50+ Sites to Download Free Sound Effects for Almost Everything

Imagine a movie or video without sound effects. Even a magnificent film like Titanic would look nothing more than a joke if there are no ‘Wham’, ‘Bam’ and ‘Smash’ sounds in it. Background music and sound effects are important for making a video (or even an audio production) engaging and in its full essence.

There are thousands of online resources to download sound effects, however, not all of them can offer you high-quality material that’s also free. So, in this post, I am listing 50+ cool websites to download just about any type of sound effect for free. Let’s get on with it.

Read also:

CC Search – CC Search is an online search tool that lets you search for high-quality sound effects from all over the web, for all kinds of creative projects.

CC Search

Free-Loops.com – This platform offers more than seven thousand CC-licensed sounds and loops, which are divided into categories like drum loops, synth loops, midi files, etc.

SoundBible – A superb site for downloading sounds, SoundBible, offers royalty-free sound effects that you can use commercially in movies, games, and other projects. The page provides thousands of sound clips like sound loops, game sounds, etc.

ZapSplat – At ZapSplat, you will get access to thousands of professional sound effects in various categories like nature, cartoon, horror, etc. Also, its library is updated on a weekly basis so that you get new and fresh sounds every week here.

Freesound – Freesound offers a collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, and bleeps. You can search for any sound or effect using keywords and look for its ratings to determine its quality before downloading it.

Freesound

Partners In Rhyme – Partners In Rhyme includes a wide range of sound effects from many genres like rock, pop, romance, etc. The site also offers free music resources.

Partners In Rhyme

SampleSwap – SampleSwap offers professional quality loops and audio samples – a total of 7.7 GB of free sounds in techno, hip-hop, and a lot more categories.

Pond5 – Pond5 includes over 900 thousand sound effects, and thus, it is considered as one of the top resources for movie agencies, storytellers, and artists.

Pond5

GameSounds – GameSounds offers a collection of royalty-free music and sounds, which are suitable for games and can be used commercially for free.

Soungle – Another search engine for sounds, Soungle lets you search for sound effects with the help of keywords. You will find many sounds here, thanks to its enormous database.

AudioMicro – AudioMicro offers plenty of sound effects with high-quality audio content. These include animal sounds, electronic sounds, horror and Halloween sounds, etc.

AudioMicro

freeSFX – At freeSFX, you will get free soundtracks and sound effects made for audio enthusiasts and production companies. The sounds are contributed by its large community of proficient and versatile music artists.

PacDV – PacDV produces royalty-free soundtracks for music producers, filmmakers, etc., which are ideal for use in documentaries, games, and commercials.

Sound Fx by Flash Kit – Flash Kit offers thousands of sounds in MP3 and FLASHTRAK formats. You can quickly navigate to right sounds from categories like ambience, people, etc.

GRSites – GRSites includes approximately two thousand sound effects for free such as background sounds, car sounds, comics sounds, industry sounds, and lots more.

SoundJay.com – If you are looking for some royalty-free soundtracks with 16-bit stereo and 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz quality, then SoundJay.com hosts just the sound effects you need. Moreover, all the sounds are arranged in categories for traversing quickly.

SoundJay.com

SoundGator – SoundGator allows you to browse sound effects through their list of categories, which includes unique sounds like that of a typewriter, smoke alarm, etc.

99Sounds – At 99Sounds, artistic musicians upload their creative sound effects for its audio community, which you can download without any usage limits.

PlayOnLoop – PlayOnLoop offers premium quality sound effects, which are ideal for any creative media works and suit professional artists and creators.

TalkingWav – Talkingwav.com offers thousands of free .wav sound files to download, including answering machine messages, cartoon, comedy, music, movie and tv .wav sounds, all fully categorized with descriptions. Plus loads of free mobile cell phone ringtones and videos.

talkingwav

American University – A sound library by American University to help students in their projects, presentations, and films, this page provides free soundtracks that work for all.

FindSounds – FindSounds lets you search the Internet for sounds and avails options to search only for stereo and high-fidelity sounds. You can also browse the sounds here.

FXhome – FXhome lists all its soundtracks under CC-license so that you can use them in commercial projects without any second thought. Here, you can navigate and download various types of sound effects like bullet/gun sounds, saber sounds, etc.

FXhome

KC-Towers – On this page, Kansas City Art Institute offers a package of royalty-free sound effects, which has five categories – actions, materials, music, soundscapes, and voices.

Looperman – Another important site for royalty-free sounds, Looperman offers loops, samples and other sounds for free. Here, the soundtracks are uploaded by its community, and it avails more than 83 thousand loops and sound effects in total.

Looperman

Opsound – Opsound hosts hundreds of sound effects in a wide range of categories and genres namely ambient, classical, country, disco, indie, jazz, ringtone, etc.

Nature Sounds – An exclusive site for soothing sound effects, Nature Sounds avails soundtracks mostly denoted to the nature, like rain sounds, storm and thunder sounds, etc.

