May 02, 2009

Free Alternatives to PhotoShop, MsOffice and Antivirus/Security software

In this day and age there are so many programs available for free that it's just not necessary to spend any money. In this post I'm giving you some alternatives to PhotoShop, MsOffice, and Antivirus/Security programs that will be of great benefit.

Two free alternatives to MsOffice Suite
OpenOffice - This suite has applications that look very similar to MsOffice. They have Writer (Word), Impress (PowerPoint), Math (Excel), and Base (Access).

The best part is that you can even save your documents as MsOffice documents so anyone with MsOffice can open and work on the documents. It's a very easy suite to learn if you know MsOffice because even the menus look similar.

Just like MsOffice, OpenOffice has templates available within the applications and also has more available online for you to download for free.

Google Docs - Is a free suite that has also similar types of documents as MsOffice as well.

This suite is available by logging into your online Google account and any documents you create are saved online. The great thing about Google Docs is that you also have the option to save the documents on your PC as either as PDF, PPT, Doc, XLS and other types. Just like MsOffice, Google Docs has over 400 templates available for you to use.
You can also manage your documents through facebook by adding the Google Docs application. If the login credentials are the same for facebook and Google when you add the application it will automatically interface with your Google Docs account.
Another great feature Google Docs is the share feature. You can share your documents with others and allow them to edit the documents.

Since this is an online application you also have the advantage of being able to organize your documents by folders just like in your e-mail inbox.

Check out Google Docs in Plain English video.

Two free alternatives to PhotoShop

PhotoShop is a great application for those that really need to edit images and photos. For the average person that only needs to do some minor changes and effects to their photos or graphics there are other solutions that work very well and that are free.

Picnik - This is a great online photo and graphic editor. They have a free version and also a paid version ($24.95 a year) but trust me, the free version is enough.

With Picnik you can crop, resize, rotate, apply special effects, fine-tune your results and all of this is working from on your browser, there is nothing to download.

You can select photos available either on your PC or available on any of your accounts in MySpace, flickr, facebook, photobucket, Picasa, Webshots, and Webs.

Everything is saved to your online Library, but you also have the option to save it on your PC as well or to share it on other sites such as Twitter, facebook, flickr, etc...
Picnik is available as an application on facebook and you can manage both your online account photos and your facebook photos. Just remember to Sign in if you need to access your online photos.

SplashUp - is another great alternative to PhotoShop and it's probably the one that has the most common features as well. SplashUp is another online editor with a twist. Sign up for a free account but don't be discouraged by the tools showcased on the home page, that's nothing.

When you click on Jump Right In on the Home page, a new window pops up with the editor which looks very similar to it's contender.

The nifty online editor has multiple image editing, pixel-level control and layers. You can work on images located on your PC or on facebook, Picasa, flickr, SmugMug, photobucket or display an image by URL. You can also save your images on these sites as well.

Three Free Alternatives for Antivirus/Security Software

There are several free alternatives available that work just as good as any paid Antivirus and Security software.

The following two were recommended by Consumer Reports as Best Buys even though they are free :O)

Avira AntiVir Personal - This software includes AntiSpam, AntiSpyware, Firewall, EMail protection and Parental control.

Microsoft Windows Defender - This software protects your PC against pop-ups, slow performance and security threats caused by spyware and other potentially unwanted software. This comes automatically with Windows Vista and it's also compatible to Windows XP.

Avast Home Edition - Great full AntiVirus software. The only thing some people may not like is that when you initially register the software you receive a license key only good for 60 days and then you need to register again to get license key good for 1 year, and you must register annually after that. But hey the software is free!

Some recommendations for finding free software:

Before you buy any software search on sites like,, and Freeware Files. You can also do a search on Google for example, search for free antivirus software. Chances are you will find a free version of it.

After you find names of free software, search for reviews on it. Even though it's free you don't want to use something that doesn't work, right?

You can find a bigger list of free alternative software at Web 2.0 Applications Reviews wiki.

What free alternatives do you use? Or tell us your experience if you've used any of the software mentioned in the post.


  1. Hi Cindy... Another Photoshop alternative is GIMP.

    GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, and image construction.

    GIMP has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

    GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

    One of The GIMP's strengths is its free availability from many sources for many operating systems. Most GNU/Linux distributions include The GIMP as a standard application. The GIMP is also available for other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows™ or Apple's Mac OS X™ (Darwin). The GIMP is a Free Software application covered by the General Public License (GPL license). The GPL provides users with the freedom to access and alter the source code that makes up computer programs.

    Visit and download GIMP at

  2. Great addition to the list. I've heard a lot about GIMP, and I even downloaded it but I haven't used it yet.