Windows Tip Of The Month – October 2012 (Part 1)

11/17/2012 9:21:52 AM

‘Re-fry’ a PDF for a smaller file size

If you need a quick way to shrink a PDF down to a more manageable file size, here’s something you can do with nothing more than the free Acrobat reader. Just open the file, start the Print dialogue, and under Printer, choose Adobe PDF to create a new file. You’ll get a smaller file that should still be totally legible.

Description: Windows Tip Of The Month

Windows Tip Of The Month

Create Stunning Animations from Video Clips

You’ll need this cliplets

Cliplets: Cliplets is a free cinemagraph-making program from Microsoft Research, available at

A Video Clip: cinemagraphs are best made from videos taken with a stationary camera.

When you’re on vacation, taking a day trip, visiting friends, or just out and about, you’ll probably be carrying either your camera or a phone that can be used to shoot video and photos. When the time comes to show off your pictures and videos, you might gather the family around a computer, upload files to a social network, or create a gallery on your own website. These are all great ways to share your favorite images, but what if you’re looking for something a little different?

Microsoft Research Cliplets is a stunning free program that can be used to create "cinema- graphs.’’ These are essentially still images with sections that are animated. It’s a lot of fun trans­forming your videos into something a little different, and the results never fail to impress. Give it a try for yourself, and you’re sure to be amazed.

Download and Install

To download Cliplets, visit the Mi­crosoft Research page at On the right of the page click the "Download for 32-bit Windows” or "Download for 64-bit Windows” button that’s displayed - only one will be visible - and then click the Download link to save the file to your hard drive.

Run the installer. If you don’t already have the Visual C++ 2010 Runtime Libraries installed, you’ll be prompted to download them - just click Yes and you’ll be taken to the download page. You can then continue with the main installation, which takes just a few moments. There’s no need to change any of the default settings.

Configure your Video Clip

After launching the pro­gram, click the Open button in the upper right of the window and then select a video file you would like to work with (image A) - most of the popular formats are sup­ported, including MP4 and AVI. Having selected a video file, click the Open button to load the file into the program. Alternatively, you can drag and drop a video file onto the program window.

Description: image A

image A

Cliplets has been designed to work with video clips that are 10 seconds or less in length. If you’ve opened a longer video, you’ll need to select a portion of it to use. Beneath the video preview, drag the first of the upper sliders to the start of the section you’d like to use and the second to the end (image B). You can drag the blue bar back and forth to choose a different area.

Description: image B

image B

Click OK to import your video selection into the pro­gram. It’s possible you might have shot video footage that’s on its side. If this is the case, just click either the "Rotate counterclockwise” button in the upper left of the view preview, or the "Rotate clockwise” button in the up­per right of the video preview window. You’re now ready to start working on your first Cliplet.

Create your Cliplet

The next thing you need to do is define the areas of your video that should be static and those that should remain dynamic. To do this, move the playback slider at the top of the screen to a suitable point in the video clip and click the "Add new layer” button to the right of the program window. Make sure Loop is selected from the drop-down menu that’s displayed (image C).

Description: image C

image C

The mouse cursor will now change into a pencil, which you can use to draw around the area of your vid­eo that you would like to retain movement. Keep the left mouse button pressed while you draw around the rele­vant area and release the button when you’re done (image D). If you make a mistake, just click the X next to Loop at the right of the screen and repeat the last two steps.

Description: image D

image D

In the Playback bar at the top of the screen, drag the colored bar left and right to position it with the preferred static background. You can also move the start and end points of the slider to determine the loop of the video (image E) and check the Smooth box beneath the video window to ensure that the video loop appears completely seamless.

Description: image E

image E

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