Today we can find a large number of programs for Windows, programs with which we can do everything. Many of these programs, especially the best known, are paid, and in order to use them we have to pay a license or subscription. Other programs are free, and allow us to use them without having to pay (both unlimited and with some limitations). And beyond them we find OpenSource programs , an alternative to ever more popular programs.
The OpenSource, or open source programs , are characterized by programs whose source code is public and available to others. Any user can enter to review the code, collaborate in the development of the program and even use parts of the code to create their own program (provided it is free software). Any user can download and use these programs without having to pay, and in terms of performance and benefits they have nothing to envy to the big commercial programs, such as Photoshop, Office or Premiere.
There is an open source alternative to almost any paid program that we can install on our computer. Next we are going to see the best that cannot be missing on our Windows PC and the payment program that they can replace. Of course, although the programs that we are going to see here are free, there are some others that, despite being OpenSource, are paid. Therefore, one open source software does not have to be free .
LibreOffice, the alternative to Microsoft Office
One of the first programs that we usually install on our computer is an office suite with a word processor, spreadsheets and a slide viewer. Microsoft Office is the most popular suite in this regard. However, in addition to having features that we will probably never need, it is very expensive. Therefore, to replace this suite we recommend LibreOffice.
LibreOffice is the office suite of The Document Foundation that allows us to have a word processor, some spreadsheets and a completely free and open source slide viewer and editor. Everything we can need to make an office use of the computer without complications and without having to pay any license.
GIMP and Krita, two great substitutes for Photoshop
If we like to draw or edit photos, the first program that comes to mind is Photoshop. However, this program is probably one of the most expensive software that we can install on our computer. Luckily, there are two excellent totally free and open source alternatives that will allow us to forget about this software: GIMP and Krita.
GIMP , on the one hand, is an open source image editor that offers users almost the same functions and tools as Photoshop so that, except for very advanced professional needs, we do not miss Adobe software at all.
And Krita , on the other hand, is freehand drawing software packed with tools and brushes that will allow us to forget about paper, paints and watercolors to unleash our artistic streak.
Darktable and RawTherapee, for photo retouching superior to Adobe Lightroom
If what we do is retouch the photos we take with our camera or mobile, surely we have heard of Lightroom. This Adobe software is included in the Adobe Photoshop subscription, therefore, we are dealing with very expensive software.
Within the OpenSource world we will be able to find two great alternatives to this software for photo retouching and enhancement. The first one will be Darktable , a RAW development program that will allow us to make all kinds of modifications to our photos, and on the other hand we will find RawTherapee , another very complete photo processing program to improve the finish of our photographs and any type of image.
Kdenlive and OpenShot, great video editors to replace Adobe Premiere
It has always been thought that to edit video it was necessary to use a professional program, such as Adobe Premiere , Vegas or Pinnacle. However, far from reality, there are a large number of free and open source alternatives that will allow us to edit the videos with everything that these commercial programs offer us, but without having to pay high usage licenses.
Kdenlive is one of the best video editors, free, open source and very easy to use, that will allow us to modify the video in your timeline as we want without complications. And for those who need something a little more complete, OpenShot is a very simple and powerful video editor that has nothing to envy to commercial programs.
Blender, to end 3DS Max or Cinema 4D
If editing video seemed professional to us, design and 3D animation could be two concepts that could be much further from our needs. These programs, like 3DS Max or Cinema 4D , are usually quite expensive and complicated to use. After all, they are software for professional use.
However, there is an excellent alternative for 3D animation and design so powerful that it has even been used in cinema and in large professional projects, such as video games: Blender . This software brings us everything you need to carry out any task of modeling, lighting control, rendering, animation and creating 3D graphics.
qBittorrent and Transmission, open source alternatives to uTorrent
uTorrent has long been the best torrent download client for PC. However, today it is a discouraged program due to its payment model, its large number of advertisements and the practices carried out in the past in which mining software was even installed without the permission of the users.
There are excellent alternatives to uTorrent that will allow us to download files from the torrent network much faster, using less RAM and with greater efficiency. One of these programs is qBitTorrent , an aesthetically similar client to uTorrent full of functions and features that, in addition, consumes very few resources on the PC. And on the other hand we have Transmission , a classic of Linux systems, available for Windows, much more minimalist to focus exclusively on downloading.
