Monday, September 22, 2014

Not a Dime Ten

Ten Things You Can Have for Free

BirdFont is "a simple Mac app designed to help you create your own font by using vector graphics tools: the built in editor enables you to draw a new design for any letter or symbol. Since the app is able to work with vector images, the output will have a high quality. The BirdFont application works right out of the box so all you have to do is move the utility to the disk. When you start developing a new typeface, BirdFont automatically generates glyph spaces for all alphabet letters and other additional symbols. Simply open one of these glyphs and begin drawing the new graphic by using the available vector tools. Finding your way around the BirdFont editor is quite easy: select one of the tools available in the right side panel, and start drawing in the canvas area" (OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later)

BMP to PDF is "a free image conversion software to convert common image files to PDF documents, supported image format include BMP, JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG and TIF/TIFF. It can support batch conversion and file Drag-Drop feature. In addition, you can resize or stretch image, stretch options include: "Auto", "Stretch", "Max-Width", "Max-Height" and "None". You also can custom embed image position in generated PDF documents, position option can be "Top-Left", "Top-Center", "Top-Left", "Middle-Left", "Middle-Center", "Middle-Right", "Bottom-Left", "Bottom-Center" or "Bottom-Right"" (OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8 [32-Bit/64-Bit])

Colorful Tabs is "a simple and handy web browser add-on specially designed to colorize all opened tabs using a wide variety of colors in order to make it easier for you to distinguish between tabs. The light add-on is very easy to install and does not required too much time to setup and run. Once installed, you need to restart Firefox and let ColorfulTabs do its job. ColorfulTabs automatically colors every tab using a different color and, as a result, changes the appearance of the web browser. In addition to colorizing your tabs, ColorfulTabs also offers you a context menu for your tabs that helps you add domain preset, re-color and change the color of the selected tab, reset the color and enable the “Mini-Mode”. All above mentioned actions are accompanied by predefined keyboard shortcuts that you can use in order to avoid accessing the context menu" (OS: Mac OS X)

Speak to the free trial version of Dictation Pro and it will "type for you. Prepare your letters, reports, e-mails just by speaking into a microphone. All you need is a good-quality headset. Dictation Pro is fast, easy and fun. You´ll wonder how you managed without it!" [PBW notes: the program is about $30.00 to buy, which for VRS is pretty cheap, but I'd definitely test drive it first via the free trial before you invest. Since they do offer the free trial it may also work as a no-cost test to see if VRS is a good match for you] (OS: Windows Vista/7 [32-Bit/64-Bit])

DSpeech is a "TTS (Text To Speech) program with functionality of ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) integrated. It is able to to read aloud the written text and choose the sentences to be pronounced based upon the vocal answers of the user. It is specifically designed to quickly and directly provide the functions and improved practical usefulness that are requested by this kind of program. In the meantime, the invasiveness and resource consumption is minimal. (DSpeech does not install itself, is very light, starts in a second and doesn't write anything to the registry)" (OS:Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8 [32-Bit/64-Bit])

Express Accounts is "perfect for small businesses. Easily track payments and deposit transactions. View balances and reports to see how your business is doing. Email or fax reports directly to your accountant. This software is designed to be intuitive and very easy to use. Organize your business' bookkeeping by tracking sales and accounts receivable. You can also automatically record recurring orders and invoices. Express Accounts Features: * Easily generate over 20 financial reports. * Income Sheets and Balance Statements help you track growth. * Generate purchase orders, receipts, and checks * Secure mobile access via web. * Run multiple businesses with a single installation. *Perfect for both product and service based businesses" [PBW notes: according to the developer's web site the program is free for businesses with five employees or less, which means most of you pro and freelance writers out there] (OS: Mac 10.1 / 10.2 / 10.3 / 10.4 / 10.5 / OS X)

Sketchbook is "a drawing application designed to provide a glimpse on what you can do with the Autodesk SketchBook products. The app comes with a clean, organized design and an intuitive workflow that will help you express your ideas naturally. Most of the SketchBook drawing tools can be accessed within the apps main window, via the bottom left corner toolbar: the brush palette, the color palette, the editing tools but also the interface controls. The SketchBook app provides basic drawing tools but the results are extremely accurate: you can create high quality projects in no time. A selected brush can be blurred or sharpened, resized and more. If you are not satisfied with the result, simply press the undo button and start over (you can specify the undo level in the Preferences). By default, SketchBook exports your projects as TIFF files but you can choose to create PSD documents from the Preferences window. Moreover, the app can be used to edit image files: simply import the picture to a canvas and start working on it" (OS: Mac OS X 10.8 or later)

SSuite Writer's D'Lite has ". . .just enough functionality to start you on writing that important novel, short-story or article, without any bells and whistles to distract you. Get writing from the first moment you start the application. It has all the important functions and text formatting needed to get you busy. It also has custom page settings for easier viewing of your document. Keep the cursor at eye level for best focus and writing. Conforms to a full page size for best viewing of script. Full statistics are visible on the status bar, keeping you abreast of your text document as you type. There is also no java or .Net required to run this application, keeping it very small and portable and very useful. It has all the necessary editing short-cut keys for power users. See the blue question mark for more info{F1-key}. This application is also completely and absolutely portable!" (OS: Windows All [32-Bit/64-Bit])

Task Coach is "a simple open source todo manager to manage personal tasks and todo lists. It grew out of my frustration that well-known task managers, such as those provided with Outlook or Lotus Notes, do not provide facilities for composite tasks. Often, tasks and other things todo consist of several activities. Task Coach is designed to deal with composite tasks" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8)

Team Viewer is "a simple and fast solution for remote control, desktop sharing and file transfer that works behind any firewall and NAT proxy. To connect to another computer just run TeamViewer on both machines without the need of an installation procedure. With the first start automatic partner IDs are generated on both computers. Just enter your partner´s ID into TeamViewer and the connection is established immediately. With many thousand users worldwide TeamViewer is a standard tool to give support and assistance to people in remote locations. The software can also be used for presentations, where you can show your own desktop to a partner, e.g. to present a software solution. TeamViewer also is VNC compatible and offers secure, encrypted data transfer to maximize security. TeamViewer is absolutely FREE for personal, non-commercial use [PBW notes: This might help those of you who collaborate with another writer or are online critique partners]" (OS: Windows 9x/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/8)


  1. I use TeamViewer all the time to fix my friend's computers because most of them insist they "didn't click that link!" but they did and now their computer is infected with the latest what have you. I also use it to connect to my home laptop from work. It's a wonderful program.

    1. Thanks for the personal rec, Theo -- cool how you're using it, too. :)


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