Tips and Tricks

Absolutely Awesome Tutorials To Create (Stunningly Creative) Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation is a continually developing collaboration between photography, graphic design and digital editing. It is a process of mixing certain elements and produces an exceptional image that can influence even the most skilled set of eyes.

This is not as easy as it sounds; it requires a very creative set of skills in Photoshop and other tool and also a hell lot of patience. Photo manipulation is an excellent source of inspiration since designers have expressed their creativeness all the way through assorted aspects of design. Here we have collected some amazing examples of photo manipulation. Enjoy!

Landscape photo manipulation

In this tutorial, artist will show you how to create your unique wallpapers using photo manipulation. Using some images you’ll learn how to blend in different landscapes creating a surreal effect.

How to Create Glass Transparency in a Cute Photo Manipulation

In this tutorial We will learn a good technique for incorporating glass transparency into photo manipulations, while placing

How to Make a Melting Camera Scene

In this tutorial, we will use the Layer Mask Tool and Liquify filter to “melt” the camera. Artist recommend you work with a tablet for this one (it makes your work easier), but if you don’t have one it is also possible to go through this tutorial. Let’s start!

Create a Nature Inspired Photo Manipulation

Design Dark Sea Ship Photomanipulation Scene

It is shown in this tutorial on how to make design a dark sea ship photo manipulation scene.

How to Create a Fantasy Landscape Photo Manipulation

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a fantasy landscape using some simple and easy techniques. Everyone with basic Photoshop skills can succeed to recreate this simple image using the most important thing in this kind of photo manipulation – the right stock. So let’s go!

Design an Epic Fantasy Scene with Photoshop

In this tutorial we are going to create a photo manipulation inspired by Valhalla, one of Mariusz Karasiewicz`s works. He is an amazing artist and his work is absolutly stunning. I want to thank him for allowing me to write this tutorial.

Create an Explosive Cover with Precise Photo Manipulation Techniques

In this tutorial, we’re going to make a creative illustration in a style meant for a video game cover or sci-fi book cover. We’ll create this with mostly photo manipulation techniques. With some cool Photoshop options you can turn all the photos you chose, into one stunning looking explosive cover.

Blissful Landscape Photo Manipulation

Create a breath taking scenery by combining two photos and applying several photo effects. When you follow this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn masking techniques and several photo effects.

Animal King Photo Manipulation

In this photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how to mash up a series of photos in a highly creative poster based on a famous painting from the 1800’s. Let’s get started!

Making of the Magical Heroes of 10Steps.SG

Let us do something different this week! We will be creating a game poster with magical theme. This tutorial shows how to draw a sword from scratch and also introducing some of the latest high quality brushes on the internet.

How to Create a Photo Manipulation of a Flooded City Scene

In this tutorial, we will learn how to manipulate a simple photo into a flooding torrent of a scene. We’ll use some relatively simple techniques to give this image a semi-realistic, stylized feel. Let’s get started!

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How to Create a Slice of Nature Photo Manipulation

Today I’m going to show you how to put together a complex tree illustration. The idea for this tutorial is to show a workflow from concept to finish, not just so you can copy this illustration, but so that you can take the ideas behind it and use them for any design you have. It’s not just the finished design but the process we are after.

How To Create a Futuristic Sci-Fi Scene

In this tutorial, I will guide you through the steps to create a futuristic sci-fi scene. We will transform original pictures using Photoshop tools that will help to give the image a more spectacular look

45 Useful Tutorials Of “How To Create Astonishing Text Effect” On Photoshop

Nearly all the designers and artists use, interact and rely on Photoshop and its tool for completing their design projects. Photoshop is being employed in all aspects of graphics designing. The majority of us don’t yet realize it because of the spectacular practicality and integration of the environments.

One of the major use of Photoshop comes in creating stunning text effect which has been required in banners and logos. An attractive text effect on the banner or on the logo can attract the huge numbers of visitors, and therefore it is very important to have an appealing text effect which can only be accomplished with the help of Photoshop.

Keeping this in mind, we have assembled this post which contains 45 beautiful and useful Photoshop text effect tutorials which are cool and easy to follow.

Create Gold Ornamental Text in Photoshop

Ornamental text can be created in several ways. In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to combine several stock images to create some nice gold ornamental typography. Let’s get started!

Design a Golden Flame Text Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, artist will show you the process involved in creating this golden flame text effect with soft smoke texture in Photoshop.

Displaced Text

In this Photoshop tutorial artist will show you creative way how to displace the text and get an interesting effect on it.

Create Brilliant Glossy Typography in Photoshop

If you want to take your digital painting and illustration skills to the next level, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. Learn more after the jump!

Add Fantastic Color to 3D Text

In this tutorial, you will learn how to bring a simple text to life and place everything in fantastic, colored and glowing 3D space. Some neat techniques covered here will allow you to bring your artwork to the next level. Don’t miss it!

Create Vibrant Typography in a Rough Cartoon Style

Today we are going to take a look at a well-known type of typography treatment. You will not only get an idea of how to create cool typography, but you will also learn how to give it a nice cartoon touch.

Making of the Magical Heroes

In this tutorial, We will be creating a game poster with magical theme. This tutorial shows how to draw a sword from scratch and also introducing some of the latest high quality brushes on the internet.

How to Create an Incredible Typographic Illustration

In thi tutorial we’re going to take all the pieces of the puzzle and finalize them. It’s all about realism here as we explore seamless integration of separate 3D objects into a single document. Learn how to add color, match luminosity, and add beautiful contrast to your renders.