Sonnyboo – Sonnyboo offers sound effects which are intended for documentary projects, movie productions, etc. Some of its categories include baby, monsters, etc.

Ambient-mixer.com – This site offers the most relaxing and soothing sound effects to chill your mind. Moreover, it avails large selections of audio templates and a mixer as well.

JL Recording Studios – JL Recording Studios lets you use the sound effects for your own production house. It includes a broad category of music like bird sounds, environmental sounds, etc.

JL Recording Studios

Free Sound Effects – Like the other sites, this site offers royalty-free sound effects in numerous categories. The audio tracks can be played online or downloaded in MP3 and WAV formats.

SoundEffects+ – SoundEffects+ provides more than five thousand sound effects, which are recorded and produced by its team of professionals. It avails them under a free license.

get-sounds.com – get-sounds.com offers hundreds of sound effects in categories like animals, cartoon, military, nature, sports, transportations, and some more.

get-sounds.com

MediaCollege.com – Similar to the above sites, MediaCollege.com offers sound effects for your commercial or personal projects. They are free and arranged in categories.

Community Audio – Community Audio offers thousands of sound recordings compiled by contributors and community members. You can preview before downloading them.

Community Audio

Orange Free Sounds – This platform provides a wide range of free sound effects, music loops, and background music that are usable for personal as well as commercial purpose.

Free Sound Effects Collections – Music for video provides different categories of sound effects and music clips. You can download and use these sounds for free on your video/multimedia productions. The sounds in this part of the website are for people working on video production, video montage, and multimedia projects and etc.

SoundsCrate – SoundsCrate offers various sounds for your creative and visual experiments. It also avails an option to search for all types of audio using keywords.

SoundsCrate

HISSandaROAR – Another fantastic site, HISSandaROAR, offers the most unusual and exclusive sound effects that are downloadable and usable in any project.

The Recordist – The Recordist comprises of a collection of hundreds of free sound effects. These audio tracks are available as high-quality audio in MP3 format.

PremiumBeat – PremiumBeat has more than 120 sound effects arranged in many categories. These effects are useful in any commercial or personal project.

Videomaker.com – Videomaker.com offers you a free package of 101 sound effects, which include airborne sound, booing crowd, doorbell, and a lot more sounds.

Adobe Audition Sound Effects – Adobe Audition offers thousands of uncompressed, royalty-free audio effects, which can be downloaded as compressed archives of categorized effects.

Free Music Archive – Free Music Archive is a complete database of royalty-free sound effects, which can be played online or downloaded to use in your creative projects.

Free Music Archive

Facebook Sound Collection – An initiative by Facebook to help creative artists, it offers an exclusive collection of 1500+ original sound effects that can be used for any purpose.

Acoustica – Acoustica includes a variety of original and custom-made sound effects from plenty of genres in WAV format. You can use them in any project.

Acoustica

Skyes Audio – SKYES AUDIO offers a creative collection of selected royalty-free sound effects, which are produced exclusively to enrich your artistic projects.

skyes audio

Big Fish Audio – This site comprises of loop collections, sounds, and construction kits for your projects. You can discover tracks on this site and download them in WAV format.

Free Sound Samples by OLPC – In this site, you will find a variety of 44 kHz sound samples, which can be used for multipurpose projects – including commercial ones.

Memozee – Over 280 animal sounds available for free download. You can even read the provided description to know better about the particular animal sound.

3dmm Studio – 3dmm Studio has compiled and categorised several sound packs. Rubin’s ‘3dmm Sound’ packs require you to import the .3mm file into your movie, where-as the packs complied by Will Cheyney are standard zips with categorised .wav files.

Pachd – Over 80 free sound effects are available for download at Pachd.

VocalDownloads – The royalty-free sound effects from VocalDownloads provide clear audio and come in WAV format. You can play a track online as well as download it.

VIPZone Samples – VIPZONE Samples offers free drum sounds and vocals for remixing, and many free samples for personal and commercial use alike.

Boogie Jack – Funny, weird, annoying… you’ll find all kinds of sound effects at Boogie Jack.

boogiejack

Pro Sound Effects – Pro Sound Effects includes a library of 290 sound effects from its world-class network of recordists that can be used for personal and commercial projects.

eSoundz – eSoundz has an updated library of free sound effects that come in packages. These are produced by professional artists like guitarists and keyboardists.

soundsnap – Search for, preview and download royalty free sound effects for immediate use in your multimedia project. These high quality royalty free sound effects are hand-picked from only the best sound designers.

soundsnap

The post 50+ Sites to Download Free Sound Effects for Almost Everything appeared first on Hongkiat.

Continue Reading

How to Design a Website with Great Navigation

When you talk about labels and structure many forget that they are a huge part of your navigation. Navigation can be everything when it comes to the success of your website. Labels and structure can determine your traffic levels gained from search engines. They also are a big part of your site’s ease of use. The easier your site is to use can determine the number of customers.

Let’s look at diverse ways to ensure your menu navigation structure will lift the stature of your site. These are methods that have helped many in the business and can help you as well.

