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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2017 > FREE reigns!

FREE reigns!

You don’t need expensive licences for proprietary software from Microsoft or Adobe. Phil Thane highlights the best free software for all a writer’s needs

Most writers need software. We know of one who is also a textile artist who embroiders her poems onto hand-woven cloth but for the rest of us, the need to commit words to digital media of some kind is a given. Many of us need to tweak photos too, maybe add a drawing, a chart or graph. If we’re even moderately successful we’ll need to keep accounts and pay tax and that’s easier with the right software too.

Free software is very big business, Google uses it, and develops a lot of it. Android is based on a free operating system called Linux. Every social network is built on free software. Amazon and many other e-commerce sites rely on it. Big IT companies give away free software and then sell lucrative support contracts to other big companies. Even Microsoft uses Linux on its own servers, Apple’s OSX and iOS are both based on a free system called BSD.

A consequence of all this big business activity is that us humble freelancers can have up to date, powerful, commercial grade software absolutely free. We’ve rounded up six of the best programs, covering everything a writer needs, and all of them work on Windows, Mac OSX or Linux systems.

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About Writing Magazine

Writing for the Modern World • CRIME: Inner city inspiration with rising crime star AA Dhand • ROMANCE: How to write 21st century love stories • 'Dear Writer...' – the no-nonsense writing advice you need to read • Easy IT: The best free software for all your writing life needs • WIN! Agent feedback in our new Picture Book Prize Includes WRITERS' NEWS: 20 packed pages of competitions, opportunities to get published and insider know how. WIN! £91,361 in writing prizes

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