To burn discs with your PC, you need two things. The first is a CD burner, or (better) a DVD burner, or (better still) a Blu-Ray burner. The second is disc-burning software. For the first, you're probably limited by the burner you already own, and your burner's capabilities will determine what kinds of disc you can burn, how much and what kind of data they can hold, and how long it takes to burn them. But for the second requirement, the burning tool, you have a lot more choices, and a lot of them are free. Active Data … Read more
PDF files are easier to read than their Microsoft Word counterparts. However, in order to make changes to them, you need to have a rather pricy program such as Adobe Acrobat. PDFill PDF Editor is a great substitute. You can edit your PDFs the same as you would edit your Word documents. It gives you so many options that you might be overwhelmed.
PDFill PDF Editor smartly tries to mimic Microsoft Word with its layout. Sadly, it doesn't replicate Microsoft Word's ease of use. There are about 100 or more icons that all do different things. While this … Read more
If your job involves writing or editing, you probably need a word processor to get it done. Microsoft Word can cost hundreds, so a free alternative is nice. Zen Writer is a stylish program that will save you cash, but you'll sacrifice most of the features you need in productivity software.
True to its name, Zen Writer gives you an open, peaceful place for organizing thoughts. The customizable music and backgrounds produce a calming effect. You can add a typewriter sound effect to your keystrokes and it even saves your work automatically. It's a fun environment for brainstorming, … Read more
There are any number of utilities out there that can quickly and easily convert a variety of file formats into PDFs, so there's no reason to settle for one that doesn't quite meet your needs. DeskPDF Pro combines an efficient drag-and-drop interface with some useful features, but the limitations of the trial version are significant, and there are free programs with many of the same features.
Once installed, DeskPDF Pro appears as an icon in the Windows system tray; clicking it brings up a small interface onto which users can drag files for conversion. This launches a window … Read more
The iPad, along with competing tablets and even the growing list of highly portable ultrabooks, is quickly becoming a staple in the classroom for teachers and students alike. It seems more and more likely that taking notes with a pen and paper will one day be an antiquated practice we'll all reminisce about to our grandkids.
The iPad can be a great tool for taking notes, but the native iOS Notes app doesn't cut it for everyone. To take truly useful notes that can replace that spiral notebook, you're going to need the help of an app … Read more
Adobe isn't for every situation, whether it's hardware (bricks) or software (PDFs). If you need to create PDFs that you can view and use inside of the many free standalone PDF viewers, there's a versatile, compact alternative in the form of printer-based PDF tools such as Doro PDF Writer. Doro adds an additional printer to your system, but instead of connecting to an external device, it formats your documents and saves them as PDFs. You create PDFs simply by selecting Print and choosing Doro from your print menu. Doro PDF Writer is freeware.
Doro PDF Writer installs … Read more
Microsoft Word dominates the word processor market, but people are increasingly turning to freeware alternatives instead of spending a fortune on Microsoft Office. If you don't mind a slightly dated interface, Kingsoft Writer 2012 can likely meet all your word processing needs without breaking the bank.
If you've ever used Word 2003 you'll have no trouble getting acquainted with Kingsoft Writer 2012, as the program's interface borrows heavily from this older version of Word. A menu and a couple of toolbars adorn the top of the interface, giving access to a full complement of word processing … Read more
Soda 3D Reader is Lulu Software's answer to Adobe Reader. While it may not be the most powerful Adobe alternative out there, it does have some nice features and unique 3D functionality that make it worth a look.
The program's interface is clean and inviting, with ribbon-style navigation that should be familiar to Microsoft Office 2010 users. The tabs at the top act as your main menu, with submenus that open up beneath them as you click. And along the left, there's a page preview pane, if you choose to enable it. The program's controls are … Read more
iA Writer, a simple text editor for the iPad, was recently updated to include iCloud support. It's also available at the moment for only $1.99, down from its usual price of $4.99.
On the rare days where I leave my home and set out for my local bagelry to do some blogging, I usually tote my MacBook Pro along with my iPad. I test out apps on the iPad and then use my MacBook to write about them. Now that I'm using iA Writer, I am starting to leave my MacBook at home on these trips.
iA Writer presents a sparse look, forgoing formatting and almost all other settings to keep you focused at the task at hand: writing. It does its best to present a clean slate. Launch the app and you'll see a plain, white screen with a thin menu bar running along the top of the screen. … Read more
Microsoft's Word and its clones dominate the word-processing scene, but some alternatives are worth a look, especially when they take a different approach. Take FocusWriter, for instance. It encourages focus and productivity with a full-screen view and a pared-down interface and features such as autosave, goal-tracking, formatting, spell checker, and find-and-replace. FocusWriter Portable is a fully portable version of this versatile freeware. You can save it on a USB drive and run it on any compatible Windows PC.
FocusWriter opened with a plain gray screen displaying our cursor. Hovering over the top edge produced a menu bar, while at … Read more