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Guest blog by Jennifer Valley. Jennifer is an Instructional Designer with five years of experience. She enjoys blogging, social media, and researching.

Adding an image to your course increases the value to learners if done right. Maybe you want to have a visual for your story or evoke an emotion about a topic. A great place to start your search is the eLearning Template Library. There you can sign up for a subscription or create a Free eLearning Templates account. (In this post, I’ll be using a free cutout person I found named Aubrey.) Often, most eLearning images we find aren’t perfect, and a little editing may be necessary. But what if you’re not a Photoshop whiz or own a separate image editing software? Lectora introduced some new image editing features with Version 12 which can save time and money. Let’s take a look at some of the basic editing and enhancement options available.

1. Add an Image

In order to add an image, you have three options. You can either import an image from your local computer, drag an image from your desktop to the working area in Lectora or choose an image from the stock library. (Psst: Lectora supports .bmp, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .wmf and .emf file extensions). To import an image, select Image file from the Image menu on the Insert tab and search for it on your computer.

Selecting My Image opens the My Library section within Lectora while selecting Clip Art opens the Clip Art section of Lectora’s Stock Library.

To drag an image from your computer to Lectora simply select the image then drag and drop it into the working area of Lectora.

You can also access Lectora’s Stock Library by select the quick menu to the right of your working area.  There you’ll find a variety of buttons, character poses, ClipArt, Flash activities, online media, music, and status indicators.  If you’re not finding a character that fits your business needs, check out the eLearning Template Library for images in multiple industries.

2. Rename the Image

It’s important to update the name, which is automatically created by Lectora, especially if Alt tags are enabled, or if the course is going to be 508 compliant.  To update the name simply select the text in the Name field under the Image Properties tab and replace it with your new name.  The name should be descriptive, short and free of spaces.

3. Move, Resize, Rotate, and Flip

Now it’s time to place your image in your course. With your mouse placed over the image and the move cursor visible, move the image to its appropriate spot on the screen. You can also input the X and Y coordinates on the Image Position and Size tab.

To re-size the image, select the handles on any sides of the image.  Circle handles will move the image proportionally while square handles stretch the image vertically or horizontally. Handles You can also input the width and height on the Image Position and Size tab. Turn on and off the Maintain Ratio button if needed.

To rotate or flip the image, select the green rotation handle located at the top of the image then move it in a circle or side to side until you get the desired result. You can also use the buttons on the Image Position and Size tab to quickly rotate and flip the image or specify the particular angle.

4. Add a Border

To add a border to an image, go to the Image Style tab and enter in the border weight, color, and style.

5. Change Opacity

To change the opacity, access the same menu and adjust the percentage amount in the Opacity field.

6. Add a Shadow

To add a shadow, access the same menu and select the Shadow drop down. For more options or to adjust the shadow color, transparency, blur, angle and distance select the Shadow Options menu.

7. Add a Reflection

To add a reflection, access the same menu and select the Reflection drop down.

8. Crop an Image

To crop an image, access the Image Style tab and select the Crop button. This brings up black guides which will show you the original picture (grayed out) versus the cropped image. Grab the guide and move it until you’ve cropped the picture how you want. Don’t forget come back and check out future Lectora tips!

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