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Free Software for Windows

Disclaimer:  The links we have listed herein refer only to most popular and properly working free software applications for MS Windows. All the software is absolutely free for distribution, and has no limitations for use. More free software for MS Windows can be found on the desk of Frettt's Freeware Archive and other repositories. Old (obsolete) versions of the programs can be downloaded from OldApps Archive.

Wordprocessors and Office Suites

  • OpenOffice — the most powerful free office suite containing a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, database, presentation, drawing editor, and math editor. OpenOffice possesses most properties of such commercial suites as MS Office or WP Office, and accepts all formats known for the office suites. Dictionaries for almost all of the world languages, and many additional plug-ins are available.

  • LibreOffice — an open source project, started in 2010 as a follower and further development of OpenOffice after as Sun Microsystems, the owner of OpenOffice, was purchased by Oracle Corporation. The legacy of OpenOffice (dictionaries and plugins) can also be applied.

  • AbiWord — a fast, small, and featureful wordprocessor possessing most properties of MS Word and WordPerfect. AbiWord accepts all known wordprocessor formats. Speelchecker dictionaries and many additional plug-ins are available.

  • Scribus — an award-winning open-source program for professional desktop publishing. Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

  • PortableApps — a kit of portable versions of the popular freeware, all owning an integrated menu and working from any external device (memory stick or portable hard drive) without installation onto a hard disk. PortableApps includes office applications, graphic editors, the internet tools, media players, archivers, etc.

Graphics Processors

  • GIMP — Graphic Image Manipulation Program. This is the most powerful open source graphics editor, possessing all the properties of Adobe Photoshop. Tutorials "howto with GIMP", including those of digital photography, can be downloaded from the GIMP website.

  • Inkscape — an open source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

  • XnView — a fast and small viewer/converter of graphical files.

  • Irfan View — another popular viewer/converter of graphical files.

DjVu Viewers and Tools

  • WinDjView — a fast, compact and powerful DjVu viewer with advanced printing options and many features.

  • STDU Viewer — view all most popular document formats (DjVu, PDF, TIFF, XPS, FB2 etc.) by one program.

  • Other DjVu browsers and plugins can be found on desk of the resources DjVu Libre, DjVu.org, and others.

PDF Viewers and Tools

  • Adobe Reader — the most powerful viewer of PDF documents by Adobe Corp.

  • FoxIt PDF Reader — the incredible fast and small size PDF viewer that possesses all the properties of Adobe Reader.

  • PDFTK Builder — a free graphical interface to the Windows version of PDFTK. This software allows you to reorder, delete, duplicate, rotate pages, making stamps, and password protecting in your PDF document. PDFTK Builder needs PDFTK to be installed.

  • PDFill PDF Tools — a free kit of powerful PDF tools (split, merge, watermark, convert, etc.) distributed in common with the complete PDFill PDF Editor. PDFill requires Ghostscript to be installed.

  • FormSwift PDF Editor — an online PDF editor allowing modification of PDF files in online. To work with FormSwift, account registration is required.

  • eXPert PDF Reader & Tools — a lightweight free PDF reader, which can be added with (shareware) eXPert PDF Editor letting you to modify PDF documents.

  • CIB PDF Brewer — a converter to produce PDF files from within any Microsoft applications.

  • CutePDF Writer — a PDF file creator, working as printer. CutePDF Writer prints documents to a PDF file from any application. CutePDF Writer requires to have Ghostscript installed on your computer.

  • PDF Creator — another PDF file creator that creates PDF files from any application. Ghostscript is included into the PDF Creator distribution.

  • WinPDF Easy PDF Creator — another PDF file creator working as printer (Ghostscript installation required).

Anti-Virus (editor's rating)

ZIP Tools (editor's rating)

  • 7-Zip — an excellent and most active developing archive software which supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of MS Windows.

  • IZArc — as probable the most complete archiver utility. IZArc provides support to almost all known archive formats and disc images.

  • TUGZip — an excellent and powerful archiver that provides support to all known archive formats, and also disc images.

  • ZipGenius — one of the most powerful archive utilites that supports more than two dozens of archive and disc image formats.

  • QuickZip — a very good archive software featured which provides support to a wide variety of archive extensions.