Inkscape, for vector graphics design without Adobe Illustrator
It is true that not everyone is dedicated to creating and editing vector graphics. But many users who are professionally dedicated to it tend to use extremely expensive software such as Adobe Illustrator . However, many times we can save money thanks to open source software such as Inkscape .
This software allows us to create all kinds of vector images and save them in SVG so that we can use it in any project without complications. We can from drawing the figures that we want with their tools to adding the ones that come by default. We can also import documents to edit and improve them.
Firefox, Edge and Chromium, to get away from Google Chrome
Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser in the world. And although many users think that it is an open source browser, in reality it is not. This browser is based on Chromium (Google’s open source engine), which has included a large number of proprietary components to shape this Google browser.
If we want greater security and privacy when browsing the Internet, we must change this proprietary browser for an OpenSource alternative. Edge, the Microsoft browser, is an open source browser that uses the Chromium engine, improves many functions, and eliminates Google functions that take away privacy from users.
Another very interesting alternative is ungoogled-chromium . This browser is based on Chromium, and uses the Chromium source code as such, but removes all Google dependencies on the browser code. So we get a copy of the Google browser but much more private, without Google.
And if we want to go further and get away from everything related to Google, then we can always turn to Firefox, the open source Mozilla browser, which takes care of our privacy.
QCAD, for modeling beyond AutoCAD
For those who work with CAD design in 2 dimensions, one of the programs that they usually use is AutoCAD, a proprietary program that has a very expensive license. Luckily, online we can also find alternatives to this type of software that allow us to design much better without having to pay, as is the case with QCAD .
This is an open source software, totally free for all users, that will offer us everything necessary to create building plans, design interiors, prototype mechanical parts and much more.
VSCodium, an alternative to Visual Studio Code
VSCodium Visual Studio Code is a text editor and programming IDE designed by Microsoft to help users program in any language. Although this software is open source, it is the same as with Chrome, and is that Microsoft has included proprietary parts within the code and data collection functions.
If we want to use Visual Studio Code without anything from Microsoft, then one of the best alternatives is VSCodium . This software builds on the VSCode source code and removes all dependencies and libraries from Microsoft to offer a fully open source, privacy-focused code editor.
ShareX, an alternative to capture and record the screen
Operating systems allow us to take screenshots without the need to install other programs. However, the functions offered by this capture system in terms of retouching and editing are very limited. Although we can resort to alternatives such as Ashampoo Snap , there are much more powerful open source alternatives than this software that will allow us to take screenshots to a new level.
ShareX is one of the most complete programs for taking screenshots, editing and sharing them over the Internet. It will also allow us to record what happens on the computer screen without resorting to additional software, and all this for free.
OBS Studio and Simple Screen Recorder, great streaming programs
If we are one of those who like to broadcast our games over the Internet, or record the screen to make video tutorials or courses, surely we have used software such as Camtasia, Action or Bandicam. These are very complete programs for this purpose, but, going back to usual, they are closed source programs for which we have to pay a license.
There are very complete alternatives to these programs that will allow us to carry out this work with complete freedom. OBS Studio , for example, is one of the most complete programs for recording and streaming that we can find, even more than many of the paid programs.
And if what we are looking for is simple software to record the screen of our computer, SimpleScreenRecorder will allow us to do it without complications. This program is even faster than VLC and supports the highest quality game recording.
Legendary, to delete the Epic Games Store from Windows
Finally, the Epic Games Store has become one of the most peculiar game stores. No longer for the prices and exclusives, but for the games that it gives away every week to its users. This online store has a client for Windows from which we can download and manage our entire library of games. This client, as it happens, for example, with Steam, is closed source.
If we use this online store and want to use open source software on our PC, a great alternative that we can use to this program is Legendary. This open source client allows us to log into the Epic Games Store. In addition, we will be able to access our games library, download and update the games and DLCs and run the games. Furthermore, it is possible to run Windows games on Linux thanks to its integration with Wine.