Files Supported By Xbox One

XBOX One
Image by Marco Verch http://bit.ly/1P36TsI

No, we will not engage in the ever going fight between console users. We do not state that the XBOX One is Better than the PS4, or vice versa. Instead, we will give all Xbox One users an interesting and informative overview of the discs, files, and streaming services that are supported by their console of choice.

Discs and Games

Contrary to the predecessor Xbox 360, the Xbox One has an in-build Blu-Ray drive, enabling the Xbox One users to watch Blu-Ray movies on their console.

Unfortunately, the Xbox One does not support Backwards Compatibility – at least not in the common way. Xbox and Xbox 360 game discs do not run on the newest generation console. However, using the Xbox Preview Program, certain games trigger the download of so-called compatible files. A list of which games are supported can be found here. You can also vote for new games to be supported here.

However, the following hard discs and games are supported by the Xbox One:

  • Blu-ray discs
  • Xbox One discs
  • Xbox One Downloads
  • Used Xbox One games

Media Files

Using the Xbox Media Player, a variety of audio and video files with different codecs can be viewed, played, and displayed on the Xbox One. The app supports these file formats:

Audio

  • 3GP
  • AAC
  • ADTS
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA

Image

  • BMP
  • JPEG
  • GIF (with animation)
  • PNG
  • TIFF

Video

  • 3GP
  • 3GP2
  • ASF
  • AVI
  • H.264
  • M2TS
  • M-JPEG
  • MKV
  • MOV
  • MP4
  • WMV

While this list is rather big, there are still some formats that are not supported by the Xbox One Media Player. If you want to watch DSLR Raw image files, for example, you would have to convert them to a supported format like JPEG first. OPUS or iTunes music stored in AIFF need to be converted to MP3 or another supported audio format first. And for unsupported video files, there is still the possibility to convert them to supported video files.

Streaming Services

Streaming is the new and convenient way to watch your favorite programs. Thus, the Xbox One also supports various streaming services, especially video streaming services:

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • Crunchyroll
  • Epix
  • ESPN
  • HBO Go
  • Hulu Plus
  • IGN
  • MLB.tv
  • Netflix
  • NHL
  • redbox instant
  • Twitch TV
  • Vimeo
  • Vudu
  • YouTube

Tools Every Graphic Designer Needs

Graphic Designer
Image by StartupStockPhotos http://bit.ly/1JkEeer

If you are an aspiring graphic designer and you want to leave your mark in the industry, then there are some tools that you need to have. We have discussed some useful tools for web and graphic designers already, mostly online or open source. These tools, however, are a must for every graphic designer as well. They are incredibly beneficial and it is important to have everything at your disposal as a graphic designer.

iMac/MacBook

Every graphic designer definitely needs to have a machine that is fast and powerful. This is because graphic designers need to work with heavy software tools and applications and if you are serious about making a name for yourself, then you should choose the best possible machine for yourself. The Apple Mac has got a formidable history when it comes to graphic designing and its excellent OS and the built-in support plugins ensure that you get the very best when it comes to designing.

Whether you opt for the iMac or the MacBook generally depends on your needs, and if you are on the move a lot then you should opt for the Macbook. Whilst it is ideal to get an iMac if you work in a studio or office, and you can even get both if you can afford it.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Every graphic designer needs their tools and applications to ensure that they are able to design properly. The Adobe Creative Cloud has got everything that a graphic designer requires, which includes the InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop as well. While you can’t download the latest versions of these apps, but you won’t need to once you get the Adobe Creative Cloud, which will allow you to gain easy access to download the latest creative tools by Adobe. It is every graphic designer’s dream come true!

DSLR

Every graphic designer needs to have a good quality camera and that means getting yourself a DSLR. It is great for shooting your own shots and for documenting other ideas for your work as well. With the DSLR you can shoot your own backgrounds and make textures for your images, which will really take your work to the next level.

Moleskine

Brainstorming is part and parcel of graphic designing and if you are just beginning you can do yourself a massive favor by getting a Moleskine sketchbook. Every graphic designer in the business needs to come up with unique concepts and ideas and having a pen and paper by your side will allow you to quickly put down your ideas easily.

