So you’ve got a photo that you’d love to use in your blog post, your slideshow presentation, or your eBook, but first and foremost you need to cut out its background? Well, with a comprehensive tool like Photoshop that shouldn’t be an issue. But then, we all don’t have Photoshop installed, and even if we did, it’d still take several steps (and precious time) to carefully trim the background and isolate the subject from the rest of the image. No thanks, I’d rather use Background Burner
to get the job done because it’s free and it works just so flawlessly well. It’s a similar tool like Clipping Magic
that we covered a year ago, which allows you to cut the background of images in similar fashion.
For many people, Windows Phone 7 isn’t mainstream enough to be included in most smartphone discussions, but I have been a fan of the Mango platform for quite a long time, and that’s why I couldn’t help comparing the new Cydia tweak 'RollPaper'
with a stock feature in WP7. RollPaper is a pretty single-purpose jailbreak tweak, using which you can set any image as the background for the stock Photos app in a jailbroken iPad, just like WP7. RollPaper is available only for iPad, and that makes perfect sense, as the background is visible clearly only in the iPad version of the Photos app. The tweak has options to let users set both downloaded and system images as the app’s background, and if you want, you can even choose distinct backgrounds for all your albums within the Photos app!
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview
released today brought approximately 100,000 changes from the previously available Developer Preview of Microsoft’s newest OS iteration. Among these numerous changes lies the native ability to change the new Lock Screen’s background, something that was only doable through third-party tools until now. With the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, users can now not only easily change the background for lockscreen, but also set a custom picture of their liking, much akin to desktop backgrounds. Read past the break to find out how.
Image editing can prove to be quite difficult if you don’t have to the right tools for performing the required functions. Massive and feature-laden tools, such as Adobe Photoshop, provide users with extensive options to perform every type of photo editing, but at the same time are also complex to learn and use, and don't come cheap. Previously, we have covered some very useful image editors for both Windows and Mac, such as Artweaver Free for Windows with layer support
and SketchBook for Mac OS X
. However, all of these applications offer advanced image editing features such as layer support, wide variety of brushes, effect filters, configurable editing tools, image color settings etc., which not every body actually needs or understands. If you want to perform a small specific editing task, it is advisable to use a small software, which performs the required function in order to avoid cluttering up and slowing down your system with memory intensive applications. If later is supposedly the case, then RoundIt
is probably what you have been looking for. It is one such application that allows you to quickly make images rounded in both single file and batch operation. A unusual idea perhaps, but unique too. Keep reading to find out more about RoundIt.
We recently covered Screenshot Helper
, a Mac app that assists you in taking screenshots. Backdrop
is a similar app that lets you choose any one color as the desktop background or any image. The image/color is superimposed on your desktop such that it hides all the icons. Additionally, the app also allows you to run a pixel test on your screen to identify dead/stuck pixels. For a user defined interval, the app fills the entire screen with red, green, blue, white and black colors are off. You can choose to keep the icons on your desktop and use the app to put a cleaner wallpaper on the desktop. The app can hide icons across multiple monitors by applying the background color or image you’ve chosen over all displays.
One of the instant ways to give your desktop a facelift is to change the wallpaper. Wallpapers help in setting up the mood according to what you're doing and give fresh look to your everyday computer work. Loved that quote on the internet? Why not set it as your wallpaper to keep yourself motivated? Beside, no one likes the same old wallpaper everyday. If you are a fan of custom wallpapers, you must've noticed that most wallpapers do not match the aspect ratio of current resolution and you need to manually find wallpapers in native resolution. Sometimes, the favorite part of your wallpaper gets cut away from the background when you use wallpaper in incorrect dimensions, defeating its whole purpose. A while back, we covered a wallpaper application
called BackGrounder, which allows you to easily scale and trim images according to your needs, enabling you to create custom wallpapers. Today, we have another application at your disposal, namely Aligner
that lets you align the wallpaper on your desktop according to your preferences. You can use this application to choose the part of wallpaper you want to keep in the center of the screen. Moreover, it lets you move the wallpaper anywhere on the desktop, in Top, Bottom, Left and Right direction. More on the usage after the break, so keep reading.
I have covered various wallpaper applications in the past, the reason for which being my own fondness for new and attractive looking wallpapers. One of the awesome feature introduced in Windows Vista was its ability to automate the wallpapers, so you don't have to look to the same old boring background everyday. Third-party applications however, simply provide a lot more. Desktop wallpaper managers we have covered, such as, DisplayFusion
, Mourao Wallpaper Changer
, let you manage and automatically change desktop background after a certain period of time. These software were good for sure, but as we are always looking for something even more feature-rich, it looks like we found one. SyncWall
is an open source wallpaper manager that allows you to synchronize wallpapers between multiple computers. It lets you changes wallpaper periodically and also has multi-display support. Coupled with a neat looking design, it enables you to set schedules for automatically changing wallpaper, define global hot key for changing the wallpaper, and add special effects to wallpapers, such as emboss, blur, sharpen, edge etc. Wallpapers can be synchronized, along with the basic display parameters, between multiple computers, by defining the server and clients. More on SyncWall after the break.
