From Tracie: How To Use Overlays To Highlight Your Text On Pictures In PicMonkey

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How To Use Overlays To Highlight Your Text On Pictures In PicMonkey

I recently shared a picture of Katarina with some of her favorite books, and several people asked me how I put a background behind the words.

Today I have two quick tutorials to teach you how to use Overlays in PicMonkey to make your words pop.

Photo Editing Tips - How To Use Overlays To Make Your Words Pop

PicMonkey Overlay Tutorial #1

Upload your photo. Crop and edit the photo as desired.
Once you are happy with the photo, it is time to add your overlay and text.
(*See note at the bottom of the post for updated PicMonkey sidebar icons)

Step 1.
Step 1

Go into Overlays - it is the fifth menu choice
Click on Geometric
Choose the rectangle


Step 2.
Step 2

Place Overlay
Adjust Size
Set Color

Clicking on the rectangle overlay, and dragging it, enables you to move it where you want it. You can adjust the size of the rectangle by clicking, and dragging, on the corner circles.

The color of your overlay can be changed by dragging the circle on the color palate in the Overlay Editor, or by manually typing in a color number. For this picture, I made my overlay white.


Step 3.
Step 3

Fade Overlay
Merge Overlay and Picture

In this picture, Katarina was standing near a pretty fountain, and I did not want to lose it completely. I also felt that the white box was too harsh, and distracting. I used the fade option, located beneath the color palate on the Overlay Editor. Fading the overlay to 30% softened it, while still providing a solid background for my text.

Because I was planning on putting many text boxes on top of the overlay, and I knew I would be moving them around to get a perfect placement, I merged the overlay and picture so that the overlay would not move. To merge them, you click on the button that looks like two pieces of paper, with an arrow next to them. It is found on the top menu, between the redo and setting buttons.


Step 4.
Step 4

Choose Fonts
Place Words on Overlay

I used a variety of fonts to help the book titles stand out, and I staggered the placement. I also ran a title up the left side.

The Final Picture:
Final Picture: My Own Little Belle


PicMonkey Overlay Tutorial #2:

This picture of Thomas was a perfect fit for my post about why I won't read a book series with my husband. After editing the picture, I wanted to add text to make it pinnable.

These Words Are Hard To Read

If you add text to a picture, and it is hard to read, you can place an overlay behind it.

Step 1.
Step B1

For this picture, I wanted to use a custom color for the overlay.

Go into Effects - it is the second menu choice
Click on Draw
Use the Color Dropper
Copy the Color Number

Once you are in Draw, and click on the Color Dropper, you can pick up a color from any part of the picture. I chose a green color from the trees you can see through the bus window behind Thomas. As you run the Color Dropper over the picture, you will see the color that is being picked up in the Draw Editor Box, and the Color Number will be displayed next to it.

You highlight and copy the Color Number to use for your overlay, and then close the Draw Editor.

Step 2.

Choose Overlay
Paste Color Number

Go into Overlays, choose Geometric, and select the rectangle. The Overlay Editor box will appear with the overlay. Above the color palate, you can see the Color Number. Highlight that number, and paste the custom Color Number you pulled out of the picture.


Step 3.
Step B3

Place Overlay on Words
Right Click
Send Backward

Place the overlay on your text, and size it appropriately. You will notice that it is covering up the words - which defeats the purpose of making them easy to read. This is easily fixed. Right click on the overlay, choose Send Backward from the menu that pops up, and the overlay will move behind the words.

The Final Picture:
Final Picture: Why I Will Never Read Books Series With My Husband

You do not have to use an overlay every time you add text to a picture, but some pictures need that little oomph. Plus, they are fun.

A few more examples of overlays that make words pop...

Self Care Thought:
I Can't Heal If I Don't Take Care Of Myself
In this picture, I used a small, square overlay, because I wanted to keep as much of the lovely view as I could. (A huge thanks to my mom for allowing me to use her picture of the beach in San Diego.)