Planning Is Important

planning is important

From the start, you must keep your navigation in mind. Once you have the features you want, you need to figure out the importance they will serve on your site. Once you determine that, you should make a list, or sitemap to organize it. There are many formats for this, and they all have merits. You can use whatever you are comfortable with.

Structural Navigation

structural navigation

This is all about organization. When you are designing your site, it becomes much easier if you have everything laid out and planned. The completed site will have an intuitive and easy navigational experience for visitors. There are different ways to accomplish this, and we will look at a few of those.

Menu or Menus

menu or menus

The more your website offers, the more functionality it will have to have. This means you will, through necessity, need to have more than one menu. You can’t fit everything in one, not and make it user-friendly anyway. Some sites have many menu’s and others stick to two. One of them will be the one you want your customers to see first off. It will have the most requested and needed services you offer.

The next menu or menus will be of secondary importance. These are things that do not help with the lead services of the website. They are still important, but you do not want them competing with your primary functions on your site.

These can be things like FAQ, or About Us. You can see these are separate links on many websites. They are of secondary importance, so to speak.

Specific Labels Are Important

specific labels

This where key phrases become extremely important. Navigation that uses key phrases is always a better strategy for several reasons.

  • Search Engines work better when your navigation is descriptive.

Search engines can focus in on labels if you keep them descriptive. It will show them that you are all about the topic you are advertising.

  • Your visitors will appreciate it.

The thing that stands out most is the navigation bar. Listing your products and services will immediately show what your company does. That way visitors know they are where they need to be.

Labels to Avoid

labels to avoid

Products and services will not help your ranking because no one is searching for those. Key phrases and topics are more specific and easier for the search engines to find. Thus, they are raising your ranking. Not to mention making it easier for your customers to find what they need.

Don’t Use Format Driven Navigation

It is misleading to use format to base your navigation. That tells the visitor how the site is set up, but it doesn’t tell them where the topic they are looking for is. Any confusion on the site will drive potential customers away to an easier venue.

Don’t Drop Down

don't drop down

Many websites use drop-down menus. Unfortunately, they are difficult for search engines to decipher. This can lead to problems. It has also been shown that they are considered annoying to customers.

Once a visitor sees the menu, they know where they want to go. If it is cluttered up with many options, it can slow a person’s reaction. This causes a pause in their thought process of what they want.

Language Is Also Important

language is also important

When you are deciding on your labeling, take exceptional care with your language. It is easy to let creativity get out of hand to one-up the competition. It can look good, but it can cause a lack of specifics. You want the customer to understand, easily, what it is you do.

That is the key. Getting overly fancy with your labeling can short circuit understanding. Keep the language basic and easily understood for customer convenience.

Too Many Links?

too many links

Don’t overload your menus with items. Studies suggest seven is an optimum number. It will make it better for the search engines to rank you. Too many links make it hard for your interior pages to get ranked, and that is not good.

Wrap Up

wrap up

From the start, you want to keep navigation in mind. It can be essential for search engine ranking as well as customer usability. Always keep your clients needs at the forefront when designing your navigation. These two can take you far.

With good navigation, your clients will always know where they stand. This is not to mention where they are on the site. You don’t want to lose customers because the site is confusing. Along those lines, keep it simple.

Flowery language and menus can look good but put people off. Keeping the clients happy and the search rankings high is the name of the game. These things will help you do that to your satisfaction.

Author bio: Ben Pines is CMO at Elementor, a WordPress website builder with over 700.000 users and counting. Ben has been in the online marketing industry for over 10 years. He is specializing in content marketing. WordPress has been Ben’s platform of choice since the time it was used solely for blogging.

The post How to Design a Website with Great Navigation appeared first on Hongkiat.

Continue Reading

Basic Tips in Finding a Suitable Web Host

Statistics show that more than 30,000 sites are hacked each day, and this shows a problem that could be traced back to the security measures applied by the sites and their hosts. Choosing a good hosting provider is a decision that will help to prevent security breaches that might cause the site a big loss. You need to choose a hosting provider that will ensure regular backups and offer several layers of security to make it difficult for hackers to get through and access important files of your site.

Here are some basic tips you need to consider to choose the right web host:

Read web hosting reviews

The best place to start when you are searching for a suitable web host is reading reviews of the best web hosts. Sites like Hosting Foundry offer insightful and objective reviews of the leading web hosts, and they highlight features like security and bandwidth allocation for different packages. Choosing your web host from the list of the best companies will guarantee you access to important security features, and you will also enjoy good bandwidth allocation and speed.

Backup plans

It is important to stress that the company should have a good backup plan that will allow you to restore your site in the event of a hacking attempt. There are hosts that don’t offer this feature even as an opt-in, and this means you may lose your data permanently if someone manages to access your files.

Security features

Security is something you should not negotiate about when it comes to choosing a reliable hosting provider. A good web host should have reliable security infrastructure that is designed to shield the site against all kinds of attacks. Some of the security features you should look at include SSL certification mechanisms and firewalls. Strong security features will not only shield the site from attackers, it will also allow users to surf with confidence that their data cannot be stolen because their connections are encrypted.

