10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

Summary: Running your business on a tight budget? Here are 10 free software programs that will help you get the most productivity out of your office - and you can use them at home.

TOPICS: Microsoft

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  • Looking to run a business on a shoestring? One way to start is to cut back on software costs and use free solutions. They may not have the speed or features of their more expensive competition but they work.

    For more check out this blog - 10 freeware to boost office productivity - by

    LibreOffice is a free open source alternative to Microsoft's Office suite and Oracle's free OpenOffice. In fact, LibreOffice is a recent spinoff of OpenOffice. The set of included tools should be familiar to Office users - with versions of  Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Visio--known as Writer, Calc, Impress, Base and Draw.

  • Mozilla.org, best known for its Firefox browser, also makes a free, open-source email client - Thunderbird. If you use Firefox, many of Thunderbird's features should look familiar including tabbed email, a one-click address book, and add-ons to customize email clients.

Topic: Microsoft

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  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    Didn't know about Peazip, but it looks like a decent little utility. I would add 7-Zip and jZip since they are both freeware and very easy to use as well.
    • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

      @statuskwo5 Not only that, but 7zip supports more archive formats than any other program I've seen on Windows that's free, and more than most that are paid.
      • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

        Unfortuntely it does not support the new and stupid zipx format created by WinZip. At least not the last one I tried!
      • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

        PeaZip is a swiss army knife, it supports a few more archive formats than 7-Zip (PAQ, ARC...), and it also features functions like archive conversion, secure file deletion, calculate a lot of hash/checksums etc.

        ZIPX is supported by latest releases of 7-Zip as well as of PeaZip
  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    And add Photoscape. This too is freeware, simple to use and yet a very powerful photo imaging software. I agree with you Statuskwo, in fact I would probably place 7 zip as number 1.
  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    I am more than a little surprised to see both Dropbox and Foxit included - the former for it's history of security issues and the latter for it's continuing inclusion of bloatware/nagware.
    For the record, I have no useful alternatives to recommend for either use case. I use the parent Adobe products outright only because the software is provided for me by the company by whom I am currently employed. For collaborative file sharing, the same company uses multiple (largely unsatisfactory and incomplete) solutions such as Sharepoint (also not a fan) with other plug-ins or services.
    • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

      @NoCubes4Me Foxits kind of a sad story. Early in the piece it was a spectactular piece of software that did everything the adobe pdf reader did but was lightweight as hell, and you could tell it to not embed in the browser thus protecting your web browser from the ever present pdf lockups. But then one day they just started to get evil and include crapware. Now nobody wants a bar of them.
      • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

        @shayne.oneill True, but if you do the advanced installation instead of express, you don't get the crap. The program by itself is still lightweight and damn fast.
  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    Heres my list of apps:
    Client side:
    Firefox, Open office, Thunderbird, Turbocash.
    Server side:
    Zimbra (email server), Alfresco (Document control). Hire a geek to set these up for you.
    • Spoken like a true geek...


      <i>Hire a geek to set these up for you. </i>

      Yep, because any old geek is going to know how your business works and is going to set up and maintain your business systems according to how your business needs them.

      Is that the same reason why you prescribe a document control system designed for SMEs but a client-side accounting system designed for mom-and-pop operations?
      • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

        @daftkey LOL face
  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    Instead of Foxit, I recommend PDF-XChange Viewer, free for all. Very light weight, runs portable or installed, allows annotations. It's a teaser product for the "pro" version that allows editing too, but no ads or cripple-ware for viewing.
  • Screen shot of Thunderbird is about 5 years old

    Thunderbird hasn't looked like that in quite some time.
    Nick Rogers
  • Thoughts

    -LibreOffice is free, but honestly I'd still go with Microsoft Office if you can afford it. Office 2010 still stands out as the best.

    -Honestly, I've gone to gmail for email. I use Outlook for IMAP support for offline use. No, HTML 5 isn't quite there yet - it seems to be a bit buggy. As far as freeware goes, I generally used Pegasus Mail.

    -I definitely use and recommend Dropbox :).

    -Forget Pidgin. The thing is designed by devs who hate having a community. And it's often had issues for me. I eventually switched to Trillian.

    -Foxit is okay.

    -I don't really have a need for taking a lot of notes, especially since I finished college. I preferred OneNote while in college, however. It made a lot more sense IMO, since it much more closely mimicked the way paper notebooks work.

    -I don't use Infranview. I have Windows Live Photo Gallery for basic touchups, and the GIMP for heavy duty editing.

    -I very much prefer 7zip to everything else out there. Never heard of PeaZip, though, and it appears to support 7z archives. Might give it a try.

    -Ugh, TweetDeck was unstable for me. Switched to MetroTwit.

