Investintech Facebook Giveaway Shuts Down

Today, due to changes in Facebook’s user policy, our Able2Doc Facebook giveaway has been shut down.

We’re sad to see it go, but we hope you all enjoyed it while it lasted. We appreciate all the comments and feedback you’ve given us in the past. It was great to see everyone participating and spreading the word about it.

As alternatives to the Facebook free giveaway, you can always download the Able2Doc 7-day free trial or use our free Facebook conversion apps for a quick PDF to Word conversion.

And since this was a double giveaway with Sonic up for grabs as well, you can download the Sonic PDF Creator 30-day free trial as an alternative to the freebie version.

Lastly, for those who entered in the Sonic portion of the giveaway and haven’t claimed their PIN yet, we’ll still honour those entries as your PINs are still ready and waiting for you.

To receive your free Sonic license, just follow us on Twitter and tweet out to us so we can track you down. We can then send you a Direct Message on Twitter with your Sonic PIN.

Though this giveaway is ending, we’re always looking to set other promotions up.  So keep checking in to our streams for updates on the latest giveaway.

Thank you to everyone for your support!

7 Google Drive Tips To Make Online Research Easier

When you need to learn about something, the Internet is the number one resource to scout out.  And given the amount of information you can find online, no matter what area, industry, or topic you’re researching,  a huge chunk of your time will be spent recording the research you find.

As you can imagine, combined with the web pages you have to go through, this can slow you dow big time. That’s why some users like to keep their workflow online with tools like Google Drive.  But if you’re using Google Drive to quickly record data, then your biggest challenge lies in working between your research and how you use Google Drive itself.

If you’re writing for an online publication, are drafting a research paper, or are reporting on industry trends, accessing the information you record is perhaps one of your main priorities. To make things easier, try a few of the Google Drive tips below to keep your research going smoothly.

1.  Perform A Google Drive Search from Chrome

Because you can need a document at any given time, it’s important to be able to pull up the right file in an instant. Google Drive Quick Search makes it easy to start a search through your Drive directly from the Chrome URL address bar. Type “drive” in the address bar, your keywords and query, then hit enter. You’ll be directed to your drive with the related results ready and waiting for you to sift through.

2. Save Your Text to Google Drive

Save Text to Google Drive does exactly what its name implies. This Chrome extension makes it super easy to export heavily dense text webpage research from the web directly to your Google Drive.

Save text to Google Drive

Once installed, simply highlight the text you’re interested in, activate the extension by clicking on it in your toolbar or extension menu, and click on the Save button. The extension will create a document with the text in the Drive you’re logged into.

3. Quickly Access Folders and Create Google Docs From Your Toolbar

To access folders and separate files instantly, simply bookmark the URL of the file or document on your toolbar.  Open the file or folder in Google Drive and bookmark the URL you see in the address bar. Admittedly, this is a simple tip, but extremely handy if you like keeping things at your fingertips.

Creating Google Docs Instantly

Moreover, this trick also works with creating new documents. Because the functionality is web based, you can bookmark the command URL to your browser. Copy these links to your Chrome toolbar by right clicking on it and selecting Add page… or via the Bookmark Manager:

 4. Search Your Google Drive Directly From Gmail

Don’t waste time going back and forth between your Google Drive and Gmail.  You can do both at the same time by adding the Apps Search for Gmail extension. This is handy for when you’re either exchanging emails regarding your research project or are working with colleagues.

It will let you extend your search to Google Docs to fish out the files you’re looking for.  You can add the extension by going into Settings>Labs from your Gmail.  Then select to enable it for your account. Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button at the bottom.

5. Edit PDF Text Uploaded To Google Drive

Because a lot of research comes in the PDF format, you may want to pay attention to the “Convert Text from Uploaded PDF and image files” setting. Have you been ignoring it? Well, it’s time to start paying attention to it. This setting allows you to convert PDF to text which you can then  edit within a Google Doc.

Convert text from PDF

Go to the gear icon Google Drive and access the drop down menu. Then go to Upload Settings. From there, put a check mark in the “Convert Text from Uploaded PDF and image files”  option by clicking on it.  Select the Document language. You can have this permanently turned on, but if you want to use it selectively, keep the “Confirm settings before each upload” option checked.