Customer support

How good is the customer support of the company? This is an important factor as it will determine your experience with the company. Sometimes you will have a serious issue that can only be resolve by the technical team of the company, so the best solution would be to approach them for quick help. There are web hosts with a history of sluggish support team, so avoid those if you don’t want to inconvenience users.

Server uptime scores/reliability

A 24/7 operating web host is ideal if you would like to keep your site online and serve users without challenges. Check the server uptime score of the web host before you choose them for your project. Even one minute without connection to your site would hurt your business, especially if you expect to receive heavy traffic.

The first step in establishing a strong website is choosing the right web host. This is a decision that will determine the security and reliability your site will get, so ensure to read reviews about leading hosts to choose the one that offers the features you prefer to use on your site.

Continue Reading

Tips that Graphic Designers Should Follow

As children, many of us used to draw or doodle to express our thoughts.  Perhaps we doodled during lessons when work felt tedious and we no longer wanted to pay attention.

Some of may have doodles while thinking, creating a pattern or texture on the page.  Perhaps we were discouraged by our early results and believed that we would never make it as a designer.  As a result, we might have chosen a different profession.

Now, however, there is a whole new digital realm – which can assist us with bringing drawings or doodles to life.  This has opened up a wide range of opportunities for many people to work in digital art or design.

Many people are taking the opportunity to learn about graphic design, even without a formal education.  It’s possible to take part in online tutorials which can guide you on programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign.  There is a multitude of books available to teach the principles of design.

This is often a helpful path to follow.  However, learning the foundations of graphic design, acquiring new skills or tools and developing your own personal artistic style can be a complex process.  The following tips will guide you in your development as a graphic designer who combines beautifully edited images, fonts, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect.

Listen to the influencers

 

Influencers are people with a strong online presence who develop and market a concept.  This could be anything from an online concept such as a capsule wardrobe (which uses design to advertise products) to online artists who share skills or products which appeal to their audiences.

By speaking with influencers, you’ll gain insight into the online world and how it works.  This can help you gain insight into how to follow trends.  You might also learn the language often used online and gain tips on how to market products.

If you’re looking for influencers to engage with, turn to social media.  Instagram and Twitter.  Chat with the influencers who inspire you.  They might respond to you, and you can begin a conversation.  This will help you to learn from them.

Alternatively, you can follow the conversations and exchanges which exist between influencers and yourself.  This will enable you to become a part of the design community.

You’ll be able to find support throughout your journey.  Some influencers even work alongside other designers or people in the industry in order to host events or guest posts.

Search for inspiration

Once you’ve committed to becoming a graphic designer, start searching for work which inspires you.  This can be as simple as searching the web and bookmarking artists or websites which inspire you.  You could also build a Pinterest board with images which inspire you.

As you build your collection, you’ll begin to find the patterns or styles in the images which inspire you.  This will assist you to begin creating your own works of art.  If you’re constantly saving art deco images or cartoon designs, you could find resources on how to create them.

Create a hierarchy

The graphic design uses hierarchy in order to make content simple, digestible and easy to understand.  This page is evidence of this – there are larger headings, subheadings and bold type which enables you to easily scan the page.

Hierarchy helps you to capture your viewers’ attention and makes your site easy to understand.

In order to create hierarchy on your pages, you can use different techniques, including:

  1. Size
  2. Color
  3. Spacing
  4. Grouping

It’s usually best to use one dominant aspect of your design when you’d like to create an interesting page.  You could use an attractive logo or a dominant header in order to draw attention to the most important aspect of your page.

However, if your page is very well balanced, you might be able to focus on two different areas (such as a heading and a call to action button).

The element you give dominance to should be the most important part of your site or message.  This will help you to create attention in the place that you need it most.

Spatial awareness

When you’re designing, it helps to acknowledge both positive and negative (white) space.  Positive space is the space you use for your design or content and is how you fill the page.  Negative space is the empty space which hasn’t been filled.  At their best, these two different elements need to be in harmony with each other.

This will keep your design looking clean, simple and orderly.  Used consciously, negative space can send a very effective message.

How do know when you’ve achieved the perfect balance between positive and negative space?  There are no simple answers.  It isn’t about the amount of space you use in your design, as much as it’s about eliminating anything superfluous so that your page is as clean as possible.

Go back to the foundations

When taken apart, every design is about simple elements which have been constructed to send a greater message.  When you take a design apart (like un – baking a cake) you get to see the core elements that are used in the mix.

Once you’ve taken a design apart and reduced it to its simplest terms, you’ll find that you can use these principles to create your own designs.  If you’re a beginner, you might want to start slowly, but as an advanced designer, you can begin to incorporate more complex techniques.

If you’re not sure how to combine the different elements to produce the effect you would like, you can experiment.  You’ll learn each step of the way.

When you experiment with a design you:

Learn that you know more than you think you do.

You’ll learn where you are skilled, and where you could acquire new knowledge.

