#Office365Challenge – Not everyone has a creative flair (or at least, they don’t know it yet). In the next 3 posts I’ll give you some tips and ideas around creating images for your SharePoint Promoted Links list, using PowerPoint. Today we’ll create 8 images from one solid banner.

Day: 22 of 365, 343 left
Tools: Microsoft Office; PowerPoint; SharePoint; Snipping Tool
Description: How to create Promoted Link Images for SharePoint from one solid image

Most companies have a very strict corporate identity and this ripples through their SharePoint sites. Users are not allowed to change site themes or page layouts. Promoted links are a great way to create their own unique identity / colour theme for their site – without messing with the rules around colours / themes.

In the previous post I showed you how to create a Promoted Links list, and how to add this to your landing page.

Now, lets take a look at the images you’ll use. I’ve seen quite a few promoted links lists go horribly wrong, just because users didn’t have the insight into what to use together, and what NOT. Using ‘incorrect’ images together might make the page look messy and actually make it difficult for users to navigate successfully. Examples of these would be to use colour and B&W photos, vector images, 3D images and cartoons together. Nice and colourful hey? Not so practical though.

For Idea 1, I’ve created a grid in PowerPoint to guide me in selecting the image I would like to use. I did this by creating 8 white square shapes (no fill), then grouped them together. I made the background black to see the white grid. Note: Keep shift in when drawing the shape – and it will stay perfectly square.
Grid in PowerPOint

When choosing an image for ‘solid’ promoted links – I don’t choose an image where the pattern repeats – what would be the point of that – life is too short to be boring as well? The idea for me is to create 8 separate images which form one solid image, each to be different and preferably different colours pulling through. Make sure you are using images which are not copyrighted and are royalty free.

Insert the image on the PowerPoint slide and move it behind the grid you’ve created (right-click Send to Back). I’ve used one of the Microsoft Windows desktop background images (cause they’re so pretty), note that I rotated the image until I was happy with the look. The great thing about using the white grid – is that it gives you an idea of what the visual end result will be – before you do all the hard work.
Promoted LInk Solid Image 1

Once you’re happy with the image, you can use Snipping tool to cut each image, careful to save in sequence names for example: Capture 1, Capture 2 etc. This is important to add in sequence to your promoted links list. Refer to the previous post – link above – on how to create the promoted links list.
And here’s the end result – nifty right?! You can now use these colours to create your own theme for your site, using these colours on wiki pages etc. See how using abstract images in the background makes the text more readable and will assist greatly with navigation.
Promoted LInk Solid Image 2

Never used Snipping Tool before? See my post The lighter side of Microsoft #17: Cause everything I love I call “Wedwo”. It includes a “Get to know your stuff” PDF you can download with lots of PC Literacy tips as well as how to use Snipping Tool.
Some other Posts on Promoted Links in SharePoint are:
The lighter side of Microsoft #16: Resizing Promoted Links in SharePoint
The lighter side of Microsoft #15: Wrapping Promoted Links in SharePoint

Well that was fun! BRB

Overview of my challenge: As an absolute lover of all things Microsoft, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge, of writing a blog every single day, for the next 365 days. Crazy, I know. And I’ll try my best, but if I cannot find something good to say about Office 365 and the Tools it includes for 365 days, I’m changing my profession. So let’s write this epic tale of “Around the Office in 365 Days”. My ode to Microsoft Office 365.

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks do not only apply to Office 365 – but to the overall Microsoft Office Suite as well as where applicable, SharePoint.