Candy Crush Intervention:
Candy Crush Emergency
In this picture, I used an overlay to cover the entire picture. This allows you to see the iconic candy, but the words still pop, and are easily read.

What Really Matters:
Time Shows Us What Really Matters
In this picture, I broke away from the rectangles, and used a circle overlay.

Have you tried overlays on your pictures?

*Updated PicMonkey Sidebar Icons
Since I created this tutorial, PicMonkey updated their sidebar icons. You can see in the screenshot below that the Overlay button is now a butterfly, and some of the other buttons have changed as well.

Updated PicMonkey sidebar

Even with the icon changes, all of the main options are the same, and are arranged in the same order.

Happy PicMonkey-ing!

58 comments:

  1. Yes! And I love them. It just makes pictures more interesting. Sometimes I forget though :-(

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    Replies
    1. I forget sometimes, too. Especially when I am in a hurry.

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  2. I am working on using pics more and I love pic monkey! Thanks for this tutorial. It is super helpful!

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    1. PicMonkey is my favorite.

      You are very welcome. I'm glad it helped.

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  3. This is simply wonderful Tracie! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and hard work with us newbies ;)

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    1. You are so very welcome. if you have any questions about it, just let me know. :)

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  4. great useful post - i don't use pic monkey but you have me thinking i should put words on blog pics more often.

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    1. It can make pictures much more fun!

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  5. I love PicMonkey! Do you pay for the Royale 'club'? I was just wondering if was worth it.

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    1. I just recently signed up for the year. At $33 it wasn't too bad, and it is something everyone in my family uses.

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  6. That's really cool. I haven't used PicMonkey for graphics like that. I usually just crop my pictures or edit colors, but I need to start playing around with it more. I bet you could make some cute printables using those techniques.

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    Replies
    1. Printables are a great idea! I need to try making some of those.

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  7. Great post. Picmonkey is so much fun and I have the royale subscription because I hate not having the extras!

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    1. Thanks. I recently made the jump to Roayle, and I'm loving it.

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  8. Great tips! I love Pic Monkey and this is an added dimension.

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    1. Thanks. PicMonkey is a lot of fun.

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  9. Thanks for this post! All of this seems so self-explanatory on the surface, but it really helps to see it all in a tutorial format with finished examples. I am addicted to PicMonkey and MUST edit every photo before putting in on my blog. You've inspired me to try out some overlays. I'll let you know how it goes! -www.RocksNoSaltMommy.com-

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    1. You are so very welcome. I'm glad it was helpful for you.

      I can't wait to see some of your masterpieces. :)

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  10. Here! I gave it a try tonight on this graphic just because of your post today! What do you think?https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=487472664660782&set=a.170375883037130.41693.166497053425013&type=1&theater

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  11. We could not manage without PicMonkey! The overlay is the most useful thing ever!! Excellent tutorial!! LOVE it!! --The Dose Girls

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  12. I need to get better at this stuff - and now I can! Thank you. When I finally sit down and try this, I am totally crediting you!

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    1. Awww. You are so sweet.

      And you will have a ton of fun playing around with it!

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  13. This is an AMAZING Tutorial. I'm pinning it ASAP!

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  14. Now this was interesting I spent some time this morning on Pic Monkey doing stuff to photos

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  15. Great tutorial :) I just started using Picmonkey so this really helps me a lot!

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  16. great tutorial babe...I just started using picmonkey and LOVE it...

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  17. Fabulous examples for overlays! I love pikmonkey!
    Nicki
    x
    (SITS)

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  18. Great tutorial! I'm going to try this out this weekend. I've just discovered PicMonkey.

    #SITSSharefest

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  19. I absolutely love PicMonkey and use it frequently. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I've never used overlays in PicMonkey and they seem so simple and effective. I'll definitely use this tip.

