ALTERNATE GALLERLY WORKFLOW • THE PLAIN DEALER • CLEVELAND.COMPHOTOS FROM THE PD



COMMON QUESTIONS AND QUICK ANSWERS. CLICK THE QUESTION AND YOU WILL BE TAKEN TO THE ANSWER.

SUPER-USER PHOTO REDUCTION SHORTCUTTIPS AND TRICKSHOW TO FIX A CUTLINE IN AN EXISTING GALLERYHOW TO SIZE DOWN A SINGLE PICTURE FOR YOUR POSTHOW TO UPLOAD TO MERLINHOW TO COMPRESS A PICTURE OR A FILE OF PHOTOSWHY MUST I SIZE DOWN IMAGES?HOW DO I FEATURE A PHOTO?MULTIMEDIA SLIDESHOW STEPS (including how to do the title with Image Builder)SOME HELPFUL LINKSHOW TO DOWNLOAD FROM MERLIN AND GET CAPTIONSHOW TO BUILD A TITLE SLIDEHOW TO GET INTO TRAX

CONTACT: jfobes@plaind.com | 216-316-7037 | jonfobes@yahoo.com


ALTERNATE PHOTO GALLERY WORKFLOW, APRIL 2015

You will start with a folder of pictures on your desktop and quickly size them down, compress them and send them up to the Web. Then you will fill in the photo tool windows — and you're done. The first time I used it, I put up a 16-picture gallery in 14 minutes. Thom Fladung (with me assisting) had his first gallery up in about 20 minutes. David Kordalski (working totally from the cheat sheet) had his first gallery up in 35 minutes.

 

You might be able to do a gallery strictly from watching the video. Or you can follow the steps below. I would be glad to give you a 20 minute personal lesson any time you’re in the office! I also have hard copies of the cheet sheet.

DESKTOP STEPS

1. Start with a folder of photos on your desktop from Merlin, email, whatever. Shoot for 20 or less. Copy the folder and put it aside in case you need full-sized images for Merlin.

2. Open folder and click on a photo; it should automatically open in Preview, which is on every Mac. Go into the TOOLS menu, find SIZE and adjust: 16 inches X 72 dpi for a horizontal or 10 inches wide by 72 dpi for a vertical. Hit OK. Close photo. (Command W or red button on window.) Repeat. Should take only a few minutes. (I sized down 16 pictures in about 4 minutes on my first try.)

SEE BELOW FOR A SUPER-USER SHORTCUT ON PHOTO REDUCTION IN PREVIEW!

3. Now compress the folder. “Compress” is in the Mac desk-top FILE menu. This gives you the .zip you will upload to the Web. You are done with the desktop steps.

3. Now compress the folder. “Compress” is in the Mac desk-top FILE menu. This gives you the .zip you will upload to the Web.

MOVABLE TYPE STEPS

1. Sign into MT. Go into Photos from The Plain Dealer. Pull down tools and click “Change user with imposter” and select someone, unless you want the photos to go up under your name. (You must impostor as the very first step of the gallery process!) Pull down CREATE and choose GALLERY. Type in a gallery NAME at the top left. Use a proper, short SEO headline. Copy that to the DESCRIPTION window. Add some tags to your gallery. Select a category. Then …

2. The upload process:

A1. CLICK HERE TO ADD PHOTOS on gallery page.
A2. INSERT ASSET WINDOW opens: upload new file
A3. ANOTHER ASSET WINDOW opens: choose file
A4. DESKTOP OPENS IN WINDOW: Select .zip file, click CHOOSE.
A5. INSERT ASSET WINDOW opens: click upload
A6. FILE OPTIONS window opens: clear all windows, then click EXIF box at bottom; then click FINISH.
A7. NOW WAIT AS YOUR PHOTOS POPULATE THE GALLERY. This might be the most time-consuming portion of the entire process — or at least it seems that way.

3. When the pictures flow in, you see a list of thumbnails going down the left side of the window. And at the right you see EDIT. Click EDIT to get into all the windows. Check and edit the caption or type or paste a caption. Pull the caption window open to make it easier (pull and drag the bottom right corner). Copy and paste the gallery name into the photo title area. ALWAYS save your work on each photo (right side of window) and always SAVE GALLERY CHANGES when you have finished your individual photo changes. So that’s a DOUBLE save!

4. Order your photos using the edit/save button at right. Almost done: Click the box to the left of the thumbnail you like best and select FEATURE SELECTED PHOTO for river display. Make it a horizontal. Save all your changes. Then go to your post and embed gallery. Click SAVE. Preview. Publish. The first time I tried this method I completed a 16-picture gallery in 14 minutes with already-captioned Merlin photos. No reason you can’t do the same. Check the newly added VIEW GALLERY button to preview your finished work! (This button is on the top right, not pictured in the screen grab above.)

