Warmly: Virtual Business Cards for Virtual Meetings

Do you use Zoom or other virtual conferencing software for professional meetings? Now there is a free app that allows you to easily add a virtual business card that appears during your meeting.

Head and shoulders of a man attending a virtual meeting with a virtual background

Warmly allows you to create a custom virtual business card and background for use during virtual meetings. With just a few clicks, you can add your contact information and a virtual background that will be displayed during your virtual meetings.

In addition, if you often meet with other members of your work team, you can create a uniform design that allows others to easily see that you work together as well as the role each person plays within your team. Using Warmly, you can add your company’s logo and create matching virtual backgrounds that help your team appear as a cohesive unit.

Screenshot of four people in a virtual meeting. Three have Warmly business cards and identical backgrounds displaying and the fourth has no virtual additions

In addition to Zoom, you can also use Warmly with Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

Warmly has committed to not sharing your data or calendar information. Their privacy policy is outlined in detail on their website.

If you have more questions on Warmly and how it can be used, check out the Frequently Asked Questions section of their website.

Have you tried Warmly? Let us know in the comments.

Scan and Sign Documents Using Your iPhone or iPad for Free

Have you ever needed to scan and email a document but didn’t have access to a scanner? You’re in luck! You can scan (and electronically sign!) documents using the built in Notes app on your iPhone or iPad.

Scanning Documents

To begin, open up the Notes app on your iOS device. From there, choose an existing note or create a new one by tapping the new icon.

Toolbar with the "new" icon in last position

Next, tap the camera icon on the top navigation bar.

Toolbar with the camera icon in the second position

Choose Scan Documents from the menu.

screenshot with "scan documents" as the first option in a list

The camera will open and you will see the option for Auto or Manual. Auto attempts to find blocks of text to scan, and manual will let you choose the area manually. Once you have your document in the frame, you can tap the white button or the volume down button on the side of your device to take a picture.

Screenshot of the scanning view with the whit button at the right of the image

After the document image has been captured, you can select the area you would like in your PDF by tapping and dragging the white circles on the corners of the scan. When you have selected the area you would like in your document, you can tap Keep Scan. If you are unhappy with the capture, tap on Retake.

Screenshot showing the retake option at the lower left of the screen

If you only have a one-page document, tap save. If you have a multipage document, continue to capture images, and when you are finished, tap on Save. You will see the images you have already scanned in the bottom center of the screen.

Screenshot of a new scan showing a thumbnail of the previous scan in the bottom center of the screen

Once you tap save, you will see your saved document in the note. To share the document to email, text, files, or other platforms, open the document by tapping on the picture of it. The default name will be Scanned Documents, unless the scan detects clearly written text in the header of the document. The document will be in PDF format, which is easily accessible to different operating systems.

Screenshot showing the scan for selection to open

Once you have tapped on the document to open it, tap on the share icon and choose how you would like to share it. If you would like to rename the document prior to sharing it, tap on its name in yellow in the top center and enter the new name.

Screenshot showing the menu under the share icon

Signing Documents

Once a document has been scanned, you can also add an electronic signature, either typed with text or signed with your finger or stylus on the screen. As mentioned in the previous step, tap on the picture of the document to open it, and then tap the share icon. From the share menu, tap on Markup. A toolbar will pop up near the bottom of the screen. To add a signature, tap on the plus icon, and then tap on Signature.

Screenshot showing the markup toolbar with the menu from the "plus icon" showing

Once you tap on signature, a box will pop up where you can sign your name with your finger or a stylus. You also have the option to add a text field, which may come in handy if the document has a field that requires a printed name.

Screenshot showing signature box

Once you’ve signed your name, tap on done. If you make a mistake and need to start over, tap on clear. After you’ve tapped done, you can resize the signature by tapping on the blue circles in the corners of the signature box and dragging them to your desired size. You can move the box to your desired location in the document. If you want to delete the signature field, simply tap on your signature and then choose delete. Once you have created a signature, your device will save it for easy access in the future. If you would like to delete saved signatures, tap the plus sign, then signature, and then add or remove the signature. You’ll see a list of saved signatures and you can tap the red symbol next to the saved signature to delete it. You can also add another signature by tapping the plus symbol on the top left.

Screenshot showing entered signature

Once you have added your changes, you can share the document using the method discussed earlier. If you would like to remove signatures after exiting the app, open the scanned document in your note and choose markup. You can remove any previous additions by tapping on them and choosing delete. In addition to text fields and signatures, you can also add a description. Image descriptions can be read by screen readers and are useful for anyone who has difficulty seeing images online. You can also use the magnifier to enlarge portions of the document. Another markup option is adding shapes that include a square, a circle, a dialog symbol, and an arrow. You also have the standard markup tools available as well: the marker, highlighter, colored pencil, eraser, lasso tool, and ruler.

Conclusion

Scanning and signing an electronic document can be done will your iPhone or iPad. You can create multipage PDF files, add electronic signatures, and easily share your documents via email, text, or other methods by using a built-in feature of the Notes app. Have you tried scanning documents with your iPhone or iPad? Let us know in the comments.

Check out these great new email newsletters from NextReads!

What is NextReads?

NextReads is a service provided by the East Greenbush Community Library to its members. Through NextReads, you can sign up for email newsletters that contain reading suggestions based on your interests. Frequency differs based on topic. Use these newsletters to help you find your next great read!

Newsletters are offered in various fiction genres, nonfiction subjects, and other specialty categories. To learn more about the newsletters we offer, head to the sign-up page and select the information icon next to a title to read a description of the newsletter (including frequency), or click a newsletter title to read the latest issue:

Screen shot of the NextReads Fiction section

Residency is not required to sign up for newsletters, and the email you use to sign up will not be used for any other purpose. Simply check the box next to any newsletters you are interested in and scroll to the bottom to enter your information, prove you’re not a robot, and subscribe. If a newsletter doesn’t turn out to be your cup of tea, you can always unsubscribe by scrolling to the bottom of an issue that has been emailed to you and clicking the unsubscribe link.

The new newsletters

This February, two new newsletters became available for subscription:

  • Page to Screen: Is the book better? Decide for yourself with this list of books that inspired recent or upcoming movies and TV shows. Bi-monthly.
  • Must-Read Books: A monthly list featuring the top ten books loved by librarians across the U.S.

How can I get these newsletters?

To sign up for either of these lists, or to check out other member favorites like Biography and Memoir or Fiction A-Z, head to the NextReads sign-up page and subscribe to as many as you’d like for free! Are you already a subscriber? Let us know your favorite newsletters in the comments. Looking for more personalized recommendations? Fill out this form to have a librarian select items for you based on features of books you’ve already enjoyed. Don’t want to wait for a newsletter? East Greenbush and Schodack residents have access to NoveList, an online recommendation engine for books and audiobooks. Happy reading!

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.