Create Astonishing Nightclub Themed 3D Typography

3D graphics are often created using several applications. Today, we will use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Cinema 4D to create a stunning nightclub themed 3D composite. Let’s get started!

Creating Cardiac Rate Effect

On this Photoshop tutorial artist is going to show u how to make one interesting effect which he received by experimenting with Photoshop filters. In the end our effect will looks like cardiac rate.

How to Create a Gorgeous Glassy Text Effect

This text will be created using a series of shapes with different transparency and color effects. Let’s get to it!

Create Insanely Realistic Metal Text in Photoshop

This Adobe Photoshop tutorial takes the simple “create metal text effect in Photoshop” that thousands of people teach all over the web and turns it on it’s head! Adding polishes, shines, motion blurs, and oh yes… NINJA STARS. It’s a must read.

Chained Text photoshop tutorial

Create an Extruded Glossy 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

Today, we will combine those two popular styles and create an extruded 3D glossy text effect in Photoshop. Let’s get started!

Create a Metal Piece with a Graved Text

In this tutorial i am gonna show you how to create a piece of metal with a graved text on it.

Give a Medieval Game Logo a Rough Stone Look

In today’s tutorial we will take a black and white logo and give it a rough stone look in just a few short steps using textures and layer styles. Let’s get started!

Reflective Liquid Type

Tutorials on creating metal type abound online, as do variations on simple liquid effects. Most are fairly short, offering a good foundation for the reader on how certain effects are achieved but fail to take that extra step (or few steps) to make the piece really shine.

Create Sparkling, Animated Text in Photoshop

In today’s quick tip tutorial we will demonstrate how to create a sparkling text animation in Photoshop with just a few easy steps. Let’s get started!

Create Metallic Text on a Concrete Background

In today’s quick tip tutorial I will demonstrate how to create some cool metallic text on a slick concrete background. This can be done in just a few steps so let’s get started!

Grungy Rusted Carbon Fiber Text Effect

In this Tutorial we will be creating a grungy rusted carbon fiber text effect. We will also be creating the accompanying rusted metal background effect seen in the preview.

How to Design a Print-Ready Flier with Photoshop and Illustrator

In this tutorial we are going to create 3D text and integrate it in a natural environment. We will not use any 3D programs, so all you need is Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create this effect.

Create a Steam Powered Typographic Treatment – Part II

In this tutorial, we’ll generate realistic textures and create a fitting scene for our text. Let’s get right to it!

How to Create 3D Text Blocks in Photoshop – Screencast

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a 3D Blocks text effect. You need to have Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended to practice this tutorial. This will be fun and I’m sure you can do lots of cool things using this technique. Let’s get started!

How to Create an Ice Text Effect with Photoshop

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create an ice effect completely from scratch using special Photoshop Brushes.

Colorful Glow Text Effects

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to create a glowing text effects form a scratch.

How to Create Eroded Metal Text with Photoshop

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create an eroded metal text effect. Throughout this tutorial we’ll make use of various drawing techniques, channels, and patterns. Let’s get started!

How to make a Typographic, Retro, Space Face

In this tutorial, artist will show you how to make a typographic face by using simple techniques. Using the Brush Tool and experimenting with light, you will get this amazing Typographic Space Face that looks like it’s created by letters and an amazing explosion. Let’s get started!

3D Text On Fire

This tutorial is going to be a little more advanced than the other ones I have done. It shouldn’t be a problem if you have been following along with our other tutorials or have a grasp of Photoshop. So lets begin.

How to Design a Stunning, 3D, Sunset Type Illustration

Today we’re going to run through multiple platforms to create a warm and sunny typographic treatment. We’ll use C4D to create the text, Illustrator for several decorative motifs, and Photoshop to bring them all together. Let’s get our hands into creating this warm type illustration.

Create Detailed Letters of Gold and Diamond

This tutorial will show how we can create a set of detailed letters with gold and diamond. We will learn how to use the Polygonal tool to make a simple diamond and also introduce a convenient way to duplicate layers with minimal efforts.

Create a Stunning Text on Wild Fire Effect

Fire text is one of the most classic technique that you can see in Photoshop tutorials. In this tutorial artist is trying out another version here using some real fire images, mix with filters and blending methods. Here we go!

Text on Fire

In this tutorial you will learn how to create text on fire, also I will explain all the techniques how to transform the text in right format.

A Slick Supernatural Text Effect

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a smoky night effect on text to give it an eerie supernatural sort of feel. It’s a good exercise in using the Wave distortion filter…

Design a Super Sleek Text Effect with Water Drop Texture

In this tutorial, artist will show you the steps he took to create the Super Sleek, eye-catching text effect with Water Drop Texture. This effect is simple but effective, and would be suitable for any water/rainy/ocean themed designs you’re creating.

Icey Styles in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we’re going to create an icey-cold effect using layer styles and that you can apply to different objects. Then we’ll put it on a nice background to give it some kick.

Stunning 3D effects in 30 minutes

Colorful Glowing Text Effect in Photoshop

Elegant 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

This tutorial you’ll learn how to create an elegant 3D Text effect using simple the shape tool, layer styles and paths.

Brushed Silver Reflective Text Effect

In this Tutorial we will be creating a brushed silver reflective text effect. We will also be creating the accompanying abstract reflective watery background scene.

3D Text effect

This tutorial shows you how to create a nice 3D text using only photoshop 7.

How to Create a Christmas card in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how a Christmas card can be designed with Photoshop. You will learn, how to create Christmas ball, draw snowflakes, customize brushes etc. Let’s get started!

