Top Best 50 Freeware For Design and Developing

Finding freeware for design and programming can be a hard task. Here there are 50 of the best.
By using these programs, your projects will have a superior quality. Some of them will save you a big amount of time.
Maybe you never thought in using some of them. But they will surprise you so much, that you won't be able to avoid testing them.

2D Graphics

The Gimp, is a complete tool for photo retouching, designing and creating images. It has fantastic effects, filters, layers. It's a very well known freeware.

DeepPaint, is an artistic painting program, similar to Corel Painter. You have tools for: oil, acrylic, chalk, watercolors... And also different canvas and fully editable brushes.

Inkscape, a vector graphics editor, similar to Adobe Illustrator. It uses the SVG file format. It has shapes, text, cloning, gradients, ...

ArtRage, is a beginner's program for artistic painting. Very easy.

MegaPOV, Do you know POV? POV is a program that makes realistic images using a simple programming language (there are also modelers). This is a improved version of POV.

ScreenHunter 5 Free, is an useful screen capturer. The best of this program is that once configured, you just have to press a key and all captures go to the folder you like.

, is for doing a panorama image from photos. A panorama is an landscape image that repeats without no visible borders. It can be very useful for a website header.

JR Screen Ruler, although this seems a simple tool, this is hard to find. It's a rule and very useful to center images, logos, compare sizes of graphics...

, his original author was Isao Maruoka, and used it to make manga drawings. It has layers, editable brushes...

ColorCop, is a color selector. You select with the eyedropper anywhere in the screen and you get the number of the color. You can copy it and you have the exact color you wanted.

3D Graphics

Art of Illusion, despite the obvious difficulty of 3d modeling, this program is really intuitive and powerful. With this program you can do everything in a simple way.

CBModelPro, is an organic modeling program. It has sketch based modeling and blobs. For now it's in free beta.

Anim8or, you can not only model with this, but also render pics of your models and make videos of your animations.

gCAD3D, a very hard to find tool. It's free CAD software for industrial design or architecture.

Texture Generators

Wood Worshop, makes seamless wood textures.

Texture Processor, a tool for easy making seamless textures of all kinds, for websites or 3D. Very easy and can also make random textures. So even a person with no computer skills can get something interesting.


CinePaint, a collection of video and image tools used by companies like Imageworks. It has been used in movies like Harry Potter, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Looney Toons, Showtime, Stuart Little, Planet of the Apes...

FreeMorphing, turns an image into other and makes a video on that (morphing effect).

CreaToon, is for making cartoon movies.

Miro, is a video player that can play all known video formats.

, a complete system for editing video in real time, making effects, sound, music... It's like a video studio in opensource.

CamStudio, a simple tool that captures all the screen or a part to a video. It can save to many formats, and comes with a flash converter. Once configured you must only press a key to start and stop recording.


Mp3MyMp3 Recorder, can record all that sounds in your PC to a mp3 file. Anything that your sound card plays can be captured. It also has easy controls and it can use skins to alter its appearance.

Free Mp3 Wma Converter, is a sound tool that can convert between all these formats: Mp3, Wma, Ogg, Aac, M4a, Ac3, Ape, Flac, Wav. From any of them to the others.


Cream, this is a version of a very famous text and code editor called Vim. Cream is an improved version of Vim, that has all the features of Vim but is easy to use.

Kompozer, is another improved editor. In this case, it betters the NVU editor, that was for editing HTML and making web pages visually. It can also edit CSS styles.

PSPad, very famous multi-language code editor. It has lots of plugins and add-ons. The most original feature is the text comparing showed in this screen:

Netbeans IDE, a powerful Java editor that you can use for developing applications and websites.

, is like an easy version of Word. It's an opensource text editor that you just run and use.

Notetab Light, a code editor which main feature is to have support for many computer languages, and a window where you can save pieces of code that you use very often. When you need them, you just click and they are pasted in the text window.

Productivity Tools

FreeMind, helps you to draw schemes of your ideas, ordering them so you can plan your designs, a web site structure, or anything. This is done through arrows, shapes and text, in a visual way.

JR Directory Printer, prints a directory contents (names of files,etc) in a text file.

RSSOwl, is a news feed reader, to subscribe to your favorite pages and be noticed when a new post or news is published. It also has a built-in browser, or can open the post in your favorite one.

TaskCoach, a task manager. It is quite easy and more colorful than others.

