Utilities for the desktop and the Web
Most desktop software now have one or more free equivalents to commercial software, running on both Windows and Linux, and Macintosh often.
These softwares are now sufficiently advanced to create Web pages or powering databases.
Here are the best free utilities including word processors and databases managers.
LibreOffice and the Web
LibreOffice is an office suite but also a tool for the Web since it includes a basic HTML editor, in addition to word processing, spreadsheet, database manager, and drawing software. It runs under Windows and Unix.
For webmaster, word processing is a handy tool when you put online documents, enhanced with images or not.
Unlike other word processing software, LibreOffice generates web pages of very compact size, pretty close to what produces a specialized software.
You can either use the ODP (OpenDocument) format, directly or HTML. This format is more limited, and this is due to the limitations of HTML itself.
Hyperlink management is taken into account, which allows to build a complete site, the pages are linked to each other and accessible in Edit mode. Moreover, the appearance is made in the presentation format CSS and style sheets are included in the text itself.
Difficulties arise when one wants to import an HTML document produced by another software. Incompatibility is often discovered between the formats of presentation then it is better in this re-use these documents as they are and continue editing with the original publisher.
Since version 4.1 you got a side panel that integrates the navigator and other tools so far in separate windows. You must manually configure the software to display it. Go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Enable sidebar ...
LibreOffice can create a PDF file that will be very close of the rendering of the document or web page. It is compatible with Word and other Microsoft software and can recover files produced by these software. However, it would be better to save the Word files to RTF before retrieving as LibreOffice.
However the AGPL license limits commercial use under certain conditions.
Other desktop software for Windows and Linux
Word processing software for free. If you want to write texts without installing a full office suite. Less complete than Open Writer mentioned above, loads faster.
Version 2.1.1 (in theory but I never found the command for this) adds an "outline" function, something that is missing in LibreOffice and OpenOffice: the ability to display only the headings in a page and to expand sections at choice. Yet it is something that dates the beginnings of personal computing and there are a lot of special tools for this called "outliners".
The software persists when launched to fill the width of the screen, which is annoying when you have like me an extra-large monitor in 21:9 format. In addition, trying to load a LibreOffice document usually results in a crash, so the software is clearly not finished, even in final version.
Editor of mental map. Describe a concept in associations, detailing a story visually on a graph.
Online word processor. It recognizes the file formats from Microsoft, PDF. The fact that it allows online collaborative may be an advantage.
Quick Office for Android and iOS
An office suite that can read Words documents and therefore an alternative to Microsoft Office365. If you are not afraid to have your documents in the cloud .. It's free, all you need is a Google account.
Common applications on texts
- Convert HTML to plain text: this can be done with Kompozer.
- Create PDF from HTML or other format: the export option of LibreOffice.
- Outline converts plain text to HTML. Nothing to do with outliner in text processors.
- Zim Wiki is a text editor that supports hyperlinks that can create wikis to use local documentation. The interface is nice. Export to HTML is possible.
Business and database software for Windows or Linux
SQL databases are on the Web most often used in invisible ways by content managers like Wordpress. If you have to choose a database, look at PostgreSQL vs Oracle for a comparison.
- DB Designer
Manager for MySQL.
Manager of databases.
Account management, personal accounting.
Beautiful invoice utility to be downloaded on Github. Customer management and several form of invoicing.
Some online services for pratical life
- Standalone Sweeper System
Software from Microsoft to disinfect a computer that installs on a USB key.
Before buying a game, sometimes expensive, it is better to be sure it will work on his computer. The site performs an hardware analysis of your computer and tells you if you could run the game that you specify.
There are many online dictionaries, but the definitions are lost inside advertising-saturated pages, slow to load. The site is the antithesis of that. It is an online English very dictionary that is fast with a skinned interface like Google.
Helping you eat to be healthy and live longer, it is the mission this site, with a lot of articles about slimness and health.
This set of free applications gives an overview of what you will get on a computer with the ChromeOS operating system. It was provided by Google between 2007 and 2011.
Software gallery of images and tool for photos (eg red eyes). Picasa is not intuitive, it requires time to adapt. Animation software as well.
A desktop tool that connect to a online database.
See the comparison of anti-viruses. Free tools are sometimes the more efficient.
- Google Desktop.
Information manager, including emails.
- Online Google Apps.
This includes Doc, GMail, Calendar, etc.
- Real Player.
An alternative to Windows Media Player.
- Toolbars for IE and Firefox.
- Adobe Reader.
Is it necessary? I configured my system to display the PDF in Chrome and the result is satisfactory. This may be a way to get rid of a software (Reader), which tends to carry viruses.
Use Internet to phone.
- Chrome and Firefox.
- Star Office which had been added to the Google Pack in August 2007, has been removed in November 2008. It became Open Office and a fork, LibreOffice is very popular.