2018 Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2018-04-17

Don's Freeware Corner notes are printed in the UTAH VALLEY TECHNOLOGY AND GENEALOGY GROUP (UVTAGG) Newsletter TAGGology each month and are posted on his Class Notes Page at  where there may be corrections, updates, and additions.


Newspaper and magazine articles are usually in columns and may be continued in the next column or on another page. Digital images of these continued articles are difficult to view, but can be made more readable when the columns are trimmed and placed side-by-side. If the article can be seen on a single screen, it is easier to read. Also, the size can be enlarged by holding down the CTRL key and rolling the mouse wheel. This Freeware Corner article will describe a way to form side-by-side images of newspaper and magazine articles or any other images you have. Of course, this is not the way the original article appeared, but providing a link to the original source is solves that problem. This same technique works for placing any two or more sources or images side-by-side. Recently, that very question came up on an email list since the genealogy program they were using would only take a single image for a source and they wanted to show two images.


For a newspaper or magazine clipping, the first thing to do is copy or scan the article so you see it on screen. If it was from an online source already, just do a screenshot with a screen capture program. I recommend FASTSTONE CAPTURE, as mentioned in several of my articles before. The last free version was Version 5.3 and you can find download locations with a Google search. Versions after 5.3 are shareware for a one-time fee of about $20 which allows you to use all the upgrades. I used the free version for several years and finally paid the shareware fee. The latest version is 8.9, available from . This program includes the feature of capturing scrolling windows that most other screen capture programs do not. If you start with a hard copy of the newspaper clipping, new scanners have settings that allow you to scan them with a good resolution and without some of the background lines that we used to see in such scans.

The example I will use for this article is a newspaper clipping that I recently received about my Dad, Eldon Stafford Snow, from the California Intermountain News, which was a free monthly newspaper that was distributed to all LDS wards in Southern California. The article is old and yellowed and has a picture of my Dad. It was sent to me by a cousin who found it when he was going through old papers from his Dad, my Uncle. I don't remember ever seeing it before, so I really appreciate getting it. I took it to the St. George FamilySearch Library and used one of their scanners to scan it to a flashdrive. The article was in one long column, longer than 14 inches, so I couldn't scan it all on one scan and I didn't want to cut the clipping physically, so I scanned it in two parts, the top and the bottom, so the middle paragraphs are on both scans. I used 300 dpi since it had a picture of my Dad. I placed the clipping as near vertically straight on the flatbed of the scanner as I could, so when I worked with it later it would be easy to do rectangular screenshots of its parts. When I got home, I copied the scans to my desktop computer and renamed them.


After copying the scans to my computer, I relabeled them as follows. SnowEldonStafford(1891-1954)-1951-09-00-NEWS-LDS-CaliforniaIntermountainNews-ArticleAboutHimOnSanFernandoStakeHighCouncil --Scanned-2018-04-04--220308.pdf The reasons and details of my file naming system are described in other Freeware Corner articles on my website. For this scan, the 1951-09-00 date for the article, is a guess since the exact date is not on the article, but the article mentions me being a missionary in the Mexican Mission and serving at the time in Central America (Guatemala). I was in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala from about May 1951 to Mar 1952, so 1951-09-00 is in that time period. The -00 in the date tells me that it's just a guess and not exact. If I ever find the exact date of the newspaper, I'll change that date. I imagine there are copies of the California Intermountain News in some library, but I don't know where. Notice that the date is written in International Date Format, YYYY-MM-DD, so it jumps to it's chronological place without me having to put it there. The scanning information is in the title at the end, so I can always go back to my original scan, if I foul up the copy I'm working with.