6.  Save Images Directly to Google Drive

Who doesn’t clip web pages when researching online? Good news is you can do it with Google Drive. Save to Google Drive can serve as a simple web clipping tool, allowing you to instantly save content from the web to a Google Drive folder. Once you have it installed,  go to the page you’re interested in and activate it by clicking on its button to the right of the address bar.  It will then save your content in .PNG format.

7. Access Google Drive And Other Google Services From Chrome

Here’s a great Chrome extension for pushing your research productivity to the limits. Black Menu for Google allows you to access files on your Drive and to your other Google services in a side bar right within Chrome.

Perfect for Google addicts with research spread across different services. You can get the Black Menu extension from the Chrome Web Store.

Got any Google Drive tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Add them in the comments below and let us know how they helped you deal with your web research.


Happy Thanksgiving From!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and we wanted to wish all of our Canadian users and followers a safe and Happy Thanksgiving holiday this year!

A lot of you may be prepping and planning for the holiday as we speak.  A major holiday celebration like Thanksgiving is never complete without the festive dinner, family, and the all the fix-ins.   So if you’re scrounging around for some last minute ideas to make your get together extra special this year, we’ve scouted out a few Pinterest boards where you can get some fabulous ideas and tips for your Thanksgiving soiree.

Thanksgiving: Freebies:  Getting your party together with a few things you can put together for free is always a good way to go. You’ll find some nifty DIY projects for table settings, menu planning, and more.

Thanksgiving, Fall & Autumn Party Ideas: Give your Thanksgiving party a fun atmosphere. Here, you’ll find pins with a lot of tips that not only cover Thanksgiving, but Fall party themes as well.

 Thanksgiving Pinterest Boards

Thanksgiving (Craft and Food): For anyone who loves giving a personal touch to his or her dinner, this board offers up a carefully curated collection of  tutorials and links on handy crafts and food preparation to get things just right.

Thanksgiving (Recipes, tips, inspiration, décor): Check out this board for suggestions on getting everyone into the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Only four Pinterest boards may seem like a short list given the size of the network, but if you’ve ever browsed a single board, then you know that one board can leave you with a ton of ideas to explore and keep you busy!

To preserve your Thanksgiving memories, check out our post on 4 Digitally Creative Ways To Share Your Thanksgiving Memories for a few ideas. They’ll help you get your family photos and videos in top form for posting online and sharing with the entire family.

5 Great Ways To Convert Text To Speech

​Audio Headphones Unplugged

As the school year starts up, you’re probably just getting yourself oriented with your classes and gauging the size of the workload you’ll have to deal with.

It may be daunting after a long lazy summer, but anticipating the amount of reading you have ahead of you is a good idea. It’s never fun to all of a sudden find yourself lagging behind. You need to get ahead of the curve way before the heavy reading assignments even start. And we have a perfect tip for that: to help lighten the reading load use a convert text to speech tool.

Converting speech to text can come in handy in so many ways.  It can free you up to get away from the screen for a bit or help you learn a language.  Also, students with disabilities can use text to speech tools to easily access digital content. Text to speech tools are perfect if you need help with proofreading, catching up on your notes, or getting some eBook reading done.

So here’s a look at 5 different ways to listen to your reading assignments with these free easy to use text to speech tools.

Listen to MP3 Files of Your Text with SpokenText

For those who need to catch up on reading while commuting, running errands, working out or multi-tasking, SpokenText is a straightforward online text to audio converter. SpokenText allows you to convert any number of files such as PDF, DOC, PPT, TXT, HTML and Emails to an MP3 file. Once you have your MP3 files are created, you can then download and put them onto a mobile device. You’ll be able to take your readings with you.

Have Online Documents Read Out Loud To You

Have a document online that needs to be proofread? If the file is shared on the web with a file sharing or collaboration tool like Google Docs, then you can have the text read to you directly from within your browser. You can listen for grammatical errors while working with other things on your computer–all without missing a beat.

SpeakIt! is available for Chrome and allows you to read text displayed in the browser. For FireFox, there’s Text to Voice which can also let you download your text in MP3 format.  And Opera users can try VozMe. Once any of these extensions are installed, just highlight the text you want read out to you and activate the plugin.

