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What's New with Pixie 2? Paint

Improvements without distractions! In fact the improvements have simplified the use of the program and increased functionality. This document is intended to point out what you will find new, not to teach all the ins and outs of the program. The original training document will still provide you with this information or go to the Pixie website: http://www.tech4learning.com/pixie/index.html. The Curriculum Integration and Lesson Plans links will jumpstart your thinking of how to use Pixie as a learning tool in any subject and any grade (K-5). When you click on Training Materials, you will find Recipes and Snacks that will walk you through how to use the program along with giving integration ideas. Your school library has a binder of all of these for you to borrow rather than reprinting.

Edit Tool: Stickers

There are many more Sticker options reducing the need for unsafe graphic searches on the internet. You can go to View > Library View to see the contents of the library as icons or an alphabetical list. The globe in the upper left indicates that it is coming from the company server and therefore a bit slower when inserting. Clip Art: The original stickers are still there in addition to accessing the Tech4Learning server that hosts additional stickers. These have a globe in the corner and take a bit longer to add to the document. iPhoto: Any photo that is in your iPhoto library can be brought in as a sticker. Students may or may not have any of their own photos.

Photos: A beautiful collection of photographs! Pics4Learning: A beautiful collection of photographs! These pictures are freeware and can be found at http://pics4learning.com/. Consider using this site with your students for other image needs. Shared: This is a direct link to the school's Shared folder. You no longer need to direct your students to the dock to access the Shared folder, so you may add activities or photos from your iPhoto library. Search: A key word search will search all Sticker library locations.

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Edit Tool: Options

After inserting a sticker, these options are available. Size: The size of the sticker can be changed here (or with the green handles). Rotate: When a sticker is not selected, you can use the Rotate arrows to flip the page layout from horizontal/landscape to vertical/portrait. The compass icon will rotate an object in smaller increments. Effects: When you are on the arrow tool (or a sticker is selected), then you can use Options > Effects. This is where you will find Special Effects that can be applied to a selected sticker or the entire picture.

Color Palette

New and improved! A great selection of browns and skin tones. Eye Dropper: This tool allows you to reselect a previously used color without guessing. Click on the eyedropper then go to the picture and click on the color that you want to use again. The color will appear above the eyedropper. Color Wheel: Allows you to precisely choose a color.

Text

Unfortunately, the text box still says "Double-click here to add text" but remember that it is not necessary to double click. Just begin typing. To move the text box, click away from it then back again to click, hold and drag. Bubbles: A text box can be turned into a speech bubble. Think comic strip! (Plus the addition of a comic strip printing option while working in Share.)

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Paintbrush

Paint in flat or 3D using a circle or square paintbrush. Preview the size, color, and shape before drawing. Be sure to try out the Mirror effects.

Eraser

Less choices--more user friendly! Can preview the shape and size of the eraser that you choose.

Lines and Shapes

These two tools are combined into one. You can preview the color and width of your line before drawing. The Fill and Spin options are check boxes instead of On and Off.

Where did the Blender go? The three components of the blender are now individual tools on the tool bar. Again, less is more.

Save (not new)

Pixie defaults to saving in the Documents folder with the file extension .pxi. (To change the save location click on the box.) in the Save dialog

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Open

When any of the following items are opened and inserted, they become "painted" onto the background unlike a "Sticker" that has the green handles and can be moved and resized. Documents: To access a saved Pixie document. Shared: This is an easier way to access the Shared folder. You no longer need to direct your students to the dock. You may add Pixie activities or photos from your iPhoto library into your folder inside the Shared folder. Activities: Activities/templates ready to use for students. There are many excellent ideas available in this folder. This folder is connected to the Tech4Learning server, so new activities will be added periodically. Backgrounds: Old and new ones. iPhoto, Photos and Pics4Learning: Same items available in Stickers.

Print

Clicking this icon will send the open picture to the last used printer. This is NOT the recommended way to print. It is best to go to File > Print (see page 5).

Export

Use the Export button to export your picture into a different format (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG). Pixie explains the advantages of each format, and tells you what the file size will be. If you are unsure what format to use, choose JPG. This is the most familiar graphic file format. You'll need to export pictures in order to use them in another program, such as Word, PowerPoint, or iPhoto. You'll also need to export in order to email pictures as attachments, since most people do not have Pixie installed on their computers and won't be able to open Pixie files.

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Talk

This feature will speak/read typed text and the names of the stickers. To turn it on click on Talk. To turn it off click on Mute. This is an effective tool to use with non or emergent readers, ELL students, or special needs students.

Preferences

The default preferences have been set. You may experiment with and see the many options available to you and your students. The change of preference will only last as long as the program is launched. The default preferences will be back the next time Pixie is launched. The File Chooser options will be seen in the Open function. The Library options will be seen in the Stickers function.

Rulers and Guides

Rulers and guides can help you put objects in specific places by precisely dividing your document. They do not export or print. To add guides, you must have rulers showing. Go to View > Show Rulers. To change the units displayed on the rulers, go to View > Ruler Units and select a unit of measure. Create: Click the ruler and a blue guide marker will be on the document. Move: Click, hold and drag the guide marker on the ruler to a new location. Remove: An individual guide marker--click, hold and drag the guide marker off the ruler either to the left/right or top/bottom. Hide: View > Show Guides. To show guides again, go to View > Show Guides. Delete: To delete all the guides from a picture, go to View > Clear Guides. Paint with Symmetry: When using a mirror setting higher than 2, add a vertical and horizontal guide. The brush will mirror around the intersection of the two guides.

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Print

Go to File > Print for print options. This will ensure that you and your students are choosing the correct printer and size of the picture being printed. For additional printing options (booklets, greeting cards, comic strips) see the Share directions.

Whiteboard

Pixie is compatible with whiteboards (a.k.a. SmartBoard). Go to View > Show Whiteboard Tools for easier access to the tools while using the whiteboard.

Rotating Paper

(This is the same as Options/Stickers palette and the Rotate arrows...see above.) Click on the Edit Tool (arrow). Go to Options > Rotate Clockwise or Rotate Counter-Clockwise to change your document into a standard 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper. This is like Page Setup in other programs. This change is per individual document not all open documents.

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