Seven MORE Free Software Recommendations

Category: Software

Recently, I recommended seven of my favorite free software tools, and many of you chimed in with suggestions of your own. But as I mentioned, I wasn't done; here are seven more must-have software freebies...

The Best Free Software - Part Two

Last week, I posted my list of Seven Free Software Downloads, covering the areas of web browsing, text processing, security, graphics and troubleshooting. I promised another batch of seven, and here they are. Check out these free tools for photo and audio editing, online storage, PDF manipulation, system maintenance, and more...

You may not be familiar with VLC Media Player, but it's one of the most popular programs on Earth, having passed the 3.5 billion downloads mark early this year. If you like to play music, videos, CDs or DVDs on your computer or mobile device, and you're frustrated with the limitations of iTunes or Windows Media Player, here comes VLC Media Player to the rescue! This free software is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Apple/iOS, Android, and Chrome OS.

Audacity is an open source, cross-platform audio file editing program. It's available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems. Audacity manages to pack in many features while keeping the user interface uncluttered; it even supports 32-bit floating-point audio. It works with compressed and uncompressed file formats, including AIFF, WAV, OGG, and MP3. Audacity is great for converting one audio format to another, creating your own ringtones, recording phone calls, and is also helpful in Converting Vinyl Records to CD.

Pixlr claims to be "the most popular online photo editor" in the world. Both casual and professional users will find the tools they need to accomplish the most common photo and image editing operations. The simple but powerful interface offers crop, resize, rotate, autofix, sharpen, red eye removal, color effects, image overlays, borders and text annotation. You can open an image from your hard drive, from Facebook or Google, and after editing, save images to your hard drive or Dropbox. Because it's cloud-based, Pixlr runs on any computer with a web browser and an internet connection, and there mobile versions for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. There are templates for popular tasks such as creating a collage, flyer, poster, invitation, Faebook cover, or Instagram post.

New to Pixlr are stock images (enter a keyword such as dogs, cars, flowers) and the AI Generator, which will use artificial intelligence software to create a dazzling image based on a description you provide.

If you're interested in checking out other online photo tools, see my article Check Out These Free Online Photo Editors for a handful of others, each with unique capabilities.

Dropbox is an online storage service that acts like an extra hard drive in the cloud. The free download is a client that adds a Dropbox folder to your desktop. Whatever you put into that folder is synced with your online Dropbox account and any other devices that share it. All data is transferred over SSL connections and encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption. A free Dropbox Basic account gives you 2GB of cloud storage. Photos, documents, and media files can be shared with family, friends, co-workers, or the general public. Files and folders on Dropbox can be password protected, or there is a "public" folder that anyone can browse.

Foxit Reader is a fast, lightweight alternative to Adobe PDF Reader. It allows you to open, view, and print PDF files; add annotations; fill in forms; and share information with social networks. It uses as little as 64 MB of RAM, making it suitable for portable devices.

Foxit Software also offers a variety of tools to convert PDF to and from Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or JPG.

PDFill is a handy tool if you ever need to split, merge, reorder, delete, rotate, crop, redact, or annotate PDF pages. It can fill fields, digitally sign, encrypt or decrypt PDF files, convert images to PDF, and convert PDF to image formats. PDFill does not add watermarks and is free for personal or commercial use. It's a great alternative to the expensive commercial Adobe Acrobat software.

Speccy from Piriform is the place to start if you need to know what’s "under the hood" of your PC. It gives you detailed info on every piece of hardware in your PC, including but not limited to CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Graphics Cards, Hard Disks, Optical Drives, and Audio support. Speccy also reads temperature sensors built into motherboards and hard drives, giving you a means to check for overheating problems that may be damaging your components or limiting performance.

Don't forget to check out Seven Free Software Downloads - Part One. And of course, feel free to leave a comment about any of these, or other great free software programs you would recommend.

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This article was posted by on 17 Jul 2023

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Most recent comments on "Seven MORE Free Software Recommendations"

Posted by:

Shirley Rennie
17 Jul 2023

I know this sounds fake, but I just want to say thanks for all the computer knowledge I have learned over many years from your newsletter - one of the few things on the internet I have found that I can trust. Nobody paid me to say this - you are the real deal.

Shirey Rennie, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
(you may publish my name)

Posted by:

17 Jul 2023

I'll second the recommendation for Pixlr. I discovered it when it was "included" in a Linux distro I was testing (I forget which one at this point). I started using it for rudimentary tasks like converting format, resizing and cropping images for our newsletters. Then I started to delve into more powerful editing tools, mostly for fun. They now require a paid account if you want to save more than one or two pics a day, but it's only $9/year for a basic account.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2023

Just a quick comment about PDF editors...the best one I've found (and this isn't a paid ad!) is one called Wondershare PDF Element. It does MUCH more than the Adobe PDF program. For the full capability it does require a small "donation", but other than that it's free...and they even have a password removal program that comes seperately.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2023

How to Turn a PDF into a Word Document for editing

Posted by:

18 Jul 2023

Best .pdf software is pdf-exchange editior by, to which I have no connection, nor afilliation in any way.

Posted by:

Rien snijder
18 Jul 2023

Using speccy and audacity. The latter for converting audio cassettes to mp3. Very much recommended. Easy to use.
Bob, too many times I am getting a redirect error when opening the link to your website from my gmail. No idea whats going on

Posted by:

18 Jul 2023

Thanks! I too have really enjoyed your articles like this one! Thanks again!!

Posted by:

Ken Driver
19 Jul 2023

Audacity also has multi-track recording from your PC. It's hard to find a east to use one for free, and this one works good for a free program.

Posted by:

Bill J
01 Aug 2023

Tried speccy on a W7 system with 4 HDD's. It misidentified all of them as SSD's Checking their website showed this as an unresolved problem since 2018. There are reports of various storage units not being identified correctly. Not going to was any more time on their products when something as basic as this seems to go completely unresolved.

Posted by:

Bob Z
17 Aug 2023

It would be really helpful if you would state which operating systems each software package works with and to also give alternatives for any OS it doesn’t work on.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Seven MORE Free Software Recommendations (Posted: 17 Jul 2023)
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