  • FilZip — a powerful archiver providing a complete support to most archive formats and disc images.

  • GSplit — a file splitter that lets you split your large files into a set of smaller archive files.

  • JustZIPit — the simplest and easy-in-use ZIP utility.

  • Universal Extractor — this program extracts files from any type of more than twenty known archives.

  • Chilkat Zip Self-Extractor — this program creates self-extracting ZIP files optionally with unbreakable encryption.

  • FZ Zip Extractor — it allows you to create self-extracting ZIP archives that are run as an executable EXE file.

HTML Editors

  • KompoZer — the follower of NVU-Editor, which is the most powerful free WYSIWYG HTML editor derived from Mozilla Composer.

  • Trellian WebPage — a powerful WYSIWYG HTML editor.

  • PageBreeze HTML Editor — another powerful WYSIWYG HTML editor.

  • Amaya — another popular WYSIWYG HTML editor.

  • WebDwarf — a powerful WYSIWYG generator of web pages, which uses its own file format then converting the complete web page into HTML.

  • Dynamic HTML Editor — another powerful WYSIWYG generator of web pages, which uses its own file format then converting it into HTML.

  • Alleycode HTML Text Editor — a powerful HTML editor working in the source code (non-visual) mode.

  • SuperEdi HTML Text Editor — a powerful HTML source code editor.

  • DeKnop Button Creator — a graphics editor that is designed to let you create buttons for your web site without requiring any graphic design experience.

Internet Browsers and Tools

  • Chromium — the most powerful, stable-in-work, and secure web browser by Google.

  • Internet Explorer — the powerful web browser by Microsoft. Internet Explorer is included into each distribution of MS Windows commencing in Win'95, while the newest versions can be downloaded for upgrade.

  • Opera — the powerful web browser by Opera Software. The newest extensions of Opera allow to own a web server wthout creating a domain name, file exchange among the internet users, etc.

  • Netscape Browser — the famous web browser by Netscape Corp. (now discontinued). Netscape Gold contains a WYSIWYG HTML editor. It can be found in Netscape Browser Archive and Evolt Browser Archive.

  • Mozilla Firefox — the award-winning powerful web browser by Mozilla Foundation, built on the basis of Netscape Browser. Firefox is a part of Mozilla Project.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird — an e-mail and newsgroup client by Mozilla, with powerful, new junk mail controls.

  • SeaMonkey — the all-in-one internet suite by Mozilla. SeaMonkey contains a web browser, mail and newsgroup client,  WYSIWYG HTML editor, and IRC chat client.

  • Maxthon Browser — a powerful, and extreely fast web browser by Maxtron Ltd.

  • Adobe SVG Viewer — a plug-in by Adobe. The plug-in integrates into your web browser to view documents in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format.

  • Pegasus Mail — a standards-based electronic mail client. Another product, Mercury File Transport System, is an internet mail server (accessed from the same source).

  • Eudora — another powerful e-mail client program.

  • FileZilla — a very popular and powerful FTP client and server.

  • CoreFTP — a very lightweight, but powerful FTP client and server.

CD/DVD Utilites

  • CDBurnerXP — a powerful CD/DVD/BluRay burning free engine that provides almost all the possibilities that of Nero.

  • DeepBurner — a popular CD/DVD burning package, containing CD/DVD burning tool, VideoDVD creating, and AudioCD ripping utilites.

  • BurnAware Free — another popular burning application with similar creating, copying, and burning functions.

  • InfraRecorder — another popular burning application with similar creating, copying, and burning functions.

  • Daemon Tools — an advanced application which enables you to use (emulate) file images of your CD/DVD disks as if they were already burned to CD/DVD.

  • Virtual CloneDrive — another free program which does emulate for virtual drives on your hard disk.

  • CD Cover Creator — a very nice drawing program that creates CD/DVD labels, covers, etc. with the use of many original templates.

MD5 Checking Programs

  • Hash Calculator — this powerful program supports checking/computing of 12 most common hashing algorithms: MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA-1, SHA-2 (256, 384, 512), RIPEMD-160, PANAMA, TIGER, ADLER32, CRC32.

