As the majority of photos are now digital, there are some great free photo editing programs emerging too. Probably all you'll need.
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It's the most straightforward program to use for basic image cropping and editing, and will optimise images for quick loading on the web too. In short, if you only need the basics, Paint. Advanced image editing. If you're looking for a free Photoshop equivalent, oddly named Gimp is probably the closest you'll get. Now in version 2. Fun with vectors.
It's made for building "scalable vector graphics" — the ones which remain perfectly sharp no matter how much you zoom in or out — making it ideal for serious design work. There are plenty of video tutorials to set you on the right track. Once you've used it a few times, you'll be impressing everybody with your designs.
Free for students. Students can get AutoDesk's computer-aided design software free for three years simply by registering. These are the most common computer-aided design packages used for everything from mechanical engineering design to urban planning. You get full functionality for three years, provided you're not using the software for commercial purposes.
Any student or teacher with an ac. It doesn't matter if you are part-time or about to graduate. Please note, some of this software will come with built-in features to prevent it being used commercially, such as a stamp on any printouts. There are a few free options out there for photo storage and basic editing online. Although you must be internet-connected to use them, operating via the web means you can store your work online and easily collaborate with others — plus there's no need to install anything.
Feature-rich photo manager. It makes navigating ill-organised photos scattered around your computer more straightforward.
It also offers unlimited photo storage for free with a some limitations. Google Photos. Photo organiser.
It's very similar to Google Photos above, though without the editing features. Which you choose is likely to depend mostly on whether you've a Hotmail or Gmail account, and which of the tech behemoths you like most. Desktop publishing software is often pricey, but there are some free programs you can download that can provide a professional touch without having to shell out a fortune.
Easy to use - but no longer supported. But you can still download the 'Starter Edition' for free. That's good news, because it's one of the most user-friendly desktop-publishing programs we've come across, with professional-looking results.
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More complex and powerful. If that means nothing to you, but you want to make a professional magazine, then download this and read some of the detailed free tutorials. Also available for Linux. As well as a free sound recording program to banish Windows' Sound Recorder forever, there are ways to organise your MP3 collection, an alternative media player which'll play almost any format, and a clever converter which lets you play any video you like on your iPhone or iPod, if you've still got one of those A basic music-making studio.
You'll need a Mac running OS X Skip its advanced mode and you've a fairly foolproof tool which seldom wastes your CDs. Pro wave editing. It lets you record audio, add effects, and even create your own soundscapes from scratch. Organise pesky unknown MP3s. Sidestep iTunes for MP3s. The sheer number of features iTunes now offers means there are more streamlined music library options available, especially for Windows machines, on which iTunes is especially slow.
You can use iMovie to create trailers and short films from your own video clips, on your Mac, iPhone or iPad.
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It's filled with all sorts of fun things like filters, sound effects and voice-overs, and special effects such as green-screen backdrops and split screen. You'll need a Mac running macOS Plays everything. It seems no matter how esoteric a music or video format you throw at it is, it's got it covered.
Plus, nowadays it's using more and more hardware acceleration to make proceedings more snappy too. Upgrade Quicktime on your Mac. Like it or not, if you watch video content online, you may come across Windows Media. For video on mobile devices.
How can it be free?
DVD to MP4 converter. It's better than Videora in its support for the likes of Dolby Digital and multi-track audio, and also runs really rather fast. There are also free audio tools available to use online, if you prefer not have to download and install programs — ideal if you only need something for occasional use. Identifies songs. Upload a sample or link to a web-hosted snippet of a song 15 seconds will do , and AudioTag will identify it. As well as those you'd expect, like Skype, there are a number of communication tools which bring all your disparate instant messaging accounts together, and some sharing apps too.
Skype barely needs inclusion here as you probably already have it installed. There are other voice over internet protocol VoIP services available which are dedicated to internet calling, and there are certainly cheaper ones for calling landlines and mobiles. It looks like any number of the IM clients you're probably familiar with, and has a straightforward interface, plus all manner of handy features, like instant URL-shortening for Twitter users. It supports Google Hangouts and Twitter among others. It's also highly customisable with add-ons aplenty.
This list covers the best all-rounders, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of sites out there with vast listings of free programs. Beware though, there are a lot of fakes out there which can download malware and viruses onto your device.
Always triple check before downloading. These sites may help too:. Just go to its site and tick the boxes for the software you want, and it'll install as many or as few as you choose.
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Everything is neatly categorised, so it's a good place to get the basics together quickly. You just tell it which commercial program you want, and it'll list free programs which are most similar to it. Cnet's Download. It reviews bigger programs and charts the most popular, so it's well worth a browse. It also promises no pop-ups when you visit the site. Free Office Software.