I have a few posts I’m planning to do on blog customization since I’ve had some people ask me about it.
You may have come across those cool signatures at the bottoms of blogs that look like the author signs each post. Maybe you’ve wondered how you can get one, too? It’s much easier than you’d think!
The first thing we need is a font, so let’s go to http://dafont.com. I prefer this site because all of their fonts are clearly labeled with licenses and they have a very cool custom text option we’re going to use.
Load up dafont.com and in that big box at the top choose “Handwritten” under the “Script” menu.
Now in the custom text field type your name as you want it to appear at the end of your blogs. This way, we’ll know what it’s going to look like from the very start. Then, hit “submit”
Now scroll through the choices and find your font. If you’re a romance author then you may want to go with something very fluid and “script-y”. If you’re a sci-fi author you might want something clean, a chick-lit author something kind of fun, etc. Or you can always look for the font that most closely resembles your handwriting. *Remember to check the licenses listed all the way to the right. So long as you don’t use this as a logo on your books it’s not commercial use, but beware the “demo” and “donationware” fonts, as both “ask” that you pay money if you use the font. Of course, if you like a font, many have a “donate to author” button you can click.*
Once you’ve chosen your font, download it by hitting the big gray button on the right and save it to your desktop. Don’t let the .zip file scare you, windows will be able to open it without a problem. Just double click on it and a new window will pop up. You can either hit “Extract all files” to the left or just drag and drop the .TFF file to your desktop and from there you can install it. If you don’t know how to install a font then check here.
Now comes the only tricky bit. What color is your blog? Is it black? White? A weird shade of blue? If it is black or white then all you’ll need is to flood fill your image, but if it’s an odd color then you will need to get a screen cap so that your signature appears to be written over it. (If, for some reason, it’s patterned then you need a transparent GIF or PNG which you can do in GIMP or other graphics programs, however I am just covering paintbrush here, which as far as I know doesn’t have transparencies.)
Open your blog in a browser so that you can see a blank chunk of your post background, then “print screen”. It is labeled different things on different keyboards – sometimes it is PRT SCR etc. but it’s usually up in the right hand corner somewhere. Once you have your screen shot open paintbrush. And use Edit > Paste. This will paste a BIG screen. First click on any random tool, then click back on the selection box tool and select only a section of blank background:
Then Edit > Copy and File > New (do not save changes) and then Edit > Paste. This will give you a box of color. Use the eye dropper to select that color and then use the floodfill to fill the whole are with it, and now your background will match your blog.
(My background is really white, the blue is only there as an example)
Now, use the text tool and – using the font we just installed – put your name on it. (Dragging the text box from the very top corner of the image will save a lot of time!!) Of note – you may need to add a space in before the first letter if it runs off the page. I had to.
When you’re done, click on the pen tool then move to the bottom right corner until you get a black double arrow icon (sort of like this):
Then click and drag the box until it is just around your name. Let go and the image is automatically cropped. File > Save As and that’s it! All you have to do now is upload it to your blog. If you have blogspot there’s a way to use CSS to put the signature image into every post automatically. But, if you’re on wordpress.com and don’t have access to your CSS you’ll have to manually embed it in each post by using insert image > media library. Unless someone knows of an easier way?
(If you feel like a more advanced user you can even add clipart to your signature, or an underline or other embellishments. I added the tree in paintbrush, but put the bats in with Paint shop pro.)
Hope this was helpful!
P.S. – for how to add a signature to a blogspot blog see this handy dandy post – http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/tutorials/add-a-signature-to-every-blog-post-on-your-bloggerblogspot-blog.html by Kevin & Amanda.
Very cool Joleene, have wondered how others did those signature thingies myself. I’ll get around to doing one for my blog one of these days, so this comes in rather handy 🙂
I’ve been seeing a lot of them in the six sentence sunday group and thought “there has to be a way for us wordpress people to do this!” 😀