Barcode Makers

  • Terry Burton's Online Barcode Generator — a powerful free online barcode generator. It makes support of almost all possible bar code labels, with high quality output.

  • Many other free barcode generators can be found in the internet.

Boot CDs

  • Ultimate Boot CD — a bootable CD completed by a graphical interface to use a powerful kit of the software diagnostic and disk utilites contained in the CD.

  • BartPE Boot CD — an engine permitting you to create a bootable CD with software diagnostic and disk utilites from your working Windows system (not working under obsolete Windows 9.x/NT4/ME).

File Managers

  • FAR Manager — the powerful file manager for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7 with the interface like that of the famous Norton Commander. Complete support to long file names, Unicode, archive utilites, and many features are available.

  • DOS Navigator — the powerful file manager with a two-panel interface like that of Norton Commander, and containing many features and tools. It is based on DOS Navigator by RIT Lab (1991-1999).
  • Volkov Commander — another popular (now discontinued) two-panel file manager like Norton Commander.
  • ExplorerXP — a fast and innovative file manager for Windows 2000/XP that provides more features than the standard file explorer used in Windows.

  • FreeCommander — another nice file manager, added by a few useful utilites (MD5 checksum and more archive utilites).

  • WazTree — a very lightweight explorer (file manager and FTP client), with versions for DOS and Windows. Many useful utilites like a text editor, graphic file converters, and file archivers are provided.

File Sharing

  • ΅Torrent — the smallest BitTorrent client with functionality of heavily featured clients, such as Azureus or BitComet.

  • BitTorrent — a simplest BitTorrent software, packed with many features.
  • Vuze (form. Azureus) — a powerful Java based BitTorrent client, with support for I2P and Tor anonymous communication protocols.
  • BitComet — a powerful BitTorrent/HTTP/FTP client. Its advanced features can accelerate your downloading speed up to 5-10 times faster.

Java Environment

Links to TeX Software

TeX, pronounced as "tech", is a professional typesetting system created in 1977 by Donald E. Knuth, the author of The Art of Computer Programming. TeX provides a simple text-only code describing a typesetted document with a high quality output file in DVI (DeVice Independent) format, PostScript or PDF. In addition to PlainTeX, the initially TeX macro-language by Donald E. Knuth, other TeX modifications were created: LaTeX — the most popular extension of TeX by Leslie Lamport that became a standard for professional typesetting throughout the world, and AMS-TeX created by Michael D. Spivak at the American Mathematical Society for typesetting of highly complicate mathematical papers. Any TeX package contains PlainTeX/LaTeX/AMS-TeX processors, a DVI-viewer, postscript fonts, and utilites.

Free or shareware TeX packages can be downloaded from the Internet links given below. The links we have listed refer only to the most popular working TeX packages operating under Windows, Macintosh, OS/2, Linux/Unix and other platforms as indicated. Additional TeX software can be obtained from the TeX Users Group or the Compressive Tex Archive Network (CTAN). The principal CTAN hosts are U.S. CTAN, Cambridge CTAN (U.K.), Dante CTAN (Germany), which contain links to other CTAN mirrors throughout the world. For an express download use the FTP link to Cambridge CTAN. It should be noted that Windows, Macintosh, and OS/2 don't contain TeX software, so it is required to install the software separately. In contrast to it, any complete distribution of Linux or other UNIX-like system has a complete TeX-system, TeX-editor, postscript fonts and viewers on board.

TeX for Windows, OS/2, DOS

  • BaKoMa TeX — a professional TeX system by Basil Malyshev (shareware, $49 for a license), which includes a TeX package and a perfect graphical shell (TeX-editor) with WYSIWYG mode.

  • MikTeX — a popular free TeX package by Christian Schenk. MikTeX works in command-line mode, so it requires one of the graphical shells (TeX-editors).

    • TeXnicCenter — a perfect free TeX-editor, containing pictogram menus and many tools.

    • TeXMaker — a cross-plaform free TeX-editor with pictogram menus and many tools.

    • WinShell — a simple free TeX-editor with pictogram menus.

    • TeXShell — a simplest free TeX editor.

    • WinEdt — a professional TeX-editor (shareware, $40 for a license) with pictogram menus and many tools.