Hell of Tutorial in Photoshop

CS5 Styled Lettering

In this tutorial artist will teach you how to create a similar type of effect using a letter or number. You’ll learn some awesome techniques. Give it a go!

Starcraft 2 wallpaper design

This tutorial will teach you how to create Starcraft theme wallpaper.

Create an Awesome 3D Text Effect

In the tutorial, I will show you the processes I used to Create an Awesome 3D Text Effect with Abstract Brush Decoration in Photoshop. This is an intermediate tutorial so some steps can be tricky, but why not have a try :)

WP-Snippets Helps You Get Code Snippets To Facilitate WordPress Theme Development

WordPress is a highly popular blogging platform. Over the years the platform has seen countless improvements and today, it continues to improve the user experience it offers. Apart from being reliable and secure, WordPress offers great visual appeal through its countless themes.

Web developers have contributed a lot to WordPress by building themes for the platform. By spending time on visualizing a theme and then coding it, developers can share their brilliant blogging designs with other WordPress users. If you are a WordPress theme developer looking for a way to reduce the time spent on coding, check out the brilliant website WP-Snippets.

WP-Snippets is a free to use website with a fitting name. The site provides visitors with different snippets of code for WordPress themes. These snippets correspond to a variety of functions; ranging from “Remove Metadata Generator” to “Change Login Logo” you will find many snippets.

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The snippets are listed in a tag cloud on the site’s homepage. You can use the search bar to filter the snippets and find the one you are looking for.

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Clicking on your snippet will take you to its page.

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The snippet’s page includes a brief description of the code. Scroll down and you will find the code itself. If any additional explanations or special instructions on how to use the snippet are required, they are included under the code.

You can share the snippet with your other WordPress developer friends via sharing the snippet’s URL or directly Tweeting it using the button provided on the top right.

In conclusion, WP-Snippets is a must-bookmark website for WordPress theme developers.

35 Magical Tutorials Of “How To Create Lighting Effect” On Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a perfect tool to add flare to images and give them some nice effects which increase the beauty of that image. One of the commonly used effects in Photoshop is the lighting effect which is mainly used for creating the feeling of creativity, technology, magic, and fantasy.

In this post we have collected 35 most useful tutorials about creating lighting effect in Adobe Photoshop and we are sure after going thorough this post, you will be able to glow your artwork in a very creative manner. Feel free to share your opinion with us.

Create an Adrenaline Filled Car Chase Scene

In today’s tutorial we are going to use many techniques to turn several stock photos into an action packed car chase scene with explosions and weapons fire.

Design a Coldplay/Apple Inspired Portrait in Photoshop

This tutorial will show you how to create a portrait based on the style of the latest Coldplay / Apple Ad featuring “Viva la Vida”

Create a Futuristic Music Player Interface in Photoshop

This tutorial requires extensive knowledge of shading and lighting, as well as a lot of time. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that lighting is the most critical aspect of these types of pieces. In today’s tutorial I will show you how to create a futuristic non-functional interface.

Lost in Space Typography

In this tutorial I will show you how to create an easy and super quick text effect in Photoshop. We will play with Brushes, Blend Modes, basic filters like Blur and Liquify, and also text.

Creating 3D Lighting Effects Using Cinema 4D and Photoshop

In this tutorial we will go over how to create 3D text in Cinema 4D, render it out in regular and wireframe mode, then import it into Photoshop to add the final touches, which include all sorts of lighting effects.

Chroma Wallpapers

This tutorial explains how to create a energetic, vibrant, colorful wallpaper.

How to Create a Realistic IES Lighting Effect

In this tutorial, artist will show you how to create a realistic IES (photometric) lighting effect. We’ll be using Photoshop CS4 as well as some free plugins and software. Let’s get started!

Mysterious hell gate, the connection between two worlds

This tutorial was comprised from some scene from that film. You may use this technique to create a poster for a similar film.

Create Abstract Landscape Art From a Photograph

Today, artist will demonstrate an alternative way to create abstract artistic pieces using a photo merely as inspiration. We will start by choosing and simplifying its components and then proceed to apply a retro-futuristic look. Let’s get started!

Create a retro sci-fi movie poster

In this tutorial artist will show the simple process that is behind this composition. We will deal in particular with blending options and textures customization. This tutorial can be followed by Photoshop newbie without problems.

Create Awesome Abstract Photo Effect via Layer Masking and Custom Patterns

In this tutorial, artist will show you how you can Create this Awesome Abstract Photo Effect via Layer Masking and Custom Patterns. Some steps can be a little tricky, but why not have a try!

Change smoke into a dazzling unicorn

Use Photoshop CS5′s New feature – Puppet Warp to create a sexy Unicorn out of smoke, and add dazzling effects to finish!

Create a Magical Flaming Heart Illustration in Photoshop

The Warp feature in Photoshop can be a powerful tool if you know how to use it correctly. In today’s tutorial we will demonstrate how to combine a few stock images to create a magical flaming heart illustration. Let’s get started!

How to Create a Highly Detailed Hi-Tech Power Button

With this tutorial we will create a hi-tech style button that can be used in splash pages, applications or Powerpoint presentations. We will use Illustrator to create complex vectors and Photoshop to develop realistic effects.

Expressive lighting effects

Lighting effects are an effective way to add a detailed illustrative touch to a photo. Justin Maller demonstrates how to go about combining several lighting techniques

Super Easy Neon Style

A step by step beautiful tutorial.

Very Easy Heroes Eclipse

In this tutorial, we learn how to recreate that solar eclipse image in a slightly retro style using nothing but photoshop.

