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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Use Custom Graphics for Link Placeholders Added in Youtube

When you're doing a Hangout on Air (HOA), you may want to direct your viewers to other videos on the web. Unfortunately, you can only add active links to your video after you've completed your HOA. Once it's been archived, you can use the Annotations tool in YouTube to add text and links. 

+Ronnie Bincer uses a great technique where he will point his finger in the air where he will later put in the link. When I tried this method, however, I always pointed to the wrong side of the screen (it looked correct to me, but in playback was not). I also often had trouble finding the location where I wanted to place the links because I tend to wave my hands around and would mistake that for pointing.

My solution: create graphics that I could load up when I wanted to refer to a link. I named the graphics something like Banner 1 (only 1 banner on the left side) and Banner 2 (2 banners). Banners were easy to find and I never got confused which side to put it on.



To do this, you use the Lower Thirds App from the Hangout Toolbox.



  1. Start a Google Hangout (you don't need to invite anyone else).
  2. Launch the Hangout Toolbox (if it's not available on the left, select if from the View more apps at the bottom).
  3. Select the first tab from the toolbox (see Step 1). This is where you create your lower thirds (be sure to check out +Ray Hiltz tutorial on using lower thirds).
  4. Select the Choose File button underneath Custom Overlay and navigate your graphic  (see Step 2).  Upload the file.
  5. Click the on switch to the right of Custom Overlay. Your graphic will now appear on your screen.
  6. Add a name for the graphic in the field below Presets and hit save  (see Step 3).  The present and graphic will be added to the list below.
  7. Repeat for the second graphic.
You can see it in action in the short video below.



You can create your own graphic or you use the ones I've provided. Just right-click and each image and save to your desktop.