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Top Open Source Software for Writers & Artist

Updated on October 1, 2014

Open Source Software is Changing Lives

If you have never heard of open source software, many individuals have not, then you are missing out on some cool programs. So, how can a software package change lives? Many people cannot afford commercial software, yet they may need it for work or school. Well, open source software gives everyone the opportunity to have access to high-quality computer software. It is more than just a no cost solution, for many it's a chance to learn the skills needed to get a job.

For example, Microsoft's Word and Excel have earned their popularity in the workplace, but both programs are too pricey for some consumers. What happens to the single mother who needs to learn how to use these programs in order to qualify for a higher paying position? The answer, open source programs.

OpenOffice is a suite of office tools, it's more suited for individuals on a tight budget. It has a word processor, spreadsheet, data base, presentation program and more. This open source program is gaining a name for itself; it is used in businesses, colleges, schools and even government agencies. There is one very important feature worth mentioning, the OpenOffice program is able to open and save files in Microsoft formats.

Why You Should Care About Open Source Software

Why is open source software so important? The idea behind this type of software is freedom, freedom of use. Developers donate their time and knowledge to create these programs, and the source code is available for anyone to enhance or modify. The source code is what makes a software function. Does that mean that the program users get from the official site may have been modified by anyone? No.

When you choose to use an open source program from its official site you get the package that the developers have released. They continuously work on the source code to improve the software and keep it up to date; every newly released version is also available to users. When you install your copy of the software you then can modify or enhance the code to change things if you like. For example, you may want to change how the user interface looks.

It is highly recommended that you take time to browse the website of any program you are considering using. You will find valuable information and gain understanding of what the program can and cannot do. One other thing to remember, when you use open source software you are never alone. There are forums and many resources available to help you learn how to use your new software.

Scribus is Powerful, Get the Most out of This Free Desktop Publishing Software

Open Source for Desktop Publishers & Freelance Writers

Do you need a feature-rich, fully functionally program that will allow you to create that eBook or novel that you have in your head? Scribus is a desktop publishing software package that will get the job done. This program can be used for big or small projects, finished work will be ready for professional printing or exporting as a PDF.

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How to Download and Install Scribus Desktop Publisher

5 Popular Open Source Software Packages

GIMP - this is an image manipulation program or more commonly referred to as photo editing software. It is comparable to the popular commercial photo editor PhotoShop. Over the years the GIMP has constantly been upgraded and it is a very good choice if you want or need a good graphic editor. With this program you can do basic edits such as cropping, fixing brightness and contrast, rotating or more complex photo editing. With all the tools, filters, plug-ins available for GIMP things like removing backgrounds, blending photos, adding text or restoring old damaged photos is at your fingertips.

Blender 3D - this is one of the big boys when it comes to OSS and there is a reason why. It is a powerful and feature-rich 3D modeling and animation package with a game engine. If you have yearned for a 3D program but cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars, then Blender is for you. With this software you can create simple or very detailed models, rig and animated 3d models, create stunning 2d animations, edit videos, learn how to texture models, create complex scenes or make your first video game. There are too many possibilities to list, visit the website and learn more about this exciting program.

Inkscape - when it comes to vector graphics programs this is right up there in capabilities and features with the commercial package Illustrator. Inkscape will get the job done, and it is used by professionals and the average everyday individual. Whether you want to create logos, 3d perspective artwork or turn a bitmap image into a crisp vector graphic you can do that and more with this package.

Krita - this is a fairly new digital and sketching program, it's been around for a while but recently had some really nice upgrades. If drawing, painting and sketching is your thing, then check out this awesome program that is now available for Windows users. Aspiring and advanced artist will love how responsive the brush engine in this program is; you can use a mouse, but with a graphic tablet using this program allows you to really unleash your creativity. You can import a photo as a reference and create beautiful paintings or sketches. Do you like drawing cartoons or caricatures? Learn more about how Krita can become your digital canvas.

Wings3d - this is a very simple low poly 3d modeling program, but don't let the interface fool you this program is great for beginners, so if Blender is too advanced for you but you are ready to get your feet wet and learn how to model give Winds3d a try. Learning the basics of 3d modeling can be a daunting task, but Wings3d won't overwhelm you it's user interface is easy to navigate, yet it has everything you need to model characters, cars, furniture or whatever you like. Get more details at its website and see why is a top pick.

There are many more packages available, these are the ones that I use most often. The benefits of using open source programs are many. Technology has changed the way we live our lives, and the use of software is a huge part of how we get things done. Having access to program such as the ones mentioned opens doors and tears down barriers.


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