Subscription from Computer Arts

One of the leading magazines for graphic designers has been Computer Arts and it has got unique tips and essential guides for becoming a successful graphic designer. It has been around ever since the year 1995 and is jam-packed with advice, the latest industry news, and other valuable resources for graphic designers that ensure that they are able to stay on top of their game. If you want to make it in the field of graphic designing then get your hands on a subscription of Computer Arts today.

Free Online Conversions

Designing is only one part of the process and work of a graphic designer. The other is – especially if you are a member of a small group or your own boss – presentation. Your clients want to get the best value for their money, and there is no better way to convince them then presenting your design in not only an appealing but also an easily accessible way.

While it is important to store your designs in their native format for, e.g., Adobe InDesign, your clients aren’t likely to be able to open such files. This is where a versatile file conversion service comes into play. The usage facilitates the handling of many different files and lets you create more common image, document, or presentation files for your clients to view.

Best Free Photo Collage Makers

Pictures and photos are a great way to visualize the content of your articles. But sometimes, that is just not enough! And sometimes, sharing your vacation pictures on Facebook using the album feature just isn’t enough either. If you have your pictures in a digitized form, why not try something else? Make a Photo Collage!

Collages are a beautiful and visually appealing way to group pictures from one event or taken in the same style, and present them in a stunning manner. Such collages can be created using photo books or your trusted photo editing software. However, there are great alternatives on the web as well, that do not require any download and installation.

Today, we want to present to you one of these photo collage makers: FotoJet.com

Make Your Own Photo Collage

FotoJetFotoJet is a very versatile online photo collage maker with different templates, styles, and occasions to choose from.

Don’t worry, even though it is an online service, FotoJet states that the pictures you upload to use are neither public, nor are you giving away any rights to FotoJet or any third party.

Lets have a look how you can create your own collage, card, poster, or even social media post.

Choose a Layout

The first thing to do after entering the collage maker is to choose the layout most appealing to you. According to FotoJet, you can choose from one of 320+ designs and layouts. You can browse them by occasion, style, popularity. You can even create a Facebook banner or a picture fitting for a social media post.

When in doubt, hovering over the layout will reveal how many photos you can use. After choosing one, a double click or hitting the “Choose” button will lead you to the next step.

FotoJet

 

For this review, we have chosen a wedding themed photo card that allows us to include two pictures.

Editing your Collage

After choosing the layout, you can add the photos you want to use. They can be locates somewhere on your computer or hard drive, or you can use pictures form your Facebook account. This, of course, requires allowing access to the web application.

The photos can easily be added to the collage or photo card via drag and drop (or using the auto fill option). Once you added your pictures, you are provided with some basic image editing options as well. Zoom or rotate the pictures, add a filter, or change saturation, hue, contrast, and the like until the pictures either match the layout you chose, or your very own taste.

FotoJet

Depending on the layout you chose, the different text layers can be edited as well. Several fonts – ranging from hand-written to serifs – are provided, but you can also use the fonts installed on your computer. Changes can be applied with regard to text alignment, style (bold, italic, etc.), size, and color.

The only downside to this is that you are unable to change or re-arrange the icons or patterns used in the layout, as well as the text areas.

Share and Save your Collage

FotoJetOnce you perfected your collage or photo card, you can either save it on your computer, or share it on Facebook.

When sharing your design on Facebook, you can enter a custom text and choose the size of your picture. Connect to Facebook and post your wedding invitation, thank you card, or photo collage on your wall.

FotoJetSaving your collage on your computer provides you with a few extra options. In addition to setting the name for your design, you can choose between different quality and sizes, as well as the image file format you want to use. However, the only options given here are JPG and PNG. You can easily convert your finished collage to another image file format like TIFF or TGA though.

Unfortunately, saving your collage to any cloud storage or publishing it on social media pages like Pinterest, Twitter, or Google+ is not supported.

And that was it, that’s how simple it can be to create your own photo collage online. After you’re done, you can go back and create a new collage, Facebook cover image, or invitation – whatever you wish.

 

Collage Features of other Image Editing Programs

You may already know the following web services from our article on the best free image editing programs. While they all focus on image editing more than collage making, they still offer said feature. However, in a more rudimentary way than the one mentioned above. Nevertheless, we wanted to quickly show them as well.