MORE LINKS

Blog sign-in URL: https://blog.advance.net/cgi-bin/mte/mt.cgi

Merlin Web URL: https://cle.merlinone.net/

Learn the basics of TextEdit: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT2523

Learn the basics of Preview: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201740

Advance University: http://www.advanceuniversity.net/

Cleveland.com

Photos from The Plain Dealer (your gallery will be on the second or third page)

If you lose the URL for this page, you can always find get back to it by typing "fobes.net" into your browser, and you will find a link on the main page of the site.


TIPS AND TRICKS

APRIL 2: Mike Rose informs me that their current best practices is to tell poeple "DON'T PUT TAGS ON PHOTOS!" David Petkiewicz informs me that Merlin has no use for tags. Tag the gallery and the post as usual.

APRIL 2: Always check your finished gallery captions for coding problems. Word has been known to introduce weird characters. TextEdit seems to be pretty clean. If I were doing captions, I would type them into TextEdit and then past into the MT photo tool and/or the Merlin upload window.

APRIL 2: You can crop and tone as you wish and even fix skewed photos with the rotation tool in Preview. It's in the same TOOLS menu as the size-adjustment tool.

APRIL 8: In the top right corner of the photo gallery page, you find a DISPLAY OPTIONS area. If you click that you can pull down and choose to view more images in your gallery. You can also do that on the MANAGE assets page.

MAY 15: SUPER-USER PHOTO REDUCTION SHORTCUT!

If you want to step up your game in the photo-gallery department, try this shortcut for reducing image size. This method allows you to reduce an entire folder at once. Here’s how it works:

First, find Preview in your applications folder and drag the icon to your dock. It looks like a couple of photos and a magnifying loupe used by visual editors.

Now drag a folder full of images onto that icon, and Preview will open up with a strip of thumbnails running down the left side of the page.

Put your cursor in the thumbnail area and do COMMAND A to select all. Then click on TOOLS and adjust size: 16 inches wide x 72 resolution. Click OK and the whole folder is reduced.

If you have a few verticals in the bunch, you can go back and grab the individual images and reduce them to the proper size, 10 inches wide x 72 resolution. (The height adjusts automatically.) Then resume the process according to the initial cheat sheet (above). If you have a lot of verticals, you could always isolate them in their own folder for batch reduction then move them into the main folder with your horizontals before making the .zip file.

THIS SHORTCUT IS OPTIONAL! If you want reduce the pictures one by one, please do so. This batch-reduction process will only save you a few minutes anyway. On my first try I reduced a folder of 16 photos (doing the one-by-one method) in under four minutes. So if this shortcut doesn’t make sense to you, just forget about it. Of course, if you’re like me, you’d rather do it in 1 second than 4 minutes!

AN INTERESTING NOTE (at least it's interesting to me) ... I have recently found myself incorporating some of this new method into my old, standard way of doing things (as presented in the class) with the end result being that I get little groups of Cavs' playoff pictures up on the Web faster than ever before. SO IF THIS PROCESS HELPS ME, I KNOW IT CAN HELP YOU!


SEE BELOW FOR QUICK-HELP TOPICS

HOW TO FIX A CUTLINE IN AN EXISTING GALLERY

Sign on to MT > Photos from The Plain Dealer > Manage assets > Select "galleries" filter at right of screen > Click headline to open gallery > Click "edit" far right from thumbnail > Pull open caption window by dragging on bottom right corner > Make your caption correction > Click "save" to exit that section of the gallery > Click "save gallery changes" > You're done. Fix headline or description errors by clicking in those respective windows.

AN ADDED TRICK: Let's say this is an older gallery, not visible as you scroll down the page. You can get more galleries by clicking on the number at the top right of the gallery page. It will show you more and more and more as long as you keep clicking back to previous pages.

THE GALLERY SEARCH TRICK:

HOW TO SIZE DOWN A SINGLE PICTURE FOR YOUR POST

Click on the picture file and it will automatically open in Preview > Go to TOOLS menu > pull down to the ADJUST SIZE area >

Set the dimensions as shown above and click OK > close the image by clicking red button in top left corner of window > save the file to your desktop > select the file > compress (file menu > compress) > open your post > add photo > upload to the post.

NOTE! If the photos you are resizing are already smaller than 16 inches by 72 resolution, then they are already small enough for your gallery; no need for downsizing. But that means they are probably too small to run in the paper. So you may need to contact the person who sent them and ask for larger images for the ones you want for print.

HOW TO DOWNLOAD FROM MERLIN

Go to the web and sign on to Merlin: Merlin Web URL: https://cle.merlinone.net/

In the thumbnail view, click the rightmost box under the photo. It has the arrow pointing downward. A box opens. Click SUBMIT. The image will probably go into your download folder. Or it might go on your desktop.

It has come to my attention that some people download pictures from Merlin in such a way that they are already below the 16 x 72 figures -- and they come without captions. The better workflow here is to take photos from Merlin using the standard download process then downsize in Preview -- and your captions will be intact and transfer automatically up to the Web. In short: Downsizing is amazingly faster than re-captioning!

