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10 pieces of freeware to run your office (screenshots)

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.
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Topic: Microsoft
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1 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

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.

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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.

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Using the power of the cloud, Dropbox users can access their documents, photos, videos and music anywhere there's an Internet connection - and actually offline, too. Dropbox can be used on the desktop and on the go. It can be used on mobile OSes such as Apple iOS, Android, and BlackBerry OS. It can be used to synch files across multiple devices. You can also share with non-Dropbox members.

2GB of Dropbox is free with subscriptions up to 100GB.

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Pidgin will let you receive and send an IM across multiple services. Users of  MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, and others can send messages across the platforms. You can also get email alerts but emoticons may not appear properly.

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The Foxit Reader lets you view PDF files and make comments, fill out forms, and add text to PDF documents. It also lets you convert a document into a text file.

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EverNote promises to give your brain a rest. It lets you create notes, save content from Web pages, snapshots and image files, and sync them in the cloud. It also has another program called Skitch which allows you to annotate, edit and share your photos and screenshots. You can even search printed and handwritten text inside images.

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IrfanView is a simple, free graphics editor for Windows. This software includes the basics such as cropping, special effects, and batch conversions. IrfanView claims to be the first Windows graphic viewer with multiple (animated) GIF support.

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Peazip is an alternative to Microsoft Window's default file compressing and extracting functionalities. It runs on Windows and Linux desktop systems.

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TweetDeck which was acquired by Twitter last May allows you to manage multiple accounts - including Facebook, Google Buzz and Foursquare - to track trends, monitor keywords and reply to direct messages - all in one interface. TweetDeck has versions for the desktop, iPhones, Android, and Chrome devices. It can be used in the office to track your company - and maybe your own social network, too.

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The Web browser is probably the most overlooked and important tool for office warriors. The five major brands include Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, Google's Chrome, Mozillia's new Firefox 6, Apple's Safari, and Opera Software's Opera. Plus, there are many other specialty browsers.

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