Launch a web browser and go to the Enricoros website. When the page loads, click the Fotowall link and when the next page appears, click the ‘Get Fotowall today!’ link. At the download screen, click the Windows icon next to the latest version. At the download screen, click the Windows icon next to the latest version and, if the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Now locate and double-click the downloaded file to launch the program – no installation is required.
To begin, roll the mouse pointer over the Create icon in the middle of the screen and left-click it. Let’s start by adding a photograph – click on the Add Picture button at the top left, then use the Add Pictures dialogue box to navigate to a photo stored on the PC’s hard disk, left-click to select it and then click the Open button. It’ll appear in the centre of the screen like this. Notice blue square ‘handles’ at each corner for re-sizing, controls for flipping vertically and horizontally and other buttons, which we’ll come to presently.
Double-click the photo and it will expand to fill the screen. Then, click the Add Text button (it’s the square labelled ‘abc’). Fotowall pops a text box in the centre of the screen. Right-click on this and a dialogue box will open – replace the text with your own and use the dropdown menus to change the typeface and the size. Want text in a different colour? Click the black square and choose one from the colour palette and click OK. Then click the Red OK button.
Having edited the text, click and then drag and drop it to the top of the screen. Next, open the dropdown menu under Decorations in the toolbar at the top and choose Top bar. This places a neat, semi-transparent banner across the top of the image: this will allow us to read the title more clearly while adding a nice effect; add a bar at the bottom as well if you like.
Now let’s add some more images. Click the Add Picture button again (see Step 2) and again use the Add Pictures dialogue to locate and open a photo. When the picture appears in the centre of the screen, experiment by clicking any of the blue squares at each corner to either resize or rotate it and then return it to roughly the same size and position. Next, drag the photo over to the right-hand corner of the screen as shown here. Click the spanner icon to open the Change Properties box.
Choose a new frame for the photo and click the ‘x’ to close the box. Add more pictures in exactly the same way – notice that each one takes on the appearance of the one before it, making it easy to produce a neat column of photos like this. Let’s try something unusual. Add a photo and select it, then find the button that looks like a red dot in a set of crosshairs in the button bar and try dragging the dot around with the pointer. It makes for some interesting perspective effects. If you don’t like the change, delete it by clicking the red ‘x’.
Next, launch Notepad (or any editor that can save words as a text file) and type in a couple of sentences about the photo. Then save it and close the program. Flip back to Fotowall and click the Add Wordcloud button on the button bar. Use the Open dialogue box to navigate to wherever the text file is stored, select it and click the Open button. After a moment, a word cloud (an attractive mosaic formed of words contained in the text document) appears in the middle of the screen.
Use the blue square handles to resize the word cloud as required and then drag it down into the left-hand corner. Click the spanner icon and fiddle with the settings there – maybe to change the background colour of the box – or leave things as they are. One nice trick to try is clicking on the word cloud to select it and then dragging the transparency slider in the button bar up or down to make it more or less opaque. It depends on the photo of course, but it’s a nice, expressive effect.
Click the Save button to store the wallpaper as a Fotowall file for later; or if you’re ready to use it, click the Export button at the top right instead. The Export wizard that appears allows you to save your work as an image – perhaps to share with someone if it’s been created as a gift – print it out, or use it as wallpaper on the Windows Desktop. Choose the Wallpaper option and at the next dialogue box Fotowall offers ways to size the wallpaper – we found ‘Scaled’ produced the best results for our monitor but experimentation is the key here.
Click Finish and then close the program. Switch back to the Windows Desktop and you’ll see that Fotowall has already applied the new wallpaper (the actual file is stored wherever it was saved in Step 9 if you wish to attach it to an email for someone else to use). We’ve only scratched the surface of what Fotowall can do but that’s enough to get started with this innovative little program.