Category Archives: How To

How to Color Black and White Pictures using Photoshop in 10 Easy Steps

Suppose you have a Black & White picture and wish to add a dash of color to gray, there would be no need for you to run to the nearest studio. Instead, you can just use Adobe Photoshop right from home! It is simple enough to be carried out in 10 easy steps that I will demonstrate right now

Let’s say this picture is my B&W sample to be colored using Photoshop:

sampleoriginal

Here is how to go about the process:

Step 1: Right click on the picture in question and Open With Adobe Photoshop.

step1

Step 2: Double click on Background in the Layers tab and make Layer 0.

step2

Step 3: Now right click on layer 0 and select “Duplicate Layer”. This step is optional but I always prefer it as a precaution in case there is a need to go back to the original.

step3

Step 4: Use the Polygonal lasso tool (circled in red in the picture below) to slowly and carefully select the area you wish to color.

step4

Step 5: Once you have made your selection, click on Select from the menu bar and choose Feather. The box shown below appears. This option feathers the edges of your selection so that the color that you fill in does not look too artificial. Usually, 2 pixels works fine by me!

step5

Step 6: Then go to Image -> Adjustments -> Colour Balance as shown in the picture. below A dialogue box controlling color levels appears. Keep shifting around the color balance till you get the color of your choice by changing the Midtones, Shadows and Highlights. Just in case you have different selections that need the same shade of color, I’d advise you to note the RGB color levels and just input these in the boxes each time. This will spare you from having to tweak around each time to get that perfect match!

step6

Step 7: Once you’ve got the color you want, right click on the selection and choose “Deselect” from the pop down menu that appears.

step7

Step 8: Use the Polygonal lasso tool again to select another portion of the picture that you want to color and repeat steps 5 through 7.

step8

Step 9: When the entire picture has been colored (below) compare this with the original B&W picture. You can do this by making only Layer 0 visible (and not Layer 0 copy).

step9

Step 10. Now that you are satisfied with your work, delete Layer 0 and save your new image with a .jpg extension (not the default .psd extension) by clicking on File -> Save As…

Here is the final colored image:

samplecolored

And this was the colored picture that I had taken using my Nokia 5220 camera (I had converted it to B&W using Picasa for the purpose of this tutorial):

image0063

They both look pretty similar right? Looks like a job well done!

You can use this simple coloring technique to create stylish color accented pictures or even color drawings and sketches. Enjoy!

How to turn your Canon Point-and-Click Camera into a dSLR with CHDK

CHDK stands for Canon Hack Development Kit. This is a free (released under GPL) firmware add-on to the Canon PowerShot firmware that allows you to modify your camera in unimaginablWikiy vast ways. For starters, this includes overriding shutter open-time (from 64s to 1/100K s, with flash sync), RHDRKaushik AW file capture, live histogram the kind found in really expensive cameras with RGB or ɣ overlay, customizable grids, user-written script support… and much much more.

In short, as the wiki homepage says, there are quite a few things that could not have been possible without CHDK: lightning photography, HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography and even unlimited DOF (Depth of Field) photography.

It does not damage or void the warranty of your camera in any way, since it is just a firmware add-on.DropKaushik There are quite a few tutorials on the wiki to put the CHDK on your Canon camera. In brief, here is a short tutorial.

  1. Remove your SD card from your camera.
  2. Connect the card to your computer (using a card reader) and format it – make sure you backup your old photos before this step! A better way is to use Card Tricks, format the card as FAT and make it bootable.
  3. Download the ZIP file for your camera from this page and extract the contents to root folder of your SD card.
  4. Safely remove the SD card, and lock it for write-protection this is an important step. The card must be write-protected, or CHDK will not run. This is a simple way to turn on, and turn off CHDK: remove write protection to use the default firmware, and lock it for writing to use CHDK.
  5. Enjoy your new firmware, but make sure you read the user manual (check which version you want); CHDK is daunting and confusing at first.

