Thursday, December 13, 2012 - What to do when words aren't needed. ~ December 2012 - What to do when words aren't needed. ~ December 2012

December 13, 2012

What to do when words aren't needed.

Not everyone looking for images is experienced in the world of graphic design and image editing software. Not everyone has the artistic ability or the creative tools to see a visual concept and bring it to reality.

That said, more and more people are interested in images and what can be done with them. They use them in personal projects such as cards and scrapbooking, as well as to make their business cards and other commercial endeavours. Most of these projects will, of course, require the addition of text.

Visualizing how a finished product complete with words will look, and where those words will be most attractive, is not something the untutored may intuitively see. For these people specs showing how text would affect the aesthetic of an image are of great value. Many of the wonderful artists with have included examples of this in their collections.

However, while the visual aid is helpful, it can raise another issue. The question then becomes how to remove the "Sample Text" or "Your Words Here" from the image. The only answer is with image editing software.

For our purposes here we are working with the less complex web-ready graphics (PNG, JPG and GIF) familiar to most novices. The first thing to know is that you will want to select an image with a plain background. Anything with a pattern or gradient will be, if not impossible, then so labour intensive you'll have lost interest before you even get started on the actual project.

To begin we chose a PNG of image #430229, which has a white background.. We opened the image in Adobe Photoshop, then selected white as the foreground colour. We used the lasso tool to draw around the words we want to remove and completed the process with 'Edit' > 'Fill'. Alternatively you could just paint over the text using the 'Pen' tool.

Ultimately, the simplest way of removing text is with the vector files, which allow you to work with the paths and simply delete, or hide, what you don't want. Here is an example of how it's done using an EPS (image #445190) and Adobe Illustrator. You will notice that the 'eye' icons are missing from the paths containing the text making them invisible.

What's really exciting is that you don't need to be a professional nor must you purchase expensive software. All that's required is a desire to jump in and try. Searching online will turn up many free programs some of which will work with vectors. Here's a good starting point: Or check out this board on our Pinterest page:

What Folks Are Saying About Us

I just renewed my subscription to iCLIPART... LOVE your service and really enjoy your newsletters. I have learnt a lot from them. Vivian B., Milford, NH

A Featured Collection:

Oh, it's cold... so here's a cheery collection to warm you and it may even inspire you to get away:

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Fun Ways to 'Tag' the Folks on Your Christmas List ~ November 2012 - Fun Ways to 'Tag' the Folks on Your Christmas List ~ November 2012

November 15, 2012

Fun Ways to 'Tag' the Folks on Your Christmas List

At least as far as one of us here at Vital Imagery Ltd. is concerned, it's never too early to start thinking about your Christmas projects. After all, if your schedule is as tight as most people's today, getting a jump on the season can certainly go a long way to easing the stress.

With so much going on, the idea of tackling DIY tasks may seem an unnecessary evil. Yet, while no one would argue that ready-made isn't time saving, it's a fact too that adding your personal touch to even the simplest of things is gratifying. It will also offer something fresh and unique, as well as more meaningful, to your holiday festivities.

To that end, we think you can't get much more personal than the simple project we outline here. As family and gift giving are synonymous with the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to create personalized gift tags. The idea was to use images from to represent the recipients rather than write his or her name on the tag. Then Christmas morning, everyone can guess who each gift is for.

Be assured that with such a diverse collection of images on the site, finding ones to reflect the personalities and tastes of your loved ones, in a style you prefer, won't just be entertaining but quite easy too.

To begin, there was no one better to start this project with than the patriarch of one of our company's families, an avid car buff. As taking one's self too seriously doesn't get anyone too far in this group, the search was in the 'Cartoon' category. Finding the perfect image, #164927, literally took seconds.

After collecting enough images to match every personality on your Christmas list, you're ready to create. First, open a new canvas in Photoshop by selecting 'File' > 'New', then set the dimensions to 11" wide by 8.5" long. Next, open the image ('File' > 'Open') and drag it onto the document. Under 'Edit', choose 'Transform' > 'Scale', and holding the 'Shift' key move the corner in to adjust the size. Hit 'Return'. Sizing them is a bit of trial and error, but the ultimate goal is to have three rows of tags in each direction, with space for trimming.

