Monday, February 05, 2007

Cheap Date Ten

Ten Things That Won't Cost You a Dime

Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.

1. While hunting for a color picker freeware for the Mac users out there, I found one listed over at, aptly named: ColorFinder.

2. Need some accounting software for your home business but can't afford the pricey stuff? CompuEx's free version of Express Accounting "offers a comprehensive suite of integrated financial accounting and operations management modules covering Accounts, Bank, Inventory, Sales and Receivable, Purchase and Payable, Tax Management, and a comprehensive Financial and Management Reports via Crystal Reports."

3. FontPage freeware by Bluefive Software allows you to "view any typeface in bold, italic, underline and also 3D. In addition, you can also compare two selected fonts and preview fonts that are not yet installed on your system. FontPage can also print a sample page for selected fonts or print a list of all installed fonts."

4. Make your online book reading easier and more enjoyable with JimiSoft's JMReader freeware (note: it doesn't look like it supports .pdf formats.)

5. Get the reading level of any piece of text with ReadingRater (I thought this one might be helpful for YA and other age-specific fiction writers.)

6. AdSa's Responding Heads voice recognition freeware allows you to use voiced commands to control your computer.

7. Took me a while to track him down, but Richard Salsbury is still out there, with a new, 3.0 version of his excellent freeware for writers, Rough Draft.

8. Text Block Writer, the freeware version of virtual index card software Text Block Author, is available with new features and some bug fixes in version 1.17.

9. also offers a shareware free trial of The Writer's Organizer 5.6, which sounds like another virtual index card program with a few more features. According to the preview info, you can "create an unlimited number of pages, full of cards. Cards can be of ten different kinds including character cards, faith and cultures cards, market cards and languages. These cards may be linked to each other and to external files such as word processor documents." There's also a submission tracking system that "allows you to keep track of where you have submitted stories" and a financial utility that "lets you see how much you are earning and how much you are spending on writing."

10. Organize your ideas, notes and projects with xJournal freeware.

Finally, if you'd like to find freeware written in something other than English, you can search the available downloads by language over at Freeware World Team.


  1. Well, Salsbury's Rough Draft 3.0 isn't "new" per se (he's had that version out for a couple of years) but it is still awesome! Fits on a 3.5 floppy (important for me... my laptop has no CD drive) and is really compact without a lot of unnecessary frills.

    Lets you actually get down to the business of writing.

    Doesn't handle huge amounts of text, so you might want to do each chapter in a separate file, but RD handles that very well with multiple file print and word count.

    Just don't trust the spellcheck.

  2. Ooh. I'll have to check out that ColorFinder on my Mac at home.. thanks for the link.

  3. OpenOffice is pretty good. You get a writing program, a spreadsheet program and a bunch of other things I haven't even used.

    My favourite for free stuff is Limewire. It's terrific for downloading B sides and rare cover songs.

  4. "...don't trust the spellcheck." That's true for any program. Some of them don't pick up transposed letters, others have very severe bugs... I like to have a few open options, to be on the safe side. (Thanks--I'll check on a few of these.)


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