Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making Linkable Signatures for Message Boards

When I was trying to find out how to do this, I ended up not finding a whole lot that made sense.  After finding instructions from a few different places on how to do this for web pages, I was finally able to piece together how to do it for message board signatures.  So I wrote this tutorial to hopefully help you to avoid a lot of frustration. :)  and tears...and throwing things...saying bad words (not that I'm admitting I did)....

You need to check your forum rules to see what, if any, limitations there are regarding the size of signatures.  A lot that I’ve seen can be around 600 px x 200 px so you can use that as a guide and adjust later if you need.
For this tutorial, we’ll use the one I created for mine.

You can use anything you want to create yours.  I’m assuming you can probably figure that part out. ;)

Now to make it linkable…

Open up your Photoshop program.  I’m using CS5 for this.  Elements users…you will need to make your CS friends a batch of cookies and ask them to link it up for you.  I have no idea if you are able to do this with PSP or Gimp.  If you find that you can, feel free to post a comment letting everyone know! 
You are going to become friends with your slice tool.  

Now you will need to select your slice tool and draw selections around the different parts that need to be linked.  If you are wanting the whole image linked to one place, then you don’t need to do any of this.  On my siggy, I need 4 different links, so I will be making four different selections.  

You will need to make your selections right next to each other trying to avoid overlapping them.  If you do accidentally overlap them and need to fix or resize them, then click down on the slice tool and hold it down until you can see the other embedded tools.  Pick the slice select tool and click down on the slice you need to resize and resize it like you would anything else.

Another thing to think about is that it is way easier to slice side-by-side like I have mine.  I tried slicing it in ½ vertically and then doing little slices for my links under it and it was a disaster!  You can play around with it and see what works for you though.

After you get your slices where you want them, you will need to save them.  Go to File>Save for Web & Devices.  

Make sure you have Optimized selected (don’t ask me why…have no idea…just saw that somewhere).  You will also need PNG-24 selected.  The png part is for the transparency.  If you have a solid rectangle and no transparency parts, then you can pick jpeg.  Do a quick check and make sure that your Image Size is right.  You can change it here if you need to. 

When your settings are right, click save.  Now you can name your siggy.  Since you didn’t actually embed hyperlinks into the image itself (you can do that for actual web pages but I’m not covering that in this tut), then you can choose Images Only in the Format and All Slices.  Be sure to save this where you can find it easily. 

Now, go to the place where you saved your image.  You will have a folder called Images.  In that folder you will find each of your slices. 

Here in mine you see 2 extra files.  I really think that’s some overlap where my slices didn’t quite meet where they should.  We can just ignore them…it looks like it’s just on the edge and the top or bottom.  My image has transparent areas around it so it’s not going to matter much. 

You will need to have an account as some image hosting site like Photobucket (which I use) or Flickr or something like it.  Upload each image and open up your message board where you are going to place your siggy…be sure to open in a different tab or window because you will need the coding from Photobucket.
I’m going to show you how to load your images to the message board but keep in mind that every board is different.  Some may not allow links or may need different coding than what I’m showing you.  You will need to check with your forum rules or ask a moderator if there’s something different.

Ok…now log in to your forum and go to where you can edit your signature.  A lot of boards either have a Settings tab or a tab called User CP.  Then find a link that says Edit Signature. 

In the signature box, you will need to place your image codes.  It’s the [IMG][/IMG] code…in Photobucket, it’s the last one in the coding list. Some boards may need you to spell out image instead of using IMG…try the IMG first and if it doesn’t work, try the other.  When you are copying the code to your signature box, you will need to copy it in the order your image will appear with NO SPACES between the different image codes.  If you add a space, that will add a gap in your image. ;)  After you get all your images loaded, then click on Preview Signature and look at your image to make sure that it looks right.  Sometimes if you didn’t get your slices lined up exactly right you may have a little glitch that shows up.  If it’s not too noticeable and you aren’t a perfectionist, you can just leave it. Now scroll the screen back down to the message box.  Your image will show up there.  Click on the slice where you want to add your first link and it will highlight or have a box around it.  Now click on the hyperlink box…it’s a picture of the earth with a double chain link on it.  A box will pop up and you can add the url of the link.  An easy way to do this is to open up each place that you are wanting to link in a different tab.  When you are ready to link that page, then flip over to it and copy the url and then paste it directly into the pop up box.  Make sure that the http:// that is already in the box is highlighted so when you paste the url it replaces it.  Otherwise you will have http:// twice and your link won’t work until you remove one of them. 

