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Table of Contents to Free Software!

Microsoft Office (Open Office) Alternatives - Adobe Free Alternatives - Open Source (Free) Software for MAC - Portable Apps - VideoAudio - Photo and Image Editing - 3D and 2D Animation 


Open provides a suite of open source (free) productivity software similar to the tools found in Microsoft Office for word processing, presentations, graphics, databases and more.  It also support many languages and works on most common computers.  If you can't afford MS Office definitely give this a try.

Adobe Alternatives (Free)

Here's a list FREE alternatives to Adobe software for Windows and MAC.   Use these and save a bundle!!

Open Source for MAC

Free and Open Source Software for the MAC.  One of the best open source sites for MAC that we know of:

Portable Applications

Carry your favorite programs with you from one computer to another... ON YOUR OWN USB JUMP DRIVE.  These apps are 100% FREE.    Get the entire suite of portable apps or just get the application you need.  A short list of apps available for free download are:

  • Audacity Portable (Great if you have to open an Audacity project on different computers since you'll always have the right "version" of Audacity.)

  • GIMP Portable (like Photoshop, but free and portable)

  • Open Office Portable (includes a word processor, powerpoint-like presentation and spreadsheet software,  and other "MS Office-like" tools without the cost of Microsoft Office)

  • InfraRecorder Portable (for burning CDs/DVDs)

  • Also a variety of "portable" Web Browsers, Music and Video, Office and Utility programs are available

Download all the free Portable Apps from:

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Video Production and Format Conversion

Video Pad Editor

(Windows Only)  A "Free Trial" that can be "downgraded" to a completely free version using Add/Remove Programs after installing it and when the 30 day "full version" expires.

Download Site:

Windows Movie Maker Live & 2.6 for Windows 7

The Microsoft "recommended" video editor or Windows 7 is Windows Live Movie Maker.  It's a great tool for simple trimming, assembling  and possibly adding music to the "finished" video AND it is great for converting all the new file formats to windows media ...  but it's terrible for any type of more advanced editing.

BETTER:  Get the free Windows Movie Maker 2.6 (the old VISTA) version of Movie Maker.  It has all the editing features and is more suitable for the types of editing being done for class projects.  The direct link is:

PhotoStory 3 

Only for Windows.   Create "videos" from still photographs.  Add narration, music and motion effects.  Creates a Windows Media Video. 

Note: if you want to upload videos created in PhotoStory 3 to KSUTube you have to "convert" them in Windows Movie Maker.  Details for doing this are on the KSUTube website.

Download site:

Web Video and Screen Capture 

Capturing Video from the Web

The easiest way to capture a video from the web is to use RealMedia Player and the Download Browser Plug-in.    It also has conversion tools for converting the downloaded Flash Video into other, more compatible video formats for viewing, editing or inserting into Powerpoint presentations.  For more information about getting and installing RealMedia Player and using the Download Browser Plug-in and conversion tools goto:


Windows Only Screen Capture Software - Captures video and audio from Screen or from YouTube or Google Video
Download from:


PC or MAC OSX Screen Capture Software - Captures video from Screen and Sound from Microphone
Download from:

Video Format Conversion

Prism Video Converter
Windows only 

Use this converter to convert DVDs, Camcorder HD or Flash Memory stored mpeg or Quicktime .mov formats, etc. to WMV format for use on PC Powerpoint projects.

Note: The "free" trial expires after 30 days but you can open your Control Panel, choose Add/Delete Programs, then choose Prism and "Downgrade to Free Version"... on a PC this disables conversion to QT .MOV format.

Real Player
(MAC or PC)

Real Player can not only easily capture a video from the web using the Download Browser Plug-in but it has conversion tools for converting the downloaded Flash Video into other, more compatible video formats for viewing, editing or inserting into Powerpoint presentations.   For more information about getting and installing RealMedia Player and using the Download Browser Plug-in goto:

Handbrake Video Converter

Handbrake is free "open source" software that can be used to convert most digital video formats to MP4 format (especially useful for use on a MAC using i-Movie.  It does not "crack" most DVD copy protection schemes and should only be used following Educational Fair Use Guidlines.

DVD Shrink 3.2.xx
Windows only

The link downloads a "zip" file that you need to extract.  It can be used to "rip" from selected "in" and "out" points on a DVD.  It is illegal to copy and entire DVD under Educational Fair Use Guidelines.  DVD Shrink is to be used only when following Educational Fair Use Guidelines.
Warning:  If searching for this software... do not get DVD Shrink 2010... it's not free and is being distributed illegally since they are charging you for something that is free.