HOW TO UPLOAD TO MERLIN

Make sure you have a good-sized file for the print edition of the paper > if the file is under 1 MB make a note of it in the cutline, so Pub Hub will plan to run it small > sign on to Merlin

Merlin Web URL: https://cle.merlinone.net/

Use your Outlook email password to sign in > Up in the right corner you have five icons > click the middle one with the curving arrow > that takes you to an upload screen > write or copy caption info into the big box (filling in the other boxes is optional) > make sure the photo credit is on the caption as it should appear in print or on the Web > upload.

HOW TO COMPRESS A PICTURE OR A FILE OF PHOTOS

Choose the photo or folder on your desktop > Pull down the FILE menu and choose compress > a zip file will pop up on your screen > Compressing DOES NOT take the place of reducing the size of photos for the Web: Size reduction comes first, compression comes later.

WHY REDUCE PHOTO SIZE?

One person happily said, "I never reduce photo size!" And the next week walked over to my desk and said, "Hey, MT won't upload this photo; says that the file size is too big." SO TO BE SAFE and to SPEED UP the upload process, it is always best to reduce. Goes up faster for you; loads and displays faster for the reader.

HOW DO I FEATURE A PHOTO?

Go into MT and pull up your gallery so you can edit it. Click the box to the left of the image you want to feature. And remember, "feature" in this case means that it will be displayed in the river, so make it a horizontal. Just because it's featured does not mean it will be the first photo in your gallery. That honor falls to the photo you've made No. 1. Play it safe and make your No. 1 gallery photo your featured photo, too.

VERY QUICK GUIDE TO MULTIMEDIA SLIDESHOWS

1. Go into MT and select the blog where you want to build your show. This should be a type-based blog like SPORTS or METRO or BUSINESS.  2. Pull down CREATE to “Create MM slideshow.”  3. Write a headline for your show. Put in a brief description of your show. Make sure the blog your're working in does not automatically publish your show as you working on it!

4. Under the SLIDES area, click +Add Slide. 5. A new window pops up; click INSERT PHOTO. (Make sure photo has been sized down in Preview). 6. Add a title. Add a caption (unless one uploads with the photo). Remove the info in the BYLINE box, and click save.

7. Click SAVE in the blue box at the bottom and preview the gallery. (Don’t forget to DOUBLE SAVE: Each slide and then the whole show. Otherwise, you lose your work!)

8. Click +Add Slide again, and another window opens. We want a video in this slide. Click INSERT VIDEO if you want one from The Plain Dealer. Or you can go to YouTube. Click on the SHARE icon and copy the embed code. Come back to your show. Click ADD MAIN CONTENT/EMBED TEXT. Click in the window to get the menu. Click on the <> menu and a window opens. Paste the embed code there and click OK. Your video will play in the window.

SAVE THE SLIDE AND SAVE THE SHOW and preview. Video should play.

9. The last step is the title slide. You need to create this yourself. Very easy!
Copy and past this link into browser: http://www.cleveland.com/static/tools/Imagebuilder/

It will walk you through the steps to make a title slide and download it to your computer. You will use a photo from your desktop as your title slide. Size it down as usual.

10. Re-ordering your slides is easy. Click a slide and hold down the mouse button as you move it up and down to the proper position.

NEW TITLE SLIDE RULES

Your title slide is Slide 1. Under the photo in the ADD MAIN CONTENT/EMBED TEXT field put at least 80 words introducing and describing your show. DO NOT click the USE TITLE box as that will take away all your copy, which GOOGLE needs to share your show to the widest possible audience. In the olden days, your slides started with a T. Now you don't want to see the T, just a 1.

REMEMBER THIS: This is a regular post. You must publish it. You can schedule it. You CAN NOT embed it in another post (a story). But you can link to it. And it is NOT built in a photo blog. 

DO YOUR FIRST SHOW WITH JON OR JO ELLEN.

A final word on title slides. If you are doing a complicated or big project-related MMSS, you might consider having me make your title screen in Photoshop. It works lots better than Image Builder. But quickie one-offs, you will be doing the title yourself.

HOW TO BUILD A TITLE SLIDE

Open Image Builder. Drag a down-sized photo into the add-photo box. Add the main headline by typing into the little window on the right side of the screen. Do the same for the drop head below. Click on the DOWNLOAD type under the photo. It will pop up in a new window on the screen. Click on the photo and SAVE AS to your desktop. It will default to "unknown." You can leave that as the title if you like. The title slide is now ready.

The advantages of having a Photoshop title: We can outline the type to make it stand out against an troublesome background (too busy or too light). We can put a drop shadow on the type. We can reposition the type. We don't have a darkened image. See below for examples, one each from Image Builder and Photoshop.

Above you have an Image Builder title slide that works OK with this photo.

Above you have a Photoshop-created title slide on an illustration where Image
Builder would have failed to give good results. I am happy to do Photoshop
titles for you.

HOW TO GET INTO TRAX

Call up Trax. Sign on with your Outlook user name and password.