For older models, such as Canon A430 (my camera, basically!), download the DISKBOOT.BIN file linked in this forum post. Both the pictures shown in this post were taken/modified with my Canon A430.

Loading CSS Based on Screen Resolution Using Javascript

While working on the redesign of Techie buzz, I had several things in mind that I wanted to include in the design. One of the things was to make the design widescreen friendly by making use of a larger content area.

techie_buzz_redesign

Throughout the design process, I asked several team members to test the design on different browsers. However, all the testers had one thing in common, they were all using widescreen monitors.

Once I rolled out the new design, one of my friends and fellow bloggers Deepak Jain sent me a message saying that the design was broken on his PC. On further investigation, I found that he was using a monitor with a max resolution of 1024×768 pixels. The new design did not particularly work well on those resolutions.

Now I personally did not want to change the width to just fit properly in 1024×768 resolutions. To overcome that I came up with a much better solution.

  1. I separated all the hardcoded width for the layers, and copied it to a separate file.
  2. I then created a copy of the new file, and modified it to work in 1024×728 pixel screen resolution.
  3. I then wrote a conditional Javascript to include the CSS based on the screen resolution of the user.

Doing this made the them work properly on both 1024×76 pixel and higher screen resolutions.

Here is the code that can be used to include CSS based on different resolutions.

<script type="text/JavaScript">
    var screenwidth = screen.width;
    if (screenwidth <= 1024) {
      document.write('<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cache.techie-buzz.com/ntc/regular.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />');
    }
    else {
      document.write('<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cache.techie-buzz.com/ntc/widescreen.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />');
    }
</script>

Have fun with your next design. If you want more such useful and interesting tips, don't forget to visit the section.

How to Create a Sendto FTP in Your File Right Click Menu

This article is mainly for those of you who have a website or post files to web servers using FTP (file transfer protocol). Most of you may already be using an FTP client such as FileZilla to upload all of your files. This works great but sometimes you may want to upload only one or two files. It takes time to launch the FTP client and make sure it’s pointing to the proper location before you upload. I’ll show you a quick way to upload files by simply right clicking on them and using the built-in Windows Sendto menu. This will take a few minutes to set up, but one nice thing about this procedure is that it doesn’t require you to download and install any new software.

Also Read: 5 Free tools to upload content to your website.

These instructions are basically the same for Windows XP, Vista and 7 once you get to the Add Network Wizard. Perform the appropriate actions listed below based on your operating system.

While you are viewing your Desktop …

Windows XP: Double click “My Computer”.
Windows Vista/7: Double click “Computer”.

Windows XP: Open “My Network Places” and click on “Add a network place”

cn_add_ntwk_plc

Windows Vista/7: Right click on any empty area and select “add a network location” and click “Next” when the Add Network wizard pops up.

cn_add_ntwk_plc_win7

Select “Choose another network location” and click “Next”.

cn_add_ntwk_wiz

Enter the FTP address for the FTP server.

cn_add_ntwk_addr

Enter the user name and un-check the “Log on anonymously” box

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Finish creating the network location. It will try to connect to your FTP server. Once it does, it’ll ask you to enter your password. You can tell it to remember your password at this point if you want to.

When you have your new Network Place (FTP server) open, navigate to the folder where you most commonly upload files.  Right click on the folder and select “copy”

Windows XP: Open up the Start > Run menu and type in “sendto”. The Sendto folder should open. Right click in an empty area in the Sendto folder and paste a shortcut. You can rename the shortcut at this point if you wish.

Windows Vista/7: Finding the Sendto folder is a pain in the rear. Typically it’s located at …
C:\Users\*YourUserName*\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo.

Right click in an empty area in the Sendto folder and paste a shortcut. You can rename the shortcut at this point if you wish.

Now when you need to quickly send a file or files using FTP, you can right click on the files, choose “Sendto” and then pick the shortcut you just created.

