Software Info

 

 

 

Excel

 

How to extract a URL from a hyperlink on Excel
http://howtouseexcel.net/how-to-extract-a-url-from-a-hyperlink-on-excel

 

Index vs VLookUp  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5NMg9ONd84

 

 

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is the programming language of Excel and other Office programs.
http://www.excel-easy.com/vba.html

 

Line break character = Ctrl+J

 

 

Image Manipulation

www.canva.com

http://webresizer.com/resizer/

 

 

Computer windows search

www.voidtools.com

 

Scraping

LinkClump - to get links from web pages

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/linkclump/lfpjkncokllnfokkgpkobnkbkmelfefj?hl=en

 

 

Chrome Plugins

http://www.trywefind.com/  - see engagement data on any Instagram account

Colorzilla - find the color on any web page

WhatFont - see what any font is on any web page

Grammarly

Bring Google View Image Back - what it says

 

How to Allow or Block Website Notifications in Google Chrome in Windows

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/104700-allow-block-website-notifications-google-chrome-windows.html 

 

Video Conferencing

zoom.us

 

 

Record Videos

wistia.com/soapbox

 

Social Media Management and Tracking

http://www.trywefind.com/  - see engagement data on any Instagram account

 

 

capture an animated GIF image of a screen (useful for doing a demo or showing a problem)

software is called ‘ScreenToGif’,

free and very easy to use in capturing windows or specific areas on a screen and then exporting as a GIF or even video file, but generally I find GIF’s work best as you can drag n drop or paste into Forum posts, emails.

The user interface allows for easy capturing, with the ability to add text, crop, resize, transitions, detailed export settings and more…

ts available only for Windows OS I believe:  https://www.screentogif.com/

There is a Mac alternative, though I haven’t tried or tested:
http://recordit.co/ 2

 

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The Best of Free and Low-cost Design Software

GRAPHICS

Canva

FIND IT: canva.com
COST: free or $12.95 per user/mo
BEST FOR: social media images

Canva has tons of great free and low-cost templates with hundreds of images and fonts to choose from. The templates are very well-designed so you're coming out of the gates looking good. You do have to pay for the upgrade to upload your own brand assets. And if you want to use their cool magic resize to quickly and easily repurpose designs you create, you'll have to have a pro account to tap into that. But for what you get and Canva's power, upgrading to Canva for Work is worth the cost.

Vctr

FIND IT: vectr.com
COST: free
BEST FOR: simple drawing and opening vector files from your designer

If you ever get AI, EPS or SVG files from your designer but can't open them because you don't have Adobe Illustrator, here's where Vctr comes in. Vctr's collaboration features allow you to work with someone in tandem. This is done through a unique URL you can send someone and they can watch you create live—pretty neat! There are also web and desktop versions which should fully accommodate how and where you like to work. There are also lots of tutorials to shorten your learning curve.

Worth mentioning is another free vector graphics program called Inkscape. However, Inkscape really only works well on Windows or Linux systems. Apparently, there are work-arounds for installing on a Mac, but as a competent Mac user, I didn't have any luck. Still, it's free so it's worth checking out if you're running Windows or Linux.

Picktochart

FIND IT: piktochart.com
COST: free or starting at $15/month
BEST FOR: infographics

Like Canva, Picktochart has lots of ready-to-use graphics, icons, and photos. And like many of the other design tools mentioned, Picktochart uses drag-and-drop functionality to make design compilation easier. Picktochart has over 600 templates; besides those for presentations and infographics, it also includes templates for print. The main drawbacks for Picktochart is that the free version is pretty limited. In the free version, all designs include the Picktochart watermark and don't have the option to download your creations as PDFs. So really, to get the most out of Picktochart's features, you'll need to upgrade.

Easel.ly

FIND IT: easel.ly
COST: free or $3/mo
BEST FOR: presentation graphics

While the free version is pretty limited, the upgrade is super affordable especially for what you get. Now that's what I call a pro pro! Another pro for the Pro is that the upgrade includes access to help from Easel.ly's staff designers. Now that's pretty cool and a feature unlike any other I've seen.

 

PHOTO MANIPULATION

Snapseed

FIND IT: Google Apps or iTunes
COST: free
BEST FOR: making crappy photos look pretty decent and great photos look smashing

Honestly, I can't believe Snapseed is free. It's like having Photoshop on your smartphone! It's my absolute favorite photo editing app. Snapseed gives you detailed editing tools like brushes and eye droppers, nice filters with the ability to manage their intensity, and ability to layer manipulations. It also gives you the option to save copies of the photo you're editing vs. automatically saving over the original. If you find yourself using a lot of self-generated photography in your company communications, Snapseed is an excellent way to up the polish on those images before you start working with them.

Pixlar

FIND IT: Google Apps or iTunes
COST: free
BEST FOR: photo manipulation

GIMP

FIND IT: gimp.org
COST: free
BEST FOR: photo manipulation

GIMP has actually been around for a long time so you may already be using it. With good photo editing features, GIMP can be run as a stand-alone application or it can be used in combination with other free software like Inkscapeand Scribus for a complete open source desktop design and publishing workflow when using

Adobe Photoshop Elements

FIND IT: adobe.com/products/photoshop-elements.html
COST: $100 for desktop download
BEST FOR: standard photo manipulation needs

If you find yourself yearning for Photoshop's sophistication and precision but don't need its full power, this paired down version of the mac-daddy gives you the ability to perform essential tasks like resizing, editing, clean up, etc. at a price that's much more manageable.

 

DESKTOP PUBLISHING

Scribus

FIND IT: scribus.net
COST: free
BEST FOR: document layout

Scribus is open-source desktop publishing software that takes you beyond what MS Word, MS Publisher, or Google Docs can do. It works well if you work in a mixed-OS environment (teammates are using a combo of Windows, Mac, and/or Linux-based machines). You can also use Scribus to open SVG and Illustrator files, and it integrates well with GIMP and Inkscape basically giving you a robust alternative to Adobe CC. There's not a lot of help or support offered on the site—not unusual in the world of open source—but you can find tutorials easily enough through a simple search online.

Lucidpress

FIND IT: lucidpress.com
COST: free or starting at $6/mo for Basic
BEST FOR: multi-page publications like brochures, newsletters, reports, and the like

Lucidpress uses a drag-and-drop editing interface to help you easily create nice designs and page layouts. It also integrates well with standard software like MS Office and Google docs as well as exports out to popular social channels like LinkedIn and Facebook. What's also cool about Lucidpress is that it includes interactive templates for videos, slideshows, etc. With an upgrade to Lucidpress' Team subscription ($40/mo for 5 users) you'll get commenting and collaboration tools which can especially be helpful in the review and revisions phase of your designs.

 

Summary of free and low-cost design software and their best uses

 

 

While these tools make creating designs much easier and more affordable, they don't eliminate the need to employ basic design principles. They also can't make all the decisions for you about how well your content will reflect your customer's situations and resonate with them. But today's design applications do remove many of the technical hurdles around creating effective communications which diminishes the stress of in-house marketing efforts and enables more frequent, meaningful interactions with your customers.