For the online learning world


Graphics applications for your LMS

Everyone needs to edit an image now and again for their course, but what’s the best options?

As a Mac user, I think one of the most under-rated applications for quick and simple image editing is right their in the macOS Operating System, and it’s called Preview.

Many Mac users will know that you can select an image file in the Finder, and hit the Spacebar to view the file using ‘Quicklook’.  Actually, it’s not just images, but movies, .pdf’d, audio, etc.  The Finder can give you a quick look at an amazing number of file types instantly.

But if you choose an image, a .png or a .jpg for example, you can see a button that says ‘Open in Preview’ – which instantly opens the image in Preview, ready for editing.

And Preview can do a lot !

As well as rotation, you can adjust the size and colour of images – which include brightness, contrast, tint, sharpness, temperature and other aspects just using simple sliders.  Or give ‘Auto levels’ a try for a super fast quick fix.

You can Export the image into a number of different formats too – great for when you were sent a huge .jpg and need to save as a web-friendly .png for example.

Preview also allows you to annotate on the image using arrows, boxes, and other shapes, and of course add text and highlight text. I use this method daily when answering IT support questions – where a quick screen capture, and minimal annotation will provide the user with a visual representation of what they should do – it’s often an instant solution – whereas text can just be in the ‘too hard’ basket for some users (which is sad, but true).

There are even some quite advanced select tools, such as Lasso, and Smart Lasso, that allow areas of the image to be selected and manipulated separate from other parts of the image – just like the pro’s do using Photoshop !

So, if you are a Mac user, and you often need to tweak images for use in Moodle or another LMS, have you tried the Preview application?  It’s surprising flexible and works for maybe 95% of my needs … and it’s right there !

If you are a Mac user, do you use Preview in this way, or some other image editing tool?

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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