New tools in Canva
Design platform Canva has recently jumped on the generative AI bandwagon, allowing users to create images from text. They are not always perfect (the prompt for this one was "corgi in a tweed suit"), plus square seems to be the only available format, but you can have a play with different styles and spruce up your articles or social media with some original visuals. Quick tip - American English will get you further when writing the prompts.
Speaking of social media, you can also try the new AI-powered Magic Design tool (Pro account) that turns your text and images into customised templates like social cards. This is a really handy and time-saving tool for any social campaign.
More interesting for journalists, Canva is also rolling out some visual storytelling tools from data viz platform Flourish which it acquired two years ago. From September, you will be able to create interactive data visualisation charts like treemaps and packed circle charts. You just need to select a Canva template and input your dataset by uploading a spreadsheet, connecting to a live source or integrating with the API.
This is a clever online tool to edit and convert PDFs and solve other problems like removing background from images, generate text and images with an AI-powered tool or turn a video into GIF. Although not aimed specifically at journalists, having an online toolbox for PDFs, images, videos and various files under one roof can save you a lot of time and effort. A bonus - it is completely free and it claims that both processed and unprocessed files are deleted after one hour.
This is a new no-code tool that wants to make it easier to produce high-quality visual journalism for newsrooms that do not have in-house developers. You can create text, images, videos, maps, 3D elements or embed charts and graphs. What is nice is that it can be used for single stories so newsrooms do not have to swap their existing systems. The tool is only a few months old but it has already been adopted by newsrooms like Swiss state media RSI.ch that produced a piece for the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
This is a kind of Swiss Army knife for image, audio and video editing. Motionbox features tools like music visualiser, video cropper, GIF speed changer, video meme maker and slideshow maker. You can also turn podcasts to videos, add text and subtitles to videos, and watermark your work. There is a limited free plan to try out the tool and if you like it, you can sign up for a paid-for version which is fairly reasonably priced.