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Free and Open Source Software for Digital Creators

Lisa Richards, Educational Outreach Writer

Traditionally, creators across all fields must overcome specific barriers to entry in order to find success. In the digital age, one of the most common barriers to entry is software. Many software programs are expensive and difficult to learn, keeping many potential creators from entering or excelling in their art. Luckily, there are many award-winning, high-quality, and trusted open source programs to help you create the most amazing digital content, absolutely free-of-charge! Whether you are looking for software for video, graphic design, audio or architecture, there is a program that can help you learn or practice your art, no matter your budgetary restrictions:


  • Cinepaint: A collection of open source software designed for deep paint modification and image processing, suitable for 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit color channels.
  • Jahshaka: Professional quality open source video and audio editing program designed to work on OsX, Linux, and Windows platforms.
  • MPEG Streamclip: A powerful video player, editor, and converter for MPEG, DivX, iPod, and QuickTime videos.
  • HandBrake: Free and open source video conversion software for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • Movavi: Built for Windows and Mac, it features a video editor, video converter, slideshow maker, and PPT converter.


  • Ardour: This audio editing software offers easy in-window editing, flexible recording, unlimited multi-channel tracking, and hundreds of plugins.
  • Audacity: A user-friendly multi-track recorder and audio editor for MP2, MP3, AIFF, WAV, or FLAC sound files.
  • Mixxx: If you are a DJ, you will love the master sync capabilities, programmable mapping system, vinyl record control, and sound effects.
  • MixPad Multitrack Recording Software: Here, you can make a mix, record a track for your band, and even create an ad for radio!
  • Traverso-DAW: Developed for Linux, this audio manipulator allows users to alter their sound files as quickly as possible.
  • Ocenaudio: Special features include preview of effects in real time, multi-selection, cross-platform support, and fully featured spectrogram.

Graphic Design:

  • GIMP: A leading image manipulation software, it's loved by illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, and more!
  • Inkscape: Excellent vector imagery tools for drawing and object manipulation with text support, rendering capabilities, and more.
  • Krita: Free painting software designed for illustrators, concept artists and the VFX industry with pop-up palette, brush stabilizers, and non-intruding user interface.
  • easelly: Powerful Infographics program with a simple design tool, free images, free templates, tutorials, webinars, and design services.
  • Paintstorm Studio: Created for digital painters, it offers multiple brush settings, brush settings, stroke post editing, bristle brushes, and custom panels.
  • FireAlpaca: Available in 10 languages, this free paint software features simple illustration tools for pencil, pen, and watercolor renditions.
  • Canva: A great program for digital content creators specializing in photo editing, graphs, and print materials.


  • Celtx: Free scriptwriting software for video and game productions with cloud-based management tools.
  • LibreOffice: Open source, free office suite with powerful tools and simple interface for all your publication needs.
  • Bibisco: Everyone has a novel in them. Come here to whack it out.
  • Manuskript: Advanced writing software with a distraction-free mode, out-liner, and sexy novel assistant.
  • Trelby: Want to write the next Best Picture? Here's your big chance!


  • Blender: Create high-quality animation with feature-rich tools for rendering, modeling, scripting, simulation, video editing, game creation, and more.
  • Synfig: For the creation of 2D animation with such features as vector tweening, bones, layers, and filters.
  • AJAX Animator: Produced by a sixth grader old! Use this free software to make SWF, SVG animations, and animated GIFs.
  • Daz3D: With more than 3 million downloads, you can't go wrong with this one.
  • Clara: Web-based animation software with a modern interface, powerful modeling tools, and VRay Cloud rendering.


  • DesignWorkshop Lite: Use this free software to create 3D models for all types of spatial design like home design, landscapes, and architectural visualization.
  • MyVirtualHome: Design your dream home in 3D with this free app. It's as easy as playing a video game!
  • AutoCAD Architecture: Premier design software with specially tailored tools and functions for architects, including intuitive environment, architectural documentation, and drafting.
  • SketchUp: If you prefer to draw by hand, this super-smart program offers great flexibility for creating sustainable buildings, customization of 3D workspace, and documentation.


  • CLO: Designing clothes is a breeze with tools for modular design, 3D simulation and layer, 3D arrangement, fabric, grading, sewing, and tacking.
  • Valentina: Pattern drafting software with tools for small scale mass market fashion designers.
  • Seamly2D: Create the next fashion craze with this open source program!

3D Design:

  • TinkerCAD: Popular with designers, teachers, and hobbyists, this 3D design software is also kid-friendly. Make anything from toys to model buildings to artificial plants!
  • FreeCAD: It provides modules for robot simulation, technical drawing, architecture, rendering, and a sketcher.
  • LeoCAD: Play with some LEGO Bricks to get inspiration.


  • Aptana: A free coding software with deployment wizard, integrated debugger, IDE customization, built-in terminal, and code assist for CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.
  • Slickedit: Supporting more than 60 languages, this code editor features build environment, debugging environment, text editor, PHP editor, and HTML editor.
  • Notepad++: Easy-to-use coding program.

Web Design:

  • WordPress: Build a customized website with this easy-to-use web design software. Choose from a large library of themes for your specific requirements.
  • Google Web Designer: If you want to create HTML5 content, use this free program to make your digital content stand out with tools for animation, Google integration, and responsive ads.
  • GrapesJS: Making your own website is too easy with this program!


For more information about MAPCON CMMS Software, please review the following links.