January 17, 2016 by The Dog Rules
I wanted to be able to mark my own images so that they were at least identifiable as mine and to let people know that these are MY original photos when I post them to my blog. I wanted something that was cost-effective and that would be easy and relatively simple to use. Photoshop is a wonderful tool AND it is very expensive and requires some education to be able to take full advantage of all its capabilities. It’s a bit of overkill for what I want to do at the moment.
To my absolute delight I found a FREE online photo editor called PicMonkey It was easy to use and the price is right! Yes, it is time-consuming and if you have lots of images to modify you will be spending considerable time doing so.
I am going to walk you through the process of creating your own watermark.
Before you start follow the instructions below you might want to create a folder on your computer where you will be saving your work. There are several steps to this process. For the purpose of this exercise I suggest you take a copy of a photo that you want to watermark and place it in this working folder for when we get to that part of the task. This will likely make it easier than hunting for an image or perhaps overwriting one by accident.
To create your own watermark you want to open PicMonkey in your browser. Then hover your mouse over “Create A Collage“. To your right you will notice three colorful little thumbnail images and below them the text “or collage with these”
Look at the options on the left. Click the second one down (marked in red in the image) and choose cards. I chose the card with two square areas. This brings up a white area displaying two boxes. We really only need one so hover your mouse in one of the boxes. Notice the “X” in the top right corner. Clicking the ‘x’ will remove one of the boxes so that you are now looking at a single large white rectangle. You will notice that you could change the size of the rectangle if you choose. I didn’t do that.
The next thing you want to do is to click on the Artist Pallet tool on the left side. You can do all sorts of things you can change here and the only thing we are interested in is the one at the very bottom where it says “Transparent Background”. Click that box and don’t panic because the rectangle has turned gray. All is fine.
At the top of the screen, above your gray rectangle, you will see the button where you can SAVE your work. You want to save this blank, transparent background to Your Computer to the folder you have already created for this exercise. Name it whatever suites you. Notice that you can choose to save it as a .png or .jpg file. I used a .png and it worked fine for me. Keep in mind that you can use this blank, transparent background file for many purposes other than just your logo to place on your photos.
Now put your creative cap on and get ready for the fun part!
Return to PicMonkey’s home page and choose “Edit” from the menu at the top of the page. Open that file you just created and saved. You will be looking at a plan white rectangle if you save it as a .jpg or a white and gray checkerboard if as a .png file.
To the left hand side you will see eight different icons. These all allow you to apply various changes like basic photo editing, touch-ups like red-eye removal, adding borders and backgrounds, and adding textures. You can play with these later if you choose. If you hover your mouse over the icon it will tell you what variations it offers.
Click on the “Tt” for Fonts. Notice that you can pick from their fonts or from the fonts installed on your computer. If you want to try their fonts, stick to those without an orange-colored crown beside them as they are premium items and will cost you a fee.
Select the font that appeals to you (theirs or one from your computer) by clicking on it to highlight it and then click “Add Text“. A text box will appear in the middle of your white or gray rectangle containing the text “Type your text Here”. Click in that box and you should see your cursor blinking indicating that the box is now active to input your text. Type your text. If you want to include the © symbol in either your watermark or in any creative writing: for Windows hold down the “ALT” key while typing “0169” and when you release the “Alt” key the symbol will appear. On an Apple I have been told you press the [Option] key + the [G] to get the same result. I didn’t play with colors at this point because I wanted to clearly see the result I was getting. It is possible to easily go back and change colors later.
For my first text input I chose to use one of their fonts. It came out smaller than I anticipated and I discovered that if you highlight the text within the text box you can: (a) change fonts by clicking on another font in the list, or (b) resize the text within the text box by clicking on the slider radio button within the text editor box that appears (usually to your right side) when you are editing the text. Play with this until you get what appeals to you. If you want to play with colors, wait until you have your design laid out. It is really simple to go back and mess about with color changes after the fact. Once you are pleased with your text you can click anywhere outside the text box to close editing function and perhaps move on to other ideas. If you decide you want to alter that particular text box again you only need click on it again and the text editor dialog box will reopen.
For my first text item (my blog’s title) I chose one font. I wanted a different font for my tag line. This time I clicked on the “Yours” button to select a font from my own font collection on my PC. The I clicked the “Add Text” button. The active text box appeared and overlapped my original text box. I was able to drag this new text box down to below the original so that I could see it clearly. Then I clicked within the box to be able to enter the text for my tag line. I followed a similar process to the original box to size and place my tag line text box.
Once this was done I decided I wanted to place a slight divider line between my blog title and my tag line. I moved my tag line box lower on the rectangle to give me room to see clearly what I was doing with the divider line text box. I created that line and then moved it into place where it looked “right” to me. Remember that the background of these text boxes inherit the background from the transparent image so you can overlap them to where they look appropriate. Then I moved my tag line text box into position.
At this point if had I chosen to change the color of the text in any box all I had to do was click on that box to activate it, highlight the text within, and select the color I wanted. The first time you can use the color selector within the text box dialog editor. Notice that just above the color selector there is a faint field where you will see the 6 character HEX code appear for the color you have selected. If you wish all of your text boxes to present the same color text, simply copy this code using Ctrl-C (or write it down exactly as it appears). Click an area of the rectangle away from the text boxes to deactivate the box you were working in. Then click the next box for which you want to update the color. Highlight the text within that box and then go to the text box dialog editor which will have appeared. Highlight over that faint field above the color selector to activate it. Then you can either paste (Ctrl-V) or type the HEX code for your color into that field. The highlighted text should change to your chosen color.
Once you have created your watermark image you will again save it to your computer. It will want to save it in the name of your blank transparent image. CHANGE the name to something that is more representative of the work you have just done! Your blank transparent image can be used to create other images similar to the one you just made.
I chose to create my watermark in both black and white so that I would have options depending on the depth of color in the images I wanted to watermark.
Applying your watermark to your images:
Once again you need to return to the home page of PicMonkey. This time you will choose Edit and upload the image which you want to watermark. From the left side menu select the “Overlay” icon (it looks like a butterfly) then go to the top of that menu and choose “Your Own”. This is where you add your transparent watermark that you just saved to your computer. Select your fabulous watermark and click open. Your watermark will pop up in the middle of your photo. Now you can drag the corners of the text box to make it as big or little as you want and also to move it to the location you want. Once you are satisfied with the size and location you will want to save this to your computer. I strongly recommend that you save it with a different name so that you will have an unmarked copy of your photo for yourself and a watermarked copy that you can share on the web. I called my file “TheDogRules_Watermarked.jpg