Most of us who read the magazine simply enjoy learning something new
about PCLinuxOS at our own pace and at our leisure. Many, many
topics have been covered since the magazine's first release years
ago. You may think that most all the topics have been covered but
in reality programs have new releases with many improvements,
sometimes even including drastic changes to the gui and are now
different than when they were first presented in the magazine. There
are many things in the tips and tricks section that have never been
featured in the magazine and would be fantastic additions.
Another aspect that I have not seen covered is a recurring question
that gets posted over and over in the forum such as the HDMI issues
and of course the sound issue that usually accompanies that. With a
short article on the problem/solution, they could be directed to
the magazine for additional help and insight.
In this article, I'm going to show you how simple a little tip
article can be written for your favorite Linux distro's magazine.
First, read the magazine requirements from here. While the font and
program that you use to write it with are important factors to
consider, the magazine staff and editors will accept articles in
just about any format they can access -- even written on the back of
I personally was not too interested in signing up for the Google
account at first, being pro privacy and all but I will tell you the
Google Drive and Google Docs have made the articles so much more
simple to access, edit and share with the magazine group. I could
not imagine doing it the other way now, although I did use
LibreOffice when I began. It is simply a joy to write since
implementing these tools. Here is what the standard Google account
page looks like. You probably understand that my having the YouTube
account at my fingertips has added a new aspect to my articles,
being able to provide a link to the video that compliments the
While I write, I use a screenshot program, taking the pictures I
want and adding them as I go. I use Shutter, as it has all that I
require, but you may prefer another. When I reached the end of the
introduction segment, I took a quick snapshot of the Google page
and inserted it. Shutter's GUI looks like this when it opens and you
can see the screenshot selection I chose in the preview window.
The first thing to do is rename the image to a simple one, for the
sake of the editing staff. If you forget, that is ok, but if you
continually forget, like me, you will soon receive a plea for mercy
from the staff to try to remember the next time. I use a simple
001.png, 002.png etc (now that I remember) so I know that the
number corresponds to the order the image appears in the article. I
also use a separate folder for each article. This has helped me
identify the images quickly for insertion into the document and
made the editing staff's job easier for them. To make things simple,
take the snapshot as soon as you're ready to insert it into the
document, this helps to keep the flow of thought and creativity
You can drag and drop the image, or like me, open the upload
manager to select the image from the file manager. When using the
upload manager it will default to the last opened folder it used
before, making it quick and simple to write some, take a snapshot,
insert the image, write some more, take another snapshot, insert
another image, etc. This is exactly how I am creating this article
at this very moment.
When adding an image leave an empty line before the image and
after. Do not indent the image or center it on the page. Also, do
not left or right justify the images, with the text flowing around
them. I do not indent the text for paragraphs, either. It is much
easier for the editing staff to do their thing on as raw a format
as you can give them. It will look like this. See, my spelling is
atrocious, just like my 7th grade English teacher said.
Let's take a quick look at my Google Drive contents. Here you will
see a list of the articles I have already written, and the ones I'm
still working on.
I have opened the Create menu in the image to show you what Google
Docs has to offer. As I was writing, I stopped, took the
screenshot, renamed it, and inserted it as I went. This is as
simple and easy as it gets. Let's do one together from scratch so
you understand the simplicity of the magazine article creation
process. First, I will go to the Create tab and select Document. I
will then name the document for reference later. The name does not
have to be the title. I will name it "gwenview quick tip". I will
now write my introduction.
"Often times we need a simple little edit on an image but don't
want to use a full fledged image editing program such as Gimp for
reasons of expediency. One program I use often for this very thing
is Gwenview. When you" (the use of we, us, you and your, gives the
reader a feeling of being included and that's exactly how they
should feel) "open your image in Gwenview you will be presented
with the image and some options in the side menu." I will now open
the image in Gwenview, open my screenshot program, select the style
of snapshot I desire, position the cursor on the thing I want to
stand out or draw attention to and take the snapshot.
The next thing I do is rename the image (so I don't forget). In
this article this will be renamed 007.png, being the seventh image
in line, but for the sake of the example we will call it 001.png.
Next, I will immediately insert it into the document.
Then I continue on with the text: "You will notice I have selected
the "crop" option from the edit menu. What I need to do quickly is
crop the outsides of the image away so it looks like we are looking
at a natural coral reef. Although I love my creatures and dearly
strive to give them the most natural and healthy environment
possible, some of the man made life support system equipment just
doesn't fit in and needs editing". (It is desirable to put a little
personalness somewhere in the body of the article, this gives it
warmth, and after all, these are fellow PCLinuxOS patrons we are
writing for.) "The crop tool looks easy enough with the telltale
adjusting blocks at the corners and sides." I take the next
snapshot, rename it 002.png and insert it.
Continuing on, "Now that I have the selected part of the image
cropped I will need to select "Crop" from the bottom of the
screen." I will take a little screenshot of that and insert it.
Continuing on, "Now I need to save the edited image but I also want
to save the original. If you select "save" it will save the edited
image under the same name the original was and delete the original.
To save the original also we will select "save as" and name the
edited image accordingly." I will take a snapshot of this also and
add it along with the final edited image.
Continuing on I will close with something positive, "Now I have my
required image and it took all of a minute. Looks pretty good as
well. The things you can do with the programs that come default in
PCLinuxOS are virtually endless, with many a little tip or trick
you can share with the community. Wish you all well, quicker
At this point do the spell check (a must every time for my crummy
spelling) and grammar check. Take the time to read it over after
you have let it sit for a few hours or day and add things you
forgot to mention (happens to me every time) or change the context
to make it feel more natural if it doesn't sound quite right. When
you're confident it's ready, submit it to the editors or the
How about that? Short, simple, painless. Now, how much easier could
it get? I know many of you Adepts out there have tips and tricks to
fill pages upon pages, so now it's easy for you to do. These kinds
of little tip articles would be invaluable for filling out the
magazine and they are easy enough for anyone to do because they're
so short and to the point. I am looking forward to seeing your tips
and tricks shared with the friend's and the PCLinuxOS community,
until next month, think spring, (Please!).