Making Thumbnails

I find that it’s really helpful to add imagery to posts and documents, particularly when talking web resources.  There are a lot of great utilities for this purpose.

In my posts, “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”, I like to capture part of the website that I’m talking about.  I do it essentially for a couple of reasons.

  1. A picture adds to the commentary that I’m providing;
  2. When people actually visit the website, an image of what you would find there is a confirmation that you landed in the right spot.

Depending upon the computer, I use a number of different utilities…

  1. Ubuntu – Shutter
  2. Macintosh – Jing
  3. WindowsSnagit

There are certainly other tools and people have actually written browser extensions so that their product runs in the browser instead of on the operating system.  Bottom line is that you have a great deal of options.

There’s another case when you might want something captured for a document – that being a thumbnail of an entire webpage. The tools above can work nicely.  You just capture the area that you want, save it or copy it, then open an image editor, load or paste the area captured and then resize it.

Or, you could use something like BitPixels.

Simply, BitPixels takes a snapshot of a screen that you provide in a URL in one of three sizes.  No post capture editing/resizing needed.  So, if I wanted to show you a thumbnail of my wiki, I just provide the code from my site, add the size if needed, and away I go.

From the BixPixels website, there’s even a copy/paste image embed code to ease the process.

100 pixels

120 pixels

200 pixels

Website thumbnails by BitPixels

All the website wants is an acknowledgement that you used the service.  The site even provide a copy/paste code to generate the text above.  So I did!

The thumbnails, once inserted, are just objects so you can do interesting things with them like making them a clickable link.  (Move your mouse over the images above and you’ll see that your cursor turns to a finger indicating a link.)

This is a slick little utility to tuck away for the day when you ask yourself – “Self, gee I’d like to take a thumbnail of this website.”

You’ve just covered yourself.

4 thoughts on “Making Thumbnails

  1. Hey there Doug! Just read your post about adding images to your Ontario Edublogs posts. I use a Mac, so I noticed you suggested using Jing to capture screenshots. My question: why not just use the Mac shortcut to take a screenshot? Does Jing have more to it?


  2. The Macintosh shortcut is nice, although this dummy will acknowledge that I have trouble remembering which combination is which and often end up with two captures.

    Jing does a few features like drawing over the image captured, sharing, and the ability to save the image where you want it and not always to the desktop. You can do the same things with the Macintosh shortcut but have to load it into Preview or another program to do post capture things.

    The Mac shortcut is handy and I’ll use it for times when I’m in a hurry.


  3. Pingback: OTR Links 12/10/2014 | doug — off the record

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