A good graphics program is essential. Photoshop is used by all professionals and I did a free online course where I learned the essentials. Photoshop CS2 is very old but available free of charge. I use it primarily to make backgrounds transparent. I have a green studio in Second Life (dot) com which makes it easy to make a background transparent. The whole process takes minutes.
To make a background transparent use the magic wand to highlight the colour range then create a layer. Then go back to the main layer and cut the highlighted background. Save the file as a PNG which preserves the transparency. Once I have the image with the transparency I can add it to any picture I like.
However for everyday work I use Expression Design because it is so much easier to use. You can produce excellent graphics and manipulate images. You can also import Photoshop. PNG files are great and hold transparency information. I use it to create text logos and signs. It is made by Microsoft as part of the Expression Studio. The latest version is free.
If you need icons there is a good site here, Click on picture.
Because I am not very good at Photoshop and Expression Design is so easy to use I import the sheet of icons as a jpg then cut out the ones i want. However you may want to get rid of the background so use Photoshop for that. All this takes minutes. It is worth spending time learning both Photoshop and Expression Design. A lot of my learning has taken place through experimentation.
To capture any image on your computer you can use “Print Screen” top right on your keyboard. If you want to be a bit more sophisticated download and install 4 Shared Shot . This enables you to have control over what you capture.
TIP: Be careful when you download and install some free programs. The only way they make money is to install add ons. These can be toolbars or set your search engine to one they get commission on. Always install using the Advanced option and deselect the add ons or search engine choice.
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