Windows Live Writer Cropping and Watermarking Tool

WLW Cropping Tool TestFollowing my recent post about the Windows Live Writer (WLW) technical preview, the WLW team has responded to several of my concerns in this thread on the Windows Live Writer (Beta) forum.

Two of my concerns related to how the WLW cropping tool works and how the the watermarking functionality works.  This post demonstrates what I want/need out of a cropping/watermarking tool compared what the cropping/watermarking functionality in the latest WLW tech preview build provides.

The three pictures below show the differences between the source picture, what I want/need, and what the WLW Cropping tool gives me.

1. Source Picture

2. What I Want

3. WLW Cropping Tool

So You Think You Can Dance - Katee and Joshua - Hip Hop 2 - June 11, 2008 (source picture)

So You Think You Can Dance - Katee and Joshua - Hip Hop 2 - June 11, 2008

WLW Cropping Example Result Picture

This picture is used in my So You Think You Can Dance (Season 4 – Top 20) post.

1. Source Picture

The source picture was taken with my Canon  Powershot SD 1000 camera from my Dell W2200HD Plasma TV. The larger image (click on left thumbnail above to view the source) is 2592 x 1944 pixels and 1.8 MB in size– way too large for a blog.

2. What I Want

I currently use the terrific freeware program

  1. to first crop the image;
  2. then to resize the image to a width of 600 pixels (a decent blog sized image); and
  3. then to add a “” watermark on the bottom right corner in 9pt verdana font.

I then drag the resulting image into WLW and WLW creates a thumbnail which links to back the original. Click on the middle thumbnail above to see that larger image. It is  600 x 384 pixels and 54 KB in size.

Notice too that the watermark is exactly how I want it in the bottom right corner of the the larger image. While still there, it isn’t perceptible in the WLW thumbnail – exactly how I want it.

3. What I get with the WLW Cropping Tool

You can see from the third thumbnail above that the WLW cropping tool does give me the image cropped as I want and the underlying larger image is also cropped as I want. 

So far so good.

But the tool doesn’t allow me to resize the original after cropping (in my case to a width of 600). So the resulting image is MUCH larger than I want. It is 1,562 x 1,012 pixels and 276 KB in size – too large for most browsers and bigger than I’d like for a blog trying to maximize bandwidth efficiency.

You can also see from the thumbnail above that the watermark is not what I want/expected. It is HUGE and splashed across the thumbnail. I only want the watermark in 9pt verdana font in the bottom right corner of the larger image, NOT on the thumbnail. And because the pixel size of the larger image is much larger than I want (and uncontrollable by me) the resulting watermark ends up being too tiny in the bottom corner.

The watermark is applied AFTER the cropping process is complete – hence the problem. It’s not integrated with the cropping function. And it is somewhat of a buried function.

What I need from WLW:

In summary, for this cropping/watermarking tool to meet my needs, I need:

  • a way to resize the original before cropping;
  • a way to add the watermark onto the original (larger) image after cropping; and
  • the watermarking tool to be part of the cropping tool.

A Niggle on the Watermarking Font Options:

While not critical, my preference is to have a 9 pt watermark. The watermarking tool in WLW only lets you choose from pre-set font sizes and 9pt isn’t one of them. This isn’t a big deal but I do note that WLW generally allows you to choose any font size.  See for example the caption below the pictures above. It is a 9pt font and WLW generated that font. 🙂

Thanks to the WLW development team for listening!