PicMonkey
Creating a collage using PicMonkey allows you to choose from a few pre-defined layouts (without any design), or to arrange the pictures you uploaded from your computer to your liking. After setting the options for spacing, rounded corners of your images, and the background, you can further edit the image as a whole.

Editing single pictures in the collage as well as certain layouts are features available to premium users.

 

BeFunky

The BeFunky online image editor also provides the possibility to create a collage, Facebook cover, or Pinterest image using pictures from your computer, Facebook, or your BeFunky account if you have one. You can choose from different layouts (excluding designs) and edit the background as well as some other additional settings. After saving, you can edit the whole collage or card in the BeFunky Photo Editor as well.

Certain layouts and editing options are so-called BeFunky plus features though and not available in the free version.

 

Pixlr

The Pixlr Express Web Application also provides a collage feature. You can upload images from your computer and choose one of the more rudimentary layouts. What sets Pixlr apart from the other two collage features mentioned above is that you can edit each picture individually as well as the collage as a whole.

Unfortunately, the layouts provided aren’t as “advanced” as the other and lack any design as well.

 


 

All images used were taken by NGDPhotoworks

Our finished Photo Card created using FotoJet:

Photo Collage

 

Useful Tools for Bloggers And Content Writers

Blogger
Image by Thomas Lefebvre http://bit.ly/1UXS2nu

If you are a blogger or content writer for several blogs and platforms, you know your content management systems by hard. Typo3, WordPress, Blogspot, you got that down. SEO and keyword optimization shouldn’t be a problem for you either. You know how to create your content and blog articles according to your, your readers, or your client’s standards.

However, there may be the one or other tool or helpful gadget you are still missing out on. Writing blog articles is more than just creating text and adding one or two nice pictures (and even finding those can be pretty hard). Make the very best of your content by adding more value, visuals, or fun gimmicks.

To enable you to make the acquaintance of some helpful tools, we have set up the following list with screenshots and description of several handy tools and web services for your blogger needs.

Blog Systems

This is essential. If you are an ambitious blogger already, you already found the blog system of your choice. For those that want to start, we have gathered three well-known and versatile platforms that are not only suitable for beginners.

1. Blogger

Blogger

Blogger is the blog system under the big umbrella that is Google. To create a blog on blogger, all you need is a Google account. If you have one already, you can already set up your blog using one of the many customizable layouts presented by Google.

As everything that is operated by Google, you can promote your blog easily on various channels, and the management of the blog itself is very easy and straightforward. If you want to give your first blog a try – and if you have a Google account anyway – Blogger is a quick and easy way to start.

2. Worpress

Wordpress

Contrary to Blogger, WordPress is a CMS not only used for private blogs, but to create company blogs and even websites as well. As a ‘beginner’ you can choose and customize either one of the default WordPress themes, or you can download and install a free theme from the huge community WordPress has.

Additionally to a very easy and intuitive blogging system, WordPress also provides many widgets and plugins you can install and use for your blogs. They range from SEO Tools to picture optimization, from spam protection to your own personal ‘hiatus’ page.

If you want to dive into blogging and website creation even more professionally, you can change to the paid version of WordPress as well. This version leaves way more room for customization of the layout, CSS, and HTML. Many website hosts provide WordPress as a standard CMS as well.

3. Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr combines having your own blog with the social networking idea. While you do have your own blog with a personalized layout (many Tumblr users offer amazing and free layouts on their pages, just try the search option), the Tumblr dashboard itself works as a constantly refreshing array of posts. Creating different kinds of posts yourself is easy, whether you want to upload a link, text, video, song, or picture set. The posts appear on your blog as well as on the dashboard of your “followers”. Furthermore, you can reblog other people’s posts or answer the. They appear on your blog as well.

If you do not look for a more fun platform with a big and lively community to share your thoughts and interests with, Tumblr is your place to go.

Image Resources

You are in need of a beautiful picture to underline your blog post content, but you can not take or create one yourself? Then check out these websites that provide free stock photos and images for you to use.

1. Flickr

Flickr

One of the largest image resource pages on the web surely already heard of is flickr. On flickr, people upload graphics and drawings, but mainly photographs. You will most likely find pages worth of images to every topic imaginable.

