Art and Design

PaintShop Pro PaintShop Pro

My go-to art program. It's cheap, easy to pick up, and just as functional for artwork as Photoshop (and even supports Photoshop files and plugins.)

GNU Image Manipulation Program GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

My secondary art program. It's free, and I use it every now and then for small art projects.

Paint.Net Paint.Net

If I quickly want to mock something up, or just quickly change the position of objects in an image, I use this free image editor written in .Net.

Expression Design Expression Design

The easiest freeware vector design program I have ever used. I currently use this to design logos.

Type light Type light

A small, lightweight freeware font designer. Unfortunately does not import from SVG or allow you to place guide images in the background, so it works best if you are able to place curve and corner points freehand without the aid of sketches.

Audio and Music

Audacity Audacity

Undoubtedly the best free audio editor around.

KeroVee KeroVee

An excellent free pitch correction/"AutoTune" tool that works with any VST-compatible audio editor (such as Audacity). Using the 'Robotic' preset can get a somewhat GLADOS-like voice, and the "Female-To-Male"/"Male-To-Female" presets can be used as alternatives to voice changer software (if you need female voice fill-ins for a radio play but can't find any, for example.)

MuseScore MuseScore

A rather good music composition program, and probably the best and easiest to use free one.


Visual Studio Express Visual Studio Express

Quite frankly, there is no other IDE like Visual Studio, and when Microsoft released the Express versions for free back in 2005, it was a godsend. (Really, this is one of the bigger motivators behind me developing .Net applications.)

Notepad++ Notepad++

I used to be a big fan of Crimson Editor, but I've since gravitated over to Notepad++, and have found it to be an invaluable tool in website building. (If you want it to be easier on the eyes, though, switch the font to Consolas.)

Devart Code Compare Code Compare

Code Compare is pretty much the best visual diff tool that I've tried so far. Synchronised scrolling? Check. Clear indicators of the location of changes? It literally connects them with a line. Inline editing of files? Yep. Changes are highlighted (blue for edits, green for additions, red for removals) and you can even compare entire folders.


AntiTwin AntiTwin

AntiTwin is a free and simple tool for discovering duplicate files.

Jeff Atwood ImgBurn by Jeff Atwood

An image burner and ripper.


DP4 Font Viewer DP4 Font Viewer

The best free font viewer I've found, DP4 displays all the glyphs in a selected font, complete with Unicode position info. It lists all fonts in a given directory, and not just installed fonts like other font viewers, and sports a clean, uncluttered interface.

SumatraPDF SumatraPDF

A lightweight PDF viewer which can also read PDF formats.

Websites mentioned here and their content are their respective authors.

Copyright © 2014 Mark Kéy-Balchin.