Star Light

So in this tutorial we will create a composition from scratch first in Illustrator where we will play with shapes and the Blend Tool. After that in Photoshop we will add the light effects and the pattern overlay.

Amazing Video-Game Text Style

Electrifying Energy Beams

Here’s a great effect that will bring some energy to your subject. We’ll be wrapping this singer’s arm with a glowing beam of light, adding sparkles, and adjusting the colors to make it all seem magical.

Design a Beautiful Cosmic Space Scene in Photoshop

Follow this step by step walkthrough of its creation in Photoshop, from the making of the planets, to the vibrant nebula and bright lens flares.

Design a Vibrant Blackberry Inspired Ad

The Blackberry Loves U2 TV promo features some awesome, bright and vibrant lighting effects. Let’s take a look at recreating the style to produce a Blackberry inspired design of our own.

Create an Intense Movie Poster

In this tutorial, we’re going to create a poster for a fictional movie called “Fugitive.” The movie is meant to be a suspenseful thriller that features one’s escape under the cover of darkness, despite man’s attempt to capture the lone hero. Thin and cheesy plot? Check. Awesome opportunity to better your PSD skills? You got it!

Create a Simple Vibrant Light Effect in Photoshop

Starting away from the computer, we’ll use a few household objects to create some photographic resources. Then follow this Adobe Photoshop tutorial to manipulate the images with various tools and techiques to produce a vibrant design made up of intense light streams effect.

Add Another Dimension

This tutorial will teach you to create stunning effects using glows, loads of Colour Dodge, and lots and lots of neon – hot pinks and lemon yellows are prominent here. You’ll also learn how to utilise white in all the right places, so that white areas look less like negative space and more like the result of added energy and light.

Add A Sparkle Trail To A Photo

In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to learn how to add a sparkle trail to a photo, using a custom Photoshop sparkle brush we’ll be creating.

Colorful Light Burst Text

In this tutorial, we’re going to see how to engulf text in an explosion of light and color.

Plasma in the Lake

A step by step Fantasy Art Photopshop Tutorial.

Change your text into magic glowing sparkles

In this tutorial you learn how you can convert your normal text into magic glowing sparkles. Using stroke path and layer style it isn’t so hard to get this texteffect

Design A Very Hot Winter Composition

A detailed and step by step tutorial.

Luminescent Lines

This tutorial will mainly explore the brush engine and you will also learn how to create custom brushes and use them effectively, combined with some interesting layer styles.

Fire lines photoshop tutorial

This tutorial will teach you how to create creative and stylish fire lines in 10 easy steps!

Creating Energy Spheres in Photoshop

A step by step and beautitulf tutorial how to Creating Energy Spheres in Photoshop.

Drawing an Abstract Lightbulb

A wonderful step by step tutorial, in this you will learn how to create an abstract lightbulb.

Creating a fireworks effect

This tutorial will show you how to create a fireworks effect using only Photoshop. I will not use any other images, everything will be created within photoshop.

Add Chrome Like Text Search Functionality to Firefox (Add-on)

Finding text on a webpage is something that can be helpful in a number of situations. In the web browser Mozilla Firefox you can search for text on a webpage by using the “Ctrl+F” key combination. This pops up a mini-window at the page’s bottom from where you can search for a word or phrase. You can use the “Highlight All” option to highlight your search item wherever it is on the webpage.

Suppose you want to view the context each search item is used in. You would have to jump from one highlighted search item to another. This can be a problem especially if the results are many and spread out far over the webpage.

A solution to this is presented by “Find All.”

Find All is a browser add-on for Firefox. With the add-on installed, the “Highlight All” option changes to “Find All.” This “Find All” option lists all the search results in an easily navigable view which helps you compare the results.

This view also eliminates any special formatting and displays the results in simple text, making the comparison much easier.

You can access the add-on’s options to modify the font size in which the results are displayed.

The options also let you change the highlighting color, choose to alternate the row background color, and display the “Highlight All” option along with the “Find All” option.

For people who use Firefox’s search feature a lot, “Find All” will prove itself to be a very useful tool. Get “Find All” Firefox Add-on.

Now Effectively Improve Windows Boot Time With Soluto

All computer owners want their machines to startup as fast as possible. Unfortunately there are some programs that initiate with your startup and slow down the overall process. A way out of this would be to put your computer in Hibernate / Sleep mode and never shut it down. But this technique does not speed up the startup – it only avoids it.

The best way to speed up your computer’s startup, without changing its hardware, is to deselect some startup programs. One way to do this is pressing the “Windows Logo + R” key combination and typing in “msconfig” then heading over to the Startup tab.

From here you can deselect any startup entries you wish. But as you can see from the image above, you cannot tell which process is a necessary one and which process you can safely deselect.

All this is why Soluto is the best solution to eliminating startup programs in Windows.

Soluto is a freeware program for Windows operating systems. Although no system requirements are specified on the website’s page, I tested the program on a Vista 32 bit machine and it ran flawlessly.

Once you download and install Soluto, it will require you to restart you computer. During the computer’s startup, Soluto will run in the background and analyze how much time each startup service is taking. Then when you run Soluto, this analysis will be displayed.

At the top you can see an overall analysis of your startup i.e. the total time taken by the startup and the number of startup programs.

In the center of the program’s window you will see startup programs categorized and color coded into three sections.

The first is the green section. Over here Soluto places startup program which you can easily remove from the startup list. Simply hover your mouse pointer over the green section and it will expand to display an individual startup program.