Be sure to comment below if you have you’re own ideas on how to easily upload via   FTP.

How To Restore The Original Flickr Logo [Scrape Off ‘From Yahoo’]

flickr-yahoo-logo Some days back, a slight change happened at Flickr. A small Yahoo logo was added to the Flickr logo so that it reads Flickr from Yahoo!. We say, it’s fine if Yahoo wants to remind people of that fact that it owns the largest photo community on the web; we are absolutely cool with it. But the fundamental fact here is that as techcrunch puts it – Flickr users, many of whom are techy hipsters, just don’t mix well with middle America Yahoo.

The change was met with a lot of criticism. People thronged to Flickr’s forums and tweeted how being owned by Yahoo is something to be ashamed of. Ultimately, it’s the company’s sole decision to select the way they wish to brand their products. If the Yahoo branding looks hip on your screen, that’s great; if not, let’s get a greasemonkey to do the job.

Flickr user,  aspherical element, must be really troubled with Yahoo intervening his place of tranquility. He picked up the task of creating a greasemonkey script that scrapes off the yahoo branding and brings back the original logo. If you follow the same league, get the Greasemonkey script here. As a necessary rule, you’ll need Firefox and the Greasemonkey addon installed (Or Google Chrome if you’re geeky enough to enable scripts)

How To Open .001, .002, .003 Files?

Sharing huge files over the internet is quite a pain if you have limited bandwidth connection. Many users split large files into smaller parts and then share them on the Internet.

These large files can then be easily downloaded in parts and later rejoined to create the actual file.

Usually in many cases there might be several pieces of files called as filename.001, filename.002, filename.003 and so on. There may be any number of files but the extension will always be incremental so the next file in the above series may be .004 and so on.

hjsplit_files

In order to join the files you will require to download HJ-Split. HJ-Split is a . Once you have downloaded it you can double click on the executable to launch it.

To join the .001 and other files in the series, select Join from the HJ-Split options and select the input file (this will always be the .001 file). Select the output directory and click on start to join the files into a single one.

After you have joined the files you can safely delete .00x files.

Download HJ-Split

How To Open XPS Files?

XPS files is a new way in which Microsoft Office 2007 and above store the documents in. XPS files are basically zip archives which contain the files that make up the document.

XPS files contain XML markups for each page the text, embedded images and so on.

XPS files can usually be opened by any software that can open zip files. Extracting the content may not actually show you the documents in a proper format.

Microsoft has a handy tool called XPS viewer which will allow you to open and view XPS file. You can also view the XPS files by opening them in Internet explorer.

If you are using or the XPS viewer is already installed so you can simply open the file in the XPS viewer or drag it to internet explorer to open it.

Download XPS Viewer

How to Access Banned Twitpic From China?

Mashable reports that Twitpic a popular image hosting service for has been banned in China.

Twitpic_Logo

The ban is in place due to some viral photographs of a gas explosion in Beijing which were hosted on Twitpic.

If you are looking to access Twitpic in China you can make use of any of these free proxy servers.

Another solution is to use Freedom stick which allows you to browse the internet anonymously using Tor.

In addition to that you can also read our earlier guides on browsing the internet anonymously.

If you have any other methods for this please feel free to share it in the comments.

Minimize All Background Windows Using Aero Shake in Windows 7

Quite sometime back we had told you about 10 awesome Windows 7 shortcuts that you probably didn’t know about.

I came across a video of a interesting feature in . The feature also called as Aero shake will allow you to minimize all background windows by shaking the window you want to keep in focus.

Tip: If you don’t want to use the mouse just use the combination of Win Key + Home. Using this hotkey will have the same effect.

Here is a video of the Aero shake feature in action.

[via Digital Inspiration]

Create a System Image In Windows 7

There is no doubt that is one of the most feature packed OS released by Microsoft. Not only is it visually appealing, but there are so many features built into it that it eliminates the need for several software.

