Top 10 Open Source Tools To Help You In Your Professional Work
You're probably always on the lookout for tools that can help you work smarter, not harder. Luckily, there are plenty of open source tools out there that can help you do just that. In this blog, we'll be looking at the top 10 open source tools that you should consider using for your work.
As a professional, you're probably always on the lookout for tools that can help you work smarter, not harder. Luckily, there are plenty of open source tools out there that can help you do just that. In this blog, we'll be looking at the top 10 open source tools that you should consider using for your work.
If you're looking for a free and open source alternative to Microsoft Office, look no further than LibreOffice. It includes all the essential tools you need for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, and it's compatible with Microsoft Office file formats.
- Writer: LibreOffice Writer is a powerful word processor that allows you to create professional-looking documents, such as reports, letters, resumes, and more. It comes with a range of formatting tools, including styles and templates, and it can export documents in a variety of formats, including PDF, HTML, and Microsoft Word.
- Calc: LibreOffice Calc is a spreadsheet application that lets you create and edit spreadsheets, create charts and graphs, and perform complex calculations. It comes with a range of functions and formulas, including statistical, financial, and engineering formulas, and it supports a variety of file formats, including Microsoft Excel.
- Impress: LibreOffice Impress is a presentation application that lets you create professional-looking presentations with slides, graphics, and multimedia elements. It comes with a range of templates and themes, and it supports a variety of file formats, including Microsoft PowerPoint.
- Draw: LibreOffice Draw is a vector graphics editor that lets you create diagrams, flowcharts, and other illustrations. It comes with a range of drawing tools and shapes, and it can import and export a variety of file formats, including PDF, SVG, and Microsoft Visio.
- Base: LibreOffice Base is a database application that lets you create and manage databases, create forms and reports, and perform queries. It supports a range of database formats, including Microsoft Access, and it can import and export data in a variety of formats, including CSV and HTML.
If you need to do some photo editing but don't want to pay for Photoshop, check out GIMP. It's a powerful open source image editor that can do everything from basic photo adjustments to more advanced tasks like retouching and compositing.
Top Features of GIMP
- Layers: GIMP offers powerful layer management tools that allow you to work with multiple layers of images, including the ability to add, delete, reorder, and adjust opacity and blending modes. This allows for easy editing of different parts of an image independently.
- Selection tools: GIMP offers a variety of selection tools, including rectangle, ellipse, lasso, and fuzzy select, which enable you to select specific areas of an image for editing or manipulation.
- Filters and effects: GIMP includes a wide range of filters and effects that can be applied to images, such as blur, sharpen, distort, and artistic effects. These can be applied to the entire image or to specific layers, selections or channels.
- Custom brushes: GIMP allows you to create custom brushes and patterns, which can be used to create unique textures and effects in your images.
- Color management: GIMP supports various color management systems, including RGB, CMYK, and ICC color profiles. This allows you to work with images that have been created for specific color spaces, and ensures that colors are accurately displayed and printed.
For vector graphics, Inkscape is a great open source option. It includes all the essential tools you need for creating and editing vector graphics, and it's a great alternative to paid software like Adobe Illustrator.
Top Features of Inkscape
- Vector graphics editing: Inkscape is a powerful vector graphics editor, which allows you to create, edit, and manipulate vector images with precision and control. It offers a range of tools for drawing and manipulating shapes, including bezier curves, nodes, and paths.
- Layers: Inkscape offers support for layers, which allows you to organize your vector artwork in a way that is easy to manage and edit. You can add, delete, reorder, and adjust opacity and blending modes for each layer.
- Text support: Inkscape offers a wide range of text tools, including the ability to add text, manipulate fonts, and apply effects to text. It also allows for text to be converted to paths, which allows for more advanced editing and manipulation of text.
- Path effects and extensions: Inkscape offers a wide range of path effects and extensions, which allow you to add complex shapes, textures, and effects to your artwork. These can be applied to paths and shapes, and include tools for creating patterns, adding gradients, and applying perspective transformations.
