Free desktop tools that aren't OpenOffice

These free and open source applications put power into the hands of users without taking from their wallets

By Serdar Yegulalp, InfoWorld |  Software, foss, productivity apps

Most everyone who's had some experience with free open source software has learned about the OpenOffice.org suite of productivity programs: a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database, and drawing tool that provide a good deal of the functionality of their commercial counterparts. For users who need powerful productivity tools but don't require a high degree of compatibility with Microsoft-formatted files, OpenOffice.org is almost a no-brainer.

But apart from OpenOffice.org, what else is there? I dug into my own program folders and searched the far corners of the Web to come up with a cache of free and open source productivity applications for a range of desktop productivity tasks: word processing, page layout, graphics editing, illustration, task management, and more. Some of these tools are worthy substitutes for expensive commercial counterparts. All of them are available for Windows, and nearly all are available for Linux and Mac OS X as well.

[ Read about InfoWorld's top picks among open source applications, platforms, and tools: InfoWorld's Bossie Awards 2010: The best open source software of the year. | Track the latest trends in open source with InfoWorld's Open Sources blog and Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]

Free productivity software is hard to get right, which explains why for every one program I included here, three others didn't make the cut. We still have no viable free open source video-editing solution yet, for instance -- although a number of projects, like VideoLAN Movie Creator, are in the works. But the roster of available free programs has grown remarkably in the last few years alone, and new apps of all kinds continue to pop up.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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