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I think there’s a small part in all of us that likes to impress our friends. Don’t deny it. We’re all in this together. And it’s not a negative thing. We’re social creatures.

This is evidenced by the existence of social media. And where better to show off? I like to think of my Facebook profile as an online space with potential to exhibit, amongst other things, my style and aesthetic. This I do with a snazzy cover photo developed from my own photography. But I have very little artistic skill, so it makes impressing people with arty stuff a bit of a challenge. Or it would, if I didn’t have access to tools to cover up my artistic handicap. This is where ACDSee comes in.

To start, you may want to tidy up any exposure, lighting, or sharpness-related flaws. While the photo will be smaller than the original, might as well make it the best that it can be.

Touch Up

After tidying up the image, you can add some special effects to make it pop. In the Add group, go to Special Effects. Select a special effect that looks good to you. On that special effect’s panel, you will be able to adjust the settings. (Note: not every special effect has settings to configure.) So, for me, I find that, more often than not, the special effect applied to the entire image can be a bit much. This is where the brush comes in handy. At the top of the panel, click the Edit Brush. As I spent time brushing an area, in this case, a branch in focus in the forefront, I am disinterested in doing more brushing. So, on the Edit Brush panel, I select Load last applied brush strokes.

Now, I click Invert all brush strokes.

Now, the brushed area — the mask — is every part of the photo that is not the branch in the foreground. So effectively, I did a little bit of brushing in the Sharpen tool and can leverage that effort into masking the entire rest of the photo in this other tool. Time saving for the win!

Inverted Mask

It may be better to uncheck the Show brush strokes checkbox to better fine-tune where the effect begins and ends.

Fine Tune

But ultimately, you may not have to fuss with it too much, as the photo is not going to be this big on your Facebook profile. Change the sliders to get just the look you want. From here you can add more effects, or if you like what you’ve done, then it’s time to take it into the Resize tool. Press Done. In the Geometry group, click Resize.


On the Resize panel, uncheck the Preserve Aspect Ratio checkbox. Under Pixels, change your dimensions to 851 wide by 315 tall. Press Done.

Resizing Facebook

As the in-focus element of my photo is located on the left, right where the Facebook profile photo sits, I am now going to flip the image. Under Geometry tools, go to Flip. Select Flip horizontally.

There we go. We’ve got a cover page ready for upload. What’s the fastest way to get that sucker to Facebook? Right from the ACDSee application, actually. Press Done on the Flip panel. Press Done again on the Edit mode panel. Save when prompted. Open Manage mode. Above the File List pane, select the Send menu.

Send Menu

Under the Send menu, choose To Facebook…

Send List

On the Facebook Login window, enter your Facebook login credentials. Once logged in, you will see two options at the bottom of the window. Choose Upload photos to an existing album, then select Cover Photos from the drop-down menu.

Facebook Uploader

Press Upload. After your image uploads, select View in Facebook. Facebook will open in your internet browser. Navigate to your profile. Hover your cursor over your current cover photo and choose Change Cover. Select Choose From My Photos in the drop-down menu. It should show your photo as a recent upload. If not, navigate to your Cover Photos album and select your freshly uploaded image. Once the image has loaded, if you mouse over your cover photo, you will see Drag to Reposition Cover, but that will not be necessary as your photo is already the exact size of the area.

Ta da!

Facebook Cover

Your options are pretty darn infinite:

Facebook Cover
Facebook Cover
Facebook Cover
Facebook Cover
Facebook Cover
Facebook Cover

Or even:

Facebook Cover

And so on and so forth. Give it a try. I think you’ll find a special sort of joy in experimenting. You can re-purpose mediocre or even bad photos, and in the long run, your friends think you are an artiste.

For example, this:

Facebook Cover

came from this:


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