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Below are a few suggestions for blogging tools that are easy for even the most beginning blogger to handle. All of these tools are free. Some of them we can’t live without.
Picnik is a tool to work with photos. It was recently purchased by Google. Create a free account and upload pictures from your computer, Facebook, Yahoo Mail, Flickr, My Space, Photobucket or Picasa. Picnik will save your most recent uploads. The editor will help you crop, re-size, work with colors, rotate, sharpen, fix red eyes, and adjust contrast. When you save pictures that you want to use online it is recommended that you save them as a png rather than a jpg. Png files are better for archiving. Now that Google has acquired Picnik, the editor has started to appear on more applications such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact.
Pixlr is another free graphic editor that goes even beyond Picnik. You can download an icon onto your computer that will grab images right off the web. Pixlr resizes and adjusts photos, and also has additional tools to free form crop, add fill, erase, smudge, change colors, etc. It includes a color picker as well. There are outstanding video tutorials to help you get started on the website. Pixlr is almost like having a free version of Adobe Photoshop CS5. Photoshop is the Cadillac of graphic design programs.
Jing helps you grab screenshots of images on the web, and allows you to record what you see so that you can share it on a blog, twitter, facebook or youtube as a 5 minute video. Download the free version to try it out. It will place a gold bubble on your desk top. Anytime you want to grab an image, just click on the bubble and it will surround and size your image. The full version at $14.95 for the year gives you more storage space for creating videos. It also does not include Jing ads on your images and videos.
Zamzar is a free program that converts your files into other formats. For instance, you can take a pdf file and transfer it to a jpg or png. It converts photo, video, docs and music files. All you do is upload your file from your computer and select the file format you would like it to be converted to. Enter your email address and click convert. As soon as the file is finished converting you will receive on your email with the converted file attached. If you would like Zamzar to manage your files, or you have large files to convert, you will want the paid version which ranges from $7 per month to $49. For smaller files, the free version is sufficient. Unfortunately, they have recently added a pop up that takes you away from the home page when you first land on it. Just go back and it will not pop up again.
What blogging tools do you love to use? Please leave a comment and tweet and share this post.