Convert Text From Multiple Sources With NaturalReaders

NaturalReaders is a popular text to speech tool whose online version comes with basic yet advanced features to get the job done. Click on Add Documents and you can start building and accessing your list of files from popular services like Dropbox, Google Docs, and more. Handy for students working on public computers or using Cloud services.

Get Social With Your Text On YAKiToMe!

People who are used to in browser music players will love the look and feel of YAKiToMe! It’s a free online text to speech service and network rolled into one where you can share your audio books and files with other YAKiToMe user groups. If you’re lucky, you may find a user with an audio version of a book you’re looking for.

Text to Speech Tool

YAKiToMe! lets you convert text from .doc, .pdf, .txt, .html, .xml, and email to speech. Choose a reader, a reading speed and an input method for uploading text: Field (copy-paste text directly), File, RSS, and Email. Then click on the Run Text To Speech button.

Convert PDF Text To Speech with

PDF2Speech is exactly what its name suggests. It’s a free online PDF to speech converter. This is perfect for professional and academic uses where PDF reading is a common task. On-screen PDF reading can sometimes be a chore, but listening to one doesn’t have to be.

Convert PDF to Audio

To use this tool, simply upload your PDF files to the site and hit the Convert button. This free service allows you to convert up to 20 pages which will allow you to get a good chunk of your readings checked off your list.

There are many simple yet powerful text to speech freeware tools to suit any occasion or need. The good news is that it doesn’t require a lot of money or any bloated text to speech download.

7 Enlightening TED Talk Videos Every College Student Should Watch

Summer’s almost over and it’s time to get yourself into school-mode. But with the last few reserved for back- to-school shopping and last minute registration issues, you may be too swamped to think of anything else outside of school supplies and dorm room arrangements.

And we aren’t talking about the usual back-to-school preparations. We’re talking about your life as a student. Are you emotionally and mentally prepared? Can you juggle your schedule effectively, go beyond your comfort zone, adjust to different learning styles? How do you plan on staying inspired?

Because there’s no way you can buy the help and advice you’ll need at a sale, we put together a small round up of 7 timeless and highly relevant TED Talks you’ll definitely want to check out.

These will provide you with some enlightening and trustworthy guidance in your personal development as a student.

Explore Different Things And Try Something New 

College is the place to try new clubs and sports, but getting out there might have you avoiding the sign up lines. If you need a little push, look no further than this TED Talk by Google Engineer, Matt Cutts. He shares his experience on trying something new for 30 days including writing a novel, taking a picture each day, and even hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro! What will you try?

Be Prepared For The Future Job Market

As a student, you may be worrying about economic challenges waiting for you when you’re academic career is over. What will the job market have in store for you? Watch economist Andrew McAffee as he explores what future jobs will look like and offers insight on how to prepare for a highly technical job market.

Learn How To Beat Procrastination

Procrastination. It’s inevitable. The good news is that you can overcome it. Vik Nithy, co-founder of 3 companies at age 20, offers a highly motivating TEDxYouth Talk on mentally beating procrastination with a few actionable steps you can easily put into play.

Improve The Way You Communicate With Others

From speaking up in class to delivering a presentation, most of us dread talking out loud and attracting the spotlight. However, sound consultant, Julian Treasure, makes it less scary with his break down on how and by what means we use our voice to talk to each other. Watch and get some pointers on how to feel at ease before you speak.

How Will You Make Important Decisions?

In college, you’ll be faced with choices that will have an impact on your future, and whether you like it or not, the sole responsibility of those decisions will lie on you. So how do you know what the right decisions are? There’s no definite answer, but Dan Gilbert, Harvard psychologist and Happiness Expert, offers an insightful discussion on the reasons why and how we make the choices we do.

Get The 411 Behind Online Learning

Before you join up for an online class, you’ll want to hear what Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc., has to say. He shares his experience on approaching and implementing effective online teaching strategies that are aimed at engaging students and enhancing the way they’re being educated. This is a great talk you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re in an online class with a thousand other students.

Stay Passionate About What You Love To Do

Amidst assignments and the daily study grind, it’s easy to lose sight of your passions. Whether you’re at school for sports, music, science, or writing, you’re there because it’s what you want to do with your life.  When you forget that, listen to some words of inspiration from the author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert. She discusses her successes and failures, giving viewers advice on how to continue doing what they love to do.