You will be able to see the application’s name, description, and the time it takes to run. Keep your mouse pointer on the app for a little while longer or bring it down to the link that says “More” and you will see different ways in which you can tackle this startup program: you can either deselect the program by choosing “pause,” delay its startup by choosing “delay,” or keep it in the startup list by doing nothing or clicking on “In Boot.”

The next section of startup programs is orange colored. It operates in the same way as the green section. But here, instead of programs that can safely be removed, a mixture of necessary and unnecessary programs can be found. Deselecting them is up to the user who can judge their importance on his own.

Finally, the gray category lists startup programs that are necessary for the system to run error-free. You should not tamper with the apps located in this section.

While you deselect apps through Soluto, you startup statistics on the top of the program keep changing. At the end of your modifications, you can view how much of an impact your changes have had on the startup time.

The program will also display another set of applications in the bottom right of the gray section. The apps in this newly created blue category will contain all the apps you deselected. From here you can choose to include any programs you had previously excluded from the startup process.

Once you have finalized everything, give your computer a restart and experience the new speed yourself. Soluto will monitor the new speed too and will record the results in a log. You can view the startup times history from the “History” button located in the bottom left of the program.

Overall, Soluto is a greatly user friendly and highly useful app which all Windows users need. Check out Soluto.

An Easy Solution To Synchronize Folders In Windows With Bvckup

I use two computer machines – a desktop and a laptop. I run Windows on both. Whenever I create a new file on either machine, I back it up on the other. Many people use this system of manual backup which is quite time consuming. A much better alternative is automatically file synchronization and one of the best programs for this is Bvckup.

Bvckup is a program currently in its beta that works with Windows operating systems. The program has a number of interface and functionality features which set it apart from applications that perform the same auto-synching tasks.

After installing the program you can view it monitor your files from your System Tray.

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When you open Bvckup, its window program readjusts to the compact view by default to occupy the minimum space on your desktop.

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To enable the backing up a folder, you simple add a new backup job. This means selecting a name / description of the backup and selecting the source plus destination folders.

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If there are files in the source folder which you want excluded from the synchronization process, Bvckup lets you specify these files.

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You can also choose between scheduled backup or automatic backups whenever Bvckup picks up a change in the source folder. The program detects changes in the source folder by first inspecting changes in the local hard drive area. If no local changes are found, it saves time by not even reading that part of the hard disk thereby eliminating unnecessary spin-ups of idle hard drives. Moreover while backing up files, whenever possible only the modified portion of the file is copied instead of the entire file – this saves time.

A complete backup log is maintained which details all errors that occurred, if any.

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In conclusion, Bvckup is a competent and user friendly file backup solution for Windows. You should hurry up in getting it because the program is only free as long as it in beta.

You can get Bvckup from www.bvckup.com

Smart Defrag: A Free Windows Utility To Easily Defrag Your Hard Drive Partitions

Over the course of your computer usage, data accumulates and sometimes it is spread out over different parts of your hard disk. Consequently your computer has to search for different places on the disk to access data. This is called disk fragmentation and considerably slows down your computer’s overall performance.

On regular hard disks, regular disk defragmentation is highly advised. This process rearranges data and makes it easier for the computer to find what it is looking for. Windows Vista and 7 have built-in defragmentation features but for somebody new to the process, Smart Defrag is the best tool.

Smart Defrag is a tiny Windows compatible utility sized at only 1.8 MB. When you run the program, you can view all your hard drive partitions. Click on the partition you feel is responding slowly, and perform an analysis to see if any files require defragmentation.

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Once you click on “Analyze” your partition is thoroughly tested and the number of files that need defragmentation are shown.

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Click “Go” on this window to begin the defragmentation process which will rearrange data on the drive.

If you would like a shortcut for the abovementioned process, you can simply access the program’s “Auto Defrag” option which defrags your hard drive in the background, while your system is idle.

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Auto Defrag will be the preferred choice for many people who used their computer almost the entire day.

Scheduled defragmentation can also be set up so that your drives are timely defragmented and you always experience optimum hard drive performance.

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Having used a number of defragmentation tools, I found Smart Defrag to be a competent and speedy option to go with. Whether you are new to defragmentation or are familiar with it, Smart Defrag will excellently serve your needs.

Get Smart Defrag.

Subtitles Helps You Find Movie Subtitles Of A Video File With Two Clicks

If you are somebody who downloads movies off torrent and other file sharing websites, then there is a good chance you do not get subtitles with your downloaded movies. Although many websites are online to help you search for subtitles, most of them have multiple entries for the same movies and a trial-and-error procedure is required to get the right subtitles. A much better alternative to all those sites is the installable program titled simply Subtitles.

Subtitles is an application created by the site www.subtitles.com.br. Sized at only 542 KB, it is a Windows compatible program which installs without any glitches. After installing the program you will notice that new entries have been made to your desktop or Start Menu. Actually the program has no graphical interface at all. It works in quite a unique way.

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With Subtitles installed, all you do is right click on a video file. You will find that the context menu options now have a new entry that reads “Look for Subtitles.” You can enter this option and click on the language you want the subtitles in. After selecting the language, a search will automatically be executed on the program’s website. The search results will correspond to your video file and a far lesser degree of trial-and-error will be required. You will not have to enter any text in fields – simply right click on your video file and select your preferred subtitles language.

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To download the Windows program Subtitles, visit www.subtitles.com.br/subtitles.htm.

