Essential Windows Applications

A lot of the Vedanta Center work is accomplished using computers. We have found certain free software applications to be nearly indispensable for our work. For our own reference, as well as for the interest of others, we list the most useful applications here, along with links to the sites. All the software listed here is free, most is open source. (A great resource for trusted free Windows software is Gizmo’s Freeware.)

Free Software

  • Everything search engine: a tiny, lightning-speed utility that finds any file on your computer instantly.
  • Stickies: just like the “Post-it” notes, for your computer desktop.
  • PDF-Xchange viewer: A much smaller, faster, nicer viewer than the standard Adobe reader.
  • Chrome web browser from Google. It really is faster in our experience.
  • AdBlock: blocks internet advertising in Chrome and Firefox.
  • Open Office: very similar to Microsoft Office, but free and open source.
  • Faststone Image Viewer: with basic editing features, fast and elegant.
  • Audacity: for audio editing. It’s a bit complex, but very useful.
  • Ccleaner: disk cleanup, registry cleanup.
  • Defraggler: a disk defragmenting application.
  • Itranslator: for typing Devanagari using the regular alphabet.
  • Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator: for making custom keyboards. A geek tool, very useful!
  • 7-zip file compressor. One of the best.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials: a free anti-virus system from Microsoft. Reliable and no nagging for money.
  • Color Cop: a very small color picker useful for website design.
  • Launchy: a very fast program launcher: just hit the Windows key and spacebar (or other hotkey as you define) to quickly launch applications. This is for people who like to get away from the mouse.
  • PsPad: A text editor for html, css, other scripts. You can edit files on remote servers via ftp: very useful for website development.
  • Synctoy: a Microsoft program for making backups.
  • Editpad Lite: one of many alternatives to Notepad. Customizable.
  • Filezilla: FTP program (for website administration) from Mozilla
  • Firefox: Slower than Chrome (sorry), but has some very useful add-ons for website development.
  • PureText: A great little app which pastes only text, stripped of all formatting; hooked to win-v or any shortcut you choose.

Proprietary Software we find useful (not free)

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
Online Tools and References