A interesting feature that How-to-Geek brings forth is the ability to create a system image and back it up to an external hard drive or disk.

windows_7_create_system_image

This feature can come in pretty handy when something goes wrong with your Windows 7 install. You can use the system image to completely restore Windows 7.

In addition to that you can also create a system repair disc that can be used to repair your PC in case something goes wrong.

To create a system image go to Start and type Getting Started, click on it and select “Back up your files”. In the new window that opens up you can start creating a system image by clicking on the link in the left hand side menu.

How Can I Open Up or Edit an ICO file or Icon Library?

Most of you are familiar with icons since you see them every time you use a PC. An ICO file is an image file that contains the small picture that you see as an icon. Icons are usually associated with files or actions on your PC. Icons make it easier to identify file types by simply looking at the icon.

How Can I Open (view) an ICO file?

If you wish to open or view the little picture in an ICO file, double clicking an ICO file will most often open in the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (XP) or Windows Photo Viewer (Vista, Win7) so that you can see it in more detail.

If you have a collection of ICO files, I’ve found that it’s often just as easy to open the folder that the ICO files are in then select the “Thumbnail” view or the “Tiles” view in WinXP or the large icon view in Vista/Win7.

cn_thumbview_of_icons

If double clicking on an ICO file does not result in it opening up in a viewer, you can restore it’s default actions. You can also find out how to chose your own default application to openICO files.

One more thing I’ll share with you before moving on is that you can download tons of free high quality icons from the net.

How Can I Edit an ICO File?

On most PCs, the default editor for an ICO (icon) file is the ever present MS Paint application. Right clicking on an ICO file and choosing Editwill usually open an icon in MS Paint.

MS Paint is a very basic graphics editor and it is definitely not a good application for editing icons. Paint’s biggest problem is that it cannot set transparent areas. I have also seen cases where an ICO file saved by Paint is not recognized as an icon by other applications.

Here I have listed some of the best free icon editors:

Greenfish

IcoFX

@icon sushi

IconArt

Portable Icon Editors

Gimp

Here are a few tutorials showing you how to use icon editors:

Creating large icons with Greenfish

IcoFX video tutorial #1

IcoFX video tutorial #2

Tutorials from the author of IcoFX

Create large Vista/Win7 icons with icon sushi

IconArt video tutorial

Creating Icons with Gimp

45 icon design tutorials


How Can I Create My Own Ico Libraries?

Icons are normally thought of as ICO files, but they are also included in icon libraries in the form of EXE, DLL or ICL files. There are quite a few programs that will allow you to create or manage existing icon libraries on your computer. Below are links to two icon editors that I mentioned earlier which handle libraries nicely. This makes them an “all-in-one” tool for dealing with icons.

Greenfish Icon Editor

IcoFXIcoFX library tutorial


Do you have more questions about icons and ICO files?

How Can I Restore the Default ICO File Behavior?

How Can I Change Windows Default Desktop Icons?

How Can I Change the Icon for a File Extension or File Type?

Browse And Download Tons Of Free High Quality Icons at IconArchive

Get Unique Domain Names For Your Blog With Wordroid

Searching for domain names is really exhaustive for anybody. It’s difficult to get an unique name for your blog which is both type-friendly and creative enough. It is also important to know the uniqueness of your   domain name on the web. We had recently reviewed two tools that would help you to search for domain names quickly and also help you to compare the prices of the domain name you have chose in different sites.

Here is a yet another tool that helps you get creative names for your blog – Wordroid.

Wordroid is a tool that hybridizes the words that sound fun, creative and smart. As you can see, it’s own domain name is hybridized from two other words, “Word” and “Android”. Likewise, this tool helps you get the hybrid words for your domain name.

It has four languages that you can choose from. (English, Spanish, French and Italian). It also has a option to enter the keyword that you want to put in your domain names. For example, if you are searching for a domain related to technology, and want your domain name with a keyword “tech”, then you need to type in the space provided as shown in the picture below.

