Everybody likes freebies! In many cases, there is a good alternative for software that you will have to pay for to use. We summed up some interesting alternatives for overpriced software.
When you use a computer or a laptop to write, you need to install an Office suite. This is a collection of software, to make it possible to perform the most basic tasks when it concerns writing: creating documents. For this you can subscribe to a yearly subscription to Office 365. The cheapest option to go for, based on the international (English) website of Microsoft is $ 69,99 per year. There are many alternatives to choose from.
LibreOffice is just what the name is all about: a free office suite, that contains various programs, including a text editor. This suite is available in 110 languages. There are many add-ons to choose from, to enhance your writing experience. This program is available for Linux, Windows and Apple based computers.
This is the alternative to LibreOffice and is offered by the Apache Software Foundation. This project continued after OpenOffice.org discontinued. The suite offers the same options as LibreOffice, since it derived from Star Office (a discontinued office suite that was once part of Sun Microsystems and later on Oracle). The software is free to use for Linux, Windows and Apple based computers.
This software is the newest of the alternatives to Microsoft Office. This package has a basic set-up, that can be used freely on Windows, Linux and Android devices (after a user registration). The functionality and look-and-feel are pretty much the same as the Microsoft software.
If you don’t mind some commercial messages to be displayed on your computer and want to use the same look-and-feel as Microsoft Office, then WPS Office is your best option. The software is available for various platforms, but the downside is the lack of functionality for the free version.
If you want your documents to be saved directly in the cloud, then Google’s software is the right source to choose from. This office suite works simultaneous with Google Docs and Google G-Suite. You can choose a free- or paid plan. The software is offered as native apps for your smartphone or tablet. There is no version for other platforms.
Focus on writing
The most common cause of distraction is the overload of programs that have been opened. When working on your computer or laptop, there are many distractions. There are some options to consider, so you can focus on nothing but writing.
Disable internet access
Switch off the networking tools on your computer. This doesn’t help much, if you want to save your documents to the cloud. It does help, when you are not connected to the internet. Incoming e-mails will not be visible and you can focus on nothing more but writing. However, the internet access isn’t the only downside. The programs that can be distracting doesn’t always have to use internet access. For instance, the solitaire games are still visible and accessible on your computer. You might consider to delete these, but this is quite the work. We will not go deeper into this.
It’s just a writer and nothing more. It blocks out everything but the editor. This is a good choice for the first draft of your document, but when you want to edit this FocusWriter isn’t really the right option.
Just like the website, Writingmonkey is one of those basic applications to provide something to write with. Something indeed. The learning curve to this program is considered very steep for some. If you want to try this program out: you can only use this when Windows is your operating system.
Graphics are very important when you publish your poems to social media. You can decide to obtain a license for the software of Adobe. This will demand a serious investment from your side and you might want to ask yourself if you need all this software.
You probably didn’t realize, that your images are an important part of your writings!
Cherished by users of Linux. This is Gimp, the photoshop alternative. It is also available for Unix, Linux, Windows and OS X. Unfortunately, there isn’t an app for your smartphone or tablet (yet).
This software is pretty much the same as Photoshop. Unlike Gimp, the learning curve is easier. It does require a registration to use the software. Remember that the download is offered through another party and this can lead to unwanted installs of additional software. Be careful what you install.
There will have to come a major update to Pixlr Editor. For now, the website depends heavily on Flash. But Flash is going to be a problem to use in the future. When visiting this website for the first time, you are warned that this website requires Flash.
Pixlr Editor is not only an app for your smartphone. It is also a browser based image editor.
For those of you who think that PicsArt is just an app for your mobile device: wrong. It is also a native Windows app for your desktop. It can be downloaded from the Windows Store. This requires Windows 8 or higher. The software can be used freely. Registration is one thing to consider, because you will be able to save your images to the cloud. There are some parts of the application that can only be used, when paying an amount. You don’t have to.
Though the focus of Adobe Photoshop Express is on the mobile devices, it can be used on a desktop as well. This requires an installation of Windows 10 present on your computer. This program is not the same as the full version, it has its limitations.
If you want more free software to use when you are writing: the list is long, way too long to be covered in this article. There is software to put down your ideas, like Freemind. But there are also many other software packages to consider when it comes to writing tools. We will discuss those in a future article.