Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Creating Printables: Tricks of the Trade

As I was creating some stuff yesterday, I realized that I've learned a lot in the last year and a half since I started making games and printables for my classroom.  As a first year ESE teacher (what we call sped), I didn't have a lot of resources.  Another ESE teacher who was about to retire had given me a bunch of stuff, but a lot of it was old and it felt overwhelming.  Usually I was wanting something very specific that was tailored to my students' needs.  That's when I decided I would try to make my own stuff, and it took off from there!  I wish I had a copy of the very first game I made, but I've since revamped it and saved over the original.  I'm amazed at how different my creating is now compared to when I first started out.

I thought I would share with you guys some of the awesome things I've learned that make it easier to create your own stuff.  Some of the things I've learned through tutorials from other great bloggers and others have just been trial and error.


I use Powerpoint to create things so this video will show you how to group several objects at once.  This will let you move several objects at once as a group.  I also show you how to use the nudge feature (amazing & simple) and how I measure distance to keep things evenly spaced.  Please ignore my loud children in the background!!!




One video that I've found from I Teach, What's Your Super Power? teaches you how to change the color on a background or picture.  How awesome is that?  I've been LOVING it!!!  The only word of caution I have is to make sure that the vendor that you brought the background or clip art from allows you to do color changes.  Click on her blog button to check out the video.


Making It As A Middle School Teacher has an awesome tutorial on how to use the website Wordmark.It to easily see your fonts and choose the best one for a printable.  Click on her blog button to check it out.


If you're like me, you have a  font OBSESSION!  I love fonts, especially FREE ones!  Hello First Grade! is an awesome blog by itself......but then she started adding free fonts.  Oh man, you can't get better than that!  Click on her blog button and it will take you to her page.  As you scroll down the page, you will see she has a list of all her fonts on the right side.......then set aside half an hour to download them all!


Do you have any great tips to share that make creating easier?




36 comments:

  1. I love your tutorial. So when I open powerpoint, I get a title box and a text box- what are you typing in? Do you have more videos on youtube? This was super easy to understand-thank you!
    Jennifer
    kindertrips

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  2. Jennifer - Yes, that is what you see when you open up powerpoint. I typically delete those two text boxes, add a background (if I want a background), and then add text boxes and clip art on top of the background. I don't have any more tutorials but maybe I should make some!

    Angelia

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  3. I see that you have a Mac. Do you have issues with many fonts not showing up to use in Powerpoint or Word. I can install them and they show in Font Book, but when I open Word or PPT many, many of my fonts don't show as an option. I restart the programs and they still don't show. I've heard this is a Microsoft issue for Macs, but then I see others with Macs that have no issues with all these cute fonts.

    Yearn to Learn Blog
    taskcard123@yahoo.com

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    1. YES! I have had this problem and it drives me CRAZY!!! It's not all the time and it's not all fonts. I can't figure out the rhyme or reason behind it. It makes me VERY hesitant to buy a font, because I'm not sure if it will show up in my computer. One font I really want to use is CK Handprint but it won't show up as an available font. The crazy thing is that if I go to Word and make a label CK Handprint is an available font. But that's the only time I can use the font. All of the Hello fonts from the link above do work for me. If you find a solution, I'd love to hear it!

      Angelia

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    2. Thanks good to know it's not just me. I've heard that if you use Pages (which is the program by Mac) all fonts show, but I'm just so used to Word and PPT that I don't want to switch to the Mac programs.

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    3. I also have that problem. I love my Macbook, but a lot of downloaded fonts can only be accessed on Sketchbook Pro or other things...not Word or PPT. I'll be sure to get the Hello fonts since those have worked for you!
      The Science Penguin

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  4. Great post!! No doubt it's to be most helpful to tons of us! Thanks for posting~!

    Ann Marie Smith @ Innovative Connections

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  5. I have an Interwrite Board, not a Smartboard. It's Tech IQ is not as high! If I try to use Smartboard notebook programs with my board, it causes computer indigestion and I get fussed at for downloading. So, I've become pretty good at PPT. I make interactive attendance boards in PPT. Have you tried using the trigger features?

    I never thought to create in PPT instead of Pub. I may have to try that out.

    Donna W.

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    1. I've never heard of the trigger features. What does it do? I love finding shortcuts!

      Angelia

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  6. Great post Angela! I love it:) You taught me a new trick!! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. What do you use for your videos? They don't show up for me.

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  8. Nudge tool? Who knew?? I get SO mad when I can't get a letter or piece of clip art exactly where I want it. So awesome!! Thanks for the tutorial. Come check out my 100 follower giveaway,
    Heather

    Kickin' it in Kinder

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  9. This is a great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing!

    MrsMc
    Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

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  10. Thank you for the tutorial! I love that the tips were quick and easy.