You first need to decide what format of file you want at the completion, e.g. jpg, tiff, png, or pdf. That may determine the program to use and the format to use for the pieces. For example, EVERNOTE will work with all the formats, but it places the separate pieces side-by-side on the left side of the window and lined up at the bottom and I don't know how to move them from there. FASTSTONE CAPTURE has a Side-by-Side feature, but will only work with jpg, tif, or pngs, and not pdfs. It lines the images up at the top and has several options for you to experiment with to see which you like best. In capturing the article in pieces I saved it in both pdf and jpg formats, so I could use them in each program later. To break up the long article into pieces I used FASTSTONE CAPTURE's rectangular clip feature and saved it in 3 pieces, each ending at a good paragraph break. To me it appears best if the clipped pieces are about the same length, but paragraph breaks don't always occur exactly that way. You can separate the clips by ending between any printed lines, but I find it easiest and it looks best, if I clip it at paragraph breaks. The pieces can be saved on you clipboard and pasted immediately into a note in EVERNOTE and you can also save them as separate image files. I saved the pieces as both jpgs and pdfs so I could experiment with each. There seem to be advantages and disadvantages each way. I need to try other image editors and see how they work, but I'll save that for another Freeware Corner article.


EVERNOTE is a note program that has free and commercial versions and is available from -- .  ll versions of EVERNOTE, including the free one, will accept images as jpgs or pdfs into notes, so I started a new note with the title I wanted and then pasted the pieces into it from the clipboard. The pieces automatically jump to the left side of the note and line themselves up side-by-side and lined up at the bottom without you having to move them at all. In fact, I don't know if you can move them from where they land. The pieces also keep their size, so the text is the same size in each piece, and that's an advantage. EVERNOTE makes it simple to do, if you like the images to the left and lined up at the bottom. Since this is text, EVERNOTE automatically indexes all the words so they are searchable. Here is a screenshot of my EVERNOTE result.


The second program I used was FASTSTONE CAPTURE which has a Join Images Side By Side feature. This option is on the Settings option, the right-most icon on the floating task bar. Clicking on the Join Images icon opens a menu window with several options and a box into which you drag-and-drop the images you want placed side-by-side. The menu options include making the final image side-by-side vertically or horizontally, changing the spacing between images, resizing so the individual images are the same size (but that changes the text size and doesn't look very good, in my opinion), and even adding a little shadow by each image so it looks like the pieces are papers lying on top of a background. It also has a place to include a title. The title goes at the top of the composite, but it doesn't seem to go over onto more than one line, so my long title got cut off. FASTSTONE CAPTURE aligns the images at the top, instead of at the bottom the way EVERNOTE does. The Preview feature allows you to see what each setting does before saving the final version. When you get the composite image the way you want, click Save, give it a name, tell it where to save it, and the format to save it in. You then have a file of the composite side-by-side images. In addition, FASTSTONE CAPTURE has an Image Editor built in that you can use to edit anything you want. Here's the FASTSTONE CAPTURE result for my example.


Both EVERNOTE and FASTSTONE CAPTURE have the feature that they automatically place the pieces side-by-side without you having to move them around or do anything special. From either of these programs you can save the file as a pdf, jpg, or tif just by exporting it or by doing a screenshot. The Presentation mode in the commercial versions of EVERNOTE, unfortunately, shows the two parts one above the other, instead of side-by-side. There may be a way to change that, but I don't know it. Other programs could be used to paste the parts side-by-side, if you know how to do it. For example, you could use IRFANVIEW, PAINT, GIMP, or even WORD, LIBREOFFICE, or POWERPOINT. These would allow you to move the pieces further apart or up or down. To get your final image, you might have to do an export or a screenshot to get a pdf or jpg file from the odt, doc, or ppt file. Any of these programs would allow you to save images one above the other, if you have wide, but low, pieces.


This method helps make articles more readable than long columns and can also be used to make a collage of any group of images, photos, or articles. The free program EVERYTHING, available from , has the ability to search for any words or characters in the titles of all your files anywhere on your computer, so for these side-by-side composite images I include something like "side-by-side" in the title and I can find them easily. Please let me know if you find another way to accomplish this. Good luck.