    -I use Firefox as my primary browser.
  • My list

    I agree with many of the pieces; I use Libreoffice, Tbird, Firefox, Foxit, since they started. (Actually I started with Ooffice, but moved to Libreoffice after noticing how they're actually working on making it better.)

    For Infraview, I never thought it was worth the 1 & 0s it's written on. Try XnView instead. Far superior, and cross-platform.

    I agree with others; Pidgin should be abandoned. The biggest grip (make that 2) is #1 it's impossible to install on linux, unless you use a repository, and #2 you can't back up and restore settings. So my choice now? Try 'Instantbird' from Mozilla. Easy to install even with linux, and backing up settings is as simple as copying the profile directory and restoring it. Much like FF, and Tbird is.

    Yes, GIMP is invaluable to me. Everyone says that it's hard to use. But so is Photoshop, until you learn it.

    One little piece of advice on dropbox. Do not EVER put anything on the 'cloud' without encrypting it. Use Truecrypt to encrypt the file, and copy the encrypted file to the cloud. Security or not, SOMEONE will try to peek into your files, even if it's advertisers.
  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    If you really must want the ribbon interface of Office 2007 or 2010, then go with Office 2007 or 2010. For me, LibreOffice is good, but I cannot stand the look of toolbars in a word processor. LibreOffice is as good as Office 2003 and that's about it.

    Of course, there are those who can never stand the look of the ribbon interface. Well, to each their own.

    I use Windows Photo Gallery that came with Vista for quick cropping of my photos that I took with my LG Optimus V and crop it to 16:9 for viewing in my 50" HDTV. For photo editing, I use GIMP.

    As a web browser, Firefox is my favorite web browser.

    For personal information management that integrates with e-mail, calendaring tasks, notes, and journal, I use Outlook 2007. The problem is, I have a Hosted Exchange 2007 account from Sherweb. I did setup Zarafa in my Ubuntu Server 10.04 at home, but I'd rather not bother with my mom getting a SMTP username and password just to send e-mail and do away with the cloud mail storage. I pay $26 for 3 months, which works up to about $104 a year.

    For me, why Dropbox where i could just use scp or FTP to access my files away from home by any means? Plus, why not SSH? I don't need a third party cloud provider to host my files. I can do that with my server.

    Of course, I do have Zoneedit (GoDaddy) as my registrar) in conjunction with using wget for dynamically updating an IP address when I do a network restart or when my server boots up and starts up my network, which then automatically calls the zoneedit script and in turn, it executes wget with my username, password, and my zone to update.

    For IM, I don't talk to strangers at all. Other than that, I do have Openfire installed in my server, which integrates with my Asterisk PBX server. As a Jabber/XMPP client, I use Spark. I'm going to get my mom setup to use Spark and have it connect to my XMPP server. But then I don't allow registrations to my server, however. :)

    Oh, and by the way:

    Asterisk PBX + Openfire + Zarafa/Zimbra/(name your favorite mail server) = Unified Messaging. :)

    Of course, the whole topic of the gallery is about clients, but then I started talking about servers...oops! :)(
    Grayson Peddie
  • RE: 10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

    I'm not a fan of this article. Where are the backend applications?

    When I saw the title, I was expecting to see stuff like OpenFire, Postfix, Samba, some sort of free or open source finance/accounting software, etc.

    I use and like Thunderbird for my personal e-mail, but I cannot imagine using it in an office environment. The shared calendar functions of Outlook/Exchange are very useful and I haven't found an open source solution that can truly mimic Exchange or its other Enterprise kin. The best thing I can think of as a free replacement I guess would be Gmail/Google Calendar because you can share your calendar. Then I suppose you could tie those in with Thunderbird with the Lightning extension if you preferred. Of course if you want to use a company domain name for e-mail, you'll have to pony up for Google Apps.

    Pidgin... please. That program is a joke, especially on Windows. Since I suggested Gmail above, I would just suggest using Gmail chat or Google Talk.
    • I agree on the lack of back office applications..


      The post appears more like a getting-ready-for-school guide, rather than a "run your office" guide. Although, even then, I would have expected to at least see an office app (at least a word processor, but preferably a spreadsheet, too) featured.

      On the open Finance/Accounting software front, though, that is always a bit of a slippery slope - especially given the comment someone else left earlier about getting a "geek" to install them for you. (The last thing you want is a geek doing anything with back office applications.) And once you get to a certain level (thinking Compiere and other "free" SME financial applications), the cost to properly plan and implement these is far from free, even if the software itself is.

      There are apparently free alternatives to Exchange/Outlook, though I've never seen them used in any business. I would agree that Thunderbird is a bit light for the "office" crowd.
  • Wow, Andy...

    ..like many of your fellow free software advocates, I gotta say, there is only one reply that seems to come to mind when you start talking about Office/Enterprise applications...

    Awww... that's so cute....
  • Outlook Alternative

    I use Zimbra Desktop as an alternative to MS Outlook