Sharpen or Blur—This option is useful for sharpening up
an out-of-focus photo, or blur the image slightly to soften
the picture. This is done by means of mov-
ing a single slider bar. Drag it to the right
to increase the sharpness of the picture;
drag it to the left to blur the picture.
Learn More—This option appears in
many of the menus. Choose it to view
detailed instructions and background
information on the task you are
attempting.
Cropping, Resizing, and
Creating Cutouts
The Crop or Rotate menu item in Picture It! offers
the following choices:
Rotate—Although this feature provides
essentially the same functionality avail-
able in the My Pictures interface or in the
Windows XP Explorer window for My
Pictures (see Chapter 19), it does so with an enhanced, easy-to-use thumbnail
view (see Figure 20.5).
CHAPTER 20 CUSTOMIZING THE MY PICTURES EXPERIENCE WITH PICTURE IT!
269
FIGURE 20.4
This detail from
the lower right
of the Picture It!
main screen
shows the Zoom
controls.
As good as the photo-
enhancement tools in
Picture It! and similar
programs are, they can’t
work miracles on bad
photographs. All they have to work
with is what the image contains. If
the image was shot too dark, too
bright, out of focus, and so on,
don’t expect the program to be able
to put in detail that wasn’t captured
by the lens in the first place. The
digital darkroom techniques are
pretty impressive, but even they
can’t turn a rotten photo into a
great one.
caution
Crop Canvas—A very useful tool missing from the basic photo-enhance-
ment options covered in Chapter 19, the Crop feature lets you pare away the
extraneous portions of your image to emphasize the subject. You can drag a
rectangular shape over the photo to indicate how you want it cropped, or
choose another shape, such as a heart or a star (see Figure 20.6).
270
ABSOLUTE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP MEDIA CENTER
FIGURE 20.5
From the Rotate
menu, Picture It!
displays three
small thumb-
nails, offering
previews of how
the photo will
look after it’s
rotated.
FIGURE 20.6
Simple cropping
can emphasize
the subject and
trim away
unwanted por-
tions of your
image, or you
can crop using
one of almost 70
shapes.

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