    You sound like me about trying to get things to line up just right. I'm just starting out but I discovered a helpful tip yesterday. When I want to group objects and have them lined up perfectly, I use alignment tool. I align things to center middle and then align the next object to center middle and then group it.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    -Mercedes
    Surfing to Success

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    Replies
    1. OMG, how did I not know about the alignment tool? You may have just changed my life! Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial! The grouping tool has always been difficult for me to figure out. You are obviously a Mac girl like me, so if you haven't checked out Pages, I highly recommend it. It's so easy to move, place and manipulate objects.

    Robin
    It's All Elementary!
    www.teacherszone.blogspot.com

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  12. Thanks for this post! This summer I have been focusing on creating some new printables and I love this info. I also love your blog! Being a fellow SpEd I love seeing what you are doing in your classroom. I wanted to give you the One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks for all the great posts!

    Allison
    Miss Allison's Class

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  13. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm really excited to use the nudge factor on the next printable I create:) I'm a Mac girl and KeyNote is pretty amazing. So far I haven't had a problem with fonts and moving items is super easy! I'm not positive, but I don't think the nudge tool is necessary for KeyNote. The only thing I don't like, is sometimes when I discover that when I save my printables into PPT and PDF form some of the text is lost. I haven't quite figured that out yet.

    Also, I'm in the process of writing a post awarding you with The Versatile Blogger award, stop on by and see it on Saturday...it's taking me awhile to write the post, and I'm timing it to post tomorrow cause I don't want to double post today:-D

    We are ALL Special!

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    1. I've thought about switching to KeyNote but I feel like I've just gotten semi-good at PowerPoint. I'm afraid to relearn everything. Is it much different?

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  14. Hi Angelia, I stopped by to check our your new favicon and it looks great! If you still can't see it, you just need to clear your browser cache. I updated my blog post with instructions if you need them :)

    Maria
    Kinder-Craze

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    1. Thanks Maria! I emptied my stuff but still can't see it. Oh well, I'm glad others can and that's what really matters!

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  15. (Ok I'm stalking all of your old posts now since I just discovered your blog!) This was another great tutorial! I just started using PowerPoint to create my printables and blog elements. One nice trick I've found to nudge objects is to hold down control and then use the arrow keys... it nudges the object the tiniest amount! I'm on a PC, so I'm not sure if that will also work on a Mac. Quick question-- I love how those grid lines pop up when you move an object! Is that a feature you had to turn on? I wonder if that's only on the Mac version... I want it!

    Kate
    EduKate and Inspire

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    1. I'm not sure about the grid lines. I just assumed they did that for everyone! It does make it easier to line things up! I'll definitely try holding the control/command key down while nudging and see if it works for me too!

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  16. Great tutorial! I am going to try out the rectangle trick for spacing! Thanks for the great tips!

    Jeannine
    First Grade Gallery~Lessons for Little Learners

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  17. I am super excited to find your blog! I want to give it a whirl, creating my own printables. Do you know of a tutorial for complete beginners like me? One specific question is where do you get all of those fancy borders, frames, and backgrounds? All of the sites I have been to charge. Is that normal? Thanks for your tips!

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  18. Angela,
    I have been using PP for a while now but can not seem to go all the way to the edge. Even if I mess with the border I still have an edge. I love the free frames I have been seeing on pinterest and would love to add some borders. Any suggestions?
    Thanks for the great tips!

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  19. This is an awesome post. Thank you for sharing. I am your newest follower.

    Tricia

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  20. I am new to making printables and love your post, but also need even easier tips! I have purchased digital paper and borders along with a few fun fonts, but don't know where to put the paper and borders on my computer (I knew the fonts went into font book). How then do you get the paper and frame onto the power point page, and can these be done in word, or is powerpoint better? Thanks so much for your help!

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  21. Found your blog through pinterest! :) I am a new follower now! Thank you for this post. I am a newbie to the blogging world and still trying to figure it all out. Just barely made the switch from word to powerpoint yesterday...this is very helpful!

    Jackie
    www.crazydazeinfirstgrade.blogspot.com

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  22. Found your tutorial on Pinterest. Thanks for the lesson I want to learn and start creating my own things! I want to start blogging but am super intimidated by how great some many education blogs look. I don't know where to start. Thank you!

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  23. Where do you find your backgrounds and clipart? I am new to making my own things and love everything that I see on TpT but don't know where they get all the cute graphics. Would you mind sharing your sources?

    Thanks!

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  24. Thank you for the tutorial!! I'd love to see more!

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  25. Angela,

    I've created an image I'd like to use on my blog as you have done on yours. The only problem is when I upload it, it shows up upside down and there are multiple images stacked!? I created it in Powerpoint and made the image 11 x 8.5". I followed your directions on grouping the images and it was great! Do you know what I'm doing wrong?

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  26. I know this is much later than your original post, but thanks to Pinterest...you can almost find anything no matter how old it is! I'm excited to watch your video and start creating! I've been a Literacy Coach for the last 11 years and hoping to make the transition back to the classroom this fall...fingers crossed! Thanks for all the help! You're awesome and really looking forward to following your blog!

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