How to prepare the countdown images…
The Twitter profile image is an important part of your online identity, so I’d look to overlay the existing image with a countdown (so it looks like it’s a twibbon).
Start by preparing your base image in your image editor of choice. I made it 300dpi, and 5cm square:
We now need to add the countdown overlay. While it is not the immediately obvious choice, I think the quickest and best way to do this is using MS PowerPoint!
Create a new PowerPoint document, click “page setup” and set the slide size to 5cm by 5cm:
Insert the backdrop image into the Slide Master, so that it appears behind the default text boxes:
Then format and fill the subtitle with “days to go”, and replace the title with the slide number (click on the image for a more detailed view):
You can probably see where we are going with this…insert the number of duplicate slides that you need to countdown (in my case 179…). The page numbers then create the effect of a countdown (well count up) – one on each slide!
- If it is only a few, you can do this manually for each slide.
- If you have some, don’t forget that you can duplicate multiple slides at a time. (Highlight them before clicking “duplicate slide”)
- If you have a lot to create (and understand macro programming), this piece of macro code might help:
Public Sub HowManyDuplicateSlides() For i = 1 To InputBox("How many slides do you want to add?") Set newSlide = ActivePresentation.Slides(1).Duplicate Next i MsgBox ("All done - " & i - 1 & " duplicate slides added!") End Sub
Last thing, don’t forget to change the word “days” to “day” on slide 1!
Now we need to export all the slides to separate images. This is easily done in PowerPoint – open up the “save as” dialogue box and select “.jpeg” from the “save as type” dropdown. You will then get asked if you want to export every slide:
After a short while (depending on how many slides are exported) you should end up with a whole folder filled with countdown images. Each will be labelled “SlideX” where X is the number of days to go:
You then need to upload all these images to the internet somewhere. I put them on my server – you could probably use a free image host of some sort. The key is you need to retain the same filenames.
You probably also want to create a final image to be uploaded when the event arrives – one without any countdown graphics of any sort. I called mine “Slide0”.
Next page: How to bulk upload the calendar entries to Google calendar…