Opensource Software

When buying equipment and software, web designers expect to pay top dollar for quality products. It would be awesome to find quality open-source alternatives, but who has time to search for it? When you’re attending to a client list or keeping up with classes, time is a precious commodity you have to use wisely.

To help your wallet, I’ve compiled a list of opensource software popular with budget-wrapped designers. The software is listed by popularity and quality.

WYSIWYG Editors for web designers

  • Notepad++
    Notepad++: a free source code editor which supports several programming languages running under the MS Windows environment.
  • Aptana
    Develop and test your entire web application using a single environment. With support for the latest browser technology specs such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Ruby, Rails, PHP and Python. We’ve got you covered!
  • Amaya
    Amaya is a Web editor, i.e. a tool used to create and update documents directly on the Web. Browsing features are seamlessly integrated with the editing and remote access features in a uniform environment. This follows the original vision of the Web
  • Bluefish Editor : Home
    Home of the Bluefish Editor, a powerful editor targeted towards programmers and webdesigners. It supports working with local and remote files, syntax highlighting and a WYSIWYN interface.
  • KompoZer – Easy web authoring
    KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing.
  • Screem
    SCREEM is an open source HTML/XML editor for unix based systems, and the GNOME desktop environment

[quote]If you’re a simple web designer, than Notepad++ will fulfill your every need. It does lack a preview feature, but compensates with regular updates, no bugs and compatibility with multiple OS.[/quote]


  • GIMP – The GNU Image Manipulation Program
    GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
  • Inkscape. Draw Freely.
    Inkscape is a Vector Graphics Editor, similar to Adobe Illustrator, that strives to be SVG Compliant, open source, responsive and extensible.
  • Paint.NET
    Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.

[quote]Gimp is an excellent alternative to Adobe Photoshop that’s used by artists of every flavor. The free software is surrounded by a community that builds add-ons and authors tutorials for it’s many features.[/quote]
On a personal note, the software team developing Gimp tend to re-arrange the button dashboard. For every few upgrades, you may find yourself re-learning where certain buttons are. It’s compatible with Photoshop files, though, so you don’t sacrifice resources and add-ons. The graphics history is a life-saver—especially with curious toddlers and button-happy animals.


  • FileZilla – The free FTP solution
    FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.
  • Cyberduck
    Cyberduck is an open source FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Drive, Windows Azure & Amazon S3 browser for Mac and Windows. It features an easy to use interface with quickly accessible bookmarks. The browser allows to download, upl

[quote]FileZilla is a very popular, free FTP client. It’s available as a stand-alone software, or you can choose their server-side edition.[/quote]

Helpful Utilities

  • Spoon
    Run any free application on demand!
  • Greenshot
    Greenshot allows quick creation of screenshots, easy annotation, highlighting and obfuscating using the built-in image editor and sending the screenshot to a file, the clipboard, a printer or as e-mail attachment.
  • CamStudio – Free Screen Recording Software
  • Clean up your Web pages with HTML TIDY
  • Firebug
    Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of web development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page


Spoon is software that allows you to run any free application on demand. It’s excellent for real-time cross-browser testing.



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