A list of free, low-cost, and/or otherwise useful software for students.
Graphic Design & Publishing
- Affinity Designer ($25*) – A superior Adobe Illustrator alternative for Windows, macOS, and iPadOS.
- Affinity Photo ($25*) – A superior Adobe Photoshop alternative for Windows, macOS, and iPadOS.
- Affinity Publisher ($25*) – A superior Adobe InDesign alternative for Windows, macOS, and iPadOS.
- GIMP (Free) – Another Photoshop clone for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- PIXLR X (Free) – A minimalist Photoshop clone that runs in your browser.
- Remove.bg (Free) – A website that removes backgrounds from images you upload.
- Unsplash.com (Free) – A website gallery that provides licensed images at no charge.
Video, Animation, and Screenwriting
- DaVinci Resolve (Free) – A powerful video editor used in major Hollywood films.
- Adobe Premiere Rush (Free) – A mobile video editor.
- OpenShot (Free) – Open source video editor.
- Handbrake – Open source video transcoder. Convert formats easily.
- Blender (Free) – A professional industry-grade 3D animation editor and alternative to 3DS Max.
- Trelby (Free) – An open source screenwriting app for Windows and Linux.
- Highland 2 (Free/$50) – A powerful screenwriting app for macOS.
- Audacity (Free) – An open source audio editor similar to Adobe Audition. Recording does not currently function in macOS Catalina.
- CleanFeed (Free**) – An alternative to Source-Connect. Host and record live multi-party HD audio in your browser with unlimited guests and no time limit.
- OcenAudio (Free) – A underrated multi-platform audio editor nearly as good as Audacity and much better looking.
- Ardour (Free) – A multi-platform open source digital audio workstation for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Piezo ($19) – Simple audio recording on macOS.
- Fission ($29) – Fast and lossless audio editing on macOS.
- Reaper (Free*/$60) – A multitrack digital audio workstation for Windows and macOS.
- Ferdi (Free) – An indispensable open source fork of Franz (not free), Ferdi let’s you manage all your email, chat, and messaging web apps in one unified work browser. It will change your life.
- Station (Free) – Another work browser for social media, messaging, and web apps with support for 670+ services but no dark mode or theming options.
- LibreOffice (Free) – An open source MS Office clone for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- Vivaldi (Free) – A highly customizable version of the Chrome browser with additional features made by the former creators of the Opera Browser.
- LastPass (Free) – A password manager requiring you to only know one extremely good password for all your other passwords. “One Ring To Rule Them All”.
- Advanced SystemCare (Free/Paid) – Cleans and maintains your PC.
- MalwareBytes (Free) – Prevent and remove malware and viruses instead of using the Norton/McAfee bloatware that came with your PC.
- HowSecureIsMyPassword.net (Free) – An online password tester that can tell you how quickly your terrible passwords can be cracked.
- HaveIBeenPwned.com (Free) – Find out how many data breaches no one bothered informing you about that have compromised your logins.
- 7-Zip (Free) – A file compressor/archiver.
- Ninite (Free) – A software installer/updater.
- 126.96.36.199 (Free) – A fast DNS resolver that encrypts more of your internet traffic to keep out snooping ISP’s looking to sell your data.