Create and arrange stickers
To create a sticker, simply drop an image file or a QuickTime compatible movie or animation on the DesktopCollage icon. Arrange the stickers using the mouse, the keyboard (arrow keys) or the "Navigator" panel.
The Navigator panel pops up whenever a sticker is selected. Selected stickers are displayed inverted and can be moved around the screen using the green Navigator buttons. With the yellow Navigator buttons you can change the size of the stickers and with the orange and the red ones you control the layering in your collage. The purple Navigator buttons let you select the previous and the next sticker, respectively (you can use Shift-Tab and Tab instead) and the blue button deselects all stickers (same as the Return key).
Instead of dropping an image file on the DesktopCollage icon, you can create new image stickers by choosing 'File' > 'New Sticker with Image...'. This gives you more possibilities of customizing the sticker, like cropping and the selection of a transparent color.
To delete a sticker, select it and press the Backspace key (or choose 'Delete' in the 'Edit' menu).
To adjust playback and volume of a movie, open the "Movie Controller" panel by control-clicking the sticker. For this to work, DesktopCollage has to be the active application but it is not necessary to first select (i.e. invert) the sticker.
The Movie Controller is pretty self-explanatory. Therefore, only a few hints on the not so obvious features:
- You can click on the speaker symbol to quickly mute the movie.
- While the movie is paused (and the Movie Controller is displayed), you can use the left and right arrow keys (on your keyboard...) for single-frame stepping.
- The button in the lower righthand corner toggles between two different loop modes ("Loop" and "Loop back and forth").
To change the initial playback and volume settings which are applied to the movie each time the collage is opened, option-click the sticker. Settings that should be applied to all newly created stickers can be chosen in the Preferences panel.
Please keep in mind that movies are still a laborious task for your computer's processor(s). Therefore, by opening several and/or large-frame movies your machine might be slowed down considerably. This is not DesktopCollage's fault. If you are experiencing performance problems, you can set the program to automatically pause all movies while it is in the background (open the Preferences panel to change this setting).
Save the collage
Once you're satisfied with your collage, you should save your work by choosing 'File' > 'Save Collage' or 'Save Collage As...'.
Multibutton mouse support
- Secondary Button:
- Click on movie sticker: Show Movie Controller.
- Double-click on movie sticker: Open Sticker Settings.
- Button 3:
- Click on selected (i.e. inverted) sticker: Delete all selected stickers.
- Button 4:
- Click on any sticker while stickers are selected: Deselect all stickers.
- Click on any sticker while no sticker is selected: Hide DesktopCollage.
- Upon deactivation, DesktopCollage can send your collage behind the Finder icons. Since the collage is inaccessible to mouse clicks then, this feature is not active by default. It can be set from the Preferences panel.
- To keep it open all the time, you might want to add DesktopCollage to your login items. To accomplish this, open your System Preferences. In the 'Accounts' pane choose 'Login Items' and click on '+'. (On Mac OS X 10.2 'Login Items' used to be a separate pane in System Preferences.)
- This quick introduction to DesktopCollage is covering only the most important features of the program. Please take a few minutes to discover more by browsing the menus and the Preferences panel.