Countless numbers of people search the Web every day for free clipart and photos to illustrate articles, newsletters, website pages, blogs and flyers. A good number of them stop the search hours later, frustrated at not being able to find the right image – and heartily sick of flashing ads and pop-up windows. Others discover that they have to give attribution to the artist, or that a condition of use is having to send an email advising where and how the images will be used. This all takes up precious time.
While there are some excellent sources of free photos on the Web, these days people are just as likely to be time-poor as cash-poor. For some, it makes more sense to pay a subscription to a royalty-free image site and have a better chance of finding what they want. One such site is Clipart.com, which has a huge range of photos, clipart, fonts and even audio. These tips on using Clipart.com will help users to make the most of a paid subscription.
- Choose the Length of the Clipart.com Subscription
On the home page, the user will find an option to sign up for Clipart.com for anything from one week to two years. The organised user can download a huge number of images in a one-week membership. If money is tight, then this might be the best option. Be ready with a list of the images needed, and include in that list various synonyms for the search term. (For example: if the user is searching for a picture of someone thinking, then the search terms could be ‘thinking’, ‘puzzled’, and ‘confused’.) Watch for special offers: every so often a year’s subscription might be offered at a reduced rate.
- Enter the Search Terms and Type of Media on the Clipart.com Home page
Sometimes users want clipart with a transparent background, so they can layer images easily. A .png file would be good for this. At other times the search might be restricted to photos. Clicking on ‘photos’ under ‘media’ will filter out all other file types. Users can also enter keywords, and even words that should not be included in the results. There is an option to match any of the words, or to match all of the words. Finally, users can choose a category, such as animals, business or people.
If the initial search does not return suitable images, try different keywords or widen the search to include all categories.
- Downloading the Photos or Clipart using the Clipart.com Cart
From time to time, users want to go back to a certain photo or piece of clipart but can’t remember where it was or what it was called. This usually happens when they use a screen capture program to grab the photo they want instead of downloading it. The easiest way to be able to find an image again is to use the shopping cart for downloads. (Once a subscription has been paid, there is no further charge for images in the shopping cart.)
To use the cart, click on the image and then click ‘add to cart’. The image will be added to the shopping cart under its file number (or item number). This makes it very easy to locate again. Fill the cart with as many images as required, then download the cart. Some tips on downloading the images:
- When the cart is full, download it, then click on ’empty cart’ to continue adding images.
- Right-click on ‘download cart’ (rather than clicking the left mouse button). This allows the user to give the zip file a name that relates to the image subject matter, and to choose an easy-to-find folder to store it.
The user can go back and view the contents of previous carts to locate an image.
- A Time-Saver: Choosing Generic Images
For writers or bloggers who write on different topics, it makes sense to download a whole lot of generic images that could apply to a range of subjects. For example, search for images of people showing common emotions: sadness, happiness, frustration, anger, puzzlement and so on. File them under the appropriate emotion.
An example given earlier was ‘thinking’ or ‘puzzlement’. An image showing a woman thinking could be applied to an article about:
- figuring out the plot of a novel
- working out a budget
- deciding on Christmas presents
- planning a wedding
There are many different ways to make the most of a paid subscription to a site offering royalty-free images. Clipart.com has been used as an example, but different paid sites will have different ways of operating. Take whatever time is necessary to work out how the site works, the best way to search for required images and the most logical way to store the results.