More features for editing PDF files finally arrive to Adobe Creative Cloud Express

In what is being boldly referred to as “the new way to PDF”, Adobe is treating users of Creative Cloud Express with new tools for working with the ubiquitous file type. When the cloud tool launched in December 2021, it included two 'quick actions' for creating and converting PDF files, but Adobe has announced three additional actions to help manage a PDF file.

One will allow you to edit the text within a PDF file, alongside the ability to resize and rotate images.

The remaining new actions will make it possible to easily combine multiple files into one document and also the ability to rearrange pages of an existing PDF file.

The ability to join several files into one is not only a great way to consolidate documents obtained from different sources, but also to ensure that different types of content are saved in a cross-platform, portable format.

While the page organization's quick action makes it possible to change the order in which pages appear in a document, it goes further than what you expect. The same quick actions also enable you to delete pages that are not needed and rotate any which are not correctly oriented. Adobe stresses that modifying PDFs in this way will not interfere with the formatting or design of the original files, so you can be sure that pages will look precisely as intended.

But wait, there's more

Creative Cloud Express PDF features

(Image credit: Adobe)

While both of these quick actions will be welcomed by Adobe Creative Cloud Express users, it is the third new addition that is likely to generate the most interest. The “Edit text & images” quick action does very much what you would expect from the name, making it possible to change and add text to existing PDFs.

It can also be used to rotate and resize images so there is no need to re-create pages from scratch if a minor tweak is needed.

Adobe states that the latest quick actions came as the result of listening to the feedback of creators. The company is keen to continue to give its users what they need and is looking for more suggestions via the Creative Cloud Express UserVoice page.

Via Adobe Blog

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New Elementor Cloud Website tool lets web creators build WordPress websites faster

Creating a WordPress website requires the technicality of finding a reliable web hosting provider, choosing a compatible domain name, and picking a powerful website builder. 

There is a steep learning curve for newbies and a tedious workflow even for veterans. Beyond the sheer technical challenge of getting started with a WordPress site, there are a number of financial factors that add a layer to this already complex process. 

Elementor Cloud Website has been launched specifically to alleviate this complex process.

With Elementor Cloud Website, Web Creators can use the all-in-one website builder tool to create websites faster and more efficiently using a single end-to-end solution that includes a code-free builder, first-class hosting, and the ability to connect domain names at no extra cost. 

Elementor Cloud Website features

Elementor now offers an all-in-one website builder kit (Image credit: Elementor)

Building something online isn’t all that different from the real world — to get started you need a plot of land, an address, and finally a house. Similarly, the virtual world requires a hosting provider, a domain name, and a website. Each of these parts can be purchased either individually or collectively.

Website building challenges

1. Choosing a WordPress hosting plan can be even more challenging to navigate with hidden costs, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) requirements (essential when conducting online transactions), storage limits, and other limitations. Not to mention deciding between managed hosting, shared hosting, and cloud hosting.

2. Registering a domain name is one of the hidden costs of website building. The cost fluctuates depending on the domain name's potential popularity. This is a vital part of any website set up as a name can affect branding, SEO, and how easily audiences can search and find you. It is important to note that some hosting providers even charge extra for connecting a custom domain name.

3. Finding the best platform to build your website is crucially the most important factor once visitors land on your website. There are many web creation platforms available, with the majority of them operating on their own closed CMS system. A closed CMS system often ties people into one product with accelerating price hikes annually. Leaving these systems usually means starting from scratch. Additionally, a closed system makes it nearly impossible to find enhancements from third parties.

Web creators demand an open-source ecosystem, with a secure and high-performing hosting service, where they can build websites freely. Elementor Cloud Website is exactly that. With secure built-in hosting,  Elementor Cloud Website empowers web creators to focus on what matters — creating your perfect website. 

An Elementor Cloud Website is 100% WordPress. You get seamless hosting, WordPress pre-installed, a world-class, secure platform, and all the storage you need, plus the choice to connect it to any external domain at no extra cost.

