Open source software are the ones, which available at free of cost that can be used and modified by the user. In this age of Internet, there are numerous best open source software available for many purposes like documentation, video and photo editing, computation, etc.
The growth of free and open source software (FOSS) has been fantastic for students as well as professionals who are looking for free software for their usage.
Once, FOSS used to be thought of as the inferior alternative to paid software applications. However, times have changed. Now. Businesses are encouraged to use as much FOSS as possible, both to reduce costs and also be able to easily build on existing software.
Open source applications are maintained and updated by a community user base of individuals and businesses. Anyone can suggest changes to those apps and if the changes are approved by the owner, they will be included in the newer version of the product.
Many open source software applications are now rival to paid software and sometimes they outstrip these products in their functions.
Using free and open source software is ethical and avoids piracy. While plenty of people use pirated versions of MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc., it means that the versions will probably be old of buggy, you can’t update them, and worst of all, you leave yourself open to malware.
Among many available open source software, here is a list of 20 best open source software that can be used for many daily uses, especially more useful for students and professionals.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a great one when it comes to free image editing software and is an excellent alternative to the very expensive Adobe Photoshop suite. GIMP contains most of the things you will find in paid image editors. This includes photo retouching, complete artwork creation, and more.
Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.
Download here: www.gimp.org
Inscape, unlike GIMP, works with vector graphics. Vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas and look exactly the same when resized - whether they are 1cm x 1cm or 100cm x 100cm. This is why graphic designers, web designers, and animators usually work with vector graphics. It also means that you can use Inkscape to create pieces of artwork to hang on you wall, posters for school assignments, or even start to create images for your own brand.
Inkscape is good Open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw.
Download here: inkscape.org
Scribus is a powerful desktop publishing software for creating and editing complex and colorful page layouts like brochures, newsletters, and posters, which are often needed in assignments. This makes I excellent for creating presentations as well as professional business documents.
If you are struggling to use MS Word or PowerPoint to create one of these types of projects, then you should try Scribus. It is a good alternative to Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress.
Download here: www.scribus.net
All around the world, Microsoft Office is the famous software for word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. However, it is quite costly to purchase, even on a student account. As an alternative one can use LibreOffice suite, which replicates almost all the features of desktop word, Excel, and PowerPoint and is compatible with all MS Office file formats.
Download here: www.libreoffice.org
Also Read: 17 Equations that changes the world
Are you tired of looking for synonyms and thesaurus for a word always searching in Google? If it so, Wordweb comes as a handy one that quickly provides you the definition, example usage, synonyms, ad antonyms of any given word, as well as readable and audible pronunciations.
The application also gives you the option to quickly cross-reference Wikipedia and other online dictionary references. You can also find this as a mobile App in Play Store.
Download here: wordweb.info
If you need to create 3D computer graphics or models, then Blender is the toolset you are looking for. Using Blender, it’s possible to create animations, models for 3D printing, 3D interactive elements for websites, and video games with Blender’s 3D video game engine.
This open source software has everything you need to produce 3D graphics creations including modeling, rigging, texturing, motion tracking and video tracking.
It is the best alternative to Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max.
Download here: www.blender.org
While many other free notetaking tools like Evernote, Google Keep are there, Simplenote has some features that make it really stand out. Simplenote is an easy way to keep notes, lists and ideas, which is super quick and easy and works everywhere in all your devices.
One of the best features of Simplenote is its revision control system, which means that you can go back and look at previous versions of your notes that you’ve since changes. It is an alternative you Microsoft One Note, Google Keep, Evernote.
Download here: simplenote.com
Working with PDF files can be a pain as they are very difficult to edit. PDFsam Basic allows you to do some things with PDF files that are impossible to do just with the usual Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can use PDFsam Basic to split PDF files into a separate PDF for each page, merge two different PDF documents, rotate PDFs or just pick out particular pages from a PDF file.
Download here: pdfsam.org/download-pdfsam-basic/
R is a programming language that has been created with a specific goal in mind: statistics and graphics creation and manipulation. This makes it perfect for those times when you are supposed to be using software like SPSS. SPSS and other statistical programs are usually extremely expensive, but R is free.
Of course, you won’t have to code complete statistics programs from scratch. There are plenty of R packages available that can help you along the way. Try a course on Coursera or Udemy on R to get started with this language. R is best Open source alternative you IBM SPSS, Sigmaplot, and Orange.
