15 Free Alternatives to Popular Mac Software

This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on Feb 2nd, 2011.

There’s a huge range of amazing paid software out there, but more often than not there is some form of free alternative. For those of us who can’t afford to spend up on every great app we desire, gathered here are 15 great free pieces of software that achieve much the same purpose of a popular but paid application.

Of course – nine times out of ten you get what you pay for, and the paid applications are usually going to do the job better, look nicer, or have more features than any free app. But that doesn’t mean free applications are worth overlooking, as they will often be more than functional enough for your needs.

Join us after the break for a look at some great examples!

Photoshop Alternative: Seashore

Photoshop is without question a brilliant piece of software, but at a whopping $700, most people looking for a general photo editing application might want something a bit more modest. Pixelmator is well worth a try at $29, but as far as free photo editing apps go, Seashore might be perfect for those on a tight budget.

This open source image editor is based off GIMP, but runs in a clean and simple interface with enough features to keep modest users happy.

Seashore handles layers, alpha channels, and has a decent tool set.  Within the Menubar are a number of effects and image editing controls to play with including basics such as contrast and hue sliders.  These sliders fade after each adjustment, which is a convenient feature to see the effects of your changes. Well worth a look.

Seashore

Seashore

AppZapper Alternative: AppCleaner

AppZapper ($13) is a great application for properly deleting applications, widgets, preference panes and plug-ins. When you drag an application to AppZapper, it finds all the files that relate to that app so that you can delete the whole application without leaving odd bits scattered around your hard drive.

AppCleaner from Free Mac Soft is an incredibly similar application, but it’s free.  Like AppZapper, cleaning up apps is as simple as dragging one from the Finder to the AppCleaner window.  Once dragged, AppCleaner will instantly identify all the files that the application has created across the system, which can all be trashed by clicking ‘Delete’.

AppCleaner

AppCleaner

Files can also be found from within AppCleaner under three different categories and searched for.  There is a bug within the application which means that as you search, the list updates live but the icons remain where they were which can cause a bit of confusion.

AppCleaner boasts a few features that AppZapper doesn’t have.  A very nifty feature is ‘SmartDelete’, which means that when you drag an app to the trash, you will be asked if you would like to also delete related files.  This even works when AppCleaner isn’t open.

You can also drop in specific apps to protect from deleting with AppCleaner. Of course, AppZapper has its own special features, including a license and serial storage space for your own apps and stunning animations.

AppCleaner Preferences

AppCleaner Preferences

Parallels/Fusion Alternative: VirtualBox

For those of you on Mac who still need to run Windows, the first names that you’d hear would be Parallels and VMware Fusion (each $80), both of which are powerful and highly praised Windows virtualization tools.  But there’s also a third player out there which you may not have heard of; VirtualBox.

VirtualBox is an open source application which, whilst missing some of the features and performance of the commercial apps, stands up very well for those looking to use Windows for tasks which don’t tow too heavily on the processor.  VirtualBox is definitely a viable alternative to Parallels and Fusion if you’re happy to put up with what it lacks in comparison.

VirtualBox

VirtualBox

Also don’t forget Apple’s own Boot Camp, which comes pre-installed on Macs, but requires you to reboot the computer each time you want to change operating system.

Linkinus Alternative: Colloquy

Linkinus ($20) and Colloquy are IRC (Instant Relay Chat) clients which allow you to connect to a chat room on a certain topic to chat with like-minded people around the world.  Both applications do a great job, but as an open source app Colloquy is well worth a look and has a great user base.

Colloquy is a reliable and well designed application which can be customized to suit your style.  It has a great range of features (including growl notifications) and has plenty to play around with inside the preferences. I also personally really like the set of sound effects included for the various alerts.

I’d recommend giving Colloquy a go if you’re looking into an IRC app that works well and is easy to use, but with plenty of more advanced features for regular users.

Colloquy

Colloquy

Transmit Alternative: Cyberduck

Transmit ($34) would be one of the most popular and publicized FTP clients for Mac, and for good reason.  Cyberduck may not pack the same feature set and flair, but it is a great open source alternative.

From my experience it always works perfectly for connecting, uploading and downloading files from FTP servers.  Of course it doesn’t only support FTP and can connect to a whole heap of different servers, as well as letting you edit any text files directly from the server.

