Windows 7 Tip of the Week
Create Fun Panoramic Photos ... For Free

Tip date: May 7, 2010
Tipster: Monte Christopher Jeu

If you've ever vacationed in a scenic spot, you've probably engaged in an age-old ritual that's common to so many with a camera: You take a series of panoramic shots, moving from one side to the other, as you pan around to take in the entire view. The problem is, when you get home and copy those pictures to the computer, they're all disjointed, and it's not clear that they fit together at all. High-end photography tools like Photoshop have offered a way to connect, or stitch, these photos back together again into a single very widescreen shot. And now Windows Live Photo Gallery offers this functionality as well.

The trick, of course, is to find two or more shots that can be visually connected in this fashion. Once you've done this, select them in Windows Live Photo Gallery, click the Make toolbar button, and choose Create panoramic photo from the drop-down menu that appears.


Windows Live Photo Gallery includes a pretty well hidden photo stitching feature.


Windows Live Photo Gallery will composite the photos and then prompt you to save the resulting combined image, using a standard Windows Save As dialog box that's been renamed to Save panoramic stitch. Select a name and location for the resulting file and click the Save button to save the results.

At this point, Windows Live Photo Gallery will commit the newly stitched photo to disk, leaving the originals as-is, and will display the new photo, as shown below. As you can see, the stitching effect is usually seamless.


This panormaic cityscape was made by stitching four separate photos together.

The one issue you'll have with stitched panoramic photos is that you will have to trim off some excess black space in order to arrive at a normal, rectangular image. Just click the Fix toolbar button and then use the Crop photo tool in the Edit pane to do so.


Photo Gallery's excellent editing tools to the rescue!


The final image is a 10506 x 1728 panorama.