Also Read: Best Programming Languages to Learn
IF you are working with graphical geography data such as maps, then QSIS is a vital tool. This software allows you to work with geospatial data which allows you to see the map and then add or change specific data. QGIS supports both vector and raster layers and works with much other geographic data software. It is the best alternative to Esri ArcGIS, Surfer.
Download here: qgis.org/en/site/index.html
yEd Graph Editor
yEd Graph Editor is a powerful yet simple and intuitive software that helps users to create good visually appealing diagrams. One can create flow charts, network topographies, top-down charts, UML diagrams, and more.
The software has a simple drag and drop interface that can automatically organize the parts into clean positions, so you don’t have to spend hours trying to make everything look perfect. You can even import data from Excel and output to a number of formats including PDF, GIF, JPG, etc.
It is best Open source alternative to Lucidchart, draw.io, Dia.
Download here: www.yworks.com/products/yed
If you need to plot 2D or 3D data, then Veusz is the easy tool that allows you to do it for free. The tool features a beautiful and simple to use interface, where you can make manual adjustments on any graph.
The plots that you can create can be point or line, plus 2D data can be modeled as bar graphs, box plots, contour plots and more, and are available in either black and white or color. It is a best alternative to SigmaPlot, JMP, gnuplot.
Download here : veusz.github.io/
Image analysis is a complex activity. However, ImageJ is a free tool that can ease our work. This software is used by scientific researchers and students to analyse, process, edit, save and print images. It supports all image formats.
There are also many useful plugins developed by ImageJ community available for better analysis. It is found to be an altrrnative to Image-Pro.
Download here : imagej.net
LyX is a word-processing software application that is based on LaTeX, which is widely used by scientists, mathematicians and anyone looking to produce journal paper, these, etc. But instead famous MS-Word why one would use LaTeX.
MS-word is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. This means that you type on the page and you use available formatting options and that’s how the document will look. You only accessing the front-end of the application. LaTeX is What You See Is What You Mean (WYSIWYM) editor. That means that you will see bits of code written in the document, like the heading section, title section and other formatting options. You don’t need to do more manual work while editing using this.
LyX is an editor that is used to produce LaTeX documents more easily, without having to write all thise extra lines of code.
Download here : www.lyx.org
We always do grammar mistakes while typing documents. Eventhough, we have spellcheck and grammar check options available in MS-word, they are not so advanced that can check perfectly.
Grammarly is a great tool with some advanced features. It highlights possible spelling and grammar mistakes in your text. It is available as Desktop app, web app, Google Chrome Plugin and even as mobile app. It is best alternative to Ginger.
Download here: www.grammarly.com/
When you are doing research assignments, it’s always important to quote your sources, and remember where they came from. It is easy to do from a website, but when you refer a PDF or Word document it is bit difficult to consolidate those resources.
You can use Mendeley to store and organize those documents. You can access those from anywhere and from any devices. It is like a document store for you studies and you can link to them in your assignments. Mendeley has a full-text search so that it is easy to find your documents. You can also look for carrier growth opportunities in their site.
Download : www.mendeley.com
Also Read: 10 Free Mobile Applications for Researchers
Caliber is the best free tool for you to manage your e-books. Calibre is simple to use and has a range of different functions. You can convert from one format to anaother, create libraries of e-books, edit your e-books also.
There’s searching and sorting options available and you can add tags that help you to organize your collection further. You can also download books to your Kindle or e-reader.
Download here : calibre-ebook.com
Windows screenshot can be really useful and simple to take screenshots. But one can’t take a picture of a whole webpage (scrolling down) using it.
PicPick is the screenshot tool that can help you do scrolling screenshotting and more. Picpick offers screen capture of the whole screen, a particular program, or part of the screen that you select and you can edit those screenshots as well. It is a good alternative to Greenshot.
Download here: picpick.app
Cloud storage is a necessity these days when you have many important files to save. You can backup your files into a cloud that can be used any time after.
Google Drive is the best free cloud storage provider in which you can store any kind of files like documents, photos and videos. You can download them in any devices like mobiles or laptops whenever and wherever you want.
Google gives everyone 15GB of free storage and unlimited storage for photos of maximum quality 16MP and videos of max quality 1080p under Google photos. Google drive is good alterntives to Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.
Site : www.google.com/drive/
Ccleaner is a open source software that makes your computer free from unwanted files. It will delete temporary file, cleans browser history, cookies, file fragments and other unneeded application data.
Use Ccleaner every so ofteh to give your computer a tune up. Once your computer s cleaned you may find that it runs faster than before and you’ve freed up a lot of memory
Download here : www.ccleaner.com