The interface of Cyberduck is easy to use and navigate for those with little experience surrounding FTP, and it’s certainly worth checking out.

Cyberduck

Cyberduck

Concentrate Alternative: Isolator

Concentrate ($29) is a fantastic application to help you get rid of distractions on your computer so that you focus on the task at hand. It can do a whole heap of tasks such as quitting applications, setting chat statuses to ‘away’, running AppleScripts, and blocking websites such as Facebook.

Isolator is a free application that aims to solve the same problem, but does so in a completely different manner. Basically, it ‘isolates’ the current active application and dims everything else in the background.  Isolator sits in the menu bar and can be activated by keyboard short cut.

Within the Isolator preferences, you can adjust a whole range of settings.  In terms of appearance, you can change how opaque the background is made, and even blur out the background windows using a number of effects.  This app also works seamlessly with Spaces.

Isolate

Isolator

InDesign Alternative: Scribus

InDesign ($700) is a professional page layout tool for designing print projects such as newsletters.  If you gawked at that price then it might be a good idea to take a look at Scribus, an open source desktop publishing application.

The interface leaves a bit to be desired, as it is a little confusing at first. To counter it’s interface though, Scribus has all the features you’d expect and a few more for good measure, such as vector shapes. It comes with fantastic documentation which walks you through all the things it can do, and the website has a wealth of more information and tutorials.

If you’re prepared to give Scribus some time then it could be a great desktop publisher for you.

Scribus

Scribus

Pages Alternative: OpenOffice

Pages ($20) is the word processing part of the iWork bundle from Apple. It is a brilliant application for writing and basic page layout, but it too has a completely free, open source alternative; OpenOffice.

OpenOffice runs natively in OS X, (rather than in X11 like it used to) and is smooth and fast. It’s easy to use and looks more or less the same as any other word processing app. Like most free vs paid apps, it may not pack all the bells and whistles that Pages, or even Microsoft Word has, but OpenOffice should fit the majority of peoples needs.

OpenOffice is actually a full office suite and includes Presentation, Spreadsheets, and even Drawing applications alongside the word-processor, so can replace the entire iWork or Microsoft Office suite.

OpenOffice

OpenOffice

CoverScout Alternative: Album Artwork Assistant

CoverScout ($30) is a wonderfully designed application that makes applying and editing album artwork in your iTunes library a pleasure. Album Artwork Assistant doesn’t have the same wow factor and features, but if you’re looking for something free to apply album artwork to your music without doing everything manually, this might be just for you.

Album Artwork Assistant isn’t completely automated.  You have to go into iTunes and select all the tracks from albums that you want to add artwork to.  Then AAA will load those tracks up and as you click on each album, it will do an image search across the internet for artwork.

You can Quick Look images, and even browse the web if AAA doesn’t yield the right pictures.  Once you’ve got the right one, you just click ‘Add Immediately’ and it will be applied to the iTunes tracks.  It can be a little buggy in selecting tracks to search but overall is worth giving a go.

Album Artwork Assistant

Album Artwork Assistant

Also, you may not be aware that iTunes has a built in Album Artwork finder.  It will only work for tracks with the correct labels and only if iTunes has them in it’s store, but here’s how to go about that… Within iTunes, click ‘Advanced’ in the menu bar, then ‘Get Album Artwork’.

CoverSutra Alternative: Bowtie

The Bowtie Bowlet, which sits on the Desktop

The Bowtie Bowlet, which sits on the Desktop

CoverSutra ($5) is an app which gives you easy access to search and controlling iTunes, as well as displaying album artwork and information directly on the Desktop.  Bowtie is a very similar, but is a free application which also does a great job.

Bowtie places a small Album icon on your Desktop which you can drag around and place where you like.  Clicking on it brings up song information and iTunes controls including ratings.  The themes can be customized, and more can be downloaded from an ever-growing selection.

Last.fm scrobbling is supported, and you can set up a huge variety of keyboard shortcuts to control Bowtie and iTunes.  A really nice app to use to enhance your iTunes experience.

