Free downloadable software

Selection of free downloadable applications

NOTE: On campus, a large selection of software is provided through the Managed Cluster Service (MSC) (formerly ‘PWF’).

Open source software can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions. It is free in the sense of the freedom you have to use and/or modify the software (not just because you do not have to pay for it).

Open source software is distinct from freeware which is proprietary software made available free of charge. Users usually cannot study, modify, or redistribute freeware.

The software is usually released under a licence such as:

Other versions include free for educational use, free for non-commercial use, free to use restricted version, and freely distributable.

However, the main thing is it is free to download and use and the much of it is excellent and usable.

Page contents

  • Web directories of free downloadable software
  • Office suites
  • Reference management
  • Text applications
  • Graphics applications
  • PDF converters
  • Music/audio applications
  • Web browsers
  • Email clients
  • HTML editors
  • Portable applications (loaded on USB stick)

Web directories of free downloadable software

Office suites

  • Open Office probably the best open source alternative to Microsoft Office; comprises word processor, spreadsheet, database, drawing and presentation applications. Has ‘save as PDF’ option and will read and save Microsoft Office format files.
  • NeoOffice (for Apple computers).

Reference management

  • Zotero available as a plugin for Firefox browser or as a standalone application (independent of Firefox) – see
  • Mendeley – desktop and online reference management and academic social network.

  • Qiqqa – available as a Windows desktop application and as an Android app.

Text applications

Graphics applications and desktop publishing

PDF Converters

Music/audio applications

  • Audacity ‘A free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems’.
  • Traverso DAW Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) ‘An audio recording and editing program which is very well suited to record a single voice, a band, an ensemble, a whole orchestra or any other source of music’.
  • Lilypond music score notation
  • MuseScore A free cross platform ‘WYSIWYG’ music notation program

Web browsers – free alternatives to Internet Explorer

Email clients – free alternatives to Outlook

Web page HTML editors

  • Kompozer Open source HTML editor (further development of Nvu)
  • Seamonkey – see above in web browsers, offers an HTML editor as part of its ‘suite’ of software.

Portable applications (versions to load on a USB stick)

Local server

  • WAMPserver local Windows web server built with open source software (Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc) so you can test and run websites ‘locally’ (ie on your own computer). There are similar products for Linux, Mac, etc (LAMP, XAMPP etc).

Mind mapping


One Response to Free downloadable software

  1. Amit says:

    I have Checked few of PHP local servers and
    came to conclusion that WAMP Server IS the best out there.
    Easy to install, Intuitive to work with.

    Great software for all PHP developers out there.

    If you using Skype while working on developing
    Make sure to start WHAP before Skype (and not the other way around).
    That the only “bug” I have found.

    Strongly recommend to use it!

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