Convert Powerpoint to a Flash Video or Webpage

Use iSpring to Convert a Powerpoint Presentation to a Flash Video or Web Page This is a link to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file

Update:  Powerpoint 2010 for PCs now has a SAVE AS VIDEO feature that creates a Windows Media Video from an "auto play" Powerpoint presentation with slide timings that will play on any computer.  The video will include all narration, music, sound effects and video clips inserted onto the slides.  Unfortunately, Powerpoint 2011 for MAC won't work for Powerpoint presentations with audio or video.

Audio Recording and Editing


For both PC and MAC, Audacity is a free multi-track audio recording, editing and mixing program. 

Audacity Download Site:   

Be sure to download and install the LAME MP3 encoder and FFMEG Decoder from this site - Must have this for Audacity to export to MP3 files.

You can also download an Audacity "Portable Application" that can be run from your USB Jump Drive or burned to and run from a CD-R.  If you use this "portable app" you won't have to worry about running compatible versions since you will be running your own version on whatever computer you're working on.

Download Site for Audacity Portable Apps


MYNA is an On-line audio editor ( Nothing to download... nothing to install ! )  that you can use to not only record and edit your voice or your own audio/music but also provides you with lots of free music "loops" and tracks that can be used to generate your own "original" music compositions.  Create an account.  Log in.  Watch the demo.

Note:  There is an 8 minute limit for the duration of a project and a 2 minute voice recording limit.  It also take some time to "mix down" the final project to an mp3 or wav audio file that can be distributed.

Audio Format Conversion


WMA to MP3, RM to MP3 Converters


Converts audio from almost any format to almost any other format.

 Note: The "free" trial expires after 30 days but you can open your Control Panel, choose Add/Delete Programs, then choose Switch and "Downgrade to Free Version".

Links to free* music and sound effects

*  Only "free" for In-Class Instructional Use - Can not be used for anything posted to the web.  See each site's copyright section for more information concerning usage.

Music (Can only be used "off-line" for in-class presentations)
This site has music organized by CD Volume, Style and "Feel" in 10, 20, 30, 60 second and longer lengths. 

Download Site:  This music can NOT be used for WEB Presentations but below are sites that provide free music for use on the WEB.

Sound Effects
The following sites provide links to a wide variety of Sound Effects sites where you can download free sound effects.

Music at the SMS

The SMS has Sonic Fire Pro software that can generate music from our music library of copyright free music to "fit" any type and length presentation. Ask for it when you come to the SMS.   You can also try Myna described above for generating copyright free music.

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Free Photo and Image Editing Software


A free alternative to Photoshop can be downloaded at:  You can also find documentation and tutorials on this site.  Looks like it has most, if not all of the features of Photoshop but Photoshop users might find the interface a little hard to use at first ... however, a novice might find it to be just fine since they don't know any better. 


A cross between MS Paint and Photoshop, Paint.NET, which can be downloaded at:,  is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins that add many more photoshop-like features.

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Free Animation Software

Autodesk currently offering 3 Year "Trial" software!!

Students and faculty can currently download just about any of Autodesks 3D Animation and CAD software and use it for free for 3 years!  Just go to the Autodesk website.  Become a member of the Student and Learning Community... you must use your .edu email account, then download the software.  You will be given a serial number and key that you use to activate your "trial" software. Included are Maya, 3DS Max and Designer, Mudbox, Motion Builder and lots more.   If you want to use what the professionals use, then I highly recommend checking this out while it lasts.

3D Modeling and Animation

3D modeling and animation program for MAC and Windows.  There are lots of helpful tutorials and examples on the website.
It can be downloaded from

Google SketchUp
Create, modify and share 3D models. Lots of tutorials on the website and YouTube.
download from:

2D Animation

Monkey Jam is a digital pencil test program for Windows or on a MAC running Windows in BootCamp.  It is used for creating 2D animations by capturing images form a webcam, camcorder, or scanner and assemble them as separate frames into an animation. You can also import images and sound files already on your computer.  Although it's primary intended use is to capture images to create "cells" for traditional animation, it can also be used to capture 3D objects or cut-out images for stop motion style animation or use "clay-mation" techniques.  The finished animation can then be exported as a video file.
It can be downloaded from:

Pencil is a another Free Open Source 2D animation drawing program for MACs, Windows and Linux.  It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vecotr graphics.
It can be downloaded from:

Frame Thief is another camera capture utility for creating animations from captured paper cells or 3D objects, similar to Monkey Jam, but only runs on MACs.  You can read more about it and download it from:


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