New Customization Features Added to Google News

Google News has undergone extensive testing by Google and finally the service now has a number of notable customization options. Read on to learn about them:

1. Topics you can subscribe to

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In the left pane of Google News, you will find a topics list. Click on any topic to find news related to it. When the news open up, you will find a button which lets you add that topic to your personalized news page thereby subscribing to the topic.

2. News For You

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News For You is a brilliant idea by Google. You can edit the news topics by filtering them out of your news feed. New topics can be added by entering keywords in the search bar provided in the News For You box. You can also specify the frequency with which you read about each topic so that news is correspondingly arranged.

3. Selecting / Deselecting News Sources

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If there is a certain news source that you prefer, you can click on “Settings” at the top of the page, select “News settings” and start typing the sites you’d like to see more often in Google News. On the other hand if there is a news source you do not like, you follow the same procedure and eliminate the news source from your feed.

4. Social Network Integration

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Clicking on the small arrow in the top right corner of each news cluster will drop down networks on which you can share the current news. This is a great way to let your friends know of anything interesting you read.

5. Keyboard Shortcuts

Some keyboard shortcuts have been added to enhance the user experience. The following keys apply: j or n (next story), k or p (previous story), / (search), s (star), . or f (share), Enter (open the headline article for the current story).

gnews4

Google has clearly improved its News page by giving more control to the user. A full list of new features can be read here, on Google’s official page on the matter.

Enable USB Write Protection to Prevent Virus Attacks And Un-Authorize Use

Many flash drive owners complain that their devices get infected with a virus easily. A flash drive virus works by writing itself onto your flash drive. If you could somehow temporarily disable the writing permissions on your drive, your flash drive would be more secure. At the same time, you will be unable to accidentally delete or modify the flash drive’s contents.

In order to achieve this, you can use a utility called “USB Write Protect” which disables writing or modifying on your flash drive.

USB Write Protect is tiny Windows utility sized at only 11 KB. You download the archive, extract it, and run the executable in it. This is what the executable looks like while running:

usbwriteprotect

Before you click on the “Apply” button, plug out your flash drive and plug it back in. Then check the “Enable Write Protect” option and click on the “Apply” button. Finally click on the “Close” button.

Now head on over to your flash drive folder in Windows Explorer. If you try creating a new document you will encounter a message telling you that the disk is write protected.

usbwriteprotect1

If you right click on an object already in the flash drive, you will find no “delete” option in the context menu.

usbwriteprotect2

Highlighting a flash drive object and clicking the “delete” button on the keyboard will also not delete the object.

You can place the USB Write Protect executable within your flash drive so that you can use on any computer you plug your drive into. Its function is simple and flawless. Get USB Write Protect.

How To: Turn Android Based Phone Into Wireless iTunes Remote Control

The iTunes media player is used by many people. Its integration with the App Store allows you to easily stream and purchase the music you like. Although it has an unusually large download size (when compared to other media players), its interface features combine to form a competent media player that has many fans.

If you are an iPhone or any other Apple device user, you might already have stumbled across an application or two that enables remotely controlling iTunes. But if you own an Android smartphone, the chances to find an iTunes compatible app are very slim. TuneRemote however, is an Android application that is not only compatible with iTunes but also lets you control the player remotely through your phone.

Read on the following the 5-step guide to learn how TunesRemote can be used to wirelessly control your iTunes player.

Step 1: This is for Mac users. If you are a Mac user, you will first need to configure your firewall in order to enable remote controlling of iTunes. Go to System Preferences -> Security, then click on the Firewall tab. Click on the Set Access for Specific Services button and select iTunes from the Application list (click on the + to add application).

android-remote

Step 2: This is the second step for Mac users and first for Windows users. Open iTunes and enter its preferences. In the Sharing tab, make sure the Share my library on my local network is checked. If you want tighter security, you can assign a password for the sharing.

android-remote1

Step 3: You can now start up TunesRemote on your Android smartphone. Most probably it will automatically find and add your shared iTunes library. In case the library is not automatically detected, you can manually add your library by accessing TunesRemote’s Manual Add option and entering your computer’s IP address along with the following pairing code: 0000000000000001.

android-remote2

Step 4: Now head back to iTunes where you will now be able to see an Android device option in the side pane. Click on this option and enter 0000 in the passcode screen; you will see a resultant screen confirming successful connection.

android-remote3

Step 5: You are all done. Congratulate yourself on being able to control iTunes through your Android smartphone. Now invite your friends over and show off your phone’s abilities.

You can search for TunesRemote at the Android Marketplace; if you cannot find it there, download the .apk from http://dacp.jsharkey.org/TunesRemote-r2.apk

Place Important Windows 7 Shortcuts Within Reach Of Every User

Windows 7 is relatively a new operating system. Applications are still being developed for it that explore and push its boundaries. If you are a Windows 7 user, you already appreciate its improvement over Windows Vista. But while 7 provides a great margin of user convenience, things can always be improved by third party applications. This brings to our today’s application – Preme.

Preme is a freeware program that helps place important Windows 7 shortcuts within reach of every user. There are a number of handy shortcuts provided by Preme which make 7’s usage a lot easier; for instance, you will be able to view all minimized windows in 3D style by just moving your mouse cursor to the top left corner. You can choose the view to be displayed in Flip 3D or Alt-Tab style.

Preme

Preme offers other useful features too; the tool gives you the ability to place your mouse pointer on the title bar of a window to keep it on top; with the mouse on the title bar, you can also scroll down your mouse wheel to minimize that window; again, with the mouse in the same position, you can click the middle mouse button (the scroll button) to close that window; the mouse cursor can be moved to the Start button area to automatically open the Start menu.

