Introducing Canva: Everything You Need in an Image Editor for Free

What is Canva?

Canva is an easy-to-use freemium image editor that can be accessed in any modern browser, without downloading software. One of the best parts about Canva is how many features are available on the free plan, including working with a team. Pro plans offer branding, access to additional templates and stock media, more cloud storage, and a few advanced editing options. The Pro plan is currently $120 per year, which may be worth it if you want a robust feature set to generate images for a small business or club. Take a look at the Canva pricing page to find out more about the features available at different subscription levels. Hot tip: Canva offers free Pro subscriptions for educational and nonprofit institutions.

Why would I need Canva?

Whether you post regularly to social media or just want to create a pretty newsletter for your family once a year, almost everyone can find a reason to use Canva. The intuitive interface makes it easy to create memes, promotional graphics, infographics, presentation slides, invitations, flyers, signs, brochures, videos – you name it! There are plenty of ready-to-use templates, but you can also start creating something from scratch. If you already have an image you want to incorporate into a larger design, you can do that, too!

Canva is especially helpful if you’re not a graphic designer. The built-in templates are perfectly sized for any medium and can be used as-is or provide inspiration for your own design. Drag-and-drop images, fonts, borders, backgrounds, and other elements to create your perfect design. Then download the image in the format of your choice.

Where can I learn more?

Tech-Talk, a resource provided by the East Greenbush Community Library to its members, has created several resources for learning the ins and outs of Canva. Here are a few examples:

Have you used Canva?

If you’ve tried Canva, let us know what you think about it! Do you have an image tool that you love? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments.

Introducing Biteable: The Best Free Image Resizer

If you post to a blog or social media, it is likely you need the same image in several different sizes to maintain a consistent branding experience across platforms. Manually resizing an image can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience, especially when social media networks keep changing their optimum sizing requirements.

If you are a Canva user, you may have already seen automatic resizing in action. When it was first introduced, Canva’s tool was a breakthrough. Our library relied on it for messaging across platforms. Canva requires an account and login, though. If you are looking for a free tool you can use without creating an account, Biteable’s tool may be for you. It also contains a feature that goes one step beyond Canva’s resizer.

What Is Biteable?

Biteable is a freemium suite of tools for creating and editing videos. The free tier includes puts a Biteable watermark on your videos (but not in the image resizer) and limits the resolution of your video. It does include access to stock clips and images, as well as allowing unlimited exports. For more information about features in the paid plans, visit Biteable’s pricing page.

You will need an account to create and edit videos, even at the free level. But their offer their image resizing tool with no account needed and no strings attached.

The Image Resizer

Upload Your Image

To access the tool, open a browser and point it to: https://biteable.com/tools/image-resizer. Look for the “custom resize” box and upload your starter image:

Screen shot of the image upload window in the custom resize area.
Start by uploading your image here

Don’t worry about setting the width and height here unless you have a specific size in mind. The magic starts when we scroll down a bit to set our focal point. This is the extra feature that sets it apart from Canva’s tool, in my opinion.

Set the Focus Point

Drag the white circle around the most important part of your image. Canva assumes the most important part is centered, but that is not always the case. In this image, the most important thing is a bit off to the right:

Screen shot showing the original image with a white circle over the intended focal point of the image.

Scan the Results

After setting the focus point, scroll down. First you will see all 10 different sizes Facebook requires for their image areas:

Screen shot of the original image converted to all 10 standard sizes Facebook requires for stories, page covers, event covers, ads, etc.

Keep scrolling and you will see standard sizes for:

  • Instagram (6)
  • Twitter (6)
  • YouTube (4)
  • Pinterest (5)
  • LinkedIn (9)
  • Google Display (8)
  • Email/Blog (3)

Handily, the focal point selector sticks with you as you scroll down the page, so you can adjust on the fly, if needed.

Download Some or All Images

In the focus point selector, there is a button that allows you to download all of the images for all platforms at once. These will arrive as a compressed file on your computer.

Images can also be downloaded individually by clicking on the download icon in upper right of each image:

Screen shot showing the download icon in the upper-right of the resized image.
Download icon in the upper-right

Conclusion

Have you used Biteable’s image resizer? Do you have an image resizing tool you love? Let us know in the comments.

Wordle: The Game Everyone is Talking About

You may have seen Wordle mentioned on Facebook or other social media websites. Wordle is a popular word game where the goal is to try and guess a five letter word in six tries. Once you have solved the day’s puzzle, you are given the option to share your results on social media. The results show which day’s puzzle (denoted with a number, the puzzle pictured below was puzzle number 204), how many attempts it took you to solve, and how many letters you got correct on each attempt, along with the total number of tries you took.

Example of Wordle Results

The rules of the game are pretty straightforward. You enter a five letter word, and the letters you chose will turn either grey, yellow, or green. They will be grey if that letter is not in the word, yellow if it’s in the word but in the wrong place, or green if it’s the correct letter in the correct place. There is an on screen keyboard that keeps track of which letters you have guessed already, and whether or not they were part of the word or in the correct place in the word.

Examples of How to Play

As of right now, there is no official Wordle app, though there are many copycats on both the App Store and the Google Play Store. According to reviews, these are poor imitations and often have bugs or don’t accept valid words.

If you’d like to try out Wordle, visit this website. There is no registration required, and you can play one puzzle per day. If you are unable to solve the day’s puzzle, you’ll have to come back again the next day to try a new puzzle (or play on a different browser).

The New York Times recently wrote a story on the creator of Wordle, Josh Wardle.

Have you played Wordle? Do you have any other word game apps you love? Let us know in the comments.

Keeping Your Facebook Account Secure

Thief with laptop

In today’s world, bad actors are constantly trying to hack all of our accounts, and Facebook is no exception. In case you missed it, check Tech-Talk.com’s article suggesting ways to keep your account secure.

Would you like to get tips like this delivered straight to your inbox? Head to https://bit.ly/egtechtalk and sign up to receive the weekly Tech-Talk newsletter.

Sharing OverDrive Titles

OverDrive LogoThe other day, I spotted a neat feature in the OverDrive Media Console app that I had previously overlooked.  After clicking the “+” next to a title on my bookshelf to view its details page, I saw a “Share” button.  Ever curious, I clicked it and was surprised to be presented with options to share this title via email, Facebook, Goodreads, or any other social app installed on my (Android) phone.  This is not a feature for lending a title to a friend, but it allowed me to send links and mention it to a targeted audience.  If you like to recommend books to your friends, this could be a handy feature.

After a little research, I learned that the share feature differs by device.  While Android users are given every possible sharing option, iOS (Apple) users can only share via Facebook, Twitter and email.  If you’re using a Windows phone, you will be limited to sharing on Facebook.  Sadly, Blackberry users were not mentioned in the press release.  If you are a Blackberry user, I’d be interested to hear whether the share option is available to you.