Top Quality Free Software

Fantastic free and open source software


Open Source software which you might find useful – Post Updated December 2018

There is some very good software out there, Microsoft Office or Photoshop, for example. These are industry standard applications which you would likely use if you are in the workplace or a specialist. However, there are free alternatives for those of us who might be occasional users or who prefer to join the open source movement. You will often see software presented as free when in fact it is designed to extract money from you. You may find your version is a time trial or a cut down version with key features which you have to pay for. Here I have compiled a list of software which, for the most part, is completely free and Open Source. You might think that Open Source software might not be good software. However, the model of world wide communities of volunteers collaboratively creating applications has actually proven to be highly effective. Many open source applications are, in fact, as good if not better than their proprietary counterparts. Let me know what you think about these powerful free tools for getting the job done.

Office Suite – Libre Office https://www.libreoffice.org/ Includes word processor, spreadheet, database, presentation, charts, formula editor, templates and more – it can also open and edit Microsoft office documents and save in pdf format

e-mail client – Thunderbird https://www.thunderbird.net/en-GB/ Access all your email accounts via one interface

Twitter client – Tweeten https://tweetenapp.com/ Manage many Twitter accounts through one application 

Sound editing – Audacity http://www.audacityteam.org/home/ Very powerful and fairly easy to use

Video editing – VSDC http://www.videosoftdev.com/ Full featured video editing plus conversion and screen recording tools

Diagramming tool – Dia http://dia-installer.de/ Great for process flowcharts, project plans, technical diagramming

Mind Mapping tool – Edraw https://www.edrawsoft.com/mindmap/ Get your creative ideas down as they emerge – excellent for brainstorming sessions

High End Image Editing – Gimp https://www.gimp.org/ Very powerful but takes time and effort to learn

Lighter Image editing – Paint.net https://www.getpaint.net/download.html Still pretty powerful image editing application, will meet most people’s needs

Photo Editing – Darktable https://www.darktable.org/ Digital darkroom

Project Management – Gantt Project http://www.ganttproject.biz/  Classic desktop project management tool – can open Microsoft Project files

Desktop Publishing – Scribus https://www.scribus.net/ Good for creating newsletters, flyers and brochures

Accounting/Financial Software – GNUCash https://www.gnucash.org/ Desktop accounting very useful for self employed and small businesses

Media Player – Pot Player https://potplayer.daum.net/ 
Plays a wide range of video and audio files without need to install extra codecs

Media Player – VLC – https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.en-GB.html
General purpose media player runs on Windows, Mac, Unix, Linux, Android

Desktop Planetarium – Stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/ 
Explore the night sky, control time, view the stars from different locations

Text & Code Editor – Notepad++ https://notepad-plus-plus.org/ Great as a general purpose basic text and code editor 

Code Editor – Brackets http://brackets.io/ Great code editor focussing on web development

Code Editor – Sublime Text https://www.sublimetext.com/ Great code editor that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux

Database – SQL Server Express – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-editions-express Free desktop version of the powerful Microsoft SQL Server database system – can be used with Visual Studio Development environment and controlled through the Microsoft Management Console  

Database – MySQL https://www.mysql.com/downloads/  Open source relational database management system

Database Management Console – MySQL Workbench  https://www.mysql.com/products/workbench/  Great tool for managing MySql databases

Open Source Web Development Environment – WAMP http://www.wampserver.com/en/ Windows based open source development environment essential for hosting WordPress, Moodle, Drupal, Joomla and many other web applications – there are versions for other operating systems such as LAMP (Linux) and XAMPP (Mac OS)

FTP Client – Cyberduck – http://download.cnet.com/Cyberduck-for-Windows/3000-18500_4-75623481.html
Great for uploading/downloading files to hosted webspace/webservers

PC Anti-Virus – Windows Defender – https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/14210/security-essentials-download
Comes with Windows 10, can be installed on earlier versions of Windows

Anti- Spy/Adware– Malwarebytes and Malwarebytes AdwCleaner – https://www.malwarebytes.com/products/
Great for cleaning up an infected PC