Web tools

nai_logo As the text below stresses, using this tool will not get rid of online advertising, but these online advertisers will no longer track what you're doing as as to be able to deliver you "personalized" ads. (At least, that's what they claim it does.)

The NAI Opt-out Tool was developed in conjunction with our members for the express purpose of allowing consumers to "opt out" of the behavioral advertising delivered by our member companies.

Using the Tool below, you can examine your computer to identify those member companies that have placed an advertising cookie file on your computer.

To opt out of an NAI member's behavioral advertising program, simply check the box that corresponds to the company from which you wish to opt out. Alternatively, you can check the box labeled "Select All" and each member's opt-out box will be checked for you. Next click the "Submit" button. The Tool will automatically replace the specified advertising cookie(s) and verify your opt-out status.

Opting out of a network does not mean you will no longer receive online advertising. It does mean that the network from which you opted out will no longer deliver ads tailored to your Web preferences and usage patterns.

image You're at a conference or other event with a large number of people and you want the ability to chat with other attendees without interrupting the speaker. This is known as a "backcahnnel". However, setting up a chat room on the fly has always been the easiest thing to do, until now. Head of over to Today'sMeet, name your room, give it an expiration date and get started. (Password protected rooms will be available eventually.) Your room will be given it's own URL which you can then distribute to other participants. Everyone just goes to that URL and starts chatting.

Are you looking to give a "different" kind of presentation? I give presentations for a living so I'm always looking to see how it can be done in a way to catch the audience's attention. After playing with Prezi, I'm going to have to give this a try for real in the future.

The idea behind Prezi is to layout all of your content; text, images, videos, etc. onto a grid and then set a path from one item to the next. When you play back your presentation it's done as a video in which your presentation flows and zooms from one item to the next in your pre-set path. You have full control to move forward and back within your presentation along with zooming in and out. If you're not understanding my description, just give it a try with the simple one I created on Library 2.0. After clicking "Open", use the controls in the lower-right corner to control the presentation.


I will admit that unlike many of the Web tools I cover on this blog, there is a significant learning curve to this one. If you're going to try this one out, be sure to watch at least the first five-minute training video before attempting to create your own presentation.

Crap, I missed it logo Just last night my fianc? said to me that she had to work harder to keep up with her favorite authors since earlier in the day we'd stopped by the local Barnes & Noble and she'd been surprised when two of her favorite authors had new books out that she knew nothing about. In response I told her about Crap, I missed it! Choose from authors, bands, TV shows, concerts, movies, and more, do your search, enter your e-mail address and the confirm it. From now on you'll receive an e-mail (or RSS feed) informing you of new releases, events, etc. based on your search. This way, you'll never say, "Crap, I missed it!" ever again.

imageimageSometimes, choosing a typeface for your Web page or document isn't the easiest thing to do. Ok, make that most of the time. Sometimes you've limited your choices down to a few but you're not sure which will work the best. In this case, head on over to Typetester.org. Enter your sample text (or use the default Latin) then choose up to three different fonts from the basic list of common fonts or from a list of fonts installed on your computer. Set your typographic options (size, leading, teaching, alignment, word space, decoration, color, and background) and you'll automatically get a page full of comparisons including regular, italic, bold, uppercase, small caps and several others.

If you're new to the basics of typography, be sure to check out the links listed under the recourses tab. There's a bunch of great Web pages you can get to from there that will tell you just about everything you need to know about typography. 

vyew-screenshot-2I've not had a chance to test this out myself yet but it comes highly recommended by people I trust. Vyew is a free online conferencing system that includes many of the standard features including chat, desktop sharing, VOIP, Web-cam support and drawing tools. Just sign up for an account, create a meeting and send your participants the URL for your conference. You can even test out the service by starting a guest session that doesn't require an account. Vyew is completely Web-based and requires no downloads by either you or your participants. Also, if you'd like a little instruction first, it looks like the company offers weekly online sessions on how to use the system.

logo_pdftoword_beta2 Wish that PDF was a Word document? Been looking for something that will do the conversion but doesn't cost an arm & a leg? Try the online tool PDFtoWord. Just browse for your file, choose to output to .DOC or .RTF and enter your e-mail address. Just a few minutes after you click Convert, you'll receive your converted file via e-mail. All for free.

Got a PDF you need to make some changes to? Check out PDF Hammer:

PDFHammer Use PDF Hammer to quickly and easily edit your PDF files online without installing a thing! Simply upload PDF files to PDF Hammer via your web browser, perform your edits, and then save the files back to your computer. The online editor allows you to view the pages of your PDF files as you edit them. The free PDF editor lets you:

  • Combine PDF. Create single polished PDF files by merging multiple files
  • Edit PDF pages. Quickly rearrange, reorder and delete the pages from
    existing PDF files.
  • Secure PDF. Protect the contents of PDF files with password-based
  • Update PDF metadata. Make PDF files more useful and usable by setting
    the document information (metadata) fields, including author, title, subject
    and keywords.

PDF Hammer is 100% free and brought to you by the team behind Nitro PDF Professional -- the award-winning PDF editor and true Acrobat alternative.

I've tested it out and it works! You can't edit the actual content but it'll do most of the things you'll need to do to someone else's PDF. This is going into my permanent online tools arsenal.