Archive for the ‘Software’ Category
There are some killer free tools out there that you really NEED to use in your business if you aren’t already! In this webinar, we will take a look at the FREE tools available for product creation. We look at tools for Text Creation, Image Creation, Video Creation, Audio Creation and more!
One of the things I LOVE about this series is that it removes another hurdle many face when getting started online…the need for quality tools. Just in the past little while, the web has seen an influx of amazing, free or open-source software that enable you to accomplish tasks that, just a few years ago, would have cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Enjoy!
BTW…here is some great feedback for one of the future episodes of this series that I’ll be posting soon. The videos are a part of my Step-by-Step Info Products Membership Site:
I have watched one webinar video, #3 of the series on free tools…Tony, my membership is paid for, for the next three months at least. The value of what you provided – free auto-responders, free shopping carts, free utilities for research, keywords, I can’t even remember everything that was there. Tony, that was just one video in one series that you have…You have been hiding the value of this thing under a basket.
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An essential tool for any Information Marketer’s toolbox is a high-quality image editor. Of course, the King of the Hill for image editing software is Adobe Photoshop. Having used Photoshop for the past 18 years, I can safely say that, from a design perspective, we’re definitely joined at the hip…grin. I use it every day. The problem that crops up, however, is that Photoshop isn’t cheap and is often out of the budget range for many, especially if they’re just starting out. It doesn’t change the fact that there are still header graphics to create and photos to edit…ebook covers to design and DVD cases to finalize…but sometimes, having the best tools for the job simply isn’t an option.
There are some cheap and free software options out there, like Photoshop Elements or GimpShop. I’ve talked about (and promoted) these options before, but they are not the topic of THIS post. There are some new, amazing web-based tools emerging, that, in my opinion, could actually give Photoshop a run for their money. Adobe DOES offer an online image editor (Photoshop Express http://www.photoshop.com), but I’m not including it in this post. I personally prefer the other programs I DO include here. The point I want to make here as we begin to explore these new, online tools is that you have options…more now than ever before…and the best news is, they’re FREE!
Pixlr is perhaps my favorite online image editing software of all the ones I’ll be sharing today because it’s so well done. The look and feel is nearly identical to Photoshop (as most of them are), and quite honestly, it performs nearly ALL the same tasks Photoshop will. It even opens Photoshop PSD files and maintains the layers, which is a nice touch. None of the other programs offer that. It offers an extensive line of filters and editing tools, as well as everything else you would expect from a high-quality image editing software. The ONLY issue I have with Pixlr (if you even want to call it an issue) is that it doesn’t offer an option to show rulers or draw snap guides. And actually, none of the web-based programs I’m sharing here offer that feature (except for Aviary, which I’ll talk about a little later). It’s not a huge deal but it would be nice to have (Please take note Pixlr…grin). And…BTW…all the screen captures for this post were edited in Pixlr.
SplashUp is another great online image editing option. While it doesn’t have all the features that Pixlr does, it’s still a great choice…especially if you don’t need all the extra features. It DOES have the ones that matter: layers and layer effects, some decent basic filters, etc. My favorite option in this program is how it handles type. Unlike Pixlr (where you have to enter the type into a type palette and then click “Okay” to add it to your document), you can type directly into your document…just like you would in Photoshop. The biggest bummer with this program? It doesn’t support Photoshop files. Pixlr does. In my book that’s a big deal, but that aside, SplashUp is still a great option for your image editing needs.
Aviary is more than just an image editor, it’s an entire suite of free online tools that includes an image editor, a color editor, an effects editor, a vector editor (think Illustrator), an audio editor, screen capture and more! Quite honestly, it’s one of the most amazing suites of online tools I’ve seen anywhere. When using the image editor (called Phoenix), you will notice, again, that the basic look and layout is similar to our standard, Photoshop (it doesn’t support PSD files however). What I love about Aviary is how they handle their layers. You can have regular layers (like images, text, etc) but ALSO access the Effects Editor and Vector Editor and add dedicated layers from those tools as well. This greatly expands the reach of Phoenix’s (the image editor) basic offering of tools. They also offer extensive tutorials, including how to create banners for Etsy (nice touch for one of their target audiences). All in all, this is another amazing suite of tools that is worth your time to investigate!
In addition to the three image editors I mention here, there are others as well, such as Pixinate, Picnik and SumoPaint. They each have merit, but speaking as a veteran graphic designer, the three I mention here should more than address ANY graphics needs you may encounter. What I would to you is to try out all three offerings I mention here and get a feel for what each one offers. You may prefer one over the others. Of course, the GREAT news is that you no longer have to stress about shelling out big sums of cash to address your image editing needs!