However, when using the images, do not forget to give proper credit. Many images are are copyright protected, but if you use the search filters to browse for images you may not only be allowed to use but even alter, you will still find many appealing images for your purpose.

2. Pixabay

Pixabay

Choosing from 420.000 pictures, Pixabay may be not as big as the flickr community, however all images you find on this page are free for your usage. Illustrations, vector graphics, as well as photographies can be found here. The usage is for free, however you can buy your favorite artists a coffee to support them.

Don’t be repelled by the first image suggestions though, they refer to the stock image page shutterstock. Underneath, you will find the pictures you can download in various sizes after entering a captcha.

3. Unsplash

Unsplash

The underdog of the three websites presented here is Unsplash. The variety of the photographs displayed is not as big as with the other two, however, Unsplash takes a more artistic touch to the concept. The images are all free to use and especially appealing for social media websites like Pinterest or a generally more ‘romantic’ and visually ambitious audience.

Graphic Generators

In an earlier blog entry, we have given you a list of open source image editing programs and web services, that allow you to enhance and edit your pictures without having to install Photoshop. However, there are more visual aids you can add to your blog to not only attract readers, but also generate some additional value.

1. Text Effects & Logos

CoolText

Want to quickly create a logo, banner, or text? Then check out CoolText. On the page, you can choose form different logo styles using different fonts, styles, and even animation. The styles are customizable to a degree, allowing you to change size, color, gradient, shadow, outline, and more!

You can download the logo for free, depending on the style even choosing between various image file formats. PNG and GIF images support transparency.

2. Infographics

easel.ly

Add some extra value to your post by summarizing your findings or ideas in an appealing infographic. And you do not even have to set it together using some image editing software. Easel.ly allows you to choose between existing layouts or a blank canvas. Drag and drop different items like graphics, texts, banners, and backgrounds onto your canvas. Uploading your own graphics and icons is possible too, of course.

3. Comparison Tables

Another great way to add some extra value to your blog post is by adding a comparison chart of the most important facts – if it fits, of course.

CompareNinja

An easy and visually appealing way to do so is registering for a free account at CompareNinja. With your basic account, you can at least create three comparison tables for free. The different layouts let you choose between different styles, fonts, and colors. Adding text and check boxes is easily done with one or two clicks. However, if you use the code provided on your blog entry, at least when using the basic version of CompareNinja, your table will show a banner of the page.

EricsEstimate

A free if and almost equally visually appealing variant is Eric’s Estimate’s Free Comparison Table Generator. Create your tables to your liking, choosing colors and even different icons displayed instead of text, and generate the according HTML and CSS code for your blog post.

4. Word Clouds

WordItOut

Word clouds are still a fun eye catcher. At WordItOut, you can generate your own word clouds. Background color, color, color gradient, font, font size, and many more options can be toggled to create a word cloud that matches your layout design or “mood” of your blog post. After entering your email address, the image containing your word cloud will be sent to you.

5. Animated GIFs

Static images are boring? Then try to generate an animated GIF from a video, clip, or movie. Check out this handy tutorial how to make your own animated GIF for free using Online-Convert.com.

Online-Convert: It’s That Easy To Use

Easy Usage
Image by stevepb http://bit.ly/1H2Jt6G

Are you the type of person who dreads turning that computer on every day because you are sure it is secretly out to get you? When your fancy new television set beeps, do you worry that an explosion will follow? Do you have to ask your kids for help when you want to check your phone messages?

If this sounds like you, you may think that “converting” files on your computer is way out of your league – and you may wonder why you would ever want to do that, anyway.

What is file conversion?

Technology and the Internet have a way of bringing the world to our doorstep – have you noticed that it is extremely easy to get exactly what you want within seconds of deciding you want it?

However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who uses technology is on the same page. Sometimes the thing you want – video, audio, or a text file – is out there, but it is not in a format that your computer can use.

Online-Convert.com can help. If you can get a hold of that file, we can make it work for you!

Why would I want to “convert” my files?

