Best free open source programs for Windows, commercial software alternatives

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Lluís Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
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A few days I received a fair criticism from a reader because I was talking about programmi open source as of free programs while it is more correct to say free. Free means that you can use it for free but also that it does not belong to any commercial company and that its development has no economic or profitable ends. While Windows is not a free operating system, it has become standard simply because it comes pre-installed on most new computers (and also because it is an objectively good product). Fortunately, the open source movement and the internet have led lots of free programs, indeed free, can be used both at home and in the company, without having to pay anything.

Sometimes it is thought that "free" is synonymous with poor quality but in the IT field, those who think that an open source program is inferior to a paid one only because it is free, has not understood or does not want to understand anything. There are many open source software options today and, often, they are alternatives to expensive Windows programs.
In this article I have summarized the 15 most important free and free applications (for Windows Linux and Mac) that are alternatives to replace commercial and professional programs developed only for Windows.


1) Microsoft Office may be replaced by LibreOffice.
LibreOffice was founded by former OpenOffice developers because they were concerned that Oracle would turn it into a commercial product. In April of this year, Oracle announced that it would cease commercial development of OpenOffice and make it a fully open source project. However, LibreOffice today has become the first alternative for both OpenOffice and Microsoft Office. LibreOffice comes with a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet calculator (Calc), a presentation maker (Impress), a database manager (Base), and more. Any file created with LibreOffice is compatible with standard Microsoft Office files even if it is not the default format.

About LibreOffice and OpenOffice, freely downloadable for Windows Linux and Mac, I spoke in two separate articles.

2) Microsoft Project it is an Office program not included in the main suite and to be purchased separately. Project is used to create gantt of projects to follow their progress.
Le alternative open source di Microsoft Project they are mainly 2 and work identically, without any lack. As written in an article on alternative programs to Microsoft Project, is Ganttproject.

3) The third important Office program is Microsoft Visio, widely used by engineers and designers, to create drawings, diagrams and flowcharts. There are several alternative programs to Visio to create flow charts but the most important is DIA which is an open source replica of Visio.
To create UML (Unified Modeling Language) drawings or diagrams, there are other alternative programs to Visio such as StarUML

4) To finish the Office suite we also mention Microsoft Publisher, the editorial printing program (DTP).
Publisher has a single popular open source alternative in the Scribus program, which I talked about in the post about free programs to replace Publisher.

5) Changing the subject but remaining in the workplace and professional we see to replace even the very expensive AutoCad di Autodesk.
Le alternative free ad Autocad are LibreCad for Cad drawing e BRL-CAD which has been in development for 20 years.

6) Dreamviewer is the most famous commercial software for creating websites from your computer with a WYSIWYG interface (What You See Is What You Get "what you see is what you get" or "you get what you see").
You can create websites by designing them on the computer with the Kompozer open source program to create web pages (heir of the deceased NVU) to which I dedicated an article some time ago.

7) Alternative to Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator programs è Inkscape, the vector graphics editor that uses the standard SVG file format. Inkscape is used to create vector images and is powerful and at the same time simple to use and intuitive (although there is a little to study for the amount of options.

Another free open source alternative for CorelDraw is Opendraw included in the LibreOffice OpenOffice or Draw package.

8) GIMP replaces Adobe Photoshop.
GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a graphics editor for all computers, which can serve both as a simple drawing program, as well as professional photo editing, image processing or image format conversion software.
The GimpShop program is the Photoshop clone project created to make Gimp easier.

Another option for Windows users is Paint.NET, which is easier to use than GIMP, especially good if you don't use advanced features.

9) Blender is the opensource program that replaces 3ds Max from Autodesk.
Blender is used to draw polygonal and animated 3D graphics.
The program is not easy to use but on the official website there are many tutorials, guides and videos created with this open source software so powerful that it is not believed to be free.

10 ) 7-Zip best alternative to Winrar and Winzip.
Most computers contain commercial WinZip and WinRar programs in expired or pirated versions. Why pirate a program if there is a free and free version, completely identical?
7Zip is the best program to open, extract and create file, Rar and Zip archives.
Altra open source alternative a WinZip e WinRar è PeaZip which supports all types of existing archives.

11 ) Black is the most famous commercial program for burning CDs and DVDs.
There are several free programs to burn and copy CDs and DVDs but if you are looking for an alternative open source software to Nero you have to download and install Infra Recorder which exists only for Windows.

12 ) Adobe Premiere Pro is the most powerful program ever that allows you to make professional video montages.
Alternative open source programs may be less advanced but only if cinematic professionalism is required.
To make video edits the best open source program è Shotcut, very modern and powerful.

13 ) Adobe Audition it is not the best program for making changes and manipulations to audio files; you can in fact use the popular open source program Audacity.
Alternatively, there is also the program Amarok, a powerful open source audio editing tool where you can play or edit audio tracks and also explore new music from different genres. Amarok is more like an iTunes alternative available for Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms.

15) Free and open source alternative to the best backup program Acronis True Image (or also a Symantec Norton Ghost) Is CloneZilla to create disk images, which I talked about some time ago.

16 ) Mozilla Thunderbird is an alternative e-mail client to the program Microsoft Outlook (incluso in Office) e Windows Live Mail. Unfortunately, it still isn't an alternative for those who depend on contact data synchronization or for mobile devices (like Outlook).

17) There are many free Antivirus, even of excellent level but if you are looking for a open source and free antivirus, you have to download ClamWin which is the real free alternative to various antivirus Symantec, McAfee, Eset, Kaspersky and so on.

18 ) Free and open source alternatives for Adobe Creative programs (Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, Lightroom, Audition, Indesign, Animate) are listed in another article.

19 ) Keepass is the best open source program to securely manage passwords.

20 ) Other popular open source PC programs are:
VLC Media Player, to watch all kinds of videos on PC.
TOR Web Browser, for anonymous browsing.
Bleach Bit, alternativa a Ccleaner.
PDFCreator, to create PDF.
NixNote, for taking notes.

In another article I wrote some specialized sites to look for free alternative programs to the most famous software and gods best sites with free and open source programs to download.

Best free open source programs for Windows, commercial software alternatives


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