Bowtie Preferences

Bowtie Preferences

MainMenu Alternative: IceClean

MainMenu ($19) is a great system maintenance tool which sits in the menu bar.  IceClean performs many of the same functions as MainMenu for a zero dollar price tag.

IceClean contains an abundance of features stored throughout various menus, which include repairing disk permissions, routine maintenance scripts, clearing caches, looking up network info and force ejecting CDs/DVDs.  This utility is well worth a download if you’re an advanced Mac user and understood what all the features above meant!

IceClean

IceClean

DaisyDisk alternative: DiskWave

DaisyDisk ($20) offers a beautiful visual representation of where your hard drive space is being used up, so that you can then go about and free up space by deleting large and unimportant files.

DiskWave lacks the charm and visual charts of DaisyDisk, but if you’re looking for a free, functional application to discover what is hogging up all your space, it could be all you need.  You start off by selecting a drive to scan.  Once it’s finished searching through your drive, all of your files will be displayed as they are in the finder, but ordered from largest to smallest and color coded based on size.

It’s then fairly straight forward to work your way through the layers of folders to find troublesome files, which can be deleted from within the app by pressing the ‘Delete’ button.  There are also buttons to Quick Look the files or reveal them in the Finder. DiskWave is still under development according to it’s site but is fully functional as it is.

DiskWave

DiskWave

Illustrator Alternative: Inkscape

Illustrator ($600) is the go-to drawing application for vector work, and it works wonders.  But as with all Adobe products, the price tag is a bit frightening for many.  Luckily Inkscape, an open source vector drawing application exists.  Inkscape is easy to use, especially if you’re familiar with Illustrator, and packs a great range of features that will get you through most projects.

Unfortunately it is not a native Mac application and requires Apple’s X11 app to run but this is only a small downside.  If you’re wondering if Inkscape is capable of producing stunning looking work, you only need to take a peek into the Inkscape DeviantART page to see what it’s users are creating.

Inkscape also has fantastic support for importing Illustrator files and I was very impressed at how even complex files were imported flawlessly, ready to be edited. If you can’t afford to fork out big bucks for Illustrator, Inkscape is well and truly worth a look and may suit you perfectly.

Inkscape

Inkscape

TextMate Alternative: TextWrangler

TextMate ($55) is a powerful text editor, which is great for editing all sorts of code such as HTML.  A wonderful free alternative to TextMate is TextWrangler, from Bare Bones Software.  This application packs a huge selection of features, mostly tucked away in its menu.

It excels in areas such as find and replace, syntax coloring for many various coding languages, code folding, FTP opening and saving, and much much more.  TextWrangler is very straight forward to use and the interface is simple and clean. It’s perfect for programmers, but also serves the needs of basic text editing as well.

TextWrangler

TextWrangler

Coda Alternative: Aptana Studio

Coda ($100) is a wonderful web development app from the team at Panic which brings all the main elements of website creation together into one window.  The interface looks great and is a joy to use, but if you’d like an app which can do much of the same stuff for free, Aptana Studio is a great place to start.

Aptana Studio is excellent for editing HTML, JavaScript, and CSS and offers Live Previews in any web browsers you have. There is outline view of all elements, and full validation is included.  There’s also support for FTP access and publishing. Overall, it has a very sturdy feature set – so much so that the Preferences are somewhat of a nightmare to work through!

Aptana Studio is cross platform so not specifically designed for Mac, but it is a very powerful web development application that is definitely worth looking into whether you are an aspiring or experienced website developer.

Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio

Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve discovered a few new apps, free of charge, which can replace other, more popular apps which cost money! There’s a lot of great stuff out there for the Mac which developers kindly release for free.

Of course, whilst we’ve been throwing the word ‘free’ around a lot in this article, many of the developers of these apps ask for donations. If you use and like a free app, be sure to support the developers who put their time and effort into making it.

Let us know what you think of any of the free applications mentioned above, if you think there is a better alternative, or any other great free software that replaces popular paid applications out there!


  • http://www.iconbox.ch Iconbox

    Thanks for this great article! Really helpful to find alternatives! You should do more of these ;)

  • Michael

    Another alternative for text editing is Bean, which is free and a good text editor.

    http://www.bean-osx.com/

    Bean is a small, easy-to-use word processor (or more precisely, a rich text editor), designed to make writing convenient, efficient and comfortable. Bean is Open Source, fully Cocoa, and is available free of charge! MS Word, OpenOffice, etc. try to be all things to all people. But sometimes you just want the right tool for the job. That is Bean’s niche.

