Best Free Windows 64-bit Software - Page Index
2. Home and Office
At present there is no recommended 64-bit Office Suite but there are three options you might consider. All are applications based on Open Office which does not appear to be actively developed at present.
"The real gem of SSuite – Excalibur is the small size and speed of the program. … Sadly for all the greats of SSuite – Excalibur there are many faults. Anyone that is interested in using a word processor should turn away as the word processor … only allows for basic formatting and ONLY supports .rtf format. … In the end with a very old look to it, SSuite – Excalibur will be suitable for people interested in mainly using a spreadsheet editor that is both fast and not distracting, but sadly nothing else." (Best Free Office Suite)
LibreOffice is "the prime choice when it comes to freeware office suites. The writer is both easy to use and very productive, offering all the tools the average user will ever need, as well as plenty of tools for more advanced writers. The spreadsheet editor and the writer, as one could guess, are very easy to understand. The only downsides to LibreOffice is that a few of the more basic options can be hard to find for users that are not that advanced and are looking for a good alternative to Microsoft Office (for instance, double spacing)." (Best Free Office Suite)
IBM Lotus Symphony will not install on 64-bit systems that use AMD processors. This cuts out up to a quarter of those with 64-bit systems.
IBM Lotus Symphony "supports a tabbed workspace. … it offers a very great boost in productivity while not cluttering up your task bar. However IBM Lotus Symphony is a very complicated office suite, many of the most simple of jobs done in other office suites are very complicated to perform." (Best Free Office Suite)
These word processors fit in the space between WordPad, the basic word processor provided with Windows, and full-featured word processors like Microsoft Word which they are compatible with in various ways: similar menus, similar toolbars, Word file compatibility, etc.
If you don't write long documents such as "novels, reports, and documentation or tutorials" then you should find a good solution here. They all have tabbed interface, font and paragraph formatting, headers and footers, tables, equations, pictures, spell check, and hyperlinks. Have a look at the Quick Selection Guide and Best Free Word Processor for further information.
Jarte is rated best in this class (Best Free Word Processor) but, as a long-time Microsoft Word user, I prefer AbiWord. One reason is that it is the only product in this category with a unique look which many find attractive. It is compact, capable and rather clever with links to useful web sites and some integration with related products like font managers and PDF printers.
PolyEdit Lite is the lightest option here and also functions as a programming editor.
AbiWord "is easy to adapt to, especially since the interface is similar to that found in Microsoft Word and WordPerfect." It is the most extensible of these products and comes with several add-on options at install.
The latest stable release AbiWord 2.8.6 has compatibility problems in Windows 64-bit particularly with all the install options selected. The fully 64-bit compatible version is currently 2.9.2 beta so it may still have some bugs.
Tracker Software Products have really impressed me with PDF-XChange Viewer. The free version loses some features from the PRO product but these are page-level editing and format conversion so it doesn't limit viewing at all. It is highly customisable in many areas including the toolbars and performance tuning (e.g. memory usage).
"It allows PDF annotation and thankfully leaves the annotated copy free of validation marks. It also allows you to fill and save Adobe PDF forms, extract text and images, magnify text and export PDF pages or documents to BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG formats and has excellent image/text clarity." (Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader)
The options are simple once I omitted products that create larger PDF files or do not explicitly provide 64-bit support.
BullZip PDF Printer is a very strong program that has been time proven to be a top performer." Bullzip supports encryption, passwords, watermarks, output quality, and many other features. "However files created by Bullzip PDF Printer may not be searchable. While it created a searchable pdf from word processing programs it did not from other programs like Excel." (Best Free PDF Writer)
BullZip PDF Printer converts PDF formats using Ghostscript which must be installed as well.
NitroPDF Reader is a reader and writer. It is not a PDF printer so it is a good alternative for those who like to work with PDF files directly. Although it is a simple product I liked it very much except that it takes up a lot of diskspace.
There is no 64-bit recommendation in this category.
"PDFill PDF Tools comes bundled with PDFill PDF Editor, which is not free. However, you can run PDFill PDF Tools separately after installation. The free software part of the package does not support functions such as converting PDF to text, making annotations, etc. But those features are all available in" other products. (Best Free PDF Tools)
With Sony Reader for PC you can "shop eBook titles including New York Times Bestsellers, search inside your collection of eBooks and can even borrow books from your library but a library card is required. It has a two-page layout" and will read PDF files because it is built on Adobe Reader for Mobile. "While it has all the polish and gloss of a Sony product it lacks some key features like a full screen interface." (Best Free Electronic Book Reader)
"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" (Best Free Personal Finance Software)
You put your life into a PIM so the absence of a native 64-bit PIM will frustrate many. These 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.
EssentialPIM Free is comprehensive PIM that is relatively light on resources. "It also does many of the same things as Outlook and can import your Outlook data and/or Outlook Express contacts as well." (Best Free Personal Information Manager Software)
Pimero-Free "is a modestly crippled version of an actively-maintained commercial application. … The commercial version offers very nice data export, but there is no way to export your data from the free version. You cannot create repeating tasks either if that's important to you" (Best Free Personal Information Manager Software). It is more complex to install. It installs the Firebird database, gave me more decisions to make for my firewall, and requires you to setup a user account with password but that is a good feature for the security of your data.
Rainlendar Lite "is not only a reminder program but a very capable 'iCal compatible' desktop calendar, though the calendar feature can be turned off. Used as a reminder and 'to do' program, it's very feature rich with a really snazzy interface employing things like variable windows transparency, impressive mouse-over effects, hotkeys, and easy skinning. It also has the ability to synchronize events between clients, as well as Outlook appointment integration (Pro version)." (Best Free Reminder and To-Do Program)
Products are being tested and will be listed soon.
Products are being tested and will be listed soon.
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." (Best Free Font Manager)
"SpeedCrunch has a clean and simple user interface. … SpeedCrunch keeps a history of calculations entered with the result of the calculation kept underneath. A math book is available through the options of SpeedCrunch which I think is a great feature. The math book gives useful information such as how to get the volume of a cube." (Best Free Calculator)
"Convert comes with a user-friendly and intuitive interface. It offers pre-defined 21 categories of units [but no currency conversion] and one custom unit which can be defined by users. The 21 categories include the most popular units of distance, area, volume, volume-dry, mass, density, temperature, time, speed, power, pressure, energy and many others. To convert a unit into another, just click on a category tab you need, select the input unit and output unit, Convert will show you the conversion result in the output box as you type. The category tab is customizable. For some conversions that you use the most, you can set them to the front of the tab order, and for some conversions that you may never use, you can hide them to simplify the unit listings." (Best Free Unit and Currency Conversion Program)