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A number of other features are offered by the application; all these features are explained fully in its help file. Once you master the shortcuts offered by Preme, you will save a ton of time working on 7 and greatly improve your productivity.

5 Online Tools For Designers To Help Recognize Unknown Fonts

If you are designer you undoubtedly view websites critically. You judge their flow and overall design. An important part of a site’s design is the font used on it. If you like a font style, you would definitely want to incorporate it into one of your latest site designs. But in order to do that you first need to know what font style is actually used. Because of the sheer number of fonts available on the web and the number of new fonts being created, it is hard to recognize fonts simply by looking them.

This is why I thought I should create a list of 5 online font recognizers. These tools are must-haves for every website designers. Give each of them a read and decide which one will suit your usage best.

We would love to know what you are thinking while checking this post. If we missed any tool you are welcome to share with us. Do you want to be the first one to know the latest happenings at SmashingApps.com just subscribe to our rss feed and you can follow us on twitter.

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1. Identify Fonts

identify-fonts

Identify Fonts is a free to use website that gives you the most simple way to find out what font is used on a website. When you are on the website having the font you like, simply take a screenshot of the text-included portion. The screenshot should not be greater than 1.8MB in size, must have the text in one line only, and must be in JPEG/JPG, GIF, or PNG image format. You then upload this screenshot image onto Identify Fonts and the site displays all results. You can choose to filter the results as free fonts only, commercial fonts only, or both. Click here to visit Identify Fonts.

2. Identifont

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Identifont asks you a series of simple questions in order to determine which font you are looking for. The questions are easily answerable and are like “What type of tail does the upper-case ‘Q’ have?” There are diagrams provided so that we can select an answer. If we have only a set of characters of our desired font, we can answer character-specific questions to find the font. Click here to visit Identifont.

3. WhatTheFont

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WhatTheFont recognizes fonts in the same way as IdentifyFont. The image we upload can be of GIF, JPEG, TIFF or BMP image format and must not have more than 25 characters. As the characters are scanned by the website, we are asked to confirm if the right character has been confirmed. The site then proceeds to analyze each character and find our font. Click here to visit WhatTheFont.

4. Font Trainer

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Font Trainer will help you view fonts in various styles. It acts as a font recognizing quiz for the user. You can train yourself to recognize many popular fonts and reduce the need of font recognizing websites. Moreover knowing the names of many fonts will definitely help you impress your fellow website designers. Click here to visit Font Trainer.

5. TypeNavigator

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TypeNavigator is a font searching tool that lets you go through a series of options in order to reach your font. The options to choose are much like the questions asked by Identifont. Alternatively you can search fonts by their names or by their designers. Click here to visit TypeNavigator.

I’ve Got a Blog, Now What Do I Do? [Slideshow]

These days we all are noticing that thousands of new blogs are starting every day to get in the race of influential blog of the industry. But only few of them could survive and stay in the battlefield fighting with existing giants. Well, I know this is not possible to fight but yes they at least try to find their place in the market. Well, to be honest many of the blogs owners really dont know how to get the word out about them and inspire their first time visitors to come again to create a strong community.

A friend of mine Syed Balkhi at WPBeginner recently created and launched a really useful and directive slideshow to make the new blog owners lives easier than ever. As the title of slideshow says everything “I’ve Got a Blog, Now What Do I Do?”, it would be enough good if someone will really want to do something to establish their blog in decent period as after reading this you guys would not need to invent the wheel again. huh! I mean he put all of his experience and mature understanding in this slideshow to deliver the actual knowledge that anyone could wish.

This slideshow consist worth-checking 50 slides which covers decision to start a blog to setting up and launching then content selection to excellent copywriting. After this, using all the possible platforms to spread out the word about your blog like getting you active on social media e.g. twitter, digg, reddit, stumbleupon etc for getting massive feedback on your posts. In short, it has so many things that you can learn to enhance your blog’s future and increase your reader base.

I’ve Got a Blog, Now What Do I Do?

I’ve Got a Blog, Now What Do I Do? – Presentation Transcript

  1. I’ve Got a Blog, Now What Do I Do?
    The Holy Grail of Blogging
  2. Syed Balkhi
    Founder of WPBeginner.com
    @wpbeginner
  3. What is WPBeginner?
    WordPress resource site launched on July 4th, 2009.
    In less than a year, this site has been mentioned in Wired Magazine, Webmonkey, Mashable.com, Problogger.net, Smashing Magazine, and others.
    Top twitter users like Robert Scoble, Darren Rowse, Jeremy Schoemaker, John Chow, Neil Patel, Mashable, and countless others have retweeted @WPBeginner.
  4. Right Now:
    This site has a Google Pagerank of 6.
    Alexa Rank of 13,000.
    Over 50,000 backlinks.
    Total Social Media and RSS Following of over 34,000 users.
    All in less than a YEAR with $0 spent on advertising.
  5. To Rent Or To OWN??
    Credit: Seier and Paddy
  6. DID YOU GET IT RIGHT?
  7. GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
  8. “A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.”
    Al Reis and Laura Reis
  9. Don’t make it Confusing!
    Del.icio.us
    vs.
    Delicious.com
    Credit: Tinypoems
  10. PEOPLE ARE SHALLOW!
    Credit: Prakhar
  11. CONTENT IS KING
  12. Must Have WordPressPlugins
    • Akismet
    • All in one SEO Pack
    • Contact Form 7
    • WP Super Cache
    • WP-DB Backup
    • Subscribe to Comments
    • Google XML Sitemap
    • Comment Redirect

    All of these plugins are free and can be found in the WordPressPlugin Directory.