  • Schellman

    Great article, a real time-saver!

  • Rob

    Thanks! Great list, I would add Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) : free audio recording and editing, to it.

    • Ansatz

      You would add audacity to the list as an alternative to what? This list isn’t just “apps that I like” but “free alternatives to popular mac software”.

      • Amy

        could be an alternative to soundbooth or garageband

  • Superian

    Happy to figure that i already have 50% of these apps :)

  • Andy

    Bowtie > CoverSutra. Seriously.

    Anyways, wonderful recommendations right there. :)

    • dev

      it isn’t. bowtie can’t search like coversutra

  • http://twitter.com/florianlionel Florian Taltavull

    Great article!

  • http://www.amperspectives.com Andy M

    Anyone know of an Adobe After Effects Alternative? I need to open one .aep file! Ha.

  • alfora

    Free (GPL) alternative for DaisyDisk/DiskWave: Disk Inventory X
    http://www.derlien.com/

  • http://www.3dy.ro/ 3dy

    Well, there are a few things worth mentioning…

    Seashore is much, much below Photoshop… it’s more an alternative to Picasa’s built-in image editor. Pixelmator comes really close. In fact, the only two reasons why I didn’t buy Pixelmator is the lack of Pen Tool and the availability only through AppStore. Sadly, I don’t have any free alternative to Photoshop to recommend.

    AppCleaner is one of the free apps that work better than their shareware counterpart. Its SmartDelete feature is already more powerful than AppZapper. Also, with AppCleaner you can delete system plug-ins, preference panes, and dashboard widgets.

    And now, about what I know best… I currently own, use, and enjoy Coda. Aptana’s text editing engine, Eclipse, is much better than Coda’s (which is SubEthaEngine). In Coda, you open a tag, and it automatically closes it. In Aptana, you open a tag, it closes it, and simulates two Return keys and a Tab for block elements, and for inline elements it just adds the close tag.

    What killed Aptana for me was its speed, and the useless toolbar that simply CAN’T be configured to be hidden forever (you can hide it, but it appears when you open Aptana next time).

    But I guess you can live with Aptana. Really, it’s more powerful. But I guess it better fits Linux…

    • Will

      Have you tried the Aptana Studio 3.0 beta?

      I really liked 1.5 and then wasn’t a fan of 2.0, but in 3, they brought everything back from 1.5 that they took out and I liked and made it even better. Keep in mind that it’s in beta, so it still has some work to be done, but it’s pretty cool.

      • http://www.3dy.ro/ 3dy

        I checked it out in the Summer of 2010… and wasn’t impressed. Back then, it was by far worse than Aptana Studio 2.

        I hope a few things changed… I’m checking it out now. :)

        Thanks.

  • http://nataliaventre.com Natalia Ventre

    I use Cyberduck almost everyday and I love it. The dock icon is my favorite!

    Aptana is quite good and Inskape is ugly and slow but it works, but nevertheless I think that one of the reasons to switch to Mac is to be able to use all the cool apps, like Coda/Esspreso, Pixelmator, etc. As 3dy mentioned above, probably these apps are better for Linux users.

    • http://www.3dy.ro/ 3dy

      You are very right about CyberDuck. It’s a wonderful piece of software, although I didn’t see it evolve in time (as Transmit or ForkLife do). But it’s still very reliable. Erm… I’m using Coda’s built-in FTP (at least it’s better than Aptana’s).

      I agree with you about Inkscape, and in fact, about any app that requires X11.

      About using the apps designed especially for OS X, you’re right again. Coda is the primary reason why I got a Mac.

  • rsnumber2

    No love for NeoOffice? It’s a native OpenOffice alternative. It does ask for donations, but none are required to operate. NeoOffice.org

    • http://www.if.pro.br Igor Freiberger

      AFAIK, NeoOffice is not free –although you can use it without a serial. But for $10/year, it is an excellent alternative to any office suite.

