Additional Software Options for Students, Part 2

This is part 2 of additional software options for students. Once again, if you would like a program added to the list, please leave a comment!

Audio Editors:

Have some audio files you want to edit? Maybe you’d like to do a few book talks to post to your online portfolio. Aviary is a browser-based set of tools that includes an audio editor and recorder. Audacity (available for Mac, Windows and Linux/Unix) is a free, open source software program that also allows you to edit and record audio.



This set of tools allows you to edit, create and/or watch videos. Jing the free version of TechSmith’s Camtasia tool, whereas, VLC is a media player (available for Mac, Windows and Linux) that has a wide range of input formats and media that it accepts.

Windows Live Movie Maker
Pinnacle Studio

Image Editors:

Aviary has already been mentioned under audio editors, but it also includes photo, vector and color editors. Picnik is another browser-based photo editor that will allow you to pull files from your various social media accounts and image libraries including Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. Inkscape is a free, open source vector graphics program. GIMP, or the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is another free, open source program. It is available for Mac, Windows and Linux, though it is required that Macs already have the X11 system setup.


Desktop Publishing:

Member of a student group? Need to send out a newsletter? Looking at desktop publishing software might be the way to go and Scribus is a free, open source program for creating a professional looking page layout. Desktop publishing can also be used for courses such as 590EX, Library and Museum Exhibitions, where you create promotional materials and catalogs for your exhibits.


Word Processing:

Open Office is another free, open source software suite that has programs similar to Microsoft Office Suite. If you already have MS Office, however, you can purchase upgrades through the software webstore.

Open Office


Prezi is a tool for presentations that zooms in and out, creating a more dynamic feel to presentations. Please note that Prezi does not work well in Elluminate/Blackboard Collaborate and would be better for in person presentations. As mentioned above, should you want to use PowerPoint, there are discounts through UIUC’s software webstore.


Multi-Protocol Instant Messaging Services:

Do you have a Google Talk account? What about AIM? Or Yahoo chat? Or all of the above? What about multiple accounts in each? It starts getting difficult to keep track. One way of managing your multiple instant messaging accounts is through something like Adium (Mac) or Pidgin (PC). Certain tools, such as Digsby (PC), also will allow you to log in to some of your social networking accounts through the same interface as your instant messaging accounts. Services such as Meebo are browser-based and can be used when you don’t feel like downloading a program on the machine you are using.

Kopete (for operating systems running KDE)
Empathy (for operating systems running GNOME)
Meebo (browser based)
KoolIM (browser based)

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