Let’s say you are working with a new client, and they have sent you a document in a format that your computer doesn’t recognize – you can’t get it to open, and when you finally do it looks like a bunch of nonsense. Instead of calling tech support (or your teenage son or daughter, who you usually call for help), make it easy on yourself by using online file conversion. All you have to do is upload the document to Online-Convert.com, click a button, and we’ll do the rest.

But you can do even more.

If you really want to impress those at work, how about creating a YouTube video of your latest proposal? YouTube is notoriously easy to use – however, when you want to upload music or photos or video to use in your video, it has to be in a specific format.
This used to mean spending hours trying to figure out how to work with the file you want, spending hours searching the Internet for a version you can use, or scrapping the idea altogether.
But not anymore – an online video converter can help. It even lets you apply special effects or enhance images during conversion, so that your video can really impress.

Or maybe you have a file that you would prefer to take home with you, and you wish there was some way to put it on your Kindle or other e-reader. No problem – this is easily taken care of with a few clicks using an eBook converter.

Or perhaps, years ago, you purchased some music online, but it is the wrong format for a device you’ve bought recently. Don’t give up on ever hearing your favorite tunes again, because Online-Convert.com can help you with that, too!

Online-Convert makes you look like a computer expert

You don’t have to have a degree in computer science to use Online-Convert. You don’t even have to pay a fee! Even signing up is optional; however it is for free and provides you with some additional features.

With Online-Convert, it’s like you are suddenly a computer expert. Your kids and colleagues will be impressed.


Tutorials:

 

How To View All Kinds Of Files Without Installing Anything

Did you know that there are several options on how to view all kinds of Files without having to install the specific program needed? Yes, even programs that are capable of opening and displaying different kinds of files mostly require download and installation – if not even a purchase!

Open Anything
Image by Tripp http://bit.ly/1HblqPL

Thus, we have collected a view websites that allow you to view different kinds of audio, document, eBook, spreadsheet, image, or presentation files online. Oftentimes, you are sent a file that you can not open with the programs available on your computer – may it be an Apple pages document that you can’t open in Microsoft Word, or a RAW camera image.

Furthermore, most of these pages do not even require you to register or log in to use them. The service is completely for free.

ThinkFree Online

ThinkFree Online is a tool especially useful for users of Apple Macs or platforms without the installation of the Microsoft Office Programs. The site allows you to open all kinds of Microsoft Office files of 2003 and 2007 like DOC, DOCX, XLS, or PPT.

Furthermore, you are able to use a DOC, XLS, and PPT editor on the website. By creating a free account, it is also possible to store your documents and spreadsheets on your account.

Unfortunately, the site is limited to processing Microsoft Office files only, however the support provided is very reliable.

ThinkFree

rollMyFile

rollMyFile is a very versatile online file viewer. They claim to support over 500 different file types, ranging from documents and spreadsheets, to images and even eBooks. The handling of the website is very easy as well, since you can simply drag & drop the file you want to open on the home page. rollMyFile is supported by the most common browsers like Opera, Safari, Firefox, or Google Chrome.

With a paid subscription, the user is able to edit the files uploaded and save those changes to, e.g., Google Drive or Drop Box.

However, there are still many files, especially media files or raw image files from DSLR cameras, that can not be opened by the service.

rollMyFile

Convert your Files

Another option to view any kind of file that has been sent to you or that you found on your hard drive is to convert them into formats your computer, tablet, or mobile phone is able to open and display. Just as with the two services mentioned above, no installation of a program to your computer or phone is needed, however, the converted file will have to be either downloaded on your hard drive or stored on a cloud storage service.

The possibilities are almost endless though. Usually not supported RAW camera files like NEF or CR2 can be converted to JPG, 3GP or other more “exotic” video files can be converted to MP4, and eBooks and all kinds of documents can easily be converted to PDF.

OnlineConvert

Convert Websites to Text or Image

There are many different reasons for why you may want to convert a website into some other form of file – and the possibilities are just as numerous. The easiest way is to convert the designated website in a format best suited for your purpose though. Besides, it’s easy AND free!

No matter if you seek to print out information gathered from the internet, or need a complete website scan quick and easy for a presentation, a conversion will provide the result within seconds. Furthermore, you can create screenshots of a website, or even turn the written website content into audio.

How does it work?