  • http://www.russe.de Russe

    There’s a great free audio editor from Macsome.
    http://www.macsome.com/audio-editor-mac/index.html

    Don’t know the paid counterpart :-)

  • Serenak

    Seashore is OK – and very basic, if you want Photoshop/Pixelmator levels of functionality you have to look at GIMP (which requires X11) – don’t forget iPhoto can do basic photo edits and other free tools such as ImageTricks (from BeLight) and the older version of LiveQuartz are available (newest LiveQuartz has gone paid if only $10 and App Store only). Acorn is a sort of shareware – you can use it for free (but with restrictions) – oh and if you need RAW access for free check out Rawker (no do, really)

    Scribus is the only free DTP app I know of and although powerful is a bit clunky and feels very old fashioned… OK if you are familiar with DTP in general but to be honest I would rather recommend Pages or BeLight’s Swift Publisher or even the somewhat obscure iCalamus (which are all paid for I admit but far easier to learn than Scribus for the unexperienced)

    Inkscape is great – and a good Illustrator alternative for those familiar with vector drawing, but like GIMP and Scribus have a steep learning curve for beginners (though to be fair so do the heavyweight Adobe Apps they stand in for) – for beginners some of the paid for Apps like Intaglio, iDraw, WouldjaDraw or ZeusDraw are good low cost alternatives

    IceClean is OK, but nowhere a patch on OnyX (or its subset siblings Deeper and Maintenance) from http://www.titanium.free.fr/download.php also worth a look are YASU and TinkerTool…

    Can’t recommend Bean enough as a great basic Word Processor (even has a few basic page layout tools) – not up to Pages but a great place to start (have to give honourable mention to iTextExpress as a “TextEdit on Steroids” tool and xPad (though XPad is more a notetaker app really)

    To add some apps to your list:

    SimplyBurns or Burn – great Toast alternatives, neither are as flashy but both will do what Toast does… SimplyBurns is my favourite of the pair.

    Audacity or Handbrake – great free audio tools (not my bag audio but they get endless recommends)

    Colloquy is great for IRC, as is the older X-Chat Aqua – for other multi-protocol IM options Adium, Nimbuzz and Proteus and recently Voxox have a lot to recommend them and I believe Trillian is now available on OS X…

    Oh yes and everyone should have CarbonCopyCloner… nearly as good as SuperDuper! (which I cannot fault, and has a basic free mode too anyway!) or at the least iBackup…

    VLC should be in every Mac user’s Application folder… and everyone who can install Perian should have that too.

    If you want a free and excellent thesaurus get Nissus Thesaurus and for a better calculator get Magic Number Machine

    FWIW if you feel the need for anti-virus (if only to not pass on Windows nasties) look at ClamXav (use the folder sentry feature) or more recently the free Sophos offering here (http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/free-mac-anti-virus/) – tried and killed it personally, but it there if you want

    Transmission or BitTorrent – torrent clients, I like Transmission best – most Mac like client I have ever used.

    Mactracker – amazing database of every Apple product ever…

    Think – free last time I looked and another “Isolate/Concentrate” type tool allows hiding all apps and has modifiable “allowable helpers” to allow access to listed apps “through the curtain” without leaving the Think environment…

    I am huge fan of free apps – can you tell? :D

    For anyone reading looking for anything always try http://www.pure-mac.com – a great resource for finding all sorts of Mac software (not complete no matter how hard they try… but a great starting point)

    I am sure I could ramble on longer about more obscure stuff – but hey, enough is enough

    Great article – and a great site, check it regularly…

    • B30

      Handbrake is a video transcoder ;)
      (by far one of the best)

    • Marcus

      @ Serenak Thanks for the tip on Nisus Thesaurus. Great little app.

    • ozaz

      @serenak,

      Useful tips. Thanks.

      How would you rank the various low cost vector graphics apps? I notice you left out a few that seem to be popular on the App store (vector designer, eazydraw, artboard)

      • Serenak

        There are so many vector apps it is hard to grade them as they range in price and ability sooo much… but as a professional Illustrator user (and a MUG member interested in alternatives for non pro users) I have checked a lot of them out

        Inkscape is probably my favourite… especially at the price point! But I recently came across a little program called DrawBerry… it is currently free as it is only at v0.8 and that is a basic but rather nice little