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Free software to replace Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Outlook, Quicken and more

When you're already spending several hundred dollars or more on a new computer, you don't want to be spending the same amount on software. Unfortunately, programs like Microsoft Office and Photoshop can be bank-account breakers.

Fortunately, open source software is here to save the day. This is software that often has the same features as commercial software, but it's free. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it really exists and I use it a lot.

1. Productivity

Microsoft Office has been the productivity workhorse for business, home and student users for more than 20 years. The more expensive versions include Outlook and Microsoft Publisher in addition to Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Instead of MS Office, try LibreOffice, which contains a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software and much more. It borrows its design heavily from older versions of Office so it should be familiar.  Even better, it can open and save Microsoft Office documents, and with each release, it gets faster and more Office compatible.

Next page: More productivity software you need, along with finance and content creation software
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