There are multiple ways to approach any design or problem in order to achieve the results you’d like.

Analyze your inspirations

If you’re a beginner and you’ve begun to grasp the basic concepts and use them effectively, it’s time to move on to the designs that inspired you and learn to analyze them.   By taking your inspirations apart, you’ll begin to see how they were formed, and how you can begin to work in a similar way.

If your inspirations are websites, explore how they have been put together and the way that text, color, shape, symmetry, line and space have been used to create the look that appeals to you most.  You’ll notice that although effective design can make a big impact, the concepts are very simple.

Pay attention to alignment

You might notice that the way you lay out your page or align your fonts makes a massive difference.  This is because of the role symmetry plays in page composition.  A single flourish or well-placed element can add just what you need to make your design stand out

Your designs might range from simple to complex, but your goal is to always strive for balance.  Use symmetry as your guide to create a page which works.

Work with text

 

When you’re working as a designer, your goal is to get your message across.  Whether you’re creating an attractive logo or working towards making a magazine’s copy readable, your goal is to work towards clarity.  This doesn’t mean your fonts need to be boring.  There is a wide range of fonts which will add visual appeal to your design or page.

Summary

When you’re working hard at becoming a graphic designer, your goal is to practice, practice, practice.  Although you might feel intimidated by the skill of experienced designers and worry about ever being able to work to this standard.  However, even the most skilled designers were once beginners learning the foundations.

In the creative field, everyone embarks on a unique journey, developing their own style in individual ways.  There’s no single way to approach design and the majority of the time, you’ll learn through practice.

As you keep learning and developing, you’ll find out which skills are strong within your work, and which are lacking.

If you practice and develop new skills, you’ll develop as a designer.  Over time, work which took you ages to manage will become intuitive and you’ll be able to manage to achieve results quickly.  Mastering new projects will give you confidence as a designer.

Continue Reading

How to Add Two-factor Authentication to cPanel and WHM

Adding an extra layer of protection to your website is always a good idea. It makes it harder for hackers to penetrate through your backend and gain access to things you don’t want them to. In this post, I’m going to show you how to add two-factor authentication (2FA) to your web hosting’s control panel – cPanel.

Before we get started, here are a couple of things you will be needing:

  • Access to your web hosting’s cPanel and WHM.
  • Smartphone with a time-based one-time password (TOTP) app installed.

Once you have both these things, you can start the process by following the steps below.

1. Log in to WHM.

whm screen

2. Look for the “Security Center”.

whm security center

3. Under Security Center, look for “Two-Factor Authentication”.

whm two factor authentication

4. Toggle on Two-Factor Authentication by clicking on the off button. Once this is done, the red dot will turn green. Now click Save.

turn 2fa own

5. Go to “Manage My Account” tab and scan the QR code given there with your TOTP app on your smartphone.

manage my account step 1

6. Enter the 6-digit security code from your TOTP app back to “Security Code” under Step 2. Next, click “Configure Two-Factor Authentication”

manage my account step 2

Two-factor authentication is now set up. Let’s keep this browser window open. In case anything goes south, you can easily disable the two-factor authentication right away.

Test 2FA

Now let’s test if it’s working properly.

1. Open a new browser and go to your website’s cPanel URL. The URL should be either www.domain.com/cpanel, or cpanel.domain.com. Now log in with your credentials.

cpanel

2. You should be prompted to enter the security code. Get the 6-digit security code from your smartphone’s TOTP app, enter and click “Continue”

cpanel security code

If you’re able to login to your cPanel page, that means it worked!

The post How to Add Two-factor Authentication to cPanel and WHM appeared first on Hongkiat.

Continue Reading

Nuance Power PDF: Best Adobe Acrobat Alternative

Editor’s note: This branded content is brought to you by Nuance Communications, Inc.

If I ask you to name a utility for working with PDFs, you may quickly answer “Adobe Acrobat”. However, there are many affordable alternatives that work equally well; and Nuance Power PDF is one of the accessible yet usable solutions to create, edit, convert, and do a lot more with PDFs.

Nuance Power PDF Advanced in WIndows 10

I am on a hunt for an affordable solution for working with PDFs, and let us see how Nuance Power PDF performs for me. So, in this detailed post, I am going to try out the trial version of Nuance Power PDF Advanced and share my findings. Come on, dive in with me, and do share your feedback through comments.

First look? It is straightforward.

Let us talk about my first encounter with Nuance Power PDF Advanced. I find it easy and straightforward, thanks to its intuitive interface.

Interface

When I first opened Nuance Power PDF, I was happy to see a beautiful user interface. It has the same ribbon interface that we know from File Explorer in Windows 10 or applications of Microsoft Office 2016.

Nuance Power PDF with Ribbon Interface

That means, you will need little training to get started with this app — all the options and tools are available in a familiar and beautiful interface. Moreover, there is also a search bar to find an option or a tool quickly.

