How to add a Countdown to your Twitter Profile Photo

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:

The backdrop for my Twitter profile countdown

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:

Set the document size to 5cm by 5cm

Insert the backdrop image into the Slide Master, so that it appears behind the default text boxes:

The PowerPoint Master Slide

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):

Insert the slide number into the title field

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:

"Export every slide" dialogue box

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:

The finished countdown images in a folder

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…

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2 comments to How to add a Countdown to your Twitter Profile Photo

  • Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

    Superb work, we have just followed your excellent guide. Looking forward to midnight for the first update! Thanks

  • Simon Radford

    Thank you for this – however I don’t know where you and the other satisfied users have been storing your images – EVERY SINGLE site I have tried mangled up the name with a random one – with potentially over a hundred images I was not going to be sorting that out.. I could see that the ifttt end was attempting to work from the google calendar (which I had set at hourly updates) but it couldn’t get any images and so failed. I have spent 9 hours on this and am now giving up. We will be doing it manually and at less than hourly intervals!

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