. See Organizing Photos for more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Find a Folder
Left-pane folders can be ordered chronologically or alphabetically with the Folder button's Alphabetical Folder Order toggle. Also under Folder, Minimize All Folders just shows folder names, making them easier to find. You can click a date on the left-hand timeline to show the folder with the closest beginning creation date. The short blue marks show where your folders fall on the timeline and bright blue marks the selected folder. Jump to Folder allows you to select a folder from a drop-down menu and quickly scroll the left pane there.

Search Folders
Beyond scrolling through all of your left-pane folders, you can also use the Search button to look for photos taken on a desired date or with one or more desired keywords. You can apply keywords of your choosing when you first Import photos or by right clicking on a folder photo and choosing Picture Information. You can apply the same keywords to multiple photos during Import or by opening them all and using Apply All in the Info Picture Description dialog. You can also find photos in a given folder or in all folders with the same name beginnings. The Search dialog can create a special green Search Results folder with copies of All matching photos or can scroll you to the Next matching photo.

Preview Photos
Just click on a left-pane folder photo to preview it the right-pane collage area. Or you can drag it into the right-pane area. These also open the photo. You can cycle through opened photos with the Back and Next buttons, which are blue arrows on the right side of the toolbar. Or you can see a slide show of all opened photos with the Viewer button. To clear out opened preview photos, just press the Review and Remove Photos button and then choose Clear Whole Collage.

Rotate a Photo
When you take pictures with your camera held sideways, you can rotate them upright during the Import.

After photos are imported or scanned into the left-pane folders, rotate them by clicking or right clicking on the left-pane photo and choosing Rotate Picture Right or Rotate Picture Left from the Folder popup menu.

Once opened into the right collage window and selected, rotation pull tabs appear on the upper-left corner and can rotate the photo to any angle. Hold down the Ctrl or Shift keys when rotating to lock into 90 degree angles (unless the image is part of a glue group). However, the pull tabs only rotate the photo as it appears in the collage and do not normally rotate the original photo file. You can use Rotate Picture Right or Rotate Picture Left from the Edit menu (or after right clicking in the right collage pane) to rotate by right angles and also save the rotation back to the left-pane folder.

Improve a Photo
Click on a left-pane photo to open it. Press the Correct button and choose the Improve Image tab. Press the Auto Improve button to correct for dark photos and other lighting problems. Or press Brightness Contrast Gamma or Color Balance Controls to manually tweak the lighting and color balance. Note that the Gamma adjustment can be effective for bringing out very dark features. The Use Circle Click Tool brings out very dark (or very light) objects in limited areas of the photo. Press the button, adjust the Circle Width and Darker - Lighter sliders as desired, and click the circle over an unbalanced photo area to improve. Once modified, FxFoto will automatically ask if you want the changes permanently saved back to the folder when you open another photo or exit. Or use Save Image As or Save Mods from the Save toolbar buttton. See Fixing and Annotating Photos for more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Remove Red Eye from a Photo
Click on a left-pane photo to open it. Press the Correct button and choose the Remove Red Eye tab. Choose Standard or Extra Sensitivity. Adjust the Correction Circle Width as needed and position the circle with your mouse over one eye in the right-pane photo. The circle should be centered on the eye and should be big enough to completely surround the inner red portion. Click the mouse to automatically remove the redness. You can right click for Extra Sensitivity even when Standard Sensitivity is chosen.

Remove Blemishes from a Photo
Click on a left-pane photo to open it. Press the Correct button and choose the Remove Blemish tab. Adjust the Correction Circle Width so that the circle is as small as possible without touching the blemish area to be removed. Click the mouse over each blemish in the right-pane photo to automatically blend out the area inside the circle.

Crop a Photo
Click on a left-pane photo to open it. Press the Crop button. For normal cropping, make sure Pull or Adjust Rectangular Crop Area is pressed. Position the mouse over one corner of the desired part of the right-pane photo. Hold down the left mouse button and drag to the opposite corner of the desired rectangle. Then adjust the crop rectangle if needed by moving the mouse over one of the sides and dragging that edge as desired. To fade at the edge of the cropped photo, use the Feather slider. Then press Crop Image to remove portions of the photo outside the selected rectangle.



Annotate a Photo

Press the Correct button and choose the Filter Effects tab to choose from a large library if cool photo effects such as painting simulations and fun distortions. Most of the Filter Effects are trial-only in the Standard Edition.

Press the Frame button to choose from various custom framing effects. Remember to press Apply to see the frame.

Press the Text button to add text above, below or over a photo. Choose the desired text type and a popup Edit Text dialog allows you to type one or more lines of text that immediately appear over the photo below. Various text formatting and effects can be applied to the entire text object. Press OK to keep the text. You can then click on the text object to select it and reposition, resize or rotate it with the standard drag handles. When you click and drag the photo, the associated text annotations automatically move with it. Note that the right-pane view remains fixed when you re-edit text. After creating some text and pressing OK, position your view as desired, click the text and use Edit the selected existing text object.

