How to Find and Use Internet Graphics on Your Blog

This is a post for the totally not techie bloggers out there and other people who have lots of creativity and little know-how.  In making my own printables for Noah, I have discovered a great stash of useable graphics that I can easily pull into my documents and blog entries.  Not being a techie myself, I’m hoping I can walk you through this process and you can walk away from this with a tool that you can use day in and day out.

Before I go any further, let me implore you to always, always, always give the credit due to images you use off the internet.  Check the websites for restrictions and copyright on the images.  If you are using the images on a for-profit website or document, there are almost always restrictions on usage.  If it’s not for profit, at the very least give credit and a link to your source.  If you use copywrited material without permission, in some cases you can be prosecuted or at the minimum have your site taken down.  In any case, be considerate.  There are loopholes to using copywrited material, but just because you technically “CAN” do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you “SHOULD” do it.  I have had very good luck with asking website owners if I can use their graphics on my not for profit site.  Usually they are delighted to have a blog display their graphics along with links back to their site, and they have seen some good traffic as a result of their cooperation.

If you want to use these images to make your own private worksheets and printables that you are not going to share, there shouldn’t be a problem with using pre-existing artwork.  In my blogging I have discovered that readers LOVE free printables, so if I go to the trouble to make a printable for Noah, I want to be able to share it with my readers.  That’s where the copyright problems can come in.   There are mulitple sources of royalty free, public domain clipart and photographs which are useable without restriction.  My favorites are www.openclipart.org, www.clker.com, www.PDClipart.org,  If you have any to add to this list, please leave a comment below and I will be happy to add them in.

The easiest way to access a large amount of graphics by subject matter is to search for your subject in your browser.  Depending on which search engine you use, you will usually have an option after your original search to refine it by Everything, Images, Maps, Videos, etc.  Click on “images,” and your screen will fill up with pictures, drawings and clipart results for your search.  If you want simple line drawings such as the one I used for my simple elephant puzzle, enter your subject matter followed by “coloring page”.

Once you’ve found the graphic you want to use, you have two easy options.  Do not simply cut and paste an image and use it on your blog, as this is what they call “stealing bandwidth.”  You must upload it to your blog.  You may cut and paste images to use in a document.

1.  You can right click on the image and select “save as.”  Name your file and save it to your desired file location.  When you name your file, be sure to include the information of the original source so when you use it you can give proper credit.

2.  If you have chosen your image but you want to edit it or use it as a full-page graphic, right mouse click on the image from your browser, select “copy,” open a new document in Office Draw, Paint, etc., right mouse click again, select “paste,” and now you have a fully editable image.

For options 1 and 2, if you desire to use the image in a blog post, you will have to upload or insert it, so make sure you remember the name and location of the file you have created.  I will warn you here, again, to make sure you have permission before you use someone else’s artwork or photography on your blog.

It’s late, and I’ve only recently figured out this stuff myself, so if you get stuck or if I lost you somewhere in the steps, drop me a line and I’ll clarify if possible.

I use WordPress to blog and am not familiar with the other formats, so if you’re not a WordPress user, I may not be able to help.  I’ll do my best.

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