Editing

Power PDF avails lots of features and options for creating and editing PDFs. You can create a new PDF from the clipboard, a scanner, a file, or nothing (a blank PDF). Using its file option, you can create a PDF from one or multiple files and also combine or overlay multiple PDFs into a single PDF file.

Using the scanner option, you can use its OCR features to scan sheets of paper (say, of a book) using a camera or a scanner and convert them to a PDF. I found its OCR does pretty good, but you may not see the same result with complex contents say an electricity bill or a handwritten text material.

Once you have created a PDF, you can convert it (not required in case of a blank PDF) to an editable PDF and use its advanced editor to edit the PDF like a text document. Its editor has all standard editing features (which you find in Word) including options to insert photos and tables, track changes, etc.

Advanced editor in Nuance Power PDF

After you exit the advanced editor, you get returned to review mode, which offers many more features to work with the PDF. You can add audio and video, 3D objects, notes, files, and more in this mode. You can also highlight text, create forms, do PDF tasks, manage security, etc. in review mode.

I liked its Dragon Notes feature, which lets you speak to create notes but I found the speech recognition was bit shaky and inaccurate — at least for me.

Review mode in Nuance Power PDF

Usability

Power PDF is a powerful tool for converting, merging, reducing, searching and sharing PDF files. That said, if you are using freeware or a limited PDF solution, then this tool may speed up the way you work with PDFs.

1. Convert from PDFs. Power PDF cannot just convert different files to PDFs but can also convert PDFs to other files, unlike some other tools. Also, it keeps the formatting intact during conversions. For example, if you need to edit a PDF file in Word, then you can convert it to DOCX and edit the same in Word.

Convert from PDFs using Power PDF

2. Create searchable PDFs. You may know that all PDFs are not same and some of them are just a bunch of photos (even if they contain text in them). Such files are non-searchable — at least while using search tools or freeware PDF tools. But Power PDF can make them searchable, thanks to its OCR features.

3. Optimize & reduce PDFs. You can optimize files to make them compatible with standard PDF (like “PDF 1.5”). You can also reduce the size to less than half of the original file size. Moreover, you can also opt to compress objects, remove unnecessary elements, and include more optimization options.

Optimize PDFs using Nuance Power PDF

Security

Every business needs to protect its data and Power PDF offers numerous options to secure your PDFs. You can certify PDFs, restrict to edit documents, add digital signatures, and manage digital identities to configure access control. Interestingly, you can also add handwritten signatures to files in case you have an image or a supported device like a mouse or a touchscreen device.

Handwritten signature in Power PDF

Extensibility

Power PDF allows you to create PDFs from almost any app, thanks to Nuance PDF — its virtual printer that lets you print to a PDF file. It offers a lot more printing options than “Microsoft Print to PDF”, however, you must use system dialog to access them in few apps. Also, it avails its native extensions for Office applications that support advanced options to work with PDFs.

Nuance Power PDF's virtual printer

Moreover, it also gets well-integrated with the Windows Context Menu. That means you can work with the supported files right from the desktop or the explorer. For example, by right-clicking an image or text file, it shows an option to convert the selected file into a PDF without even opening Power PDF.

Pros: What did catch my eyes?

After using it for a while, I found many significant features in Power PDF, which I am listing below with my own experience with them.

Touch support

Nuance Power PDF offers native support for touchscreen devices. What I found interesting is you can even enable the touch mode on a regular desktop, and in response, the app adds more space to the items in its interface. That said, you can enable the touch mode to see spacier ribbons and toolbars.

Power PDF has Mouse & Touch modes

Cloud storage

Power PDF supports various popular cloud storage services including Evernote, Google Drive, and OneDrive. You can open and save files from and to these cloud services directly from this app. What surprised me is you can also open different files from multiple cloud services simultaneously.

PDF Portfolio

PDF Portfolio is a unique feature of Power PDF, which allows you to store related files in a single PDF. You can think it as a manageable archive of multiple files of different file types along with their metadata. What I liked is this container retains the original security settings of files and folders added in it, so you do not need to re-configure these settings for the included items.

Create PDF Portfolio in Power PDF

Forms in PDFs

Using its powerful form features, you can create and place forms inside PDFs, which you can email or share with other people. Its FormTyper tool can even convert non-fillable PDFs into fillable forms automatically. That is not all; you can also convert part or all of the form to other document formats.

Nuance Power PDF avails FormTyper

Among your forms, you can include multiple form elements including checkbox, radio, textbox, button, etc. Also, it lets you import and export data from and to supported file types, easing the process of form management.

Batch processing

Nuance Power PDF packs in multiple options and tools to promote batch processing, which is just helpful when you need to process lots of PDFs. Its batch converter lets you convert PDFs, and its sequencer allows running a set of commands on one or multiple PDF files. For example, using the sequencer, you can add watermark, search and redact, insert or delete pages, and do more.

Edit Sequence in Nuance Power PDF

Cons: What can still be improved?

In spite of all its goodness, Power PDF does have a room for improvement and below are my findings as well as few suggestions for its future versions.

