I saw that Qaundoman had posted a question about how to put diagrams onto his blog. I posted a comment telling him how and realized only later that it was a bit too technical and that I basically had recommended a $40 solution when he did not want to spend a dime. I think I came up with the perfect solution for him. Best of all, it is simple and it is free. But if you are willing to spend some money, the $40 solution is still better.
Here are three solutions of various costs:
The Perfect Totally Free Diagram Solution
1) Download Arena Chess (Go to the main page at www.playwitharena.com and click on "Arena Downloads" and choose the version you want; I recommend Set Up 2, which comes with free analysis engines).
2) Go through the Set Up Wizard to load the program on your computer.
3) Change the Appearance of the board to fit the colors and look you want for your diagrams (go to "Options">"Apearance" and play around with the options offered).
4) Set up your game or position -- or import a PGN file to play through -- until you reach the position you wish to diagram.
5) Now create a .jpg file showing the position as follows:
5a) Choose from the top menu "Position">"Export">"as graphics"
5b) A window will appear for you to give the file a name and a type and to choose the location to save it. I suggest you save it to the Desktop or to your "My Pictures" folder in "My Documents." Title it by the name of the opponents and the number move (if you intend to create more than one diagram from the game). DO NOT USE ANY SPACES OR UNUSUAL CHARACTERS IN YOUR FILE NAME. Some programs have trouble understanding spaces in file names. Then save it as .jpg rather than .bmp, since .jpg (or JPEGS) are better for the web. Bitmap images are better for text applications such as Word.
5c) Once you have made your choices, press "Save"
You now have an image file of your diagram to upload to your Blog. Rather easy and totally free.
The Perfect $40 Solution
For those of you willing to spend a little money, and who would like to have a quick method of posting chess diagrams online, I recommend the wonderful SnagIt program from TechSmith. Basically, SnagIt allows you to take a picture of any size of anything you can see on your computer screen and then immediately turn it into an image file in .gif or .jpg (or practically any other) format. It is unbeatable for making quick diagrams and even saves you a step or two over Adobe's Photoshop (which is a great progam and very useful, but a lot more capaility than you need for making chess diagrams). The full version of SnagIt comes with two aditional programs that give you about the same power as any image editing program at a fraction of the cost. And you don't have to take my word for it: try the 30-day Trial version and you'll see its value, which mostly amounts to time savings.
The Possibly Free Solution (If You Already Have the Software)
If you have a computer with Microsoft Office or Corel software, you likely have some simple image editing software as well. Learn how to use this software and you can make diagrams easily enough in one of two ways:
1) If you already have Fritz 8 (which has come down a lot in price), simply set up the position you want and choose "Edit">"Copy">"Copy Position" -- then paste the position into your image editing program and save as a .jpg for the web.
2) If you have no Fritz or other chess programs and you are unwilling to try Arena, then simply access a diagram on the web at the ChessBase site or Chesslab site. Use the GUI there to set up a position. Then type "Alt"+"Prnt Scrn" to copy the screen to the clipboard. Paste into your image editor and get rid of the excess. Save as .jpg.
If I think of other ideas I'll let you know.