To add your message, and/or name switch to the 'Text' tool, then type. If it's not in a position you like, you can move it to one that suits you better.

And that's it. If you want several of the same images, move the cursor to the box with the 'Layers', 'Channels' and 'Paths', and holding the 'Ctrl' key (Windows) or 'Command' key (Mac), highlight each of the layers.

Click on the top right corner to select 'Make New Group From Layers', then 'Duplicate Group'.

Complete this process as many times as you need. If you're not sure which one you've copied, hide the others in the 'Group' box.

What Folks Are Saying About Us

Nice newsletter about your daughter and her wedding. You have a wonderful service - it's the best subscription money I spend. - R. Sands, Smiths Falls, ON

A Featured Collection:

In keeping with the Christmas is a comin' theme here's a wonderful collection of timely images for you to enjoy:

Friday, October 19, 2012 - Some Halloween fun for little ones ~ October 2012 - Some Halloween fun for little ones ~ October 2012

October 19, 2012

Some Halloween fun for little ones with

A tour around easily reveals the diverse collection of images, photos, fonts and animations available.

However, as images are generally what people are looking for when they stop by our site, they may not always be aware of the many features available, designed to offer more efficiency, as well as valuable tips and tricks. The Advanced Search, as an example, will help busy businesspeople sift through the collection with more ease.

Color Image Button

Yet, while we do our best to make the site as user friendly as possible, not just for busy professionals, but for our mom and pop users as well, there is one feature, the sole purpose of which, it might be said, is more about having fun. Many people, particularly parents and educators, might be aware of all the wonderful black and white images on, that are perfect for tiny hands to colour or paint. What they may not have discovered is an option that allows budding artists to do this online. Adults will love that there's no mess and children will be entertained for hours. It's an excellent way, too, to learn more about using a computer.

So, with the frivolity of Halloween just around the corner, and a covey of cute black-and-white ghosts, goblins and ghouls, on our site, it seemed a worthy event to highlight this feature.

For this playful exercise we chose item #410101. Make sure first that you have pop-ups enabled on your browser. You will find the option for this in your browser Preferences. Subscribers should see a Color Image button below the preview. Simply click on this to get started. Select a colour from the palette and choose a tool. The paint bucket will fill in large spaces, or you can use the paintbrush to spend a little more time. There is also an eraser to repair those boo-boos.

Color Palette

When you have completed your work, click the Save option at the bottom right on the palette.

While the results may not be as professional as what one can accomplish with image editing software, this method can also be an option for those who need to edit an image, but aren't familiar with these types of programs.

What Folks Are Saying About Us

Love your website and I use it a lot. I love your newsletters, I learn something new each time. - Noelene J.M. Nevada


Can I edit/change the images I download?

Editing the images is fine. If you wish to use the images in a commercial project, you are required to edit them first. Changing (editing) the image should be a combination of the following: adding text, combining two or more images together, removing parts of an image, changing colours etc.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - Invite us to your wedding. ~ September 2012 - Invite us to your wedding. ~ September 2012

September 19, 2012

Invite to your wedding

It all began with a mother-and-her-girl discussion about invitations that culminated in a beautiful summer wedding in which was a major player.

Several months ago, after announcing her engagement, my daughter mentioned that she was having a black-and-white themed event and was hoping for a Victorian design with a modern slant for all of the stationery requirements. However, ever the thrifty child, she had set a tight budget so was also looking for economical options. The solution? DIY with's diverse selection as her muse.

The first search on the site turned up several appealing images in just minutes and eventually inspired project after project. In addition to the invitations, images from were also used for two styles of thank you cards and favour tags as well as part of the program. The bride used a Photoshopped combo of an image and a picture of the couple for the cover of the CD given as a memento to guests. An illustration of a striking bride was also used on the label.

(Our bride was actually so inspired that as host for a friend's bridal shower (with a movie theme) and her sister's baby shower prior to her own big day, she decided to use images in the invitations for these as well.)

Creating your own unique designs need not be intimidating for a novice. Finding and downloading the images my girl wanted was a breeze, of course. Then for the wedding favour tags and programs, the images were taken as is on the site and incorporated into the project. Doesn't get much simpler.