QuickRun, sometimes you use several programs that you open at once every day. For example, Freehand, Photoshop, and the web browser. Quickrun allows you to make list of programs. It creates a shortcut that you can place on your desktop, and it will open them all that for you when clicked.

System Tools

JKDefrag, JKDefragGUI, The first is a defragment utility for your hard drive in Windows 2000,2003,XP,Vista or X64. Although this program may look basic, it is the quickest and more reliable one. The second link is for having a graphical interface for your defragmenter.

GAG, is a graphical boot manager. It's widely used and the easiest one to install and use, and it's much more safe to install than any other.

7-Zip, if you need a compressor this can compress to: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR. It can also decompress from: RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS.

Xplorer2 Lite, when you work with many files, you could work faster if Windows Explorer could have 2 windows instead of one, have "bookmarks" for your favorite folders, or customize all the buttons and leave only the most needed... All this and more is possible with Xplorer2 Lite.

File Transfer

FileZila, is for FTP,SFTP,and FTPS. This is: normal and secure file transfer between computers. This opensource program has become very famous and is widely used.

JFtp, supports SMB, SFTP, NFS, HTTP. Its a Java program. Has a much simplified interface than FileZila.

FreeSSHd Server, if you want to share files between computers in your home, and make it in a secure way so no one can spy your data. FreeSSHd is the easiest program you can use for this in Windows XP/Vista.

WinSCP, is a Windows program for secure FTP. Again, has a very ease of use.


DataCrow, is opensource. You can organize your data in different categories: programs, images, books, music. It has a visually appealing interface.

TreeDBNotes Free, You will learn to use it in minutes. It's a note organizer that lists your data in tabbed tree views. You can give colors and icons to their names, and the text editor for your notes can have tables, images, colors, rich text...

NeoMem, another opensource organizer. You can learn to use it very quickly. You can create your own categories and fields to fill, and give them an icon. It has no installer (just place in a folder) and it's very small, so you can take it on a USB drive to another PC easily.

eSoftSerial Organizer, it's thought for these categories: demo software, multimedia, freeware, security (passwords). But you can add your own categories. Easy and appealing interface. You can also add images to the articles.

SEONote, organizes notes and files. A very powerful application with many options. It may take a long time to learn to use it but allows a high customization.


Sunbird, a calendar and events application build by Mozilla. It has a very easy interface and a clean appereance.

Rainlendar, not only calendar, it is also an event reminder with alarms, and a "To Do" task list. It can be higly customized too with dozens of skins.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

Some Related Posts: If you liked this post, subscribe to Emma Alvarez Site
give yourself a gift
Stumble Upon Stumble it!
AddThis Social Bookmark Button Add to Technorati Favorites


Felipe Coury said...

Take a look at JZip. It's 7-Zip with an interface overhaul. I recommend it.

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you Felipe this way we grow the list.

Leighj said...

Another one for audio is Audacity Free, Open-Source with a LOT of community support. I use it to make ring tones for my cell phone.

Robbay said...

Emma . I love the post ..I wish there more for imac.

bokjae said...

Wow! thats a big list of tools and goodies! Thanks for all your effort in putting them up!

michaelbuddy said...

Here's a list for Mac I wrote a while back.

Bernardo Medeiros said...

Take a look at Blender 3D. A really good free 3d modeling program.

Obsession said...

FreeMind is cool, but I personaly like commercial MindJet more. Easier to use, better graphics and more features. However, I still tend to create additional mind-maps in FreeMind before sending it to friends, because most of them still use FreeMind. Anyway, thanks for the useful list of applications!

Emma Alvarez said...

Leighj: Yes Audacity is really good. The only reason for not including that and others are that they are very known. I wanted to make a list of less known software. But the suggestion is great, I thank you for naming it. :)

Robbay: Thanks. Yes, in some future I may do a post of iMac software.

Bokjae: Thanks to you for your support.

MichaelBuddy: Thanks for sharing your list.

BernardoM: Yes Blender is a very good program but it is very famous, and it's a bit difficult to use. I prefered to name more easy programs. But thanks for naming it.

Obsession: Thanks for sharing the program you use.

David said...

POV is very powerful for creating some really cool looking 3d animations using some simple code.

Have you heard of Aptana? That's been getting quite popular recently. It's a good, free alternative to Dreamweaver, I recommend checking it out!