- SVG support: Inkscape supports the SVG file format, which is an open standard for vector graphics. This means that your artwork can be easily shared with other applications and platforms that support SVG, and that your artwork can be easily scaled without loss of quality. Inkscape also allows for import and export of other file formats, such as PDF, EPS, and AI.
If you need to do 3D modeling or animation, Blender is a fantastic open source tool to check out. It's incredibly powerful and can be used for everything from simple 3D modeling tasks to complex animations and simulations.
Top Features of Blender
- 3D modeling: Blender offers a powerful suite of 3D modeling tools, including a range of modeling techniques such as sculpting, vertex editing, and subdivision surfaces. It also offers support for parametric modeling with modifiers, making it easy to create complex shapes and objects.
- Animation: Blender's animation tools include support for keyframe animation, rigging, and inverse kinematics, allowing for the creation of complex character animations. It also offers support for particle systems, cloth simulations, and fluid simulations.
- Rendering: Blender offers advanced rendering features, including support for global illumination, physically-based materials, and volumetric rendering. It also supports compositing, allowing you to combine multiple images or video clips to create complex visual effects.
- Python scripting: Blender offers a Python API that allows for extensive customization and automation. This can be used to create custom tools and workflows, and to integrate Blender with other software or pipelines.
- Video editing: Blender includes a full-featured video editor, which allows you to edit video clips, add transitions and effects, and even create basic animations and composites. It also includes support for audio mixing and editing, making it a complete solution for video production.
For audio editing, Audacity is a great open source option. It can do everything from basic audio editing to more advanced tasks like noise reduction and audio effects.
Top Features of Audacity
- Recording: Audacity allows you to record audio from a variety of sources, including your computer's built-in microphone, an external microphone, or a line-in connection. You can also record streaming audio from the internet or from other software on your computer.
- Editing: Audacity offers a wide range of audio editing tools, including the ability to cut, copy, paste, and trim audio clips. It also allows you to adjust volume, normalize audio, and apply various effects such as reverb, echo, and distortion.
- Noise reduction: Audacity includes tools for reducing background noise in audio recordings. This can be especially useful when recording audio in noisy environments, or when dealing with low-quality audio sources.
- Audio analysis: Audacity includes tools for analyzing audio, including the ability to visualize audio waveforms, frequency spectra, and spectrograms. This can be useful for identifying audio problems, such as clipping or distortion, or for analyzing the characteristics of audio recordings.
- Plug-ins: Audacity supports a wide range of plug-ins, which can be used to extend its functionality. This includes effects plug-ins, such as compressors and equalizers, as well as import and export plug-ins for working with different audio file formats.
For media playback, VLC is a great open source tool that can handle just about any type of media file you throw at it. It's lightweight and easy to use, making it a great alternative to paid media players like Quicktime.
Top Features of VLC
- Cross-platform compatibility: VLC is a cross-platform media player, which means that it can run on a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile platforms such as Android and iOS.
- Wide range of supported media formats: VLC can play a wide range of media formats, including video files, audio files, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and streaming media. This makes it a versatile and powerful media player.
- Customizable interface: VLC offers a range of customization options, including the ability to change the skin or theme of the player, and the ability to configure hotkeys and keyboard shortcuts.
- Advanced playback features: VLC includes a range of advanced playback features, including the ability to adjust playback speed, to synchronize audio and video tracks, and to loop or repeat specific sections of a media file.
- Streaming and network features: VLC includes support for streaming media over networks, including local networks and the internet. It can also be used to stream media from a variety of sources, including webcams, capture cards, and other external devices.
For password management, KeePassXC is a great open source option. It can securely store all your passwords and generate strong passwords for you, making it easy to keep your accounts secure.
Top Features of KeePassXC
- Password management: KeepassXC is a password manager that allows you to store and organize your passwords securely. It uses a strong encryption algorithm to protect your passwords from unauthorized access.
- Cross-platform compatibility: KeepassXC is available on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, which makes it easy to use across different devices.