However, as she does have experience with image editing, she opted to be a little more ambitious with the invitations and used Photoshop to manipulate the images to get a different look. Ultimately, as my daughter said, the projects were, "as easy as I wanted them to be."

Let's face it, your wedding, possibly more than any other event in your life, should be an expression of who you are, and what you as a couple prefer. There are ways to make it perfect without breaking the bank, and is there to help. Do-it-yourself projects may take a little more effort but are usually well worth it in the end.


How do I remove the white box (background) from the image I want?

JPG files will always have a background since that type of file does not support transparency. In some cases the PNG and GIF files on our website will already have a transparent background. If you download one of the vector file formats you should be able to resave the image in your image editing software without any background.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - Introducing our summer student and please be our guest. ~ August 2012 - Introducing our summer student and please be our guest. ~ August 2012

August 15, 2012

A new collection brought to you by....

This summer, a talented young graphic design student, 19-year-old Matthew Piotrowski of Waterloo, Ontario, has been creating unique collections exclusively for, comprised of more than 1,500 images. His one-of-a-kind designs, to be added to the site in the near future, include holiday illustrations for Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Halloween. As well, he created multiple banner advertisements, some website template variations and processed photos for the site.

"The best part about my placement has definitely been the atmosphere in the office," says Matt. "The support, accounting and IT teams have been more than a pleasure to work with; I felt at home the first day I stepped through the door!"

Matt's love of technology and his curiosity regarding how things work, is what inspired his interest in the field of graphic design. "Looking around at anything, really, you can see examples of design."

He discovered Photoshop in the high school lab when he was 14 and as a learning method, began recreating other artists' work. He further enhanced his education with online tutorials, realizing, "you need to do the groundwork to expand your creativity."

He continues to be inspired by others, utilizing some of their techniques on the way to further defining his own style while still acquiring new design knowledge.

Of course, every artist does have his or her own style. For Matt this varies with the project. "I like to emulate somewhat realistic lighting on 2D clipart by utilizing gradients and blends. I try to eliminate as much stroke (the outlines) as possible from my designs to make them escape from the computer screen, giving them a 'popping' effect."

This early in his promising career, building the portfolio is, he says, far more important than trying to make the "big paycheque." To that end, Matt has worked on some independent projects, collaborating with musical artists and photographers to design album covers, mascots and promotional materials.

Combining business with pleasure may not be everyone's ideal. Matt, however, pours his creative energies into his hobbies with as much enthusiasm as he does his professional projects. "I have a keen interest in electronic dance music and photography on the side and have been purveying knowledge in musical production over the past couple of months. This has led me to create my first single set to be released at the end of August."

Matt's enthusiasm for life and his abilities has given him a career focus that's admirable in one so young. "Do what you love, and do it 16 hours of the day, seven days a week. Don't give up when you feel like you've plateaued, because when you break through that barrier in creativity, the results will motivate you to succeed. Eventually your interests and hobbies will turn into a lifestyle and that lifestyle will make you happier than any amount of money ever could."

A Little Favour...

Here's one for all the social media folks. If you love our images as much as we do and would like to help us out, we invite you to become a guest pinner on Pinterest. To be able to pin your favourite images on our board, simply send us your Pinterest account and we'll get you set up to pin the images you like best.


I downloaded an image and now I cannot find it on my computer?

Please follow the steps below to try and resolve this problem:

- If you know the file name of the image you downloaded, you can try searching your computer for it.

- If you use Firefox, you can either specify an automatic download directory (pick something you will remember) or prompt you to pick a location each time you make a download.

- If you are asked where you want to save the image, make sure you pick a location where you will be easily able to find the image again e.g. "Desktop" or "My Documents".

*Tip* If an image is important to you, why not save it into a basket so that you can always find it again?

Monday, July 23, 2012 Newsletter ~ July 2012 Newsletter ~ June 2012

July 23, 2012

What's in a keyword?

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

When it comes to romance Romeo knew a thing or two. In the practical world of keywording, however, you know that people searching for a 'rose' on will be calling it a rose.

