Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Quickly Turn Articles Into Videos With InVideo

This morning I was browsing Product Hunt when I saw a new product that was promoting itself as a way to create "insanely good social videos." The service is called InVideo. While it is fairly easy to use to make audio slideshow-style videos, that's not why I'm mentioning it today. The reason I'm mentioning it is that contains a feature to convert written articles into videos.

InVideo offers lots of tools and templates for making audio slideshow videos to share on social media and elsewhere. One of those tools lets you copy the text of an article into a template then have InVideo automatically select images to match the text of the article. A similar InVideo template lets you enter the URL of an article and have a video made with images that are automatically selected to make the text of the article. In both cases parts of the text appear on the slides with the images. And in both cases you can manually override the automatic image selections.

When your InVideo video is complete you can download it for free with a watermark applied to it. Alternatively, you can invite other people to join InVideo and the watermark is removed. Or you can purchase an InVideo subscription to have all watermarks removed.

Applications for Education
InVideo probably isn't a tool that students can use because it does require a phone number in order to sign up. That said, it could be useful for teachers who want to provide their students with a visual summary of the key points of a long passage of text.

Convert PDF to Word and More

I don't get nearly as many requests for help with file conversion as I did 5-10 years ago, but I still do get them from time to time. Last week I was asked for help converting a PDF into Word for editing. My immediate suggestion was to try the conversion tool available from Online Convert.

Online Convert offers a dozen tools for converting all kinds of files from one format to another. That includes a free tool for converting PDFs into Word documents. To use the PDF to Word conversion tool simply upload your PDF or import it from your Dropbox account. Once your PDF is uploaded just hit the "start conversion" button and your file will be converted. You can wait on the Online Convert screen for the file conversion process to happen or you can enter your email address to be notified when your converted file is ready to download.

In addition to the PDF to Word conversion tool, Online Convert offers tools for converting video files, audio files, image files, ebook files, and a handful of other file types.

Online Convert also offers a Chrome extension and a Firefox add-on for converting files without having to visit the Online Convert homepage in a new tab or window.

Applications for Education
Thanks to services like Google Docs and Microsoft 365 we no longer have the problem of years ago when students would email assignment submissions as file attachments that couldn't be read because they were in the wrong file format. Today, the utility of a tool like Online Convert is in converting our older documents and files into formats that we can edit and update. The last person who asked me about converting PDF to Word was trying to do so that he could update some older handouts that he still wanted to use with students.