An important and good feature of this domain name searching tool is, it shows you whether that domain name is available or not. If available in which extension it is available, like .net or.com. etc.

Another interesting and unique feature is that it shows you the uniqueness of the name. It tells you how many times a particular word has been repeated. You can see the pic below for more clear understanding.

Now, that you have learned about this tool, be sure to use it and also share your experience with us of using this tool. You are always welcome to comment here on Techie-Buzz.

How Can I Change the Icon for a File Extension or File Type?

It is very easy to change the icon associated with a File Type once you learn the trick. Below I’ll show you how to change the icon for the Text file type. Windows will let you do this, but it’s not often easy. I recommend that you try out a small free stand-alone program called “Default Programs Editor” that makes it simple to change the icons for file types.

Default Programs Editor (DPE)

You can download DPE here. (requires Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5)
If you don’t want to or can’t use .Net Framework, then this freebie, File Association Editor, will also work for you.

DPE will download as a zip file. You’ll need to extract the contents of the zip file to a folder of your choice. Start the program by double clicking Default Programs Editor.exe. Then click File Type Settings.

cn_dpe01

Choose the Icondialog.

cn_dpe02

Use the search field to find the file type you want. In this case I typed in txtto find the file type for text files.

cn_dpe03

It will show the current icon associated with Text files. Click the Browsebutton to select a new icon.

cn_dpe04

Now it shows the location of the current icon. Click Browseonce more, to go to an icon file or library you need. I selected the shell32.dlllibrary which is in the Windows\System32 folder.

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Just for fun, I chose the red circle with a crossbar through it.

cn_dpe06

Click the Save Iconbutton and you’ll see this message.
The settings for Text Documentwere successfully changed

cn_dpe07

Finally, click Doneand you’ll be able to see that all your chosen files have a new icon.

cn_dpe08

Here’s what my text files look like now.

cn_dpe09

I don’t think I’ll be keeping this icon for my text files, but I hope you get the idea.

Be careful out there and have a nice day.

Get HP Quick Launch Buttons in Windows 7

Since I upgraded to I have been missing the HP Quick launch buttons feature on my HP Pavilion dv6000 special edition laptop (dv6875se).

I tweeted about it and fellow Techie buzzer Clif Sipe gave me a working solution, so here is a post that will show you how to get HP Quick Launch Buttons working in Windows 7.

Step 1: Visit HP.com in your web browser and select support & drivers from the menu.

Step 2: From the available radio buttons select Download drivers and software (and firmware) under Step 1. Under Step 2 enter the product number of your HP laptop or PC, in my case it was dv6875se (you will find this under your laptop or the serial number sticker on your desktop). Once you have entered the product number click on the Go button.

Step 3: In some cases HP will display a list of laptops/desktops that match yours select the one that you have to go to the driver page. In cases where you entered the exact product number it will take you directly to the drivers page.

Step 4: In the available list of operating systems click on Microsoft for 32-bit Windows 7 or Microsoft Windows Vista (64-bit) for for 64-bit Windows 7.

Step 5: Scroll down till you see Driver – Keyboard, Mouse and Input Devices, in that list click on the link HP Quick Link Launch Buttons to download the drivers.

Step 6: Install the downloaded software and the quick launch buttons will become functional again.

I tested this out on my laptop and everything works perfectly fine.

Uninstall Windows Live Messenger

Quite sometime back we had told you on how you can uninstall Windows live applications, using that tutorial you can easily remove any application from the Windows live suite including Windows Live Messenger.

Also See: How to Completely Uninstall Softwares

If you are looking for a easier solution to just uninstall Windows Live messenger a called Windows Live messenger uninstaller is what you need.

uninstall_windows_live_messenger

WLM Uninstaller is a that provides users with a one click option to uninstall Windows Live Messenger.

Clicking on the Uninstall button will completely remove Windows Live messenger from your PC. You do not even have to visit the control panel for it.

Download WLM Uninstaller [via gHacks]