Press the Draw button to draw colored lines and areas over, around or under photos. Choose the type of drawing pen, the drawing color(s) and the line width as desired. Then drag with the left mouse button over the right-pane collage window to draw. Or choose Gyro Smooth to automatically drag smoother lines. Or chose Click Draw to click a series of line segment mid points before pressing the red X or the Esc key to end each line.

See Fixing and Annotating Photos for more detailed step-by-step instructions.



Print Images
Click on one or more left-pane photos to open or create a collage layout in the right pane. Press the Save toolbar button and choose Print. Thumbnails of all open photos appear. Select one or more to be printed by clicking to toggle on their green tags and press Next. Choose various Printer Settings, such as title and caption text to print at the top and bottom of each page, and press Next again. Choose the format style of the images to be printed and see previews of the page or pages. Choose Entire Collage to print the whole collage layout. Press Finish and the final printer control dialog appears.

Email Images
Click on one or more left-pane photos to open or create a collage layout in the right pane. Press the Save toolbar button and choose EMail. Thumbnails of all open photos appear. Select one or more to be e-mailed by clicking to toggle on their green tags and press Next. Choose the style of the images to be e-mailed and see them previewed. Choose Entire Collage to send the whole collage layout. Choose how to deresolve the images. Smaller images have less detail are faster to send. Check Pass Images to MAPI and press OK and your default e-mail client is called with the chosen photo images already attached to a new message. Just address and add any message text before sending. Or check Copy Images to FxFotoUpload for webmail and switch to your browser to attach the image files in the special FxFotoUpload folder in Pictures or My Pictures.

Upload Images
Upload makes it easy to send photos to online printing and sharing sites. Click on one or more left-pane photos to open or create a collage layout in the right pane. Press the Save toolbar button and choose Upload. Thumbnails of all open photos appear. Select one or more to be uploaded by clicking to toggle on their green tags and press Next. Choose the upload service from the available list. FxFoto can automatically send files over the Internet to most listed services. The Generic choice places your selected photos in the special FxFotoUpload folder to make it easier to manually upload them from other services. After pressing Next again, choose the style of the images to be uploaded and see them previewed. Choose Entire Collage to upload the whole collage layout. Also choose whether to Deresolve for faster uploading (but too much deresolution can make prints fuzzy). Press either Next or Finish and follow the instructions for the selected service.



Build a Collage or Scrapbooking Layout


Press the New toolbar button. Then choose 8x8 or 12x12 for standard scrapbooking layout sizes.

Choose Quick to use a Quick Sketch Template to use a template where you can drop papers or photos into solid background areas. Note that some FxFoto editions come with a selection of Quick Sketch Template ready to click open in the Templates left-pane folder.

Choose Grid to create your own custom drag-and-drop template with adjustable rows and columns of photos and text using the Custom Grid Template dialog. Or choose Quick to base a layout on a Quick Sketch Template image.

Choose Theme for a library of collage templates that you can easily drop photos into. When the theme layout appears, just click or otherwise open photos to fill in the blank frames. Or drag photos to the desired target frame. You can drag to replace a photo even after the frame has been filled. Click on generic text to enter your own information for the collage. Once all photo frames in the theme are filled, the next photo clicked starts a new collage with the same theme on the next slide. See Using Themes for more information.

For templates, just drag and drop images into template areas.

For manual collages without a template, make sure the Collage Add button is down and click on multiple left-pane photos or images to open them onto the same slide. Or just drag them onto the same slide. To reposition, resize or rotate, click on a right-pane photo and drag its edges.

Use the Crop button to cutout part of a picture for the collage. Also see Annotate above for tips on how to add frame, text and drawing effects to your collage. Use Add Accent to include bars and boxes in the collage.

You can right click on a collage photo and choose Show Image on Top or Show Image on Bottom to reorder the selected photo so that it slides over or under another.

FxFoto can move to any desired collage viewpoint, zooming and panning exactly as desired. See Navigation Tools for various ways to move your right-pane viewpoint.

Press Save and choose Save Collage to save your work to an FxFoto file. If you have the Standard Edition, an FxFoto Upgrade is required to build and save multi-photo collages.

You can also use Save Image As to save an image of the collage as a new file in one of your folders or elsewhere on your computer. Image files are not editable collages but they save your layout for use by other software and for sending to people without FxFoto. You cannot change the photo arrangement with just the saved image, since the collage image is static rather than an editable FxFoto Save Collage document. Of course, you can save your layouts both ways.

See Creating Multi-Photo Collages and Layouts and also Creating Your First Scrapbooking Layout for more detailed step-by-step instructions.



Build a Slide Show


Slide shows and collages are really the same thing in FxFoto. A slide show is just a collage with more than one page. And an FxFoto collage is just a slide with more than one photograph. Both are saved in FxFoto's “Collage” files.

Press the New toolbar button and choose Slide Show.

To start a new slide, first make sure that the  Collage Add button is up. Then click on a left-pane photo to open as the first in a newly created slide. Use the  Back and  Next buttons to switch between slides.

Press the Slide button to review or change various Slide Settings such as the Slide Duration and Cross Fade time in seconds. Be sure to press the Apply or Apply All button to use new settings you enter on any of the Slide tabs.

