There cannot be many of us who do not like a bargain. Whether it is in our personal or in our professional lives getting something that is cheap or free is always satisfying.
One thing that most of us need in our work in this day and age is office software. By this I mean the word processor, spread sheet, presentation, desk top publishing, drawing and email handing applications. For many, if not most, this means Microsoft Office software. But there are alternatives available. I have stuck to just a couple of examples that operate from your computer (rather than online programmes), there are many out there and with a little bit of research you will be able to find something you like.
First is LibreOffice which is open source software. This means that in addition to being free (though they welcome donations), here the code used to write the program (effectively the program itself) is available too, so anybody that wants to can work on improving it. It’s constantly being honed and updated, but tech support is often limited as there are no large companies backing it up. LibreOffice includes;
- Writer: A word processor, it’s the equivalent of Microsoft Word.
- Calc: A spreadsheet program, its equivalent of Excel.
- Impress: Presentation software, it’s the equivalent of Microsoft PowerPoint.
- Base: A database, it’s the equivalent of Microsoft Access.
- Draw: A design program, especially useful for flowcharts.
- Math: A simple tool for equations.
- Charts: A program for creating and embedding charts and graphs.
Find LibreOffice at https://www.libreoffice.org.
Another open source programme is OxygenOffice. This used to be OpenOffice and has all of the above tools. Find OxygenOffice at http://www.oxygenofficepro.com\
Most free office software is compatible with Microsoft and you can set the programme to save by default to its format. I have used OpenOffice and currently I use LibreOffice (and gave a £10 donation) and find it an excellent alternative. I do not feel as if I am missing out on anything after having used Microsoft Office for many years.
An email client is a programme, like Outlook, that talks to your email and puts the results onto your computer rather than using webmail when you log onto the email providers website.
There are free alternatives for email clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird (see https://www.thunderbird.net/en-GB/) that can organize multiple email accounts and has a calendar included. I have used this for a few years now and no problems thus far. As with anything when you first use it you can find yourself frustrated that things are not done in the same way as what you are accustomed to, but with time you get to know the ins and outs of a new programme.
Another is Opera Mail (see https://www.opera.com/) I have not used this but have read some good reviews.
Again there are many more out there and a bit of research will you find out what is going to be suitable for you. So open up your browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera – yes, there are many of these) and type in free office software or free email client and see what come up.