There’s no doubt that for major applications, commercial software can be the bast choice. If you need office applications, there is a company that begins with M that makes an excellent office suite. For graphics creation and editing, a company that begins with the letter A makes the applications that are arguably the best for professional use.
However, there are some good free choices for many applications that can do all or most of what the commercial apps can do. Here are some of my favorites:
Screen Shots and Screen Videos
- CamStudio — Provides a tool to make quality screen videos for demonstrations that is equal to professional tools that cost money.
- PicPick — My new favorite for screen shots. It also has basic editing and annotation tools. This is a great tool for anyone who makes instructional manuals.
- MWSnap — My former favorite for screen shots. It’s still a great tool even though it’s a bit dated. It works with Windows 7 and 8 plus older versions.
- Notepad++ — This is a great editor for anyone who needs to edit text. For batch files, VBScript, and even simple SQL scripts, this editor provides colored syntax and the ability to script some editing functions. This is the editor I use the most.
Other editors like VIM and Emacs may be more powerful, but have a much more significant learning curve. If you already know how to use them, though, they are available on nearly every OS.