With images added daily to the site, the job of making your perfect image easier to find by attaching appropriate words to it, is a worthy task. However, keywording is, as we like to say, a human science, and as such images are open to interpretation. For example, while finding stressed, dazed businesspeople when looking for 'rat race' makes sense, just using the word 'race' will also bring a few rodents into the mix.

Ultimately, because of the many variables and variations that must be considered when keywording an image, keep in mind that what narrows down a search for some will inevitably broaden it for others. It's wise, therefore, to use all the tricks at your disposal. On every effort is made to help customers separate the keywording wheat from the chaff. For instance, using the Advanced Search option for the aforementioned example for race, would enable you to eliminate any images that have the keyword rat by adding that word to the exclude box.

This option also gives you a chance to search within categories, or colour and black and white.

The bottom line is when approaching an image ripe for keywording, one must consider its potential, how it might be used, who might be interested in it and what can be done to help our diverse clientele find it, such as using both singular and plural forms.

So just for a bit of coffee break fun, we decided to offer a little challenge. Our staff came up with a list of 71 words applicable to this, as yet, un-keyworded image. How many can you think of?

What Folks Are Saying About Us…

You are the best---best quality, price, options for size and the best variety. I make cards for every holiday and I always find "just the right picture" to make the card pop and be unique. A friend and I make cards to send to the troops. We are currently making Halloween and Christmas cards and we are finding great pictures! Love your site!

Helen T. - Roswell, GA


What is the difference between all the file formats you offer?

Here's an excellent website that explains the differences in detail::!

Monday, June 18, 2012 Newsletter ~ June 2012 Newsletter ~ June 2012

June 18, 2012

The benefit of the basket

From moms crafting with love, a homemade invitation for their child's birthday party, to graphic artists creating unique designs for hundreds of clients, the needs of customers are as diverse as the projects they work on. While some stop by now and then seeking out that one perfect image, others are accessing the site multiple times throughout a day with their mind on various undertakings.

A special feature on the site which will meet the needs of everyone, however is the handy basket system. The main benefit of the baskets, or lightboxes, is that you needn't download images until you are sure you want to use them, but will still be able to find them quickly when that time comes. In this way you are flagging favourites without wasting time downloading images you don't end up using.

Using the baskets is quite simple too. At the top right corner of the page after signing in you will see in green, the "Basket" link, above

This will take you to a drop down menu where you can add and name baskets intended for your projects.

Then when you are on the preview page for an image you like, simply go to the "add to basket" link below the keywords and select the one you want. It's that easy.

When you're ready to download, just go back to the "Basket" link at the top of the page, choose one, find the image you want and download.

Need a second opinion on what image will work the best? The baskets are also the perfect solution for this. Professionals choosing images for a client, for example, can create a basket to essentially make suggestions and leave the final decision to the client. Just "Share this basket" by emailing the link located at the bottom of the page, directly to the customer so they can choose the image that appeals most to them.

The best thing about the baskets is that you can store as many images as you want. There's no end and no limit. Peruse the great images you find on and when you see some you like, file them away, just for fun. You never know what future project they might be perfect for, and how nice it will be to have them ready with just a click of the mouse.


Can I share my account with another person?

Unless you arranged special licensing with us each account (username and password) can only be used by one user. If you have a laptop and a desktop computer you are able to access your account from both machines. If multiple people in your organization would like access to iCLIPART we can arrange special licensing upon request.

Monday, May 28, 2012 Newsletter ~ May 2012 Newsletter ~ May 2012

May 28, 2012

What's the difference?

Vive la différence! Just as the French celebrate the differences between the sexes, everyone should appreciate individuality in others and themselves. What makes us unique is what makes us special.

That follows too, to our sense of aesthetics, so what looks nice to one may bring an adverse reaction to another. It is this fact that will determine, when looking at web-ready graphics for projects, whether you prefer a JPG, GIF or PNG file. The first will 100 per cent of the time have a background and while that may suit some people for their projects, others are looking for transparency so the image looks less highlighted, more blended. The better chance for this then, though not guaranteed, is the latter two.

If you decide on the GIF, however, note that these files are smaller in size and will only display a maximum of 256 colours. So, while this colour limitation in GIF files makes them well-suited for simpler images with solid areas of colour, they are not good choices for reproducing colour photographs and other images with continuous colour.

