Tech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.
Q: My picture file is a .bmp (or a .tif, .pcx, .png, .gif, or any other image file) and I need a .jpg. What do I do?
A: Lots of interactive online sites limit the file types they accept based on size, security, quality, or another reason particular to their needs. If you sell books through Amazon Advantage or Google Play (or Teachers Pay Teachers), you are required to upload a specific image file type or the site kicks it back.
If you have an image you want to use, but it’s in the wrong format, you could use an online free converter. My problem with those is I don’t trust their security. Too often in my experience, they download some nefarious widget as they’re processing the request that I never would allow on my computer if it weren’t being done invisibly. When I finish my conversion, I discover new stuff on my computer like 1) a search engine toolbar that’s full of advertising, 2) a default search engine that’s much inferior to the one I use, and/or 3) a new homepage because the webtool hijacked mine and replaced it with their ad-intensive choice. These people have gotten a lot smarter than me the last decade and sometimes the only way I can rid myself of their widgets is with a reformat.
Which costs money.
Instead of trusting an online site I don’t know, here’s what I do:
- Open it in MS Paint and save it in one of the five formats offered. This program is free with Windows
- Open it with Photoshop and save in one of the twenty-one formats it offers. This program is fee-based, but I use it for marketing materials, ebook covers, or tweaking photos. If you require a particular format, likely Photoshop includes it.
- Add it to an MS Word doc, then right click on the image and ‘save-as’ in one of the five formats offered.
I use Google Docs a lot as a teacher, but I don’t see that it offers an image conversion feature like Word does. That’s one more reason to keep Word as my primary word processing tool.
Do you have any solutions I didn’t think of?
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.