All you need for these conversions is the URL to the website you want to convert, for example to this Wikipedia Article, and the correct converter for your purpose. On the page of the converter, the URL can be entered or pasted into the appropriate field. Then, all you got to do is hit “Convert File” and wait.

Convert Websites

For a complete representation of the website, containing images and formatting, and ready to be printed, a PDF conversion using a PDF converter would be the best.

To get text that is editable, the website should be converted to DOC, DOCX, or ODT instead.

Convert Websites
Converted to: PDF | DOCX

Quick screenshots of websites can be done in any image format in case you do not need a print-ready version or editable text. Contrary to taking an “usual” screen shot, converting an URL to JPG, for example, will result in a capture of the whole website, not only the visible part!

Convert Websites
JPG conversion of a whole page

 

Useful Tools for Web and Graphic Designers

Graphic Design
Image by Jennifer Morrow http://bit.ly/1DYmisL

As a graphic designer, we surely don’t have to ask you whether you have the latest version of Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. Because you have. These programs or any other similar software of your choice that helps you to design, are almost standard for every graphic designer.

However, there are other things you may not even knew you needed for designing. These tools are not only handy, but also sadly unknown by quite a number of graphic designers – and yet they are quite essential if you want to create a design not only effectively, but also appealing to your customers.

Thus, check out these 22 tools that are partly unknown, and mostly underrated. Hopefully, they will not only better your work flow and practice, but also boost your creativity even more.

General Work

1. iDisplay

Two screens are better than one. Installing iDisplay on your Windows computer or Mac will allow you to user your smartphone or tablet as a secondary screen. Move floating palettes onto the smaller screen to de-clutter your main screen, share your current screen with an audience, or look at your design in a different resolution than the snipped you are currently working on.

2. Opera Mobile Emulator

Opera browsers are quite popular, especially for mobile use. This emulator (as well as a web version) will show you how designs and layouts will look like in Opera browsers installed on various devices. Responsiveness is the key.

3. Trello

Working in a team? Then this online work board is an especially handy tool. But also working alone, the work board provides a good overview over work done or still pending, progress, and general “To do” lists. Login using a Google accounts is possible as well.

Graphic Design

4. Lipsum

Create Latin blind text to fill space in your layouts or flyer designs. This continuous text can be generated with different settings, denoting paragraphs, words, bytes, etc.

Graphic Design

5. GuideGuide

Grids and guides make working with your graphic program a lot easier. GuideGuide is a plugin for Photoshop users, that creates guides from your document or selection, with the options to jump to edges or midpoints, and allows you to create all kinds of grids easily. The option to save sets to use them on future layouts comes quite in handy as well. Downloads for older Photoshop versions are available as well.

6. ComparePSD

This software allows users of Photoshop to compare two PSD files and note all differences between them, including layer, mask, or effect changes.

7. Check My Colours

No matter if you forgot what colors you used on your own web design, or whether you found a great color scheme on another website, this web application will tell you which font and background colors have been used. Furthermore, it checks contrast ratio and other settings.

8. Convert to JPG

To show off, send, or upload your design and illustrations, it’s advised to use another format than Photoshop’s PSD, SVG, or any related image files. Converting your file to JPG allows you to get feedback from customers or a community, and to send files faster on the web thanks to file compression.

You can also create icons out of your images by converting them to ICO, or turn your graphics into PDF even.

Graphic Design

9. What’s my Screen Resolution

Easy access with just one click and you know your screen resolution. This site also provides a customizeable Ascii or UTF-8 character table, different coding tools, and other useful gadgets.

Resources

10. QBrushes

A collection of quality Photoshop brushes sorted by category or tag.

11. Easel.ly

The free version of this web application allows you to create interesting and appealing infographics quickly. Users can start from scratch or use an existing template. Next to already provided clipart, own images can be uploaded and used as well.

12. WordItOut

Enter your text or list and receive a finished word cloud. Of course, settings like font face and colors can be toggled, as well as margin or word size variation.

13. TinEye

Easily find pictures with a creative commons license from flickr – by color! TinEye browses flickr and points out pictures that have the same color or color scheme as provided as an input.