Pictures often do speak better than words of course. People working on a project for the first time may still not fully understand what we mean when we talk about transparency, and/or be unable to visualize what it will mean to the finished product. A visual example is always helpful, so to demonstrate we took an image of a plain tank top from (#152579) and added image #488417 as both a PNG and a JPG. Here are the respective results:


However, if you definitely want transparency and have image editing software, remember, the best way to go is with vector files. They can always, unless they have been created with a coloured background that is part of the design, be saved as a new file with a transparent background (where the file format permits).


What software do you recommend I use to open vector images?

There are a number of options available for opening vector files, including some free ones. Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, InDesign, PaintShop Pro and newer versions of QuarkXPress all support EPS.

These files can also be opened in Microsoft Word as it embeds the files in documents to serve as a simple viewer. To preview the image, just drag and drop the file (or in an older version use the Insert tool) into a word document.

If you own an Apple computer, you can view images in Preview which comes installed on all Macs.

Suggestions to open AI files, other than Illustrator, include: Adobe Acrobat X, Photoshop CS6, Photoshop Elements 10, Flash Professional CS6, Serif DrawPlus X5, ACD Systems Canvas 12, Corel Draw Graphics SuiteX6 and Inkscape.

What Folks Are Saying About Us

If you are a blogger or web designer or graphic artist or just love cool pics, grab a subscription to iCLIPART. <3 this company! J. Calderwood

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Newsletter ~ April 2012 Newsletter ~ April 2012

Apr 24, 2012

Your choice of editing software

We have spent the past several newsletters explaining how easy it can be to edit an image. That said, regardless of how simple the process is, without image editing software it can't be done. Yet, for people starting in small business, or for everyday people working on everyday projects, it's not always economically feasible, or even worthwhile, to purchase expensive software.

Don't despair, however. There are many online alternatives to costly programs, two of which, GIMP and Paint(dot)NET, we regularly mention to our customers.

Life, as we know, is all about choice and what works for someone may not be the ideal for another. Individual needs and capabilities are as variable and complex as the world-wide web itself. So we went on a small quest to see what other options we might uncover. Interestingly one website did most of the work for us. provided links to, and information about, a number of possibilities, including the two most familiar to us. Here is a précised version of what Graphics Toolbox had to say:

For people in search of a manipulation program that works well for photo retouching and image creation, could be the perfect solution, while, is image and photo editing software for Windows computers. is a speedy graphics program, also for Windows, with plenty of features. is a vector drawing program with many features, such as gradient fills and bezier curves.

A vector graphics editor, is a good option for people interested in something akin to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

SmoothDraw at is a freehand drawing tool, which will also smooth lines drawn with a mouse.

For people who like to paint without the mess is a functional program developed for the PC. is a vector-based program with a ton of features, such as the ability to create vertical text, and out-of-centre gradients.

A freeware paint and drawing program for Windows, has a wide range of painting tools, and comes in free and cost versions.

The bottom line? Finding the right program for you needn't mean losing cash or settling for something you don't find user-friendly. Remember, all of the above were a result of one quick search. If nothing here appeals to you, don't be deterred. Keep looking. Having choices ensures there no reason to shy away from taking a stab at editing.


Do I have to pay any additional fees to use the images once I have purchased a subscription or individual image?

No, there are no additional fees to download and use the images that are included in your subscription level since all our content is royalty free. Information about the different levels of subscriptions we offer can be seen in the following chart:

What Folks Are Saying About Us

Thanks. I have had a very helpful membership for quite a while now with via my business. Just wanted to say thanks for such a great site at such a reasonable price. For a new small business with only 2 employees, sites like yours help make it easy for us to keep our customer costs down while still making money. Kelly R. - Stayner, ON

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Friday, March 16, 2012 Newsletter ~ March 2012 Newsletter ~ March 2012

Mar 16, 2012

Separate what you want from what you don't

"I've found an image I love, but it's part of a set. How do I get rid of the parts I don't want?"

There are times when the only thing keeping an image from being perfect for your project is not what it's missing, but what it isn't. The good news is that by using image editing software, getting something out of the picture can be a snap.

