4. Instead of: Microsoft Word
After years of using OpenOffice.org, I've become a big fan of AbiWord. Whichever you choose, though, I doubt you'll find there's much--if any--learning curve.
5. Instead of: Microsoft Powerpoint
OpenOffice.org and KOffice.org both deliver once again with excellent alternatives to Microsoft Office, which is priced starting at $279.99.
6. Instead of: Microsoft Excel
Gnumeric can read files saved with other spreadsheets. It also offers a customizable feel that can minimize the transition from proprietary software.
7. Instead of: Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress
InDesign at $699 and Quark at $799 are excellent candidates for free, open source replacements.
8. Instead of: Adobe Illustrator
Replace a $599 package of Illustrator, and you'll have significant extra funds to spend on something else.
9. Instead of: Dreamweaver
Adobe Dreamweaver may be popular, but--at $399--it's also an expensive proposition, particularly in light of the many free alternatives available. My favorites are Nvu and KompoZer.
10. Instead of: QuickBooks