Saturday, November 26, 2011

Three useful web-based tools

geek guide

If you want to perform a quick task – like tweak an image, crunch some numbers, or edit a document – on the go, then the web offers some convenient and easy solutions in the form of web applications. These tools can be accessed anywhere over the internet, directly from your browser; no need to install an application, and no compulsion to register. Here are three such applications that you might find useful. Simply point your browser to these websites and make use of the nifty tools they have to offer.

1. Citrify
Want to quickly touch up a photograph? Then try Citrify, a free online photo editor that lets you modify and enhance your pictures. Simply launch the flash-based app in your browser, access the photo you want to edit, and choose the settings you want to modify. The tool is very easy to use and makes the editing process very simple. It takes only a mouse click to apply the effects. You can easily adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, size, sharpness, and orientation of the picture; reduce glare and wrinkles, remove red-eye and blemishes; and even air-brush for a smoother skin-tone. Also, you can apply effects such as making your photo look like a watercolour or pencil sketch. For a bit more fun, you can even add stickers such as wigs and sunglasses to your pictures.

2. TitanPad
If you want to quickly edit a document or share some text with a friend or colleague, then TitanPad might help. Based on the open-source release of the now-defunct EtherPad, TitanPad is a service that “lets people work on one document simultaneously”. Just go to the website, create a new pad, and start typing or import your existing (text, HTML, Word, or RTF) document; invite up to eight colleagues (each of whom will be assigned their own colour) to work on the pad, and the content will synchronize in real-time so that everyone sees the same text and can collaborate seamlessly on the document. You can also chat to the other users as you work. When you’re done working on the text, you can export the pad (as HTML, plain text, bookmark file, Microsoft Word, PDF, or OpenDocument). You also have the option to register and create private subdomains if you don’t want your work to be accessible to everyone who has the URL of the pad you have created.

3. InstaCalc
InstaCalc is a user-friendly, fast, and shareable web-based calculator. Just visit the website, enter your calculations, and get your answers; no login or installation required. The service facilitates many types of both simple and more complex calculations, including arithmetic, roots and powers, percentage, trigonometry, and logarithms, and lets you use notations, perform unit conversions, calculate factorials, do base conversions, and much more. The response time is fast as the results are generated as you type, and you can use natural equations and easily understandable notations. You can share your work with your friends, link to any calc from your blog, email or forum post, and even customize your calculator using themes.

So when you need something free and easy to access, and yet still powerful enough to let you quickly get things done, the three apps mentioned above can really help you out. Bookmark them now and you’ll be glad you did!

- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 26th November, 2011