For this exercise, we chose to work a little magic with Adobe Photoshop using two PNG files. The first project, since Saint Patrick's Day is on its way, was to remove the background design on Image #311854, leaving the barmaid, the beer, and the banner. Using the Quick Selection Tool we were able to choose large sections at the top, which were then removed using 'Edit'>'Cut'. (To do more than one area at a time hold down the Shift button as you select sections.)

The background parts of the image closer to the beer steins were trickier as the bottoms of the mugs kept disappearing too. However, this was remedied by selecting the Magic Eraser Tool and clicking on each segment.

Another scenario is when the image you find on is ideal, but just happens to be part of a set. This was the case with Image #311854. The process for isolating the one from the others is quite straightforward. Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to separate the preferred clipart, then 'Select'>'Inverse' to highlight the unwanted images. 'Edit'>'Cut' leaves us with the single Saint Pat's stamp. The Magic Eraser was used to clean up the white around the outside.

If you don't have image editing software, not to worry. As we've mentioned in previous newsletters there are free examples online to download. Once you have them on your computer, the Help links will guide you through any editing project. or are just two examples that can help you separate what you want from what you don't.

How To...

Can I use the images in my worksheets?

You can use the images in electronic worksheets for your own use ONLY. Worksheets may not be shared with other people in any sort of electronic file format e.g. PDF, DOC, XLS, etc. A physical, printed worksheet can be distributed up to the permissible number of copies your subscription level allows.

About Us

Since its soft launch in November 2006's inventory has grown from the initial 2 million images to well over 7.8 images today.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012 Newsletter ~ February 2012 Newsletter ~ February 2012

Feb 7, 2012

It only takes minutes to change a colour

How to edit an image for use in commercial products continues to be a topic of discussion for our customer support team. Last month we suggested how easy it can be to combine images. This time we thought we'd look at changing a colour.

Assuming that it's about making a change for change's sake, you can opt for the simplest option. Image editing software is of course a requirement and the help links on their websites will walk you through the process. With a variety of free image editing software available online, including and there's no reason to not jump right in and discover how easy it actually is.

To prove the point, we set a novice on our staff on to the task:

"With Valentine's Day on the horizon I decided to have some fun with one of our cute cartoons, image #179274. Selecting the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop, I clicked on the tunic then set the tolerance to 100 percent. After choosing the Paint Bucket Tool, I selected my colour and clicked. Beyond easy. Another option is to go to 'Edit' > 'Fill' to make the change. I followed the same process to alter the shoes.

For the next image, having selected image #163929 in a PNG file, I decided a simple fix would be to change the colour of the little girl's slacks. Opening the image in Adobe Photoshop, I clicked the Colour Replacement Tool in the bar at the left and chose a colour, clicked on the portion I decided to change and scribbled like a toddler with a marker and a wall. Less than two minutes later I was ready to save my completed work.

I wondered, however, what could be done with an image that was not quite so basic. I selected a JPG file of a little flower girl, #411543. I selected 'Image' > 'Adjustments' > 'Replace Colour'. After clicking on a portion of the dress to select a colour, I then selected the 'Add to Sample' eyedropper to select more of the colour to change. A slight change in the Hue slider met my requirements for editing the colour in again, just a few short minutes.

Finally, I chose a hearts and ribbons image, #156707 in a JPG file. After opening the image in Photoshop I selected 'Layer' > 'New Adjustment Layer' > 'Selective Colour'. A drop down list appears and I selected the colours I wanted to change, then basically played to get different effects. Again this took less than two minutes.

I was quite frankly amazed that the process was this easy. Here are my results."

The website that helped walk our novice through the steps was;, which was discovered through a quick Google search.

How To...

I downloaded an image and now I cannot find it on my computer?

Please follow the steps below to try and resolve this problem:

- If you know the file name of the image you downloaded, you can try searching your computer for it.

- If you use Firefox, you can either specify an automatic download directory (pick something you will remember) or prompt you to pick a location each time you make a download.

- If you are asked where you want to save the image, make sure you pick a location where you will be easily able to find the image again e.g. "Desktop" or "My Documents".

*Tip* If an image is important to you, why not save it into a basket so that you can always find it again?

Customer Feedback

I LOVE — use it all the time for lots of stuff. - G. Jones

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