Free alternatives for Microsoft Word, Photoshop and much more

For years, people have grumbled about the price of the software. Adobe products have always been expensive, and many customers were excited when the company moved to “Creative Cloud”, which meant a monthly or yearly subscription. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office is a staple for computers everywhere, but the price tag often irritates people who just want a decent word processor.

Fortunately, there are many free products, and there are plenty of reasons why people turn to them. Some people just can’t afford mainstream software, or they start new companies and do not want to invest in expensive programs that they can essentially get for free. Others are trying out new media for the first time, such as digital photography, audio or video, and they want to learn the basics for buying expensive packages.

Whatever the reason is, there is a wide range of software alternatives. In recent years, “alternative” programs usually means “bad.” You would end up with something buggy, watered down, and not compatible with other services. But that is no longer the case. Many programs

almost as sophisticated as their expensive inspiration, and some users might argue that this is the outdo supply.

Here is a list of expensive and popular programs, and their many free alternatives.

Microsoft Office

For decades, Microsoft Office has dominated homes and businesses all over the world. The Office suite is everything you need: a word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, and e-mail.

But a lot of customers, and college-bound students are surprised when their new Dell or HP doesn’t have Office installed. They have already paid the money for a new computer, and now they have to spend another $150 for the software to make it usable.

That’s where LibreOffice comes in. This free, open-source software has everything Microsoft Office has, plus some extras, such as templates and extensions. The word processor, called “Writer” can deal with Word documents, and the rest of the LibreOffice package, you can upload and change files from the associated Office programs.

Click here for more information about LibreOffice.

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Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign

If you are a professional designer, you’ve probably invested in a heavy-hitting software like InDesign, because that has become the standard in the industry. But if you are good at creating brochures or

newsletters, and you do not want to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, consider Scribus. The program gives you all types of easy-to-use design options, from business cards to magazines.

Click here to learn more about Scribus.

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook is very useful for electronic communication, and entire organizations are turning to this program to support their e-mail servers. But Mozilla’s Thunderbird is a free, powerful, lightweight e-mail service that rivals the Microsoft counterpart.

Click here for more information about Mozilla Thunderbird.

Quicken and Quickbooks Pro

Entrepreneurs are going to want the best accounting software. For a complex number to calculate, you want something powerful and intuitive, and Quicken and Quickbooks Pro are pretty much.

But for personal and business finances, you can enjoy AceMoney Lite, a free program that allows for the investment tracking, bill reminders, and general checkbook balancing. This program is designed for individual households, so that you don’t get bogged down in an obscure functions that you do not need. Click here to AceMoney Lite.

There is also GnuCash, which is great for home budgets, but can maintain a serious accounting. If you need a free program for invoicing, accounts receivable, payroll and shipping, GnuCash is equipped to deal with all this.


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 is no reason to have all those powerful features.

A free alternative is GIMP, which allows you to heavily edit photos, create original art, and even help with the design of websites. GIMP will never be as respected as Photoshop, but the software is very impressive and also complex.

If it is too complex, that is no problem. Click here for free photo editing software programs that are beginner-friendly.

Pro Tools

As more people take their own songs and podcasts, beginning artists all want to know: How do they edit their work to make it presentable? Most people are not satisfied place of raw sound files on 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 to make the transition to digital audio. It doesn’t have the options of Pro Tools, but you will learn the basics of setting levels and mixing tracks. For simple projects with a limited budget, Audacity is a great option.

Avid and adobe Premiere

What does “The King’s Speech,” “Bruce Almighty” and “the Road to Ruin” have in common? They were combined with a video editing program called Lightworks. Many Hollywood editors swear by, and though she used the professional edition, the basic version of Lightworks is available for free.

Considering how expensive video-editing software, Lightworks is a shocking alternative to the blockbuster programs such as Avid and adobe Premiere.

Click here for more information about Lightworks.

What are a number of other deals that you can find on the software requirements? Be sure to listen or to download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. Of the buy of an opinion to the digital world problems, click here for my free podcasts.

Learn about the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, newsletters and more, visit her website at

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