  13. Thank YOU
  14. Analytics
  15. (S)(E)(O)
  16. Write for the peopleNOT the bots…
    Website’s don’t link to other websites. It is the people who point to other people‘s work.
  17. User (SEO) Friendly URLs
    /%category%/%postname%/
  18. Use AIOSEO Properly
  19. Link Baiting
    • List Posts
    • Contest / Giveaways
    • Free Tools
    • Controversy / Attacks
    • Be the First (NEWS)

    Credit: Toon Refugee

  20. BEAUTIFUL DESIGNS CAN GET YOU A BACKLINK
  21. SEO Checklist
    • XML Sitemap
    • Semantic Web Markups <h1><h2>
    • Image Tags (Alt=“”)
    • Rel=nofollow
    • Limit External Links
    • Increase Internal Linking (Related Posts)
  22. WHY SOCIAL MEDIA?
  23. “Word of Mouth Advertisement is the most effective form of advertisement”
  24. TO GET CONNECTED.
    TO GET NEW USERS.
    TO INTERACT WITH READERS.
  25. TWITTER
  26. TWITTER CHECKLIST
    • Custom Background.
    • Good Profile Photo.
    • Multiple Profiles??
    • Interesting Tweets.
    • Use Hashtag
    • Retweet Button
    • Don’t Whore Yourself.
  27. It’s not about the Quantity.
  28. Eat. Sleep. Tweet.
  29. SCHEDULE YOUR TWEETS
    Twitter can be distracting.
    Use Hootsuite.com or Tweetdeck to schedule tweets.
    Twitter is the 2nd highest traffic source on WPBeginner.
  30. Twit-baiting
    Check out @wpbeginner if you have any questions related to #WordPress
    Win a free copy of @templatic#WordPress Themes from @wpbeginner – http://bit.ly/aaNjVo (Simply RT to Enter)
  31. “Twitter Search is the best place to find new clients.”
  32. FACEBOOK
  33. “Facebook is the opiate of the masses.”
    - Karl Marx (Modified)
  34. FACEBOOK CHECKLIST
    • Fan Page.
    • Custom Fan Page URL.
    • Custom Landing Page.
    • Facebook Share Button.
    • Facebook Like Button.
    • Don’t SPAM other fan pages.
  35. DIGG. SU. REDDIT.
  36. THE DIGG/Reddit EFFECT
    #1 Rule, don’t abuse digg or reddit.
    Don’t submit your own content.
    Neither Digg nor Reddit has any SEO advantages.
  37. “Not every article deserves to be bookmarked”
  38. BLOG COMMENTS
  39. Advantages
    Top Commentator Backlinks.
    Brand Identity due to Gravatar.
    Connection with the Blogger (That’s how I met Darren Rowse).
    More Exposure and Traffic.
  40. GUEST BLOGGING
    Nice way of Stealing traffic and bringing it to your website.
  41. Guaranteed Exposure
    Get Paid to increase your reputation and get traffic to your website.
  42. Forums
    Digitalpoint Forums
    Problogger Forums (Paid Access)
    Namepros Forums
    Sitepoint Forums
    WPTavern Community
  43. NETWORK!!
    • Exchange Backlinks.
    • Retweet each other.
    • Guest Blogging.
    • Social Media Votes.
  44. REVISIT YOUR GOALS
  45. TIME TO QUIT? (EXIT STRATEGY)
  46. PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL
    Build TWO brands.
    @syedbalkhi and @wpbeginner
    Leverage them to help each other grow.
    Great exit strategy and excellent for new startups.
  47. Resources

    http://www.wpbeginner.com/

    http://www.balkhis.com/for-starters/how-to-launch-a-new-blog-successfully/

    http://problogger.net/

    http://mashable.com/

    http://fuelyourblogging.com/

  48. Who am I? How to Reach me?
    Syed Balkhi
    Founder of WPBeginner.com
    CEO of Uzzz Productions (uzzz.net)
    Contact:
    Email: admin@wpbeginner.com
    Twitter: @wpbeginner / @syedbalkhi
    Facebook: http://facebook.com/wpbeginner

Google.com Powered With SSL For Encrypted Private Searching

If you spends more time on the internet then I am sure you want more control and security over your online communication. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connection being used for encrypting information travels on networks. Its usually recognized by a web address containing “https” or a browser lock icon, as we have seen it with many e-commerce or banking sites, well not just for banking and e-commerce, people uses it for private exchange and for processing credential information as well.

Now I am sure you got the idea of what is SSL and encryption. So, if you concern about security then Google have now added SSL encryption to their search engine https://www.google.com.


googlesearchSSL

Using https://www.google.com, a very secure connection is created between Google and your browser. This secure connection between you and Google make sure the protection of your search terms and search results pages from being intercepted by a third party on your network. A modified logo as given above helps you to indicate that your are searching via a secure connection.

Its a beta version. So, it only covers the core web search product, I mean you wont be able to see the links of image search, books search, and news search etc, as they do not support SSL at this time. Also, as the SSL connection requires additional time to create the connection between your browser and Google, you will experience searching a bit slower than regular Google Search but, the search results will be the same.

It will not be that slow as searching over SSL dosent reduce the data sent time to Google, it only hides the data from third parties. So, if you care about security more, then you should start using Google with SSL. Personally, I like Google and their products like I am anxiously waiting for their Google Chrome OS.

Here’s how searching over SSL is different from regular Google (In their own words) :