To review or rearrange the order of your slides, press the Slide Order button on the Slide Settings and click the images in the desired new order.

The Special Effects tab allows you to set various entrance and exit effects for the current photo's slide instead of the normal cross fade.

The Tour Panning tab allows the slide show to move between viewpoints on the same slide rather than just to the next slide. It can be used to pan the camera slowly over the slide during the show.

To add music to your show, use press the Collage button, the choose Collage Settings and the Background Music tab. Or from Slide Settings, use the Slide Music or Audio button to start the music at the current slide.

Press the Viewer button to preview the show. Be sure to use Save Collage (available from the Save button) to save your work to an FxFoto file.

Remember to save your work using Save Collage (available from the Save button). If you have the Standard Edition, an FxFoto Upgrade is required is required to save slide shows.

See Creating Slide Shows for more detailed step-by-step instructions.



Burn a CD-ROM Slide Show

Compose the desired Multi-Photo Collage and/or Slide Show as described above. Then press the Save button and choose Burn Photos or SHow CD-ROM. Insert a blank recordable CDR and follow the directions.

The Upload command's Generic Hold for Later or Burn to CD-ROM service also allows you to burn JPEG image files with more control over images names and layouts, but without the auto-start viewer presentation.

The Media Edition can also convert the slide show to a Movie file which can be recorded to Video CD or DVD discs with separate burn software, not included. These Video CD and DVD discs are compatible with most modern home DVD players.

To burn the CD directly from FxFoto, you must be running FxFoto on a computer with Windows XP, Vista or better, since earlier versions of Windows do not support this feature. With older versions of Windows or if you choose Use Separate CD Burn Application in Options, FxFoto creates an FxFotoBurnCD directory in Documents or My Documents and you must switch to separate CD creator software to record the contents. (Once burned, the CD-ROM can be played on any PC with Windows 98 or better.) If you have the Standard Edition, an FxFoto Upgrade is required to burn CD-ROM slide shows.



Create Slide Show Movies

FxFoto Media Edition can create MPEG movie files that can be recorded to DVD or CD with separate software, not included. It can also create MPEG-4, MPEG-2, AVI or WMV movies for viewing from computers, web sites and portable devices. First create or open the slide show collage. When the show is finished, press the Save button, choose Transfer Show to Movie and press Begin to create the movie file on your disk. When complete, you can start separate MPEG-compatible DVD or CD creator software to burn the MPEG file onto a disc compatible with most DVD players. Note that the CD creator software that comes with most CDR drives must be upgraded to handle MPEG movies. See Transfer Show to Movie for details. You must upgrade to the Media Edition to create movies.



Create a New Image File
Build a corrected and/or annotated photo or multi-photo collage. Press the Save button, choose Save Image As and choose the desired image style. You can make a copy of the selected photo or can create an image which includes your annotations or even a multi-photo layout. A preview appears of the image to be created. Change the Saved Image Pixel Size if desired. Smaller sizes result in fuzzier images but smaller files. Press Next and choose the Target Location for the new image. When you save the image file in one of your left-pane folders' directories, FxFoto automatically creates or updates the appropriate folder thumbnail. You can also choose the desired image format from the Browse button under Target given path using the Save as type drop-down menu.

Create a Stitched Panorama of Photos
You must take horizontally overlapping photos of a scene and properly rotate the camera on its axis to minimize parallax errors. Open the photos into the right pane. Press the Add button, choose Stitch Photos and adjust the Photo Stitching Settings. The default settings are best in most cases. Press Begin and a new slide appears with the combined panorama image. If you have the Standard Edition, an FxFoto Upgrade is required for Photo Stitching.



Organize or Create Folders
To move left-pane photos between folders, simply drag them as desired. If the target folder does not show, it may help to use Folder Minimize All Folders and then press the [+] to show only the desired folders. Better yet, use Folder Move Picture(s) to move or copy the selected left-pane photo to any folder.

You can create a new folder when you Import photos. The Folder Move Picture(s) can also create a new folder. To re-arrange existing photos into a new folder, use Folder Move Picture(s) to move the selected left-pane photo and type a new target folder name.

The Folder Archive Folder to CD-ROM command writes the entire folder including the selected photo to CD and then allows you to remove the pictures or folder from your computer to save space.

To use any of these Folder commands, click on a left-pane folder photo to open a preview and then press the Folder toolbar button. Or you can right-click on the photo to select it without opening and choose from the popup menu. Access common whole-folder commands by clicking the small icon to the right of the folder's title.

When FxFoto is first installed, it automatically finds photos on your computer. If you later want to add other Windows folders to the left pane, use the Import Scan command. Or use each folder's Rescan Folder to show new or changes photos created from outside of FxFoto.



Review and Remove Open Photos
Press the Review and Remove Photos button to see all opened or previewed right-pane images as thumbnails in a popup dialog. Press Clear Whole Collage to remove them all. Or select photos by clicking on them and press Remove Red Tagged Photos. Jump to any photo's slide by click on it and pressing Show Blue Outlined Photo. Press Review Slides to switch to the Slide Order with whole-slide thumbnails where you can re-order the sequence. Review Slides is also available from a small slides icon on the right side of the toolbar.

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