I don’t know about you but I like doing things the easy way. That’s why I use templates to design my websites, distribution services to send my videos everywhere at once, social networks that allow me to post once and send my message to dozens of sites simultaneously and article services that blast my latest insights to hundreds of places.
Easy is ALSO why I created the Public Domain Toolbar. The idea of being able to find Public Domain content from my choice of hundreds of sites from one place without having to gallivant all over the internet just appealed to me. Apparently it appeals to a lot of other people too because the Toolbar has been installed hundreds of times since it was introduced back in 2007.
With Version 2.0 of the Toolbar, I increased the functionality even more with the introduction of “Image Search”, which gives you one-click access to tens of millions of images. Why is that a big deal? Simple. You are always going to need images for:
- Products (physical and digital)
- Website Design
- Video Creation
- Graphics Design
- And Much More…
And with Google including image results in their universal search feature, using images effective is now even a HOT traffic generation tool. I’ve landed on the front page of Google search results simply because of images. Of course, I don’t want to take away from the power of the Toolbar to locate books, government content, audio and video and MUCH more!
With Version 2.0 of the Toolbar, you have the proven content of the Public Domain at your fingertips…it truly is an “easy” button. Get started right now by clicking the link below. Oh…and BTW…the link below will take you a limited-time discount offer…just in time for the Holidays!
I just released the Public Domain Express Toolbar, the FREE version of my popular Public Domain Expert Toolbar. With the Public Domain Express Toolbar, you have the ability to quickly locate Public Domain works by aceessing 8 different search databases. I’ve also provided categorized links to 80+ websites that I use to find and download Public Domain works. You’ve probably heard me say thins before, but you REALLY need to be using Public Domain content to develop products for your business because it’s PROVEN content…it’s already been published, already bee edited, already been enjoyed by thousands, if not millions of people. The Public Domain Express Toolbar makes plugging into that content MUCH easier! Get your OWN copy today…and BTW, you have nothing to lose because it’s FREE!
I haven’t shared much about software in the Public Domain, but tonight I found a terrific program that might be worth your attention, especially if you’re interested in Astronomy (as I am).
Release 3.3a of Home Planet, a comprehensive astronomy / space / satellite-tracking package for Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT 4.0/2000/XP and above, is now available. Home Planet is in the public domain; it is free software. It allows you to view:
- An earth map, showing day and night regions, location of the Moon and current phase, and position of a selected earth satellite. Earth maps can be customised and extended by editing a DLL which provides maps to Home Planet.
- A panel showing detailed position and phase data for the Sun and Moon.
- Panel showing positions of planets and a selected asteroid or comet, both geocentric and from the observer’s location.
A sky map, based on either the Yale Bright Star Catalogue or the 256,000 star SAO catalogue, including rendering of spectral types, planets, earth satellites, asteroids and comets. Celestial coordinates are included, and an extensive and user-extensible deep-sky database includes all Messier objects and many of the NGC objects. Precession and proper motion are accounted for in the display.
- Databases of the orbital elements of 5632 asteroids and principal periodic comets are included, allowing selection of any for tracking. These databases can be user-extended using standard orbital elements. MS-DOS utility programs are included which convert asteroid and comet orbital elements in the form published in Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs) to the CSV format used by Home Planet. Subscribers to the MPECs can thus easily add newly reported asteroids and comets to the database. Source code for these programs is included.
- A telescope window which can be aimed by clicking in the sky map or telescope itself, by entering coordinates, or by selecting an object in the Object Catalogue (see below). Limiting magnitude, labeling, coordinate display, etc. can be defined by user. Right click on an object to display its entry in the Object Catalogue. Stellar magnitudes can be plotted for stars in a given magnitude range in the telescope window. This makes it easy to create comparison star charts for variable star observing.
- A horizon window which shows the view toward the horizon at any given azimuth. The horizon can be adorned, if you wish, with fractal forged terrain and randomly generated scenery, including houses, livestock, and trees. The scenery is generated by a user-extensible DLL which allows customisation.
- Object Catalogue allows archiving images, sounds, and tabular data about celestial objects. Both new objects and new categories can be added. Bidirectionally linked to the Telescope window.
- And a lot more!
The programmer has also included the source code on the download page should you want to develop the program further. You can download a copy of this great software at: http://www.fourmilab.ch/homeplanet/