  • proTeXt — a free TeX system based on MikTeX (by Thomas Feuerstack). The system contains MikTeX, Ghostscript, GSview, and TeXMaker (TeXnicCenter in the early versions of ProTeXt) in one self-installing file. All versions of ProTeXt are accessed from TUG Historic Archive.

  • USBTeX — another free TeX system, which is similar to proTeXt, while working as a "portable application" (no installation required). The system contains MikTeX, Ghostscript, TeXMaker, and SumatraPDF viewer. Once the downloaded archive extracted onto your HDD or USB drive, the TeX distribution is ready-to-work.

  • emTeX — a popular (now obsolete) TeX package by Eberhard Mattes. It works in command-line mode, so a graphical shell (TeX-editor) required. See the DOS folder on CTAN. emTeX works under DOS, Windows and OS/2.

TeX for Apple Macintosh

  • MacTeX — a free TeX system for Mac OS X.

  • XeTeX — a cross-platform free TeX system for Mac OS X, developed by Jonathan Kew

  • TeXShop — a popular free TeX shell for Mac OS X by Richard Koch and Dirk Olmes.

  • OzTeX — a popular TeX system by Andrew Trevorrow (shareware, $30 for a license).

  • CMacTeX — a popular TeX system by Thomas Kiffe (shareware, $35 for a license).

  • TeXMaker — a cross-plaform free TeX-editor with pictogram menus and many tools.

  • Mac OS X TeX Web Site — read all about TeX systems, editors/shells and tools working under Mac OS X.

TeX for Linux/UNIX

  • teTeX — a professional TeX system for Linux/Unix by Thomas Esser. It works in command-line mode, so a graphical shell (TeX-editor) required. teTeX is a part of any complete distribution of Linux.

  • XeTeX — a cross-platform free TeX system for Linux/Unix by Jonathan Kew, who initially developed it for Macintosh. It so requires a graphical shell (TeX-editor).

  • Kile — a professional TeX-editor, containing pictogram menus and many tools.

  • TeXMaker — a cross-plaform free TeX-editor with pictogram menus and many tools.

TeX Live

  • TeX Live — a cross-platform complete TeX system on DVD which can be run without installation or be installed on hard disk. TeX Live can be run on Linux/Unix, Macintosh, and Windows systems (OS/2 unsupported). In addition to it, TeX Live DVD contains also a collection of the other popular TeX systems, graphical shells (TeX-editors), fonts, and viewers for all the aforementioned platforms.

TeX for other platforms (Atari, Amiga, etc.)

Postscript viewing and printing

  • Ghostscript — an interpreter for the PostScript page description language used by laser printers. Ghostscript is required to view and print postcript files created by TeX.

  • GSview — a graphical shall for Ghostscript. It is available for Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 and Linux/Unix. GSview for Macintosh is accessed from another location: Mac GSview.

Converters from wordprocessors to TeX format

  • word2tex — a shareware converter from MS Word to LaTeX, by Chikrii Softlab ($45 for a license).

  • writer2latex — a free converter for OpenOffice Writer, by Henrik Just.

  • wp2latex — a free converter for WordPerfect, by Jaroslav Fojtik.

  • Read on the TUG pages: all about converters from Word to TeX and converters from TeX to Word

Free Operating Systems

Here are listed only open source free operating systems developed under the General Public License or the other license agreements which are similar to it. All the operating systems are absolutely free for copying, distribution and development. Free software for Windows is represented in a separate list that below. Software working under Linux and other UNIX-like systems is completely included into the listed Linux/UNIX distributions.

  • Linux — a free open source operating system created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The hearth of the system is Linux Kernel, originally constructed by Torvalds, then surrounded by graphic shells such as KDE and GNOME (now with also novell 3D window managers Beryl and Compiz), and also many applications: office, programming, multimedia, etc. Despite a thousand individuals and many companies participate the project after 1991, Linux Kernel is maintained by Torvalds till now. Commencing the last 1990's Linux project is sponsored by bulky corporations such as IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, and others. Linux distribution, in contrast to other operating systems on sale without applications, provides as possible complete set of applications accessed to such a kind of operating system. This is why once installed on computer, Linux doesn't require additional software in most cases (despite any additional program or update can be installed). There are many distributions of Linux, generated from the source code by different teams of developers. The distrbutions differ by installation method and set of programs. We present only a few main Linux distributions most popular between corporate users and individuals.

