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Extend Mac OS X's Screenshots

Mac OS X has a variety of built in screenshot methods. Here's a look at a few that offer more versatility than the basic full-screen capture (Command-Shift-3):

• Press Command-Shift-4 and you'll get a crosshair cursor with which you can drag to select and capture a certain area of the screen.

• Press Command-Shift-4-Space to select the entire window that the cursor is over, clicking on the window will then capture it. The resulting screenshot will even get a nice drop shadow.

• Hold down the Space bar after dragging out a selection window to move your selection rectangle around on the screen.

• Hold down Shift after dragging out a selection to constrain the selection in either horizontal or vertical orientation, depending on the direction of your drag.

• Hold down Option after dragging out a selection to expand the selection window around a center point.

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DealBITS Drawing: Win a Copy of cf/x alpha 1.0

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I’m about to embark on another calendar production project in iPhoto, and although I generally don’t do much editing of the images I choose, apart from cropping and the basic adjustments iPhoto can make, I’m really tempted to do some additional work in a tool I just learned about, cf/x Software’s cf/x alpha. It’s an image processing tool tweaked toward transparency and blending, enabling a variety of effects that might be difficult to replicate in other programs, ranging from blended collages to mosaics.

In essence, cf/x alpha lets you take one or more images and arrange them into a single new image, using cropping, scaling, zooming, and blending to create a pleasing composition. The software doesn’t just provide basic tools, but has more than 20 customizable blend generators and 70 configurable effects, and it even offers professional composing tools that internalize ways of maximizing impact like the Rule of Thirds and the Fibonacci Spiral. Once you’re done, you can export to many file formats, send images via email, or upload to Flickr.

For instance, the image below is something I created almost accidentally while fiddling with the free calendar templates cf/x Software has available for download; it’s far from polished, but gives a sense of how easy it would be to generate a compelling image. If you’re thinking you might like to spend some of your holiday downtime playing with images, check out the free trial version of cf/x alpha to see what you can do.


There are actually three versions of the software: the $89 entry-level cf/x alpha home that has basic features, the $229 standard edition cf/x alpha that has all the capabilities most people could want, and the $389 cf/x alpha pro with added workflow and automation features.

But for this week’s DealBITS drawing, if you want to win one of three copies of the $229 cf/x alpha 1.0, enter at the DealBITS page. All information gathered is covered by our comprehensive privacy policy. Remember too, that if someone you refer to this drawing wins, you’ll receive the same prize as a reward for spreading the word.

 

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