My guess is that some of the most common screen elements in elearning courses are computer monitors. They’re nice to use because contextually they fit elearning. And they’re great for holding the images and multimedia we use.
There are all sorts of computer monitors available through the office online site. But sometimes it’s just easier to build what you need. Plus, it’s a great way to learn more of PowerPoint’s illustration features.
In today’s post, I’ll show you how to build a laptop monitor inspired by the free laptop image file you can get from the psdGraphics site. It’s pretty simple and is made up of a rounded rectangles and essentially the same gray gradient.
Below is the tutorial. And at the end of the post you’ll find the original PowerPoint file for you to download and deconstruct.
Here are some simple steps to create the laptop:
- Start with a rounded rectangle to create the top of the laptop. Then fill it with a gray gradient that runs from the top left-corner to the bottom right-corner. Add a thick line to the outside and use the same gradient, but make the light gray on top just a bit lighter.
- Duplicate the rounded rectangle shape and scale it down a bit. Center it and then fill it with your wallpaper image. I also like to add an inset shadow to create some separation.
- The bottom keyboard shape is a rounded rectangle with the top squared off. Use the format painter to fill the shape with the same gray gradient as the top and change the angle of the gradient to straight down so the dark is on the bottom.
- Create a small pill-shaped rounded rectangle and use the format painter to fill it with the same as the keyboard section. Then turn the shape upside down to create that indented look.
- Add a trapezoid shape to connect the top and bottom of the laptop. Fill it with the dark gray and then send to the back.
- To create the light effect, use a shape filled with semi-transparent white. Then right click and edit the points to the angle you want. If you find it a challenge to create the light effect, just skip it.
- If you want to add pictures or videos over the laptop image, then it’s probably a good idea to just fill the inside with black and square off the corners since the videos won’t have rounded corners.
- I combined shapes in PowerPoint 2010 to cut a hole in the lid and make it transparent. I saved it as a PNG. The inside is transparent and lets me put anything under the laptop image.
Here’s a quick mockup of how you could use the laptop image in an elearning course. I also added the tutorial to the last slide for those who can’t access the Screenr tutorial.
As you can see, building your own illustrations in PowerPoint isn’t that difficult. It’s just a matter of doing a few and soon you’ll develop a knack for building your own. At a minimum, these types of tutorials are good for you to practice your PowerPoint skills.
Of course if you don’t want to build the laptop image yourself, feel free to download the PowerPoint file or the laptop images I created from the Elearning Heroes community:
- Original PowerPoint file: feel free to deconstruct and see how it was built
- 3 laptop images: rounded corner, squared corner, and transparent background
Here’s an illustrator tutorial that shows how to build a different type of laptop. Do you want to try building it in PowerPoint? If so, let us know how it comes out.
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- We'll be adding events for 2017 soon. If you'd like to see one of our workshops in your area just let me know.
- Mar 20 (Orlando). Want to learn to build courses with the right look & feel? Join David Anderson at his all day workshop on Graphic Design Essentials for Non-Graphic eLearning Designers.
- Mar 22-23 (Orlando). Come by the booth at Learning Solutions and say hello.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Variables Made Easy with Articulate Storyline. Limited seats, so sign up now.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Articulate User Meet Up. Details coming soon.
- April 14 (Minneapolis). PACT Meeting: Facing Today's Instructional Design Challenges.
Free E-Learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.