The newly released version of SkyDrive (“Pretty Face”) has made it almost impossible to get the URL, web address, of an image file for use elsewhere like Microsoft Zoom.it. SkyDrive offers “Embed” code but that only gets back to the SkyDrive view of the photo. Besides, that code will not work in some uses like WordPress.com blogs (WordPress strips “iframe” code for security reasons).
Finding the URL in the right-click menu (in Internet Explorer one level further down in Properties) provides a web address to a reduced size version of the image, not what you want for use in the delightful Zoom.it utility. Yes, SkyDrive lists the full size in the information pane. My SkyDrive illustration here shows that it lists the real 8605 x 3603 pixels size for this image, but the properties-URL is to a 1600 pixel version of this photo.
Fortunately, there is a Download provision which allows download of the original, full-size image. It is a bit complicated, but that is the route to the image URL. [There may be an easier way, and – I hope – Microsoft may have corrected the oversight and restored the address link by the time you read this.]
Finding the URL of a file in the new SkyDrive
Under the thumbnail of the image there is a Download link (the Rename and Delete links are present only if you are logged in).
Download the photo. Answer the question “Do you want to open or save …” by clicking Save. This will download the image to your default download folder.
Bear with me, we are after the URL not the file, but for now this is the “easy” way. The full size image will be downloaded. The downloader needs the address, URL, to the full image, and this is how we can get to it.
In the download bar at the bottom of the window click View Downloads.
If you did not pay attention and closed the bar, click Tools – the little wheel in the upper right – and then click View downloads in the drop-down menu. The illustration here uses the red pointer to show the Tools icon location.
The View Downloads – Windows Internet Explorer window shows your downloads (here I had previously cleared the list). Right-click on the file you just downloaded (this works during the download). Click on Copy download link. Hurray! You got it! Now, what could be easier? The URL is now in your clipboard. I normally paste it into Notepad and save it for future use, although the procedure for getting anew is so simple … (pardon my sarcasm).
You can, of course, delete the downloaded image from your download folder, it is just taking up space.
Use the precious URL to create a Zoom.it image. Go to Zoom.it. On the bottom where it says “Create your own…” click and paste in the URL. The process may take some time, especially if your image is large (hey, if it were small you would not need Zoom.it). Where you pasted in the URL you will now see the address to you zoom.it image. Copy the address so you can use and share it.
The image I used in the illustration here is from a presentation on making image composites. I used it to illustrate stitching errors – enjoy finding them, just click on the image. Avoiding such errors is another story altogether.
[Revised to clarify procedure, 7 Jul 2011 Ludwig]
© 2011 Ludwig Keck