Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Make a Professional Twitter Background Using Keynote '09 Or PowerPoint

I decided to join the herd (not my usual style) and sign up for Twitter a few months ago. I had picked the brand name of "MsWonka", so also chose this as my Twitter name. I was happy to see the name was still available.

Twitter is very user friendly in guiding you to make a Twitter profile. I filled in the blanks, updated my settings and presto, I was ready to Twitter. While I was happy with the results of my Twitter profile I had created, the blahsay background image was lacking. I messed around with Twitter's available images and color schemes to find something to differentiate myself from the sea of other "tweeps". I wanted my background to "pop", as they say in the designer's world.

I decided to take the matters into my own hands and looked at several other profiles of people I was following. It was amazing to see how diverse everyone's Twitter backgrounds were. It was obvious they, too, had decided Twitter lacked any real style to their background images.

I searched Google for how to make a custom Twitter background and found a great Twitter template download for Apple's Keynote software at The Closet Entrepreneur. They also have the Twitter template available for PowerPoint users.

After downloading this template, I then did the following steps:

1. Double clicked on the download to open up the Twitter template in my Keynote '09 software.

2. Chose a theme from the Keynote "Themes". (On a side note, this is where I decided to set my background color as a custom solid color. The Keynote themes weren't all that exciting to me. I did the custom background as the last step since I wanted to see the Twitter outline while aligning the images and text boxes.)

3. Inserted my desired text via the "Text Box" button and changed the text colors and fonts to my liking. I further manipulated the text by adding a picture frame via the "Inspector" > "Graphic Inspector" > "Stroke" > "Picture Frame" functions. I was also able to rotate the text box via "Inspector" > "Metrics Inspector" > "Rotate".

4. Inserted my pictures via the "Media" button and used the "Inspector" functions as I did with the text boxes.

5. At this point I wanted to see how I did with the sizing of the text and image boxes on my actual Twitter page before adding my custom background color, so I saved my work. To save your file, go to "File" > "Save As" > "Name of File". Then go back to "File" > "Export" > "Images" > "JPEG" > "Next" and save to your desired folder, then "Export" and you are done.

6. Logged onto my Twitter account and uploaded my new Twitter background via "Settings" > "Design" > "Change Background Image" > "Choose File" (from where you downloaded it) > "Save Changes".

7. Viewed my new Twitter background on my Twitter account and noted any size and alignment changes (if any) I needed to make on the text and image boxes.

8. Went back to my Keynote software and made the necessary changes.

9. Added my custom background color via "Inspector" > "Slide Inspector" > "Appearance" > "Background" > "Color Fill" (there are other neat color options here you can experiment with, i.e., "Gradient", "Image", "Tinted Image".

10. Saved my file again and uploaded to my Twitter account. Done! I LOVE IT! Check out my Twitter background and see for yourself how professional it looks.

I highly recommend customizing your own Twitter background. It's fun and relatively easy to do. I hate to admit I spent about 4 or 5 hours on mine because of my annoying detail-oriented brain, but I think it was time well spent. Give it a try!

LESSON LEARNED: Never settle for the basic options if you can do it yourself!

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