Free alternatives to Microsoft Word, Photoshop, and more
For decades, Microsoft Office has dominated homes and businesses around the world.
Outlook is very handy for electronic communication, and entire organizations turn to this program to support their email servers. But Mozilla’s Thunderbird is a free, powerful, lightweight email service that easily rivals its Microsoft counterpart. Read more about Mozilla Thunderbird.
Quicken and Quickbooks Pro
Business owners are going to want the best accounting software. For complex number crunching, you’ll want something powerful and intuitive, and Quicken and Quickbooks Pro are pretty much that.
Business owners use Quicken and Quickbooks for complex number crunching.
But for personal finances, you may enjoy AceMoney Lite, a free program that handles investment tracking, bill reminders, and general checkbook balancing. This program is designed for individual households, so you don’t get bogged down in abstruse functions you don’t need. Click here to get AceMoney Lite.
There’s also GnuCash, which is great for home budgets but can maintain serious bookkeeping as well. If you need a free program for invoicing, accounts receivable, payroll and shipping, GnuCash is equipped to tackle all of these as well.
Let’s face it: Photoshop is an overwhelming program, and unless you’re a graphics pro who is really particular about your photos, or you want to manipulate your images in clever ways, there’s no reason to have all those powerful features.
A free alternative is GIMP, which enables you to heavily edit photos, create original artwork, and even help design websites. GIMP will never be as respected as Photoshop, but the software is very impressive and similarly complex.
If it’s too complex, that’s not a problem. More on free photo editors that are beginner-friendly.
As more people record their own songs and podcasts, fledgling recording artists all want to know: How do they edit their work to make it presentable? Most people aren’t satisfied to post raw sound files to the internet, but Pro Tools and Audition are expensive.
The reigning champion, after all these years, is still Audacity. This free, open-source software has helped many people make the transition into digital audio. It doesn’t have nearly the options of Pro Tools, but you’ll learn the basics of setting levels and mixing tracks. For simple projects with strict budgets, Audacity is a great option.
Avid and Premiere
n this film publicity image released by The Weinstein Company, Colin Firth portrays King George VI in "The King's Speech."
What do “The King’s Speech,” “Bruce Almighty,” and “Road to Perdition” have in common? They were pieced together with a video editing program called Lightworks. Many Hollywood editors swear by it, and although they used the professional edition, the basic version of Lightworks is available for free.
Considering how expensive video editing software can get, Lightworks is a shocking alternative to blockbuster programs like Avid or Premiere. Read more about Lightworks.
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