Now do that for each of your links.  If you only had one image with one link, then just highlight the whole thing and do your link the same way as above. 

Click on preview signature again and click each of your links to make sure they work.  Save your signature!
If you want your signature to be centered, then go back to Edit Signature and highlight the whole thing and push the centering text button.  Save it again and your done!

If you have any questions or run into any problems, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help out the best I can. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland has been released today!  Everything at Berry Sweet Scraps is still 1/2 off until the 31st so this would be a great time to grab the whole collection if you want it. :)  I really had a lot of fun working on this kit.  Maybe it's because I can see "snow" without having to freeze to death in the process.  I hope you have as much fun using it as I had in creating it! you've seen the sneak peek and now it's time to see the real thing....

Remember, you can buy the whole collection for a discount or buy the individual kits separately. ;)

Now for a layout I made with it...

Don't forget you can pick up a glitter frame freebie to go with your collection. It's down a post. :)  You can also find one on my Facebook page and at the Berry Sweet Scraps blog both linked with the freebie post.

Happy {warm} winter!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Wonderland Freebie

Ready for a FREEBIE???  To celebrate the release of Winter Wonderland on Friday, I'm offering a set of 3 frames...glittered snowflake frames like the ones in the Winter Wonderland: Frames set.  You will need to do a bit of traveling for them though!  One is here, one on the Berry Sweet Scraps blog, and one on my Facebook page.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Now for my Big Announcement!

Well, it's big to me anyway!  lol  I am now selling my kits at Berry Sweet Scraps!  I didn't want to tell everyone until I got all my kits from the other store moved.  I'm really excited about my move!  Right now there is a Grand Opening 50% store-wide sale going on...just for January.  There are lots of challenges and games going on too.  They are a great group of people and I really think you'll like them too. 

Now for some JessicaSprague news....

Candice Stringham's new flash class...A Flash of starting soon.  Registration opens tonight for it!  I'm really excited to learn about my flash!  Candice is a great teacher and gives out tons of information.  This class is going to be set up like Oh Shoot in that there is an extended version and a standard version.  The extended version is limited class size...she comments on each assignment.  I want to be in this one...she's very encouraging and gives great advice on how to improve things and lets you know what you are doing right.  But I will be in the standard version.  You get everything the extended class does except for the comments from Candice.  She's pretty active in the class forum too.  Her teacher assistants are really great about helping too.  And as with all classes, once you sign up for them, they remain in your class menu forever.  So if you can't get to a lesson right now, it's still there for when you can!

It's a beautiful day here so I'm going to get outside and go walking with the family!  :) Have a great day!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Digital Art Journaling Class

I started yet another class today at Jessica Sprague...Digital Art Journaling.  This is a whole new arena for me!  it definitely took me out of my comfort zone.  We also got to make a font out of our own handwriting.  (have you ever tried typing with a yappy 12-year standing beside you??  lol) It came with a HUGE kit...a lot of it made by Nancie Rowe Janitz!  I've had a blast putting this together.  I've been wanting to do something like this but really didn't know how to go about it.  

This is the page I did today...

....and since I had so much fun with that, I made contact cards for the ladies on my visiting teaching route...

 I got the wording on it from After I printed these, I ran them through my Xyron with the laminating/sticker cartridge and then slapped them on business card magnets.  They turned out really cute!  

In case you are wondering about my big still need to wait a few more days!  lol

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Photoshop Fridays are BACK!

Jessica Sprague has started the Photoshop Fridays again.  If you haven't heard of them before, they are mini-classes where she teaches a specific Photoshop (Elements, too) technique.  You also get a layered template so you can make a layout just like the one Jessica did.  She has these for sale as individual lessons or you can get different subscriptions for a big discount.  You will get a Mega Kit with a year subscription.  And as with all of her classes, once you buy them, they are available to you in your Student Menu forever!  Can't beat that!!

Here's a layout I did with today's template and I also used Cosmo Cricket's Odds and Ends kits.

I did a layout yesterday about Caden using the supplies from Lesson 2 of Up & Running...

and another one from Up & Running...

If you've been wanting to try digital scrapbooking, this is the way to go!  Don't be intimidated by it can always request a mentor to help you out.  We are free of charge and are always willing to help. :)