Fun with PowerPoint: Making Custom DVD CoversFitness Gear & Equipment
MicroSoft Power Point is a powerful tool that is most often used for presentations using slide frames of information and photographs, sometimes played to music or with voiceovers. But, its use is not limited to the office. There are unlimited at-home and personal projects that can be created using this comprehensive software package.
For example, you have family home videos, a wedding, or something you recorded from TV or TIVO, or VHS tapes you have converted to DVD that you want to keep “forever”. You can create custom covers for your case very easily and inexpensively!
Open PowerPoint, click on the box in the middle of the page that says CLICK TO ADD TITLE and grab the edge of the box – drag it outside of the white area of the slide – then press the Delete key to make it disappear. Use the same process to remove the CLICK TO ADD SUBTITLE box so that you have a clean, blank slide.
Click on Design, change your Slide Orientation to Landscape, and choose a Design background or leave it blank. Next click on Page Setup and choose Change Margins: make the margins width 10.5 and height 7.25. Keep in mind the spline or middle of the cover will be between 4.8 and 5.5 inches from the edge of the slide (more about that later).
Click back on Home and begin making decisions. You can Insert Pictures, Symbols, Clip Art or a Text Box for a title (to name a few choices from the Insert menu). Let’s say you want to insert pictures from the actual video on your disk: simply begin playing the disk, and pause it where you see the image you want. If you have Vista, you can use the Snipping Tool to crop the picture. Click on Snipping Tool from your Start menu and crop the image to your satisfaction. Right click on the snipped image, and select Copy.
Go back into your open PowerPoint presentation (Alt + Tab) and right click into the slide, chose Paste. The image appears and you can enlarge or decrease its size by pulling the corners; or move it around by grabbing the edge of the image and moving it around until it is where you want it to be on the slide. Repeat this process until you have the images you want on the front and back of the DVD cover. Remember, the right side of the slide will be the front of the cover and the left side of the slide will be the back cover. Keep in mind that between 4.8 and 5.5 inches from the left of the slide will be used for the spline information later, so be sure your photographs and titles do not enter that area of the slide.
You can choose Insert Text Box to add titles and/or descriptions of any size or font in order to customize and add details to your slide. Once you have your images and text box loaded onto the slide, you are ready to do the spline (the middle of the slide which will be the side of the DVD case that tells you what is on the DVD.
Click on Insert Text Box and click anywhere on the slide to open the box. Type the title of your DVD and size it, choose a font, and make it Bold. Using all capital letters will make it stand out, add a date at the end and you are ready to rotate the title into the middle of the slide. Use your mouse to grab the little green circle above the Text box you just created and rotate it to the right 90 degrees until it is standing on its end. Move it to the 4.8 mark on your slide. (The ruler is always on the slide which makes it easy to locate). Now it is just a matter of adjusting the size and placement of your wording to fit inside the Text Box and make a pleasing arrangement on your spline.
That’s it! Print out your new customized DVD cover and slide it into an empty DVD case. (You can get tons of them free by requesting them on any FreeCycle site in America…people are always recycling their cases once they have put their movies into a DVD album.)
Once you have completed your first custom DVD cover, go wild! You will find it easier every time and soon you will be making them for your family and friends to commemorate their special events and favorite shows or videos they have compiled. And, as long as you own the rights to the images, or are not selling the cover, you can put any image on the cover you desire. Impress your family, your friends, your boss. Now…try it and let your imagination and creativity run wild!
P.S. Don't forget to store your library of custom DVDs in your own inexpensive custom-built DVD shelf using the instructions provided in the link in this article.