Graphic Design

14. Stripe Generator 2.0

Generate color combinations and stripey (background) patterns for your design. After playing around with different settings, the stripe style generated can be downloaded in the PNG format. The possibility to create tartan patterns is also given.

15. Icon Archive

In need of a fancy social media icon for a layout presentation? Or a collection of flags or file type icons? Icon Archive provides a large collection of icons ranging from user interface buttons to more abstract icons. They can be downloaded in several formats like PNG, ICO, and ICNS.

Fonts

16. SkyFonts

Using a fancy font may add greatly to your design, however, if they aren’t web compatible, you will have to look for a – most of the times – not as fitting alternative. SkyFonts allows for the usage of Google web fonts as desktop versions. This way, you can choose a good-looking font, knowing that the possibility of displaying it online is given.

17. WhatTheFont

And more fonts. Did you stumble over a great font in a design, image, banner, or graphic, yet you can’t find it? WhatTheFont will help you. Simply upload the image and filter out single letters. The tool will look up the font, or at least one similar.

Coding

18. CSS3 Click Chart

A good designer and layouter knows the most important commands, but can you remember the correct order of commands necessary for keyframe animation? Or can you add a custom font to your code from scratch? The CSS3 Click Chart gives a quick overview of useful CSS commands, witch code snippets, information, and preview.

19. JSFiddle

This web-based application lets you enter or paste Javascript, CSS, and HTML code, showing the result in real time.

Communities

20. Forrst

A community for designers and developers where they can upload their designs and projects and get feedback and help from the community.

Graphic Design

21. DeviantArt

Another community, mostly for artists and designers. In Galleries, all kinds of graphics, illustrations, or even animations can be shared with a big and lively community. Furthermore, DeviantArt is a great source for stock images or other graphic design resources like brushes, gradients, patterns, and more.

22. Tutorial9

Next to many interesting tutorials for Photoshop, photography, general web design, or Illustrator, this community also provides downloads of web templates, icon packages, brushes, or fonts. On top of that, you can find articles to boost your inspiration and creativity.

Google’s Open Standard File Formats

Google
Image by Robert Scoble http://bit.ly/1vxNJCM

There are many different kinds of file formats out there, most of them associated to certain programs or developers. Take for example Adobe’s PDF or PSD (Photoshop) files; all the different document files by Microsoft, Apple, and the open source equivalents; or eBook files that are solely linked to the Amazon Kindle. Many of these files and especially their skeleton or insides are protected or even secret. This makes it difficult for other (open source) programs to open, process, or create them. And it makes the task of providing perfect file conversions more difficult and challenging.

However, there are few file types, that belong to an open standard. Their framework is open and accessible, thus allowing many programs across platforms to process, display, play, create, or convert them.
The probably best known search engine and (by now) software and online services provider Google has taken part in developing open standard file types, that are supported by many devices, programs, and browsers. Today, we shall have a look at those open standard files created by Google.

WEBM

WEBM stands for Web Media File, and browsers like Opera, Firefox, and Google Chrome support these files for video playback. IE9 and Safari, however, need third-party assistance. WEBM files are HTML5 based videos, and can be found, e.g, on YouTube, 4chan, or Wikimedia. Even Android devices (from Gingerbread onward) allow playback of WEBM files.

Google haven’t been the first to actually develop this format though, however they significantly altered the given format and gave it it’s current shape and functionality.

The most common programs and utilities to support and playback WEBM files are:

  • Microsoft Windows Media Player
  • VideoLAN VLC Player (on Windows)
  • FFmpeg (on Linux)
  • Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera

You can find more information at The WEBM Project.

WEBP

Web Picture files, alias WEBP, are image files that allow lossy as well as lossless compression (and the compression is said to be way more efficient than with JPEG and PNG files). However, even with compression applied, the images retain relatively high quality. The big thought behind the development of WEBP files thus was to speed up the usage of the internet as a whole because of the small storage space required to save and load WEBP images.

Furthermore, WEBP images also allow for animation, and very large dimensions (maxing out at 16.384 x 16. 384 tiles). XXMP metadata and ICC profiles are supported as well.

WEBP files can be opened and viewed using the following programs and browsers (among others):

  • Adobe Photoshop (plugin needed)
  • Irfan View
  • WebP Codec for Windows
  • Google Chrome, Opera

More information can be obtained here.