A good countdown timer allows you to keep an eye on the time left until the deadline is reached. If you are working on a project, it is very important that you keep good track of the passing time if you want to complete it before the submission date/ time arrives. We have previously covered timers including Free Countdown Timer, a lightweight reminder
that reminds you about important tasks, and WatchMe that lets you create multiple timers
, add description, choose custom sounds and select applications to run upon countdown completion,h however, you have to let the application keep running in the background at all times in order to keep the timer running. Today we have another countdown timer for you called yTimer2
. It is an application for Windows that allows you to set up multiple countdown timers, receive audio and text notification alerts, and open files when the counter reaches zero. Unlike WatchMe, if you close yTimer2 when there are active timers in it, restarting the application will automatically load the timers with the correct remaining time. Time can be specified in days, hours, minutes and seconds.
With increase is graphical and processing prowess, games are also getting bigger and better. But this also comes at the cost of eating more system resources than ever before. Games would take a mere few MBs not so several years back, but now, they crunch memory in GBs. If you are tired of never having enough system resources for lag-free gaming, and getting disturbed by automatic Windows updates during work, then give JetBoost
JetBoost shuts down unnecessary background processes and services, and prioritizes running processes to free system resources, which in return gives you butter smooth gaming experience. Obviously, don't expect miracles, as not meeting sufficient hardware requirements is primary concern, but it may aid you in better gaming than you'd do before. You can choose between Work
mode to temporarily stop processes, and resume them later when you are finished. Read on past the jump and see if it really helps improve your gaming.
If you like changing the background on Google you might also like changing it on on another site that you frequently visit; Facebook. While Facebook will probably roll out this feature itself in the next few million years, you can change backgrounds now with FB Refresh
, a Chrome extension. The extension lets you change the background to any image hosted online.
Google Plus extensions that we’ve covered so far have added or tweaked the functionality of the Google+ page but Themes for Google Plus
is a Chrome extension that is entirely different; it let’s you set a background image for your profile. Granted that the background image will only be visible if you’ve installed the extension in your browser, and for you only but a background image still makes things more personal and much better.
CSS makes life simple and websites a whole lot better but there’s still no such as thing as anything being too simple. While CSS may make it easy to apply styles to webpages, creating even a moderately complex CSS can take time. Layer Styles
is a CSS generator that lets you create shadow, background and border effects for layers (text or image) using controls that are similar to Photoshop’s layer effect controls.
Sending your images to a fellow photo-editing specialist only to remove backgrounds is a relic of the past. Today, a number of innovative 'alternatives' allow you to achieve the same professional results, sitting at your home--that too, for FREE! One such application that gives you the ideal background cutout is Photo Cutout Guide.
If you’re into aesthetics, have some explorer/scientist genes inside you, allow me to say that you will definitely love Desktop Earth
! Basically it is just a live wallpaper for your Windows desktop that displays real-time images of the globe (depending on your time zone) as observed by NASA’s satellites. Check out the screenshot after the jump.
There are plenty of applications which allow user to change the Windows 7 Logon Screen. Almost all of them require you to start the application and do not add the option in Windows itself. What better way to integrate than adding the option in the context menu?
If you have ever faced the issue of trying to watch a video in direct sunlight on an LCD screen, or recording a screencast with loads of background programs making it difficult, or simply, making you lose focus over the actual area of interest on your screen, Kino
might help. This tool works in a simple way: it darkens the screen. Yes, all of it, except the area where you want to focus.
Windows 7 comes with various attractive wallpapers that will make you thinking as to which one to choose for your desktop. Now you can put all your favorite desktop background images by using Desktop Slideshow feature. Once you have set the Desktop Slideshow, it will begin cycling the selected desktop background image files at any given duration.
If you need to include an image without its background in Word document
or Powerpoint presentation
and are not familiar with Photoshop or any other image processing tool, then there is no need to fret. Background Removal Tool
in Microsoft Office 2010 can do it for you. Among the long list of enhanced features in Microsoft Office 2010, there is Background Removal Tool
. Removing the background of any image is now only a couple of clicks away.
Linux/Unix based system's real power lies in their terminal. If you have to work in the Ubuntu's terminal and you are not comfortable with it's default color, you can change it easily. Both background color and text color can be changed.
If you have a multi-monitor setup, then you know how hard it is to change wallpapers or background colors for each desktop. Windows will automatically extend the wallpaper in the first monitor to other monitors as well. If you want to keep different wallpapers for each monitor and change them frequently then it is almost impossible to do it from within Windows.
Wallmaster is a free opensource tool which allows you to set different wallpapers and background color for each monitor in a multi-monitor setup. If you have two monitors with different resolutions, it will automatically resize the wallpaper for each one of them. It can be used as a complete replacement for Windows Desktop Background option, even if you don’t have a multi-monitor setup. Read More