- Auto-type feature: KeepassXC has an auto-type feature that can automatically fill in login credentials on websites and applications. This saves time and ensures that you are using strong, unique passwords for each account.
- Two-factor authentication: KeepassXC supports two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to your password database. This can be done using a YubiKey or other hardware token, or through a software-based 2FA solution such as Google Authenticator.
- Open source: KeepassXC is open source software, which means that its source code is freely available and can be audited by anyone. This adds transparency and security, as the community can help identify and fix any security issues that may arise.
For email management, Thunderbird is a great open source option. It includes all the essential tools you need for managing your email, including a built-in calendar and task manager.
Top Features of Thunderbird
- Email management: Thunderbird provides a wide range of tools to manage your email, including the ability to filter and sort messages, create folders and labels, and flag messages for follow-up.
- Security: Thunderbird offers strong security features, including support for encryption and digital signatures. It also includes advanced security settings that allow you to control how emails are downloaded and displayed.
- Add-ons: Thunderbird offers a range of add-ons that can be used to extend its functionality, such as calendar integration, task management, and integration with other software such as Evernote.
- Multiple account support: Thunderbird supports multiple email accounts, allowing you to manage all your email in one place. It also includes support for popular email services, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.com.
- Customizable interface: Thunderbird's interface is highly customizable, allowing you to change the look and feel of the application to suit your preferences. You can choose from a range of themes and skins, and you can also customize the toolbar and menu options to match your workflow.
For live streaming and recording, OBS Studio is a great open source tool. It can be used for everything from recording gameplay footage to live streaming webinars and events.
Top Features of OBS Studio
- Live streaming: OBS Studio allows for live streaming to popular platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, making it a popular choice for gamers, content creators, and live streamers.
- Multiple sources and scenes: OBS Studio offers the ability to add multiple sources such as webcam, audio, images, and videos to create dynamic and engaging live streams. Additionally, scenes can be created and saved to easily switch between different layouts and setups during the stream.
- Customizable transitions and effects: OBS Studio allows for the creation of custom transitions and effects to enhance the viewing experience of the live stream. This includes the ability to use custom animations and filters to add a professional touch to the stream.
- Advanced audio and video settings: OBS Studio offers advanced audio and video settings such as audio mixing, noise suppression, and audio monitoring, as well as video settings such as chroma keying and color correction.
- Open source and community-driven: OBS Studio is an open-source project with a large and active community of users, developers, and contributors. This means that the software is constantly evolving, with new features and updates being added regularly. Additionally, the community provides a wealth of tutorials, guides, and resources to help users get the most out of the software.
For programming, VSCode is a great open source code editor that can be used for just about any programming language. It includes a ton of features to help you write code more efficiently, and it's highly customizable with extensions.
Top Features of VSCode
- Integrated development environment (IDE): Visual Studio is a full-featured integrated development environment (IDE) that provides a comprehensive set of tools and features for coding, debugging, testing, and deploying software applications.
- Code editor and debugging tools: Visual Studio offers a powerful code editor with features such as IntelliSense, which provides suggestions and auto-completion as you type, and debugging tools that help you identify and fix errors in your code.
- Code collaboration: Visual Studio allows for code collaboration with features like Git integration, pull requests, and code reviews. It also includes features for team management, such as project dashboards and workload management.
- Extensibility and customization: Visual Studio is highly extensible and customizable, with support for a wide range of third-party extensions and tools. This allows developers to tailor the IDE to their specific needs and workflows.
- Cross-platform development: Visual Studio supports cross-platform development for a range of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. This allows developers to create applications that can run on multiple operating systems and devices, using a single codebase.
These are just a few of the many open source tools available to help you work more efficiently. Best of all, they're all free to use, so you can save some money while still getting high-quality tools to help you get your work done
About the author
Joff Tiquez, hailing from Manila, Philippines, is the individual behind the establishment of OSSPH. He is a web developer who strongly supports open source and has been overseeing projects like Vue Stripe for an extended period. To get in touch with Joff, you can visit https://bento.me/jofftiquez.