The built-in Windows calculator is pretty good but Microsoft Mathematics is much better. It "has the most features for a scientific calculator. … Many features will help basic users particularly unit conversions, comprehesive help, worksheets that explain the steps to the solution, export to to Microsoft Word, and if you're really keen there is an add-on that allows you to work directly in Word and Onenote." There are "many more cool features like one-click 2D and 3D graphs, the option of pen, touch or mouse input, nerdy stuff like differential calculus, complex numbers and matrices, and some interesting skins for the calculator." (Editor, Best Free Calculator)
"Scribus is the real thing; a professional quality page layout program capable of producing "press-ready" output. The feature list is impressive, basically everything you want is there including: CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. Graphics manipulation is handled via an interface to the Gimp, another open source program. Scribus can also import from and export to programs in the Open Office suite.
The user interface though highly functional, is not quite as slick as its commercial cousins but it can be skinned to fit in with the look of whatever operating system you are using. The documentation is excellent and there is lots of support from Scribus's enthusiastic user community." (Editor, Best Free Desktop Publishing Program)
Calibre is an "open source eBook library management application" with "extensive file conversions, the ability to convert over thirteen document formats into EPUB, PDF and MOBI formats for use on popular eBook-readers …. You can also set up Calibre to fetch news from websites and RSS feeds and convert it into a compatible format …. There's even a built-in web server so you can access your eBook collection remotely" … and "a cover-flow browsing feature …. However, it tries to sort all your books in its own preferred folder structure, so if you're a person who uses your own folder-hierarchy use this carefully." (Editor, Best Free Electronic Book Reader)
Font Runner by Crux Technologies "tries to simplify the interface, has a preview list rather than selecting one font at a time, displays Unicode, has user-defined group by favorite folders or projects, and allows drag'n'drop of files and folders even from Windows Explorer. You can search by font name, by similarity to the selected font, or for characters in other fonts that match the selected character. The latter is useful for finding Unicode fonts with similar character blocks. A few features initially frustrated me but aren't big problems. For example, you have to specify the default folder for Font Runner to display when it opens - most programs default to the system font folder. Also, Font Runner does not allow you to select the Unicode character block to view." (Editor, Best Free Font Manager)
"I liked that I could easily navigate or filter by people or name list, family, relationship, ancestry, events, places, sources, repositories, media, and notes. An undo function allows easy correction of the most recent entries. …
I felt the place entry especially outstanding. … Alternate locations can be entered for each place … Sources, notes, multimedia, and internet links can be linked to each place …
I loved the date support. Dates can be based on several different calendars …
"The installation can be intimidating. There are several required programs which must be installed in a specific order. I highly recommend using the all in one installation or the portable version on the Portable Apps website for Windows installers.." (Editor, Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software)
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Notes Organizer.
It is disappointing to be unable to offer a free 64-bit office suite for Windows.
WPS is the original name for this software. It is an acronym for Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheet. It also has versions for Linux, Android, and iOS.
"For a freeware equivalent to Microsoft Office and for those who liked the simpler old style 2003 interface then Kingsoft Office Suite Free is the application. There isn't a single feature I found that isn't IDENTICAL to the Microsoft Office 2003 equivalent. The similarities even go far into the styles of WordArt." (Editor, Best Free Office Suite)
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Outliner.
PDF-XChange Viewer "was able to quickly open and accurately render all of the files in my test set of PDF files" except for an Adobe 3D file. It can zoom and rotate pages, search text, allow side-by-side comparisons through tiling windows, and it can save to many bitmap image file types but not to vector graphic file types nor metafile formats that mix the two. It has many editing features including "an extensive suite of tools for form annotating and bookmarking documents"; an "extensive commenting capability that includes many drawing tools" plus the ability to hide, export or import comments, "the option to add a grid for precision"; and "encrypt documents as well as managing document security and properties".
Some downsides are "a dated interface" and the lack of "digital or electronic signatures". (Editor, Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader.
There are several online tools in Best Free PDF Tools as well as the following 64-bit applications.
Its interface is not straightforward to use, for example "its merge, split and reorder functions are available under the ‘input’ tab, and a new filename has to be entered in the ‘output’ tab." But it does have a full toolbox as it "allows you to rotate, watermark and format multiple pages", "change page numbers and chapter bookmarks", use "encryption functions", "add attachments", and "set viewer preferences and document properties, including title, author, subject and keywords." (Editor, Best Free PDF Tools)
Reorganize PDF pages
"… well worth trying if you need to visually re-order or recompose multiple pages of PDF files. You can mix, merge or extract, split and rotate pages by specifying the page numbers. However, PDFsam also lets you re-organize PDF pages in a thumbnail view. In this mode, you can easily work with thumbnails to merge, delete, rotate or re-order PDF pages and save the results as another PDF file. Since PDFsam is a Java application, it will run on any operating system that supports Java. The basic version of PDFsam is free for use. The installer is bundled with an advertising program OpenCandy but you can get … a standalone zip file with no such bundle." (Best Free PDF Tools)
Convert images to PDF
"It works even better than the tool "Convert Images to PDF" included in PDFill PDF Tools. Download and unzip i2pdf and run the executable directly (no installation required). This program is portable and user friendly—just drag and drop the images on the program window, click the "Build PDF" button and it's done. When setting the page output, "paperless" format is a helpful option if you'd like to convert portrait or landscape images to the PDF file and view them on the screen without blank paper margins." (Editor, Best Free PDF Tools)
We haven't found a 64-bit PDF writer but there is a good selection of 32-bit readers in Best Free PDF Writer.
PDF writers normally create PDF files by printing to a pseudo printer which is also called a virtual printer that means you need to be able to open the original file to be converted. If you can't then there are some website converters that can open many types of file.
"Money Manager Ex is an excellent full-featured budget program that enables users to create multiple accounts, transactions, categories, and reports. The program is fairly easy to use, with a medium-level learning curve, and has an extensive help file to assist users on how to navigate the various features and options.… In general, it is a good program for novices and experts, but is sorely lacking in real-time automatic fiscal tracking and download capabilities. Also, it does not support password encryption" (Editor, Best Free Personal Finance Software)
You put your life into a PIM so the absence of a native 64-bit PIM will frustrate many. Check out the Best Free Personal Information Manager Software for 32-bit applications will have to do in the interim. I found them useful but none of them exceptional. Evolution was another option, an Outlook replacement ported from Linux, but it crashed under Windows 7 64-bit.
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program for the desktop so leave us a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Project Manager but your best options could be web-based. Here are a couple of examples.
dotProject is a web-based service that is well established. It requires an account but no software on your computer.
web2project is a web server application that you host yourself and install to a compatible web host that you have an account with. It works best for workgroups that collaborate on projects and want to share a calendar. It also has a migration path from dotProject
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Reminder and To-Do Program.
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Unit and Currency Conversion Program.
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