As we all know, software licenses are expensive. But when it comes to free software, though, it often lacks the ease of use or functions needed to perform certain tasks. Besides, an average home user should not buy a full license for Microsoft Office to open a DocX file sent by a friend who hasn’t heard of PDF. And when it comes to editing some of the files you come over, finding the right software for the file format at hand can be a headache. So, are there any ways to overcome these annoyances and use free software (preferably in a browser window) without the need to spend a full week’s pay on licenses? Well, there are.
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1. Microsoft Office documents – OneDrive
Microsoft offers its users a generous amount of free cloud storage when they register a new account at OneDrive. The free plan comes with 15 gigabytes of storage on Microsoft’s cloud, which can be grown by either subscribing to one of the paid plans or through redeeming various bonuses offered by the company. But as an added benefit, OneDrive allows its users to create, view and edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files right from their cloud storage in a browser window, using Microsoft’s own file formats or the Open Document Format.
Basically, you will get a free, browser-based Microsoft Office suite (with only the basics included, of course) with any free OneDrive account you create.
2. For a quick photo fix-up use Pixlr
If you have ever come in contact with CAD, the brand Autodesk will surely sound familiar. The company has developed and introduced a series of web-based tools called Pixlr to offer users a quick and easy way to create, edit and modify images in a browser window. The Pixlr Editor, which is free to use, has its own file format, but it can open a series of others, including Adobe’s PSD, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF and TIFF. So, if you have trouble opening a PSD file sent over by a friend, head over to Pixlr and do the job in a browser window.
3. For a fast virus check go to ESET
As a general rule, you should not EVER connect to the internet without proper virus and malware protection. But if you happen to be without it, you can always do a quick virus check through a browser window. Many antivirus software developers offer their own browser-based virus removal tools, but I chose ESET because I use their desktop product on my home and office PC. The online scanner will only tell you if you have a virus, but installing the software’s 30 day free trial can also clean up your PC. It’s far from being more than just an emergency patch-up, but it can help you get rid of infections – and it’s free.