# Spicing up a report

Homework Helper
I'm unsure on where to post this so I'll do it here.
Im writing a report and I want to add pictures to convey several ideas.

Just asking generally, how do you usually make those pictures? Say a picture of an electrical circuit for the experimental setup, or a picture of a fcc-crystal arrangement or artist-impression picture of what the atoms in your sample are doing during some physical process.

I used to use windows paint for undergraduate reports since I didn't care too much whether it was pretty then, but I want it to look professional now without stealing pictures from other people everywhere.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Staff Emeritus
I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, a relatively inexpensive image/picture editor and an HP scanner/copier. Sometimes I will use Word's drawing features, and then use the bitmap image.

One can certainly download technical illustrations such as circuit diagrams or crystallographic pictures, but copyright law should be observed, which can mean 'fair use' with proper attribution.

In my reports I do at work or for school I use MS Word. I can do some tricks with AutoCAD or PRO/E to import .jpg's or bitmaps. I guess the trick is to make a picture from nothing if you have to. In my line of work, mostly I have to create charts and diagrams, not pictures per say. I would think a scanner would be a huge help.

Gold Member
For creating or editing images, the GIMP has all of the features that I remember using in Photoshop - and it's free: http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net

If you can find a public institution that would have images for your subject, they can be easy, one-stop resources. NASA comes to mind, and googling 'NASA images' turns up plenty, most of which you can use:
NASA images generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video and audio material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits and Internet Web pages.
- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html
The US government may not be the first thing you think of, but it was a great resource for me (take a look at the list - it may surprise you): http://www.firstgov.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml
Most of these images and graphics are available for use in the public domain; they may be used and reproduced without permission or fee. However, some images may be protected by license. Therefore we recommend you thoroughly read the disclaimers on each site before use.
I've never done this for reports but for other things, like websites.

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Gold Member
I tend to use Word to write my reports, but any drawings which need making from scratch, I use PowerPoint. I find it much better than Word or Paint for quickly making drawings from basic shapes and lines, and you can then save them as jpegs for easy importing into Word.

LENIN
I usually use Microsoft Visio for scatches and diagrams in my reports.

Masoud
In my opinion, use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. There are many other programs, too.

Masoud Zargar