Now, it is on you to decide whether you want to go on and use those media files used by Google for your images or videos. If so, a quick way to turn your videos into the WEBM format is to convert them. Likewise, JPGs, GIFs, and other pictures and photos can easily be converted to WEBP.

If, however, you stumble upon a WEBP and WEBM file and prefer having your videos or images stored as MP4, AVI, MKV, JPG, or TIFF, you can of course convert those Google files into the formats you need!

 

Camera RAW Image Formats

When using a modern camera, especially a DSLR camera, there are a few image sizes and qualities you can choose from. Most store images in quite good quality and resolution by using the JPG format. However, every good camera also has the option to store images in a so-called raw format which allows for even better quality, a very high solution, and no compression of the original shot.

Camera Raw Files
Image by 55Laney69 http://bit.ly/1G1tfJv

However, if you try to open such files in your computer’s native image viewing program, it is highly likely that you get an error message. Let alone trying to open those raw image files on a mobile device. Hence why there is always the option to convert camera raw image files to JPG or any other picture format. This is especially handy if a friend sent you a raw image file.

If you want to work more professionally it’s advised to take your photos using the raw format. Programs like Photoshop and other photo manipulating software are able to open the most common formats provided by modern cameras, giving you many options to edit, improve, and re-size your pictures for personal or professional use.

With that being said, let us give you some information about the most common camera raw image file formats.

Nikon – NEF

Digital photos taken with a Nikon camera – in fine and large settings – are stored on the SD card with the NEF file extension. Camera settings like lens, ISO, and color information are stored within the NEF file as well. Those so called “digital negative” files are either stored uncompressed or using lossless compression.

In contrast to JPG or TIFF images, NEF files retain 12- and 14-bit data which allows for a much bigger variety of colors being captured by the raw image format. Quick viewing of the images is possible as well since they save a JPG version (if selected) of the image on the SD card as well. Thumbnails are also created for a small preview of the shot.

Furthermore, edited and adjusted NEF’s can be stored as raw files again, leaving the actual shot untouched while saving the changes in a separate file.

Canon – CR2 & CRW

Canon cameras save their raw image files as CR2 or CRW. They contain all information captured by the camera’s sensor, including ISO, saturation, and other information. They are regarded as “digital negatives” as well, being stored without any loss of quality.

Much like NEF, those formats are recorded in 12- or 14-bit, resulting in better colors than other raster images. Files are saved using lossless compression.

CRW files may still be around and produced with older Canon camera models, however it has been replaced by the newer and more versatile and reliable CR2 extension.

Sony – ARW

ARW is the raw and uncompressed file extensions of photos taken using a Sony camera. They are created using the TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) specifications. All kinds of data captured by the camera’s CCD is contained within the file as well; like ISO settings, contrast, and other.

Instead of installing Photoshop or another program like that, ARW files can also be opened in programs that have the sole purpose of displaying (not altering) Sony camera’s raw image files. Unfortunately, ARW files can store different kinds of data which may cause problems with Sony related image viewing and editing software. Thus, it’s highly advised to consult manuals and papers on the perfect settings for Sony cameras and ARW files to ensure that the settings do not collide with the programs offered by Sony.

Olympus – ORF

Developed by Olympus, ORF files are the raw image files for said company’s digital cameras. Just like other camera raw files, information like hue, color, ISO, and others are contained in the file, using the camera sensor as a source.

Similar to ARW, ORF files are captured differently depending on the camera model and settings used, resulting in files with different formatting. Due to this, it may be possible, that some applications (even those of Olympus themselves) can not open, display, or allow you to alter ORF files.

Adobe’s DNG

What all of the previously mentioned formats have in common is that they are produced using a camera of the respective manufacturer. The DNG format, however, was developed by Adobe, becoming a universal raw image format that can be used to save high quality digital photos.

DNG files contain various meta data and use the TIFF standard. Pictures that have initially not been stored in a raw format can thus be saved as so called “linear DNGs”, which enables the user to handle changes made to the file in the same way as if they would have been applied to a raw image file. Programs that support raw DNGs always support the linear DNG format as well, yet it doesn’t always work the other way round.