The Every-Question-Answering Introduction to Collage

The Every-Question-Answering Introduction to Collage

Collage is big, and there’s bunches of options for making a collage that really captures parts of your life, be it a wedding, vacation, or just some random photos you took. To make sure that you know aalllllll you can know, we’re gonna go over:

  1. Working with your photos
  2. Collage Layouts
  3. Using Swatches
  4. Background options and
  5. Editing Photos in Collage (this is the coolest part)

Working with your photos

Navigate to Collage at the top of our homepage, and get editing!

Hover your mouse over the Collage button in the top menu. You can open your photos from your computer, Facebook, OneDrive, Dropbox, or Flickr. When you’ve selected your photos, click Open and all the photos you’ve chosen will be in the photo tray. There are two options for adding them to your collage: a simple drag and drop, or the AutoFill button in the top toolbar.

If you want to rearrange your photos, just drag one over the other, and they’ll swap!

Notice that with AutoFill, if a layout has three cells and you have more than three photos, some will be missing. You can add new cells easily. Just drag an image over a collage border until you see a thin blue bar. The length of the bar indicates exactly how the collage layout will adapt. So if you drop the image over the longer thin blue bar, its cell takes up an entire row (or column) of the collage.

If it’s destructive catharsis you seek, scrap everything with the Clear All button, up in the top toolbar.

Creating a layout

the Collage layouts tab in PicMonkey.

The Layouts tab has dozens of design options for your collage, organized by projects like cards (with perfectly-sizing printing presets), Facebook covers, or more of a photo album look. They are, of course, infinitely adjustable and responsive.

Droppin’ swatches

A look at Swatches in the Collage tool.

Swatches are beautiful graphic patterns that you can put in any cell. They’re grouped by theme. Winterland, Back to School, Fall, Halloween, Comic Heroes, Santaland, Sweethearts, plus the ability to add your own graphic pattern. Just like any image, you just drag and drop on a thin blue bar to make a new cell.

Don’t want it? Click the X in the upper right corner of the cell, and you’re back to before.

Designing your background

The Background tab in Collage.

The background settings offer some of the most subtle ways to tweak your collage. The Spacing slider, which controls the space between your collage’s cells. Or, the lack of space! It’s up to you. And you can change the color of the background down in the color picker. There’s even an eyedropper for picking an exact color from an image.

If squares seem too square, hit up that Corner rounding slider. You can take it all the way to circular, that’s how round we go. You can also do a transparent background, which is really cool option for web images.

If you want a cell to be its own color, click the Cell button above the color picker. Pick your color, and click the cell to fill it with your color. It only works if the cell is empty; you may need to click the X in the upper right corner of the cell to remove a photo from that cell.

Editing photos right in Collage

Click the Edit button when you hover your mouse in the upper left corner of the cell to get to the Edit Image palette, which gives you tons of options for editing an individual photo in that cell. For starters, you can click Fit to cell to get your entire image in the cell; Fill cell does what it says, and may cut off part of your image, but you can move the image around in its cell to decide where.

Edit images right in Collage by using our in-cell editing feature.

In a cell’s Edit Image palette , you can adjust the size of your image within its cell, with either the Size slider or the two fitting buttons. You’ve got your standard rotate and flip buttons, but the Exposure slider is especially handy. When you’re working with so many different images, it’s hard to make sure they’re all exposed at the same level. When it’s close, but not close enough, you can fix that in a second. Just slide the exposure up or down until it better blends with the rest of the images.

But the absolutely coolest part of the Edit Image palette is in the Effects tab (a Premium feature). It gives you immediate access to our most popular effects, plus a portal right into the Editor. Click it, and you have full access to Basic and Advanced edits, Effects, Touch Up, Text effects, graphic Overlays, even Frames, Textures, and Themes! When you’re done, click the Back to Collage button atop the menu and you’re right back in your collage. This is a big deal, because it lets you build and design and customize collages in any order.

Adding effects, text, and overlays to your whole collage

If you want to edit the entire collage as an image, instead of individual cells, click the Edit button in the top toolbar. This is different from the Edit button in each cell, because you’re editing the entire collage, and you can’t go back. You’ll get an alert to make sure you’re done with your collaging.

Collage with PicMonkey effects ladled on.

Voilà! That covers just about everything in Collage. Try making your own Collage to discover what you like and, you know, just make cool images.

PS – The portal to the Editor is a Premium feature. For that kind of greatness, upgrade now.

This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make good pictures and take over the world.