Rockmaster said...


Nice list!

modele noir said...

One of my favorites is launchy: This is their description :Launchy is a free windows utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.

I just like it because it is like a super shortcut to your start menu.

MapAddict said...

Great post with some excellent software links. I downloaded several of your picks.

Here's one of my own picks for a very nice, freeware Video converter. Reads most any video format and convert and/or compress them into many other types. Does batch conversion too:


Anonymous said...

here's a better ruler than jr ruler - it is semitransparent, so you can see what you are measuring - rt click to check out the keyboard shortcuts that allow precise positioning.
portable version also available at

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
thnx for putting up such a great list!

Tia Martyn

planetmcd said...

thanks, nice list.

DGE said...

Thanks Emma, great list! Old favs & some new tools to check for this jaded downloader ;-) (Jzip looks way nicer than 7, thanks Felipe!)

I use an image/photo viewer a LOT for fast sorting/view/adjusting/cropping. My vote is for the famous IrfanView, has autofix & batch processing too. Too good not to mention! And Google's Picasa of course.

For an easy intro to 3d, free, older version of Bryce (& DazStudio for people) is a must.
When you want to create objects for free, Blender is really the only option for free & unlimited 3D. Check out the gallery section of the application.

Blender is different, and takes time to learn, but is getting easier, has lots of print & video tutorials, and is far faster and powerful to use (including sculpting like CBModel). I would urge anyone to try - don't let the "hard" reputation put you off, 3d is more complicated than 2d by it's very nature.

If 11-year-olds can use it... :)

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you very much folks!!!
Thanks to your good recomendations, this isn't a list of 50, now they are very much more.
This way we help each other.
And I also would like to thank all the programmers for their generousity of giving us their work.

Hin Man said...

Your blog is so artistic. And this post of free software is really God sent for me. And this post lead me to subscribe to your blog and add you as a fiend. I can't wait to appreciate the rest of the art that you have spent your time and creativity on. You have a great admirer already and thank you sooooo much for sharing the free list of software any artist would love to know about. You are simply awesome!!!!

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you Hin Man, I'm blushed for your words. I'm glad for helping you.These thing cheer me to work harder.

Anonymous said...

Deep Paint is no longer a free download at anyone know where I can download it?

Emma Alvarez said...

They have removed it just some days ago.
I had used that link because that program was not available in any other site, and is a very good one.

Jimmy Chandra said...

Here a couple more to add to the list,
Blender from for 3D,
Paint.Net from (similar to gimp)

Emma Alvarez said...

Cjchandra, thank you for adding.

Raghavendra said...

emma alvarez
You have done very nice usefulwork.
Thanks for the pains you have taken.
I hope you will add more items.

nas said...

I use freemind and think it is really cool

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you Raghavendra, in the section of resources there are more than can be useful for you. And of course I will do more and more.
Also I recommend you the other sections that there are here.

Thank you Nas, and yes it's cool.

Joseph said...

Another really good sound program is Audacity. I don't remember where I got it though. Thanks for the time put in to make this list! love it lots! :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Emma

Your website deserves praise - so much care and attention to detail. It seems that you inspire the "inner artist" to stir and do something creative.

Wishing you and your readers the best

Alan Conrad

ankara evden eve nakliyat said...

creenHunter 5 Free is the best

Anonymous said...

Great site. Take a look at Freeware Directory for more great freeware and shareware

PinheadX said...

Wait... Blender isn't in the list of 3D Apps? COME ON!!! They've done entire animated shorts with it that rival stuff done by Pixar and Dreamworks.

Major oversight. FAIL.

Emma Alvarez said...

PinheadX, everybody already knows Blender. What is the sense of putting it here?

You have not understood NOTHING about this list.

raxon said...

Thanks for this useful post. Me too want to share such interesting utility for windows users. Its tha Stellar Phoenix windows data recovery software V4.2 . It can recover almost all types of data varying about 185 file extensions.

raxon said...

The latest version of Stellar Phoenix Windows data recovery software for home users is also available with all the basic features but with very lesser price.

stretcharm said...

Nice list.. Check for all the latest and best freeware.
also see yEd ( and unbelievably good free diagram prog.

ömer BOZDAĞ said...

profesyonel evden eve taşıma hizmetleri ankara

zohaib said...

By stellar-phoenix-photo-recovery put together. Well done!

Post a Comment