    Happy Sharefest

    ~ Heather @ exaltedpeacock.com

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  20. So, so helpful! I use PicMonkey - and overlays - but I haven't been using all the features well enough clearly because I haven't been fading ever. The color match thing is so cool. And I didn't notice the merge overlay feature either. Thank you sooo much!

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  21. Love it! I am madly in love with PicMonkey and this gives me some great ideas.

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  22. I love PicMonkey and never thought about using overlays in this way. It's hard sometimes with outdoor pictures to make the font stand out but a color overlay is the perfect way to do it. Great tips on making pictures more pinnable! Thanks for sharing. stopping by from SITS!

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  23. I never would have thought of doing this I was wondering how people did it now I know Picmonkey is so cool. Thanks for tip stopping over from SITS

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  24. I just recently have gotten addicted to Pic Monkey so this tutorial is perfect for me!! Thank you!!

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  25. Tracie, thanks for this tutorial. I really would not have known how to do this, and it's really easy!

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  26. Great tutorial! I will definitely be trying this.

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  27. Tracie this is fantastic thank you or sharing. i have only just discovered Picmonkey and I love it.
    Karen

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  28. I love PicMonkey and this is so helpful! I am constantly playing around with things and learning new stuff! This is a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Just pinned it for future reference!

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  29. I love looking at these pictures. The bicycle picture is especially lovely. It has such a great "feel."

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  30. Thank you, thank you. I don't know why it never occurred to me to do this with my photos. I've just been using plain, undoctored stock photos. Now I think I'm going to go back over all my posts, redo them, and re-pin them. I'll bet I'll get a LOT more pins with greatly improved graphics. I just did my first one last night on a post about organizing photos and I'm so proud of it! Thanks for sharing.

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  31. Thanks for sharing! I was a little lost on overlays, but so excited to go try this out now.

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  32. Thank you so much for sharing! I MUST use this for Wattpad. Helpful. Thanks, Tracie!

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  33. I have been teaching myself (slowly) PS Elements. Even though the program is different, I can apply a lot of this to it. Thank you! :)

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  34. Every day I learn something new! Thank you :)

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  35. Wow! I have never thought about doing this. Thank you so much for enlightening me!

    Best wishes!
    jen ;)

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  36. thank you so much for this post! I was really struggling with an image, but your tip of sending the overlay to the background helped me!

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  37. Thank you, thank you... I could not figure out how to do this!

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  38. OK stupid question maybe but has picmonkey changed since you did this post? my side bar looks nothing like yours and I dont have the options to do the shapes?? Do I need to sign up for royal? Thanks so much in advanced! This was an awesome tutorial!
    Jess @liverandomlysimple jessbures2008@live.com (for some reason it will not let me lot into my wordpress and this google is outdated as all get up lol, sorry)

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    1. That isn't at all a stupid question!

      PicMonkey has changed the sidebar icons since I created this tutorial. I updated the post with a new screenshot to highlight the overlay button (which is not a butterfly). Even though the icons have been updated, the main sections are the same, and they are in the same order in the sidebar.

      You do not need to sign up for royal to use overlays in general, but (as with all sections of PicMonkey) there will be some overlays that do require it. Royal is around $30 for a year's subscription, and I think it is worth it to get the extra options, but you can do a LOT of great things without it if that money isn't in your budget right now.

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  39. I've been wondering how to do this. GREAT tutorial!

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  40. Thanks for the tutorial. I have been using pic monkey for a few years but didn't know about moving the overlay behind the words. That tip alone will save me some time!

    I was going to ask you how you put the words on the side but I just went into pic monkey and figured it out myself. It never occurred to me to try that before.

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  41. Thank you so much! I had no idea how to do that.

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  42. Longtime user of first Picnick, now Picmonkey, but I still did not know how to do this, not even what to call it. So after fruitless searches, I somehow combined the right search words and your wonderful post showed up. Thank you so much! And now I'm off to explore the more recent posts on here!

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