7 Excellent Free Alternatives for Paid Software


These past few years, both Adobe and Microsoft have adopted an all-or-nothing model in their software selections. Instead of purchasing the software in-store, these services are all cloud-based and require a monthly subscription to access their tools. With Photoshop and Microsoft Word being some of the biggest commonly-used software in history, you may be feeling the pressure to start paying their monthly fees. Fear not, my frugal friend! With 1.8 billion websites operating simultaneously every day, there are several free alternatives to the reliable software you know and love.

Adobe Suite

Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat are only a few of the seemingly endless applications that Adobe offers. With a price of $600 a year, however, users are starting to think twice. If you use Adobe primarily for editing PDF files, then Sejda PDF Editor is an excellent free alternative for Acrobat. It integrates e-signatures, photos, and direct website links into your files. The only downside to this application is that it can only handle files under 200 pages, and can only be used on three PDFs per hour. If you are a casual user of Acrobat, however, these limitations won’t be any problem.

As far as photo editing and illustration software goes, some artists swear on Photoshop and Photoshop alone. For those who beg to differ, software like GIMP and Krita are honestly quite hard to differentiate from the industry giant. You can free draw, edit and touch up photos, and even work on your old PSD files normally reserved only for Adobe users. These alternatives are completely free, at the small sacrifice of the history bar and Photoshop’s incredibly user-friendly interface.

Microsoft Office

For all of your Excel and Word files, Google has given you a cloud-based workspace to keep them all in one space. As long as you have a Google account, you have access to Files, Spreadsheets, and even Slides. No longer will you need to pay $100 a year for your Microsoft 365 subscription to access your Powerpoints. Google keeps them all safe in one place for you.

Other Convenient Free Sites

With the sheer size of the Internet, it would take years to list all of the handy free sites available right at your fingertips, but here are 5 right off the bat. Draw.io allows you to create flowcharts and professional graphics, remove.bg quickly takes the background out of any photo, and jotti.org can scan any file for suspicious behavior or viruses almost immediately. Additionally, Canva makes stunning free printable graphics from professional templates, and Grammarly assists you in all your writing and editing ventures.

Clearly, there is no shortage of free alternatives to expensive programs. Before you give in to the industry giants like Microsoft and Adobe, try out the alternatives. You may even enjoy their interfaces more than the originals.

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