Explore some good Free online alternatives to expensive productsPixlr (http://pixlr.com)With this online editor, you can create a new image, upload one from your computer or open any image from a URL. The interface is similar to Adobe Photoshop and you get all the usual tools as well as support for layers. You also get various filter effects, levels, curves and exposure controls. Images can be saved to the computer or to online services like Flickr/Picasa
Splashup has a similar interface to Photoshop. Apart from your PC and from a URL, it also supports importing images from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and can capture an image from a webcam. Like Pixlr, it lets you work with layers to add various filters. However, it does not have advanced editing options such as levels and exposure control.
Speech to text (www.talktyper.com)
Rather than use expensive dictation software, just head to www.talktyper.com. You need to download Google Chrome first because it doesn’t work too well on other browsers. Make sure your microphone is working and click the green microphone button to start the dictation. It works pretty well if you speak clearly and the conversion to text is almost instantaneous.
Filelab products work better with Google Chrome and you need to download a free plugin first. Once you start, you get support for multiple video formats and HD resolution. It offers all the basic editing controls to trim, cut and merge. You can also add creativity to your video with multiple effects. There are over 50 transition effects available along with the option to overlay one video on top of the other. You can define transparency, add audio tracks and then watch a live preview right in your browser window.
PDF Tools (www.pdfunlock.com)
A suite of no-nonsense PDF tools can be found at www.pdfunlock. com (to remove restrictions from PDFs), www.pdfmerge. com (to merge multiple files into one), www. splitpdf.com (split one file into multiple) and www.pdfprotect.net (add password protection). At www.pdfaid. com, you can choose from a variety of web tools for watermarking, image extraction, rotation, compression and conversion. Note that some of the tools imprint a small PDFAid logo on the final file.
Optical Character Recognition (www.ocronline.com)
At www.ocronline.com, you can convert a scanned document, PDF file or an image (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PDF) to an editable text file. First, complete a quick sign-up. If you are scanning, make sure to do it in 300dpi. Upload your document, select your preferred output format and you’re done.