Better installer

While installing the trial version of Power PDF Advanced, I noticed its package comes as a self-extracting zip, which extracts the installation files and launches its installer automatically. While installing the app, its installer failed with a message telling failure while installing “VC Runtime 2015”.

However, I was able to browse the installation files and install the 64-bit version myself without installing the failed runtime. I am not sure if it was required or if it failed for some issue on my system, but I expect the installer to provide error details and some possible solution as well. Also, if possible, it shall nevertheless install the app with a warning message about the failed runtime.

Nuance Power PDF Advanced's installer

Moreover, its installer’s interface can be improved to make the whole installation experience a breeze for its users. I think people will love a refined installer with better look & feel, a clean installation window with advanced options hidden behind a button, and an interactive and intelligent installer engine.

Tabbed interface

At the time of writing, I found Nuance Power PDF Advanced opens every file in a new instance or window. Though it is not an issue until I open multiple files at once yet a tabbed interface will make me love it even more. However, it is my personal preference, and also, it is worth noting that Microsoft Office 2016 apps like Word and Excel do not have a tabbed interface as well.

Power PDF is missing tabbed interface

Refined interface

Though Power PDF has a beautiful interface (even if compared to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC) yet I find there is a room for improvement here and there. Although these are not important enough to break your work process, I think you will appreciate these minor improvements in its interface.

For example, while using Dragon Notes, I found it has no start or stop buttons; it merely starts recording when you click on it and stops recording when you press the close button. With start and stop buttons (and a pause, if you ask me), I can dictate at my will and even take a break in between if needed.

Keyboard shortcuts

I could not help but notice that I was not able to use keyboard shortcuts in its advanced editor. For example, in its advanced editor, I tried using Ctrl + B to make some text bold, and to my surprise, it did not work until I clicked the bold button from the ribbon toolbar. I found few shortcuts work in review mode (like shortcuts to find, show ruler, etc.) but none works in the advanced editor.

PDF from a web page

Though Power PDF packs lots of options to create PDFs yet I miss a feature to generate a PDF from a web page, which is available in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. I find this feature helps create offline versions of websites, which prove helpful in many cases, say if you are travelling with no or a shaky web connection. But I found it has a corresponding browser plugin that does almost the same task.

How is Advanced over Standard?

Nuance Power PDF Advanced, which is specially built for businesses, is the more powerful version of Power PDF Standard. It packs in all the goodies from the standard version and offers some more to meet business needs.

1. Support for document management systems. Power PDF Advanced supports many well-known enterprise document management systems like SharePoint, OpenText eDOCS, HP WorkSite, Livelink, Worldox, and many more.

2. Redact feature. You can redact sensitive information from documents using the advanced version of Power PDF. It allows you to black out or white out, i.e., hide/delete some information while showing rest of it in any PDF.

Power PDF Advanced supports redact feature

3. Bates stamping. Power PDF Advanced supports labeling or numbering the PDFs using Bates stamping. It helps your business to mark and identify the PDFs with identification or copyright info like company name, logo, etc.

4. Watched folder. You can use a watched folder to create PDFs automatically with the advanced version of Power PDF. It allows you to place any file in the watched folder and it will auto-create a PDF for the file per settings.

Power PDF Advanced avails watched folder

Shall I opt for Nuance Power PDF?

Nuance Power PDF Advanced packs in many features for an affordable cost. Moreover, it comes for a one-time fee, which proves way more cheaper than a subscription. And if you are a home or a casual user, you can opt for its standard version to save even more for almost the same set of features.

That said, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC requires you to opt for a subscription (it is no longer available for a one-time fee) at 24.99 USD/month or 179.88 USD/year. However, Nuance Power PDF Advanced costs you a one-time fee of USD 149.99 and its standard version with fewer business features will cost just USD 99.99.

Last but not the least, let me remind you that Nuance Power PDF offers a 30-day trial for Advanced Version and 14 days for its Standard version. So you can see for yourself by opting for its trial version and trying out its powerful features.

The post Nuance Power PDF: Best Adobe Acrobat Alternative appeared first on Hongkiat.

Continue Reading

Talk in Bern, Switzerland: What are your Career Options as a Freelancer?

If you live in Switzerland and read this blog, it’s about time we meet. On the 25th of April, there will be a good opportunity to meet at a talk I’ll be giving in Bern, at the Urbanfish coworking space.

For 45 minutes, I will give you an overview of the career paths that you can consider when working as a freelancer, followed by a short Q&A session. After that, drinks will be served and fun can start.

The talk

This is a talk you should attend if you are working as a freelancer or if you consider freelancing. I’ve been freelancing for 15 years now and I have experimented most ways to earn an income doing gigs, so I’ll be comparing freelancing careers and explain who should consider what path. For example, people who hate taking risks should not go full-time freelancer, but consider working part-time as an employee while freelancing on the side.

For each career path, I’ll be giving marketing advice. After all, the ultimate goal of freelancing is to make enough money to keep on going. Marketing yourself as a freelancer isn’t like marketing as a design studio, I will get into the differences to help you better focus on what works.