    • Debian — the largest of Linux distributions started in 1993 by Ian Murdock. Debian distribution includes almost all (a few thousands) applications developed for Linux. Debian is available as stable, testing, and experimental versions. Debian stable is highly reliable: once set up on a computer it never require re-installation. This is why Debian is most popular among the internet servers.

    • Knoppix — a Debian based live Linux system on CD/DVD created and maintained by Klaus Knopper on the basis of Debian. Knoppix-Math — a related project (maintained in Japan) — is containing much additional science software, and is oriented to scientists. Knoppix can work direct from CD/DVD or be installed on hard disk.

    • Ubuntu — "humanity to others" (an ancient African word) — a Debian based project started by Mark Shuttleworth, and sponsored by his Canonical Ltd. Being a perfect configured system in one live CD or DVD alloved to install on hard disk, Ubuntu is fast-to-run. A large number of additional software can be downloaded from Ubuntu repository. Ubuntu Linux has modifications different by user interface: Ubuntu (GNOME), Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (Xfce) and Edubuntu (school-related project).

    • Mandriva is formerly Mandrake Linux started by Gaλl Duval. This is a French-made distribution of Linux. Mandriva Linux is most eqipped by fresh versions of hardvare drivers and multimedia software. Owing to the fact Mandriva is much popular among individuals. After the company-owner Mandriva Co. became bancrupted in 2011, this distribution of Linux is now continued by a truly free community. It has two distribution: Mageia, which is maintained, on volunteer basis, by the formerly employee of Madrake/Madriva, and openMadriva, which is maintained by openMandriva association.

    • OpenSUSE — a German-made distribution of Linux (now — sponsored by Novell, USA). High quality of the distribution and many features oriented to both everyday and professional use get SUSE Linux attractive to individuals.

    • Fedora — a follower of the famous RedHat Linux, sponsored by RedHat Inc. Being truly experimental system, Fedora joined most fresh versions of Linux software (a drawback is that the lack of support for multimedia).

    • Slackware — a "Linux consisting of bricks", created in 1993 and maintained till now by Patrick Volkerding. The main advantage of such a construction is that one can build Linux system by his own while installation, doing choose for its system components. The complicate installation process, oriented to experienced users (not recommended to beginners), pays for system configuration satisfying any of bizzare requirements.

    • Gentoo — an unique Linux distribution created by Daniel Robbins. Gentoo Linux consists of just source codes, which should be compiled to executable binary files while installation (the other versions of Linux present pre-compiled executables). Gentoo is good to experts (not recommended to beginners).

    • DSL — Damn Small Linux — a 50MB mini Linux distribution (based on Debian), which can be run from a business card CD or be installed on hard disk. It is run light enough to power even a 486DX with 16MB RAM. Despite that, this is a fully functional system equipped by the lightweight versions of well-known applications.

  • WineHQ — an open source program shell running Windows applications on top of Linux and Mac OS X. WineHQ is a completely free alternative implementation of the Windows applications consisting of 100% non-Microsoft source code.

  • FreeBSD and OpenBSD — advanced free open source operating systems derived from BSD, the version of UNIX initially developed at the University of California, Berkeley. FreeBSD and OpenBSD are developed and maintained by teams of individuals, and have a few derivatives such as PC-BSD, DesktopBSD, and the others, including live CD/DVD systems.

  • OpenSolaris — an open source UNIX based operating system, initially based on the source code of the Solaris Operating System and currently sponsored by Sun Microsystems Inc. OpenSolaris is developed by a team of individuals and has derivatives such as NexentaOS and BeleniX, including live CD systems.

  • ReactOS — an advanced free open source operating system providing a ground-up implementation of a Windows compatible operating system. ReactOS aims to achieve complete binary compatibility with both applications and device drivers meant for NT and XP operating systems, by using a complete public interface. ReactOS is the most complete working model of a MS Windows like operating system, consisting of 100% non-Microsoft source code. Beta version of ReactOS is announced on 2008 (see ReactOS Roadmap).

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