With Elementor Cloud Website, there's no additional installation required. You also have full ownership of your content. There are no hidden fees as the subscription is a fixed price charged annually, making Elementor Cloud Website an all-in-one solution for your web creation needs.

 Elementor Cloud Website as a solution

Elementor Cloud Website is for Web Creators who want to focus solely on creating a good website. An all-in-one solution, Elementor Cloud Website-built in features relieve web creators of the need to pursue third-party fundamental WordPress services. 

It is a cost-effective choice for anybody constructing websites for customers by revamping and facilitating the handoff process.

Web Creators can get started right away with an Elementor Cloud Website because it comes pre-installed with WordPress CMS, Elementor Pro features, and the Hello Theme. With the technical logistics covered by Elementor, Web Creators can simply add their personal touch and launch when ready.

This allows you to take control of your online presence with the option to connect your own domain at no additional cost, as well as the ability to easily export your website if you ever decide to switch services.

Elementor Cloud Websites have the highest security requirements and certifications available (SSL certification by DigiCert). You also have the option to import your own if you choose. Every Elementor Cloud Website is automatically backed up every 24 hours. Additionally, Elementor gives a unique code that may be used to access your website while it is being updated.

 What’s Included in the subscription? 

All features that are currently available in the Elementor Pro plugin such as its 100+ widgets, kits, and templates, are included in the Elementor Cloud Website subscription. In addition, you'll get round-the-clock support for everything in one place, whether it's issues with the Editor or technicalities about the Hosting. That means you'll only have to make one phone call to find solutions.

The fact that Elementor Cloud Website comes with built-in hosting from Google Cloud Platform means you enjoy the same top-of-the-line service Google uses. Additionally, utilizing CDN by Cloudflare's global network of secure servers means website visitors are automatically sent to the server that is nearest to them, delivering the best possible experience.

An Elementor Cloud Website may be built and published for US$ 99 per year. Since Elementor Cloud Website is hosted using Google Cloud Platform, it comes with its best-in-class features. It also includes a built-in free SSL from DigiCert and offers a generous 100K monthly visits, 20GB of storage, and a bandwidth of 100GB.

Create WordPress websites even faster

With Elementor Cloud Website, Web Creator's jobs will be streamlined, profitable, and more enjoyable as it will nullify (or at least mitigate) much of the bureaucratic and technical hassles that arise when creating WordPress websites.

Packed with all the power of Elementor Pro features, it offers Web Creators a visual, intuitive website building experience backed by over 100 powerful widgets. The accompanying cloud-based web hosting service will serve the needs of virtually any client as it runs on the universal Google Cloud Platform, including CDN by CloudFlare meaning which automatically optimizes every visitor experience. 

Providing built-in SSL from DigiCert, automatic and manual backup, as well as the option to connect to a custom domain at no extra cost, means this is now the most comprehensive web creation platform on WordPress, sans none.

Elementor Cloud Website is set to revolutionize how WordPress website projects are organized.  By streamlining their workflow, removing technical setup barriers, and simplifying hand-off to clients, Elementor now offers Web Creators a solution that lets them focus on what they do best: Create websites and design the future.

Elementor Cloud Website FAQs 

Who is Elementor Cloud Websites for?

Elementor Cloud Websites are great for Web Creators who want to focus on creating a professional website without the headaches that come with connecting each of its primary components. 

This all-in-one solution is incredibly cost-effective and provides everything you need in one spot. It is also an excellent choice for anybody constructing websites for customers because it facilitates the handoff process and makes it simple to maintain. 

What’s the difference between the Elementor Cloud Website and the Elementor Plugin?

There are two distinct approaches to building a website with Elementor.

1. Elementor Plugin: To take advantage of all of Elementor Pro’s features, you can download and install the Elementor plugin. You will also need to purchase hosting with a WordPress installation separately.

2. Elementor Cloud Website: This is a new way to create a website with an end-to-end solution that includes all of the benefits of Elementor Pro, as well as hosting and WordPress installation. The fast setup is a simpler experience that saves you time while creating a stunning website.

