Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 13 July 2012

How to create a thumbnail of a website using Paint and PowerPoint

There may come a time when you want a miniature version of your website - I recently wanted one for a powerpoint presentation. If you google for websites that create thumbnails you'll find them in droves but the images looked a bit blurry to me, so I decided to have a go with the tools available to me: Paint (the basic paintbrush.exe or mspaint.exe that comes embedded with Windows) and PowerPoint. Undoubtedly there are whizzier tools or methods, this worked and it involved minimal faff and the not buying of new software.

Instructions are for a PC running Win7 / Windows7.

(Note that will make a free thumbnail that you can copy from the screen once made - I still think mine is less blurry but theirs takes no time at all to create, h/t @lesteph, see also

I've made one of those Screenr presentation things ( embedded below.

1. Go to the website you want to miniaturise
Adjust the text size with Ctrl+ or Ctrl- to increase or decrease. Resize the window to get what you want on the screen etc.

2. Once ready take a screenshot
On my keyboard I do this by pressing PrtScrn which is in the panel of keys between the QWERTY and the numeric keypad. If you've not used this before nothing happens but what you've done is copied the entire screen / desktop to the clipboard. If you just want to copy the website (or any active window / programme) press Alt+PrtScrn but to be honest this still doesn't save much time as you may need to remove the browser and just leave the website bit.

3. Open Paint
If you don't have it to hand it's at Start » type paint into search bar, press enter - it should open.

4. Paste the entire desktop into the paint window
Just press Ctrl+V

5. Brief fiddly interlude
You now have in Paint a copy of your entire desktop, or just the website depending on how you pasted it. The entire thing is selected and the rectangle selection tool is highlighted. Annoyingly it's the tool you want to prune out just the section you want to work with but it's currently focused on the entire editing window. You need to click on any tool and then click back onto the rectangle to release the tool so that you can use it.

6. Select the bit you're interested in
Use the rectangle tool to draw around the bit of the page you want - this will form your thumbnail later. Once selected you can press Ctrl+C to copy it.

If you've selected exactly what you want then go on to part 8, if not, part 7.

7. Further tweaking
Once you've copied your selection you can refresh the editing window (Ctrl+N for new and 'no' when prompted) then paste in (Ctrl+C) the bit you've just selected to tweak it further. If you've got stuff around the selection (eg bits of other window) then you can select the whole thing and move it UP and LEFT to clear it - this saves fiddly use of the eraser tool, although you can get rid of a lot with the selection tool and the delete key. To move the image to the left you can just click and drag, or you can use the left arrow key repeatedly. Similarly for 'up'. Then you need to click outside of the hatched area to release the selection tool.

You can also move the scrollbars to the far right and bottom and you'll see that there are very small blue dots in the middle of the edge of the editing screen. Grab these with the mouse and drag inwards to get rid of more white space.

8. Transferring into PowerPoint for final editing
Once you're satisfied press Ctrl+A to select your entire editing window which by now contains only your website and nothing else, and Ctrl+C to copy it.

Open PowerPoint and create a new blank presentation.

Ctrl+V will paste it into a slide but it will probably take up much more room than the slide has space for. Move the scrollbars so that you can get to a corner of your image, click on one of the dots that appear in every corner (they also appear at every edge but only use corner ones for this).

Hold down the Shift key and grab the dot, dragging it inwards to the centre of the slide - this will reduce the image's size and you can adjust the resized image to suit.

This was all that I wanted and I just kept the thumbnail in my presentation. You may want to upload it somewhere else though, in which case click on the image to select it then right click on it and choose the option to save it as a picture and use it however you like.

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