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Web Editing Anywhere
Instant Buttons and Logos with Cooltext
Cooltext (www.cooltext.com) is a wonderful tool that allows me to make logos, buttons, and bullets on the fly. I can quickly create all the graphics my page will need online, save the ones I like, and upload them later at my convenience. What impresses me most about Cooltext is that the graphics it generates are of an equal (or higher!) quality to those you can make from most affordable graphics programs.
Cooltext operates entirely off of form-based entries. While a number of free graphics programs exist on the Net, Cooltext requires the least about of effort on your part to create a superior graphic. You simply type in your desired text, set some options and it generates the rest. The interface is very intuitive and easy to learn.
When you first go to Cooltext, you're presented with a variety of choices. Logo styles are on the left, with the options for buttons and bullets below them.
Bullets are great when you want a small clickable graphic with a simple shape of a very specific color. All of the options needed to create a bullet are on one screen. You simply choose a shape, a size, two colors, and a mixture pattern including surface and lighting effects and presto - instant .gif file.
Buttons are perfect for navigation bars. There are six different button shapes to choose from, and each one is easy to customize. Because the button is always the same shape and size, it makes it easy to create 10 buttons that are interchangeable without causing problems with your web page.
The options for the buttons are the same regardless of the style of button you chose. You simply decide on the text, the font, the font size, and four colors (including text and background colors). Cooltext does all the hard work for you. Once you have a button just the way you like it, it's a simple matter to create a dozen just by changing the text. No other work is necessary.
Logos are where Cooltext really shines. You have a large number of styles to choose from and all of them look great. Experiment with all of them and decide which ones you like the best.
One of the best logo choices is "Crystal." The stained glass effect can be applied to any texture. Cooltext offers just over 100 different textures and it can also import a texture from anywhere else on the Web. This allows you to make graphics using background textures from any of the numerous graphic archives on the Net.
To create a logo, all you have to do is type in your text, pick a font and a font size, and set your options. These options vary depending on the type of logo you're attempting to create. For Crystal, you only need to select a background graphic and use the default for "chrome". No graphics are required for "Blended"; instead you choose four different colors to mix together. "Nova" is perhaps the simplest of them all - the only thing you need to choose is the color of the glow around the letters. The effects of each of these logo tools, however, are spectacular.
The tools to use the Internet are changing. It used to be that the best tools were the most expensive but Blogger and Cooltext are serious competition to the best software available. Between these two tools, you can make your Web site shine. What's best is that they're always available on any machine and from any browser.
[Ed Note - There's many additional free tools for creating Web sites and graphics available - if this has sparked your interest, check out www.mediabuilder.com, and WDVL.com's series on "Building Web Sites with Free Stuff" at wdvl.com/Authoring/Design/FreeStuff/]
About the Author:
Ken Boucher is a makeup artist for a haunted house, an accomplished juggler and theremin player, and the Webthing behind VirtualSurreality.com. Since his income from all of the above is less than zero, he is forced to do COBOL analysis and project management in a cubicle for 40 hours a week.
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Revised: May 9, 2000