So if you are in Switzerland, don’t hesitate and attend the talk, I’ll be very happy to meet you there. You can register on the Swiss Tech Talks website.

Continue Reading

Design deals for the week

Every week, we’ll give you an overview of the best deals for designers, make sure you don’t miss any by subscribing to our deals feed. You can also follow the recently launched website Type Deals if you are looking for free fonts or font deals.

EXCLUSIVE: 123 Best-Selling Fonts & 552 Premium Graphics and Logos

A Mighty Deals Exclusive!!! You won’t find this designer’s dream of a deal anywhere else on the Web. Packed with pure professional pop, this Mighty Bundle is overflowing with more than 120 fabulous fonts and over 550 graphics and logo templates. From badges to ornaments to illustrations, and everything from modern script to watercolor brush style fonts, this collection is all you’ll need to whip up your latest projects.

$15 instead of $1850 – Get it now!

250+ Royalty Free Stock Animation Video Assets

Create professional video animations in minutes with the VideoPlasty Stock Animation Bundle. With little to no experience required, with drag and drop simplicity! A huge library of more 250 premium quality stock animation video assets, basically our entire collection since launch!

$17 instead of $1730 – Get it now!

Love to craft bundle

The Love to Craft Bundle has arrived! It’s jam packed with popular Fonts, Monogram Frames, SVG’s cut files, Silhouettes, templates, digital papers and more.

$24 instead of $305 – Get it now!

Akwe Pro Font Family of 150+ Modern Typefaces

Professional. Versatile. Those are just two words to describe Akwe Pro. This professional, ultra versatile sans serif typeface sports a modern design with perfect legibility. Created for use in both short and long blocks of text, as well as headlines and user interfaces, this font family features more than 150 unique fonts that are just perfect for your latest branding challenge.

$24 instead of $299 – Get it now!

S&S Nickson Font Bundle of 15 Display, Script, Illustrations and More Typefaces

How would you like a collection of fonts that are strong enough to stand on their own, but creative enough to pair beautifully with one another? That’s exactly what you’ll get with the S&S Nickson Font Bundle Collection! Take home 15 different typefaces in a variety of creatively elegant styles including display fonts, script, illustrations, badges and more!

$12 instead of $25 – Get it now!

Continue Reading

DINA: the lamp you need to pay to get some light

When you stop for a moment and think about it for a second, technology is amazing. Take lamps for example, all you need is to hit a button and you get some light. It’s almost too simple and maybe the reason why we spend so much electricity unnecessarily.

This could have been the thought process behind the creation of DINA, a lamp that requires that you insert a coin before you can use it. Although you can get your money back easily, the fact that you need to pay when using the light is a recurring reminder that cool technology comes with an energy price.

This cool modern desk lamp was designed by MOAK, a design studio from Cali in Colombia who specializes in lighting and furniture.

Continue Reading

Brilliant Ways To Advertise Inspiration Resources Daily Work

To make your brand stand out while advertising, you need to find the perfect elements to include in your campaigns. As you can learn from AuthorityAdviser, every marketer wants to create eye-catching advertising that can be noticed by many people, and for this they will struggle to include the most interesting information that will get viewers thinking about the message hidden in the advert. There are brilliant ways you could create inspirational messages that will improve the impact of your advertising. Here are some of the tactics you could apply that are effective.

Trick the Eye with Juxtaposed Imagery

While creating an advertising campaign, one of the things you want to take care of is presentation. Crafting a perfect message includes using tools of communication like imagery and juxtaposition to help create visualization in the minds of your audience. The good thing about this technique is that it often results in adverts that are interesting and many people will want to get more information about what the presentation is all about. It is one of the best ways to stand out and capture the attention of the audience.

Proportion

Proportion is another aspect of advertising that you can use to create impactful ads. In this case, you try to make some parts of the advertisement louder and eye-catching in a manner that no one can ignore. However, using proportion may not always offer a beautiful outcome, but the advantage is that it creates an unusual image that will trigger the attention of the audience.

Use Exaggeration

You can also apply exaggeration in some concepts while advertising. The purpose of this is to ensure the advert does not look obvious and is unique in the eyes of the viewer. Exaggeration will help you to present a message in a manner that is different and intended to help the audience understand what you are communicating more profoundly.

Edit Photos to Add Clever Effects

Don’t always give people the obvious while presenting your message through photos. You can edit them to add special effects that create a dramatic result. Such messaging sticks better in the minds of the audience and could carry more impact if shared well. You should stretch your creativity, but also be careful not to reach limits where some people will be made to feel offended by the way you craft the message.

Play with Scale

Scale helps mostly when you want to show how convenient something can be to the user. It is a form of exaggeration that will help to show the audience how the item could be useful to them. It’s a subtle formula of saying a lot with little.

Marketing is a field filled with many possibilities and you should explore all of them to bring out the results you desire for your projects. There are many tactics you could employ to make your messages more impactful including using exaggeration and proportion to illustrate what you are saying. The idea is to be different and stand out from the competition. See some ideas you could employ above.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 9