Make a printable PowerPoint greeting card

July 25, 2010

For a long time I have been making greeting cards on my own computer by using PowerPoint. I have found that PowerPoint is more flexible than many other greeting card editors.

1. Open a new file.

2. Go to File>Page Setup and select Portrait

3. Drag in some WordArt or graphics to the lower right corner- be sure you have the guidelines on, NOT the gridlines so that you can tell where the quadrants are. This will be the front of your card.

4. Create a textbox in the upper left corner and type your message in it- you’ll probably want it to be left, not center formatting.

5. Turn the textbox upside-down: this is very important because otherwise your card won’t have the text readable

6. Check to make sure the text is in the right place. The lower left corner will be the back of the card- you can put something there if you want.

When it’s done, it should look like this:

When you’re done, just click print. Because of the way PowerPoint sizes the page, I would not recommend using a slide background.

If you had trouble following this, download my template and change it as much as you want. download link

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Firefox Home: Firefox bookmarks on iPhone (finally!)

July 16, 2010

Have you wanted your Firefox bookmarks on your iPhone? You may have tried several different solutions before today, many of which were probably difficult to use. However, Mozilla recently released a solution.

1- First, install Firefox Sync on your browser and set your username, etc. The encryption code ensures that all of your data is safe from other people seeing it, even firefox employees.

2- Install Firefox Home on your iPhone, iPad, etc. Set your account, and it will start syncing.

Thanks to Mozilla for this great feature, and lifehacker for telling me that it had been approved in the app store.

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Google Docs: A free Alternative to Microsoft Office

June 27, 2010

Google Docs is a simple solution for replacing Microsoft Office. The presentation section gives the user an interface where they can place simple objects, text and images onto a slide. When you are finished with it, you can play the slideshow right from your web-browser, print it, download it as a PowerPoint, or download as PDF. The word processor is very similar, as is the spreadsheet.

What makes it unique is Forms. Google Docs is the ideal platform for creating submit forms. You can create several types of questions such as checkbox, radio button selection, single-line response, paragraph response, etc. Then, send out the URL or use the embed code to put the form on your webpage. Then, view the responses in a summary with graphs and statistics, or in a spreadsheet with more detailed data- all for free @ docs.google.com.

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Free-OCR.com: Extract text from images

June 6, 2010

Have you ever needed to edit an old document that only exists on paper, or had a friend ask you to send them a copy of something in an email? You probably delayed the task or made an excuse to not type the whole document into your computer. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can do the work for you. Just scan the document into your computer as an image and then upload it to Free-ocr.com. It will take a moment to read the text and then provide you with the results that you can copy and paste into Word. Be sure to proofread your document before sending it to others so that unprofessional errors do not appear. Also, I do not know if they store info or use a secure connection- don’t upload anything with extremely sensitive information.

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MyFave.es: Create your own custom homepage

June 5, 2010

MyFave.es custom homepageMany computer users probably have their ISP as their homepage, or Google. But these don’t include your favorite sites like Twitter, Facebook, and many other sites. With MyFave.es, you can create your own custom homepage that has buttons linking to any popular site you wish. Just click the customize button and select the services you want (up to 25).

If you use FireFox, just drag the icon from the address bar onto the home button and it will ask you to to confirm your choice. For other browsers, just go to preferences and type myfav.es in the homepage box.

UPDATE: There is no reason to use Google instead of this- If you go into the site preferences, you can add a Google (or Yahoo, Bing, etc.) search box to your myfav.es page.

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Adobe Acrobat: Free Online Alternative

June 1, 2010

Have you ever needed to create a pdf? Maybe someone didn’t have Word or Excel and needed a file from you, or you wanted to restrict editing. Adobe Acrobat does this, but it isn’t free. FreePDFconvert.com is. It allows you to upload a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document and then have it automatically converted and sent to your email address. It can also convert from PDF back to Word or Excel, if you need to edit something. If you are using a Mac, you can just select PDF>Save as… from the print dialogue. On Windows, you could install PrimoPDF or PDF995 to do this for you.

UPDATE: PDFhammer.com provides an online editor- upload the PDF, edit in your browser, and download again.

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Audacity: A free alternative to Adobe Soundtrack

May 31, 2010

Empty Audacity window (OS X)Have you ever needed to record a podcast, edit or mix some sound effects, or edit some music for a video slideshow? Many pros use Adobe Soundtrack, but Audacity is a great alternative. It seem to have more features than Garageband, and it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download it for free @ http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/. You can also use it for amplitude enveloping and fade effects.

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