The best free software (Office)

AbiWord (Windows | MacOS | Linux)
Volunteers keep this open-source word processor alive. It closely mimics the look and feel of Microsoft Word 2003 and earlier.

Adobe Buzzword (Windows | Web | Flash)
Adobe takes on Google with this online word processor built (naturally) in Adobe Flash. The interface is splashy; controls are simple.

Gliffy (Web | Flash)
An online-only diagramming tool with more options than you can fl owchart. The free version is limited to five diagrams.

Google Docs (Web | Mobile)
Google’s slickly designed offi ce suite offers online shared word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations—and best of all, fi nally a solid alternative in the offi ce-suite space to the totally dominating Microsoft. Upload or e-mail your current documents for storage and editing.

IBM Lotus Symphony (Windows)
A much prettier version of OpenOffi, Symphony is prepped for presentations, spreadsheets, and word processing in a single window (but lacks OO’s drawing and database modules).

KompoZer (Windows | MacOS | Linux)
A full WYSIWYG Web-page authoring tool akin to Dreamweaver, KompoZer integrates an FTP site manager for fi le uploads.

NeoOffice (MacOS)
This version of has the same great tools and price (free), but with an interface designed specifically for the Mac OS.

Notepad++ (Windows)
Notepad++ handles text—especially source code—in ways the basic Windows Notepad could only dream of, with embellishments like tabs and color coding.

Scribus (Windows | MacOS | Linux)
This open-source page layout tool has features comparable to big names like Page maker, plus support for PDFs and scalable vector graphics (SVG).

Windows Live Mail (Windows)
Live Mail not only reads your Hotmail, but also can check POP, IMAP, or HTTP mail accounts. It works as an RSS feed reader and a newsreader.

Zoho (Web | Mobile)
Zoho features every tool you could want—word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, database, even a wiki—and several you never knew you needed. Some are also available off-line.


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