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At my workplace, there’s only one public computer in our common room. Individual computers are for top management only. So everybody at my workplace was furious when our little black mouse vanished. Even though one of my friends was kind enough to lend his own mouse, the tension was still rising. To lighten up the atmosphere, I decided to make a quick and funny desktop wallpaper based on the situation.
Why wallpaper? So that everybody – the management people included – could see it. And why quick? Because in about fifteen minutes, one of the supervisors would visit the common room.
The problem was, the only graphic application that existed on the computer was MS Paint. Extremely inadequate for our little project. And to think that I only had several minutes left, I might just have canceled my plan. Fortunately, there’s MS Word to save the day.
In my humble opinion, using the famous Microsoft Word just to write documents is overkill. It has so many features beyond word processing. My first graphic editor is Word, and I still use it occasionally for small and quick projects like this wallpaper thingy.
In the rush of the moment, I didn’t have the time to document the process. So I recreated everything at home using MS Word for Mac. The images might have slight differences to the Windows version, but the steps are exactly the same.
Anyway, here’s what I did. I opened a blank document :
And changed the orientation to landscape.
I inserted a text box and started to type some ‘catchy’ phrases/sentences.
Then I edited the text: changing the font types, sizes, colors, alignment, and other attributes.
I switched from Word to the web for a while to find an appropriate picture. I opened the web browser and went to Flickr to do the “commercial use Creative Common search“. If you have Quix, you could do this quicker by using “fc“. My search string was cute mouse.
I found one image that I liked, downloaded it and inserted it to my document using the “Insert > Picture > From File” menu.
I also adjusted the picture to fill the document, and arranged it to appear behind the text (Right click –> “Arrange > Behind Text“).
After that, I continued by customizing the text box. I right-clicked on it and chose “Format Text Box”
I gradient filled the text box using the similar tone of color as the picture I used: Dark Brown and Light Brown. I also set the transparency to around 50%.
My last steps were changing the font color to white and did some minor adjustments.
Capturing The Image
After finishing the final product, I viewed the document in full screen and captured the image using Jing.
Then I quickly went to the Desktop, changed the wallpaper, and waited for the supervisor to lay his eyes on the new wallpaper.
One final note: basically, you could do this kind of project under any OS and using any kind of application as long as it can manipulate text, insert shape and insert picture. Just be creative.
You could read other articles about using MS Word for graphical uses such as to create a Mind Map, or to create a logo. And even though the definition of “good design” is very subjective, you could improve your ‘sense’ by learning the basic principle of design.
And as always, any thoughts, opinions, rants, whatever, write them down in the comments below.