Head blueLogoText.gif NCF HelpWiki
Help | StartPage

Best Of Free Windows Software

From Support
Revision as of 12:55, 14 February 2018 by Fn352 (talk | contribs) (Avidemux)
Jump to: navigation, search

Since 2008 NCF has been giving out copies of the Best Of Free Windows Software DVD to help members learn about some of the great free software available and let them give it a try. The DVD is mostly aimed at users on dial-up for whom downloading large application files is difficult.

With fewer NCF members now using dial-up and most with unlimited DSL service it makes sense for people to just the software download directly. An additional factor is that few laptops or even desktop computers come with optical drives that can use CDs or DVDs these days.

This page explains some of the most popular free software for Windows and gives links to to download the applications directly.

Audacity

  • What it is: audio recorder and editor
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V2+
  • Why you want it: It enables you to record any sound that can be fed into your sound card, as a digital file, microphone or analog input, edit and save in a wide variety of formats.
  • Caveats: Only works if you have a sound card installed. Windows Vista and newer are supported. For Windows 10 you will need to have proper drivers to run your audio devices.
  • There is a beginners user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

Avidemux

  • What it is: video editor
  • Licence: GNU General Public License
  • Why you want it: A simple linear editor that enables you to edit videos, splice clips together, add transitions and save as ".avi" or ".mpeg" files for uploading to You Tube or other video hosting services. Compared to more complex non-linear video editors that require high-powered computers to run, Avidemux will run on much older hardware.
  • Caveats: Starting with version 2.6.10 Avidemux will no longer run on Windows XP. There is documentation available on how to use this application but it is a bit incomplete. There is a far better manual on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

ClamWin

  • What it is: Anti-virus scanner
  • Licence: GNU General Public License
  • Why you want it: Free software virus scanner.
  • Caveats: ClamWin is pretty good and improving all the time, but unless you are using MS Outlook it does not do e-mail scanning. It can be set to update itself daily and also to do a complete scan each day. It is suggested that it be used as a secondary or back-up virus scanner, perhaps using a freeware scanner like AVG Free as your primary virus protection.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

FileZilla

  • What it is: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V2
  • Why you want it: If you design websites then this FTP client will enable you to upload them and manage your uploaded files.
  • Caveats: If you don't create websites then you won't need this. Windows XP and newer only are supported.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

Firefox

  • What it is: web browser and PDF reader
  • Licence: Mozilla Public License
  • Why you want it: The current version of the best free software browser available today. Provides far better security than using Internet Explorer, is W3C standards compliant and displays websites better. It includes a built-in PDF reader as well.
  • Caveats: Windows XP and newer only are supported. There is a beginners user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

GIMP

  • What it is: image editor
  • Licence: GNU Lesser General Public License V3+ and GNU General Public License V3+
  • Why you want it: Great free image editing application, similar to Photoshop, but has many better features.
  • Caveats: GIMP requires Windows 2000 or newer; it will not work on Windows 9x/ME and NT 4. The interface is a bit different from Photoshop, but works well. They have a very complete user manual on-line.
  • There is a beginners user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

InfraRecorder

Inkscape

jEdit

KeyPass

LibreOffice

  • What it is: complete office suite, including word processor and desktop publisher, spreadsheet, database, slide show, vector drawing application and math formula writer.
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V3, with new contributions under the Mozilla Public License
  • Why you want it: Free complete office suite that is better than MS Office and is derived from OpenOffice.org. Has some unique features, such as it can save documents as PDFs. You can save in native open formats or in MS Office formats such as ".doc" and ".xls".
  • Caveats: The minimum system requirements are:
    • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 or newer
    • Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended)
    • 256 Mb RAM (512 Mb RAM recommended)
    • Up to 1.5 Gb available hard disk space
    • 1024x768 resolution (higher resolution recommended), with at least 256 colours
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

Stellarium

Sumatra

Thunderbird

VLC

  • What it is: media player.
  • Licence: GNU General Public License V2+ (player) and GNU Lesser General Public License V2.1+ (engine)
  • Why you want it: VLC is the best media player available and will play pretty much every type of audio and movie file. It has a simple interface, useful features like a graphic equalizer and is very easy to use.
  • Caveats: None.
  • There is a beginner's user guide on FLOSS Manuals.
  • Wikipedia page
  • Application home website
  • Direct link to Windows download page

External links