Helpful and Free - Web Tools for Writers
Gone are the days of typewriters, liquid paper, hard cover dictionaries and the paperback thesaurus. The Web offers the writer of our modern era several helpful tools that make penning your thoughts and conducting research quick and accurate. The best part about it - the tools are free.
Word Processing & More
Apache OpenOffice - According to OpenOffice.org, Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose."
Google Docs - According to CNET.com, "If you've ever struggled to keep track of different versions of spreadsheet or word processor files sent over email, Google Docs & Spreadsheets may be right for you. Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free Web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers. You can, for example, coordinate your student group's homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues on a new business plan."
Dictionary, Grammar and Thesaurus
For help sprucing up your writing:
Dictionary.com - Define words.
Thesaurus.com - Provides synonyms and related concepts.
Meriam-Webster.com - this site boasts not only a dictionary, but a thesaurus and a medical and encyclopedia tab.
Grammarly - claims to be the world's best grammar check - and but it's only free for a 7-day trial for trying it out.
Grammarbase - The site boasts, "You don't need to pay us, register or complete any test - you just copy-paste your text and see your grammar mistakes. Easy as pie!"
TIP: You don't want to overuse words, especially in the same sentence or paragraph. A thesaurus can provide you with multiple ideas for different ways to say what you're thinking.
Pictures and Images
Finding quality free pictures and images can be a bit challenging online. A few favorites for freebies are below:
Morguefile.com - The site reads, "Looking for high resolution stock photos for your illustration, comp or design needs? Search MorgueFile for free reference images. Yes, they're all completely free. whether you're an illustrator, art director, instructor or looking to add a defining visual to a presentation."
Wikimedia Commons - "A database of 23,708,090 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute."
Bibme.org - "Fully automatic bibliography maker that auto-fills. It's the easiest way to build a works cited page. And it's free." I agree. One of my all time favorite sites. Builds in APA, MLA and Chicago and you can download the final bib page which is all formatted for you. EASY!!!
Purdue's Owl Online Writing Lab - "The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue." I love how Purdue shares this site not only with their students, but with the public. It's education at it's finest and free!
Something NEW to try - The BaylaDex
Brand new from Bayla Publishing is the BaylaDex app for Android. Android users who are writers should never have to reach for a pen again. Add and edit data without connection to Wifi or your phone's data plan. The BaylaDex even has share data capabilities for writers who want to exchange their ideas.
To download the FREE app - visit the Google Play.
BabelFish - Fun, free and easy, BabelFish translates 75 different languages.
Google Translate - Free and supports 80 languages.