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by JB Burke

Q. I’m writing an “electronic” Holiday letter this year, and I’d like to be able to make it look nice. I’ve received some real nice ones in the past. Where can I find hints and tips and images to dress it up?

A. There are many web sources for great material to beautify your holiday letter. First, you may want to insert some nice images into your letter – maybe even some animated GIFs. Go to Google and at the upper left of the screen you’ll see several words. Click on “Images”. Then type Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you’re celebrating. You’ll see a screen full of images. Browse the images and pick one or more that you’d like to include in your letter. Right click on an image and select “Save image as”, and save it to the desktop, or a folder that you create for that purpose – be sure you can find the images when you write your letter. Some of the images are “animated GIFs”, which will display action when your letter is shown on the screen.

A good Web search on Google is poems or poetry (e.g., Christmas poems, or Hanukkah poetry). This can yield some good material to include in your letter. Or just type the holiday name in the Google search box and see what suggestions show up. When you are preparing your letter, just “Insert” the images at the proper point(s). You may have to tell your word processor to run the text around the images – but we can’t get into that here.

Published: Courier 12/18/11 - Page 5C