If you’re using this as a Pixlr tutorial, we’ll be using Pixlr for free photo editing. In this post you will learn how to open an image from a web URL in Pixlr, how to undo in Pixlr, and I’ll introduce layers in Pixlr and image size in Pixlr (in other words, on images, what does 200 x 200 mean? What are pixels?).
I will assume that you know nothing about using Pixlr for on-line free photo editing. I only started using it a few months ago, so I really know what it’s like to know nothing. 🙂 Fortunately, I have a little Photoshop in my distant past and a resident Photoshop whiz, TechnoTim, for consulting.
In this series of posts, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to create a stunning cover photo using Pixlr for free online photo editing. I’ll even provide a free Pixlr Facebook page cover photo template for Pixlr to make it easier!
To make your facebook cover photo, you’ll need to know why a book author needs a Facebook page instead of a profile. You also need to sign up for your Facebook page. Did you do that? Go back and look at those posts. I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you’re up to speed, you’re going to want to make a Facebook cover photo to pretty up your page. For inspiration I looked at the facebook pages of two indie author super-stars, Lindsay Buroker”s facebook page and J.F. Penn”s (of the CreativePenn.com) facebook page.
Based on their designs, I made a cover photo for my own Facebook page using Pixlr.
You can hop over and see the real thing on my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/E.S.IvyAuthor.
The first thing you’ll notice different from the image above and the one you see on the facebook page is that the cover photo above doesn’t have the profile photo. Facebook overlays that for you. Lots of tutorials just tell you to avoid that general area. But the perfectionist in me just couldn’t handle that! Exactly where that photo overlaps can really affect the aesthetics of the page. So I’ve created a template that you can use in Pixlr.com to make sure you get everything in exactly the right place.
The cover photo I created for my author Facebook page has a pretty specialized background based on the cover of Miri Attwater and the Ocean”s Secret. To get the dimensions just right, Techno Tim had to add add some more art to original art files. You can do that if you have the skill, but for now I’m going to show you how to make a cover photo with an easier background.
To create the Facebook cover photo, I’m going to use Pixlr.com. If your not familiar with Pixlr, it’s a website where you can do free picture editing. You can think of it as Photoshop lite. The great thing is that it’s FREE. Completely free. You do all your editing on their webpage, Pixlr.com, and then save your files to your personal computer. I even used Pixlr to grab the images for this Pixlr tutorial!
Okay, let’s get started. To make a Facebook page cover photo like mine, you’re going to want to have images of your book covers saved to your computer. JPEG format will work; 300 x 400 will be more than big enough.
Pixlr tutorial: to make a Facebook page cover photo using a Pixlr Facebook page cover photo template
1. Go to Pixler.com.
2. Choose Pixlr Editor.
3. Choose Open Image from URL. (This way you won’t have to download my template to your computer. Pixlr will just open it directly from my site. So you don’t have to worry about downloading something you don’t know about to your computer. You are careful about downloading things to your computer, right? Because really, you don’t know me from JoeVirus.)
4. Now where you see this:
copy and paste: www.esivy.com/files/covertemplate.pxd
The file extension “.pxd” is a special file just for using in Pixlr. It won’t open in any other type of program. Which means it won’t open on your computer, only in the Pixlr browser. So you’re computer is completely safe!
5. Now you should be seeing this! (Minus the red circles and numbers.)
1 – is the picture you’ll be working on. We’re going to call it the image area or picture area.
2 – is where you’ll choose which tools to use
3 – is the navigator box where you can zoom in and out, choose layers, and see your editing history.
But don’t worry about remembering all that or trying to figure it out, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know; every click to make.
Important Tip! To undo anything, just like in your word processor, use Ctrl+Z. It will undo the last thing you did and you can work your way back. Write that down and stick it some place you can find it when you panic. 🙂
6. Look at the image area (area 1). You will notice at the bottom it says 851 x 315. This is the size of the Facebook page cover photo in pixels. (More on that later. I mean, there’s enough information here already.)
See that little gray box in the lower left? This is where your profile photo is going to overlay your cover photo. Note: The placement of the profile photo is different for the Facebook page cover photo and the Facebook profile cover photo. This template is adjusted for the Facebook page.
The gray box is just a place holder. Before we save your final file, we’re going to turn that layer off.
What do I mean by layers? Think of the layers as a stack of transparent sheets laying on top of each other. The way we’re going to make this image, we’re only going to put one item on each layer. Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense. As we go along I’ll explain it a little more. Just for now, don’t worry about color-coordinating that gray box with anything, because it won’t be there in your final file. It’s just a place holder to make sure you don’t put anything important there.
In the next post, we’ll start making the pretty stuff for your facebook page cover photo! We’ll start with how to make an author logo using Pixlr – -basically your name and some sort of tagline.