Sometimes, the best things in life are free, and that's especially true when it comes too software. Between the explosion of freeware for the desktop and open source programs, there's a whole world of excellent free apps out there. Here are some of our favourite free downloads for Windows users, whether you're running Windows 8, Windows 7 or XP.
It does everything Microsoft Office can do & its FREE! You might think it cant match Microsoft's for functionality, but OpenOffice can prove you wrong. Instead of Word theres Writer, Need Excel try Calc. There's a PowerPoint equivalent too; Impress is great for creating multimedia presentations. Most importantly everything is compatible with Microsoft Office document formats, so you can save as Ms.doc & take it to work or school & vice-versa. I've been using it for over 10 years without any problems & never need to buy office again!.
Want a powerful image editor but cant justify the expense of Adobe Photoshop? TryGIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Is a free open-source graphics editing software packed with all the features of photoshop. Such as the ability to edit on layers and masks, GIMP offers a powerful set of editing and manipulation tools for amateur and budding pros alike. Plugins and scripting support allow for automation of repetitive tasks and the ability to work with animation. Its massively popular with thousands of tutorials on youtube to get you started!
Google Chrome offers tabbed browsing, excellent privacy controls and the opportunity to install different extensions to boost its functionality. My personally favourite being Add blocker plus. Also Google's web browser has the Adobe Flash Player as standard so no more pesky update me! Every single day ... Usefully, if you have a Google account, you can sync your activity and preferences across multiple devices, giving you access to your bookmarks & history anywhere. So if your reading this on Internet explorer or Firefox install chrome!
Give your computer a spring clean with CCleaner , using a simple interface, it can be set up to find unnecessary files and unused applications and with a nod from you delete them. ThUs freeing up space on your PC, It can also clean up your registry, and lessen the load on your system. Simple but great tool.
VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player shames Windows Media Player it might not look as pretty, but it can play any video or audio format that you care to throw at it - DivX, H.264. FLAC, ALAC and many many without the need to download extra codecs. With an array of settings to optimize playback, tweak sound quality, and set up multi-video 'playlists', it's the ultimate media player every PC should have.
If you work with PDF documents on a regular basis, you're going to need to open and print PDFs. FoxIT is the best way to do that. Its faster than Adobe & dosnt require constant updates. It's also more than just a reader. If PDFs have been created with interactive forms or require digital signatures, FoxIT enables you to add information to them quickly and easily. It also supports annotations & edits to PDF documents.