Where can I manage everything related to my website on Elementor?

Everything can be managed from the My Elementor dashboard. You can access your WordPress dashboard from there, as well as connect a custom domain, configure your primary domain, toggle Site Lock on and off, manage backups, restore the website if necessary, and do a variety of other useful tasks.

Where is Elementor Cloud Websites hosted?

Your website is fully hosted on Elementor servers in Belgium. We undertake all the heavy lifting surrounding server maintenance so you can focus on constructing your website.

CDN is a service we provide to ensure that your website is available and performing at its best. As a result, we provide you with a network of servers and data centers that is geographically scattered. The material is served from a CDN rather than the origin server, and if one location becomes unavailable, the content is served from another. 

Applications can withstand increased traffic levels when content is dispersed across several sites throughout the world. Website owners should be aware that various nations may have varying information security standards and server location legislation.

Are there any hidden fees?

No, there aren’t any extra charges. The subscription is a one-time fee that is charged annually and covers all of the aforementioned services.

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Dropbox and Microsoft warn macOS users of issues for future versions of cloud apps

While Dropbox is finishing up an update to its cloud service app for macOS that brings native Apple Silicon support, it's sent an email to users, warning them about potential issues if they don't update once a future version of macOS Monterey arrives.

But it turns out that it's not an isolated issue, with Microsoft also stating on a support page that not updating OneDrive on the Mac may bring problems in future macOS Monterey versions. As long as users download the rewritten Files-On-Demand app, there'll be no issue.

You've most likely used both apps before, whether that's at College or as a way to quickly download files from someone in a hurry. But this looks as though there's been a background change to macOS by Apple that both cloud apps use.

We've reached out to Apple to confirm what this change is, and why both Dropbox and Microsoft are recommending you about potential issues for future macOS versions.


Analysis: What's changed so drastically?

It's telling that another potential issue from Apple involves the cloud, after developers' ongoing frustrations with the 503 iCloud errors, that's causing failures in syncing content across devices.

In an email to users, Dropbox explained, “Some applications on your Mac may have problems opening Dropbox files while they are online only. You will still be able to open Dropbox files by double-clicking them in Finder”.

While you can download the beta version of Dropbox for Apple Silicon, this still means that you may encounter issues when macOS 12.3 arrives.

macOS 12.2 is currently available for developers and users who are signed up to the beta program, so there may be a forthcoming change in 12.3 that Apple has told both Microsoft and Dropbox, so that the cloud apps can work on another update to make sure that there are no further issues.

For now, we recommend backing up your files if you use one or both of these apps, and to make sure that you have the latest updates to both for when macOS 12.3 does arrive to your Mac.

Via 9To5Mac

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Cloud giant Blackbaud acquires social SaaS company Everfi for $750 million

Cloud software giant Blackbaud has announced its intent to acquire “impact-as-a-service” company Everfi for $ 750 million. 

Based in Washington, DC, Everfi offers cloud-based online learning tools to private, public, and social sector organisations. Alongside this, Everfi works with a range of groups on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental goals. 

The synergies between the two businesses are clear: Blackbaud, working with everyone from non-profits to K-12 schools to faith communities and arts organisations, gains another feather in its cap, one that will generate around $ 120 million in revenue during 2022, rising 20% over 2021, and reaches 45 million learners globally. 

Fiscally smart, socially good

The deal makes a lot of sense. Both companies offer each other extra reach and generate revenue that will help them grow symbiotically. 

“As companies continue to invest further in ESG and CSR programs to both give back and meet regulatory demands, they need a partner who can help connect their philanthropic goals to meaningful social impact opportunities,” said Blackbaud CEO Mike Gianoni. “Blackbaud and Everfi will work together to realize a shared vision of measurable social impact through world-class technology.” 

Under the terms, Blackbaud will pay $ 450 million in cash and a further $ 300 million in common stock. According to Crunchbase, Everfi has raised over $ 250 million. 

