A Personal View



Useful Software to Download

This is some of the most useful free software on the net.

Open Office

Open Office is a full function, comprehensive, easy to use office software suite. It contains a Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Database and Drawing application. While it has its own native formats it can convert most document types from and to the Microsoft Office suite and a number of other common and not so common formats. (Note that it does not seem to handle some of the latest Microsoft Word (2007) formatting as well as the earlier Word format versions. I imagine this will be fixed with time.) The word processor does (nearly) everything that the large office suite word processor does (there may be some minor functionality that few people would ever use anyway and it has probably a few functions that the other programs don't do). Its appearance is similar to a lot of office type programs, consequently it is intuitive and works fine. 

I have been recently using the spreadsheet program and some of the ways that it operates is not the same as other spreadsheet programs I have used - and not in a good way. It may be just that I am not use to it yet.


Seamonkey is combination, web browser, email client and a "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) web page editor. As a web page editor it is simple to use, writes quite clean HTML (especially when used in conjunction with Topstyle style sheet editor - see below) and allows manual editing of the HTML.

Topstyle Lite

As mentioned Topstyle is a style sheet editor. Easy to use and comprehensive. There is the free basic version and the paid for professional version. Unless you are a professional the basic version will be adequate.


First Page

First Page is a HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) editor. Basically it is a text editor with a lot of additional functions to make writing HTML code easier. You can use this if you want more control of your HTML coding, but you need more experience and expertise.


CutePDF is a little program that allow you to save any document as a PDF. The way that it works is that when you go to print the document, instead of selecting your normal paper printer off the printer list you select the CutePDF Writer. Then a dialogue box pops up and you can save the document as a PDF which can then be opened with the standard PDF viewer programs. It doesn't allow you to edit documents in PDF format. While it works with all programs that have a print option I find it particularly useful for saving Web pages as a PDF document, instead of into HTML or having to print it on paper. Try it out if you think you might have a use for it.

Google Chrome

Chrome is Google's version of a Web browser. It web page viewing screen is a cleaner design and maximises the web page viewing area. Some functionality such as bookmarks and printing is also better. Try it for a week and you won't want to go back.


Audacity is a audio recorder. I used it for recording some of my old vinyls and cassette  tape into a digital format. If you think you have this requirement it will probably do the job, though it hasn't got all the bells and whistles of commercial programs. You will need to buy lead to connect your stereo to the computer's headphone jack.

Contents Page.

If you would like to suggest other useful free software please email me.








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