Tired of shelling out big bucks for software programs?

The good news is, for every pricey software program like Adobe Photoshop, there’s a free alternative. While some of these programs may not offer the multi-option functionality of their brand name competitors, but free programs offer a no risk option –  if you don’t like the program, you haven’t lost any money.


Check out these five lookalikes below:

Celtx example


What is it: media production software

Substitute for: Scrivener

Ask any writer slogging through a draft of their masterpiece, and chances are they are using Scrivener as a platform. Known in writing circles as the industry standard, this also means it carries a price tag.

Celtx, a cloud-based media production software, is an excellent alternative. It features two different editors: a rich text editor suited for novel writing, and a screenwriting editor perfect for creating anything from screenplays to comic books, Best of all; there’s no need to download anything, so you’ll never risk losing files in case your computer crashes.


Jing logo


What is it: screen casting software

Substitute for: Snag It

Remember the days when screen capture was a trial error tapping of various control keys? Fortunately, those days are over – thanks to the development of handy screen capture tools like Snag It and Jing. TechSmith creates both and Jing is the free option.

Sign up for an account with Jing and watch as a glowing orb lingers on your desktop, making image grabs as simple as a highlight and click with a mouse. You can see your history of screen shots and provides multiple options on how to share images.


Gimp example


What is it: image manipulation software

Substitute for: Photoshop

Adobe products are expensive. It’s no accident then that the Google search bar almost populates itself the moment you type in “alternatives to Photoshop.”

GIMP is one of those alternatives -an open source software that can be used for image editing and resizing, drawing and converted image formats. For simple graphics editing, GIMP is cost free and less cumbersome. I guess it’s too late to suggest they change their name, but free is free.


Komposer example


What is it: Web authoring software

Substitute for: Dreamweaver
Another great alternative to the memory hogging Adobe programs, KompoZer has many of the same bells and whistles: web file management, split screen code/graphic option, and has WYSIWYG so that you can view your work and you design the page.

Best of all, it’s specifically designed for users who are unfamiliar with web coding such as HTML, therefore an alternative to expensive template building sites likes Wix, also.


Zoom example


What is it: video conferencing software

Substitute for: Skype

Zoom is a free Skype alternative for video conferences and webinars. Unlike Skype, there’s no need to set up an account or user name. The host simply sends a link to a “zoom room,” and attendees can attend without providing personal information.

For users who want to create meetings, a free account allows meetings up to 40 minutes with a maximum of 25 attendees. Most noteworthy, the software also features an easy access menu bar for text messaging and screen sharing.


Which free software programs do you use? Have you used these programs? Feel free to share your tips and feedback with us.