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Exclusive: Has Google won the cloud storage wars?

As we all take a much-needed break over the Christmas period, we can start to reflect on what a year this has been – and how we can hope next year is better. One company that hasn't had a bad 2021 is Google and, specifically, Drive. 

An exclusive TechRadar Pro poll carried out by OnePulse shows that Google Drive is by far and away the most popular cloud storage provider going, used by around 44.1% of respondents. 

While this might not come as a surprise, there is a lot of competition in the cloud storage market at the moment. Apple, for example, has been expanding the scope of iCloud this year, introducing a bunch of privacy-focused features. Dropbox and OneDrive, too, are long-time competitors biting at Drive's heels. 

One provider to rule them all 

But the extent of the domination is impressive and worth pondering for a while, driven at least initially by Google's willingness to give away generous services for free, alongside the overall ecosystem lock-in for its services and Android.

According to OnePulse, around 44% of respondents use Google Drive's free or paid services, followed by iCloud (31.2% across free and paid), OneDrive (11.2% across free and paid), Dropbox (6.8% across free and paid), and then everyone else makes up the remaining 6.8%. 

So not that surprising overall but you can clearly see the influence of Apple's iPhone and Mac customer base electing to use the tightly integrated iCloud services. 

Digging deeper, the poll found most people (48.7%) have been using their service for between one and five years, with the rest either under a year (16.3%) or over five years (35%). 

In terms of storage, around 55.4% use between 1GB and 100GB, 30.8% have no idea how much storage is left, and 13.8% use between 101GB and 1TB or more. 

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Adobe announces Creative Cloud Express, a hint towards its freemium future?

If you're keen to use Adobe's powerful creative tools, but are less excited about their high prices, the company's new Creative Cloud Express app could be for you. Effectively a lite version of its software suite, the app is free to use on mobile devices or via web browser, with extra features costing $ 9.99 / £10.10 / AU$ 14.29 a month.

Creative Cloud Express is designed for students, small business owners, or for those who want to turn a hobby into a career. Instead of a collection of apps, here you download just one app that gives you features to edit photos, trim videos and create GIFs, while making content that’s relevant to your customers.

It’s the first freemium product from Adobe, and with Christmas fast approaching, it could be a great entry point for those who want to try out Adobe’s products on their new devices.

Who would want this?

Available from today, you can download Creative Cloud Express for free, from the Microsoft store, Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The free plan includes:

  • Create on both web and mobile.
  • Thousands of templates, design assets, and Adobe Fonts.
  • A limited collection of royalty-free Adobe Stock free collection photos.
  • Basic editing and photo effects including removing backgrounds and animations.
  • 2GB of storage.

You only need to sign up and you can use the above features straight away. It’s a new angle that Adobe is offering here, as you would have had to sign up for a free trial for Creative Cloud at least, to see if apps such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro were suited to your needs.

The paid plan includes a 3-month free trial with more images and templates to use, alongside the ability to export a project into PDF and other useful features. You can sign up and get a feel for whether Express or the full Creative Cloud package is best for you.

Its press release also stated that an Enterprise edition of Express is coming in 2022, which would help businesses offer the package to its employees in one go.


Analysis: A hint towards the future? 

So far the new offering from Adobe looks impressive, with its demos showing both tablets and web browsers using Express. With many users going through their favored web browser to use certain web apps, it could show what the future holds for Adobe and Creative Cloud going forward.

Express looks to be the start of this, and if its features expand to those that are inspired by Adobe’s other apps such as Illustrator and XD, this new package is an enticing and exciting start.

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AWS Among 12 Cloud Services Affected by Flaws in Eltima SDK

Researchers have found a number of high-security vulnerabilities in third-party driver software – bugs that originated in a library created by network virtualization firm Eltima – that leave about a dozen cloud services used by millions of users worldwide open to privilege-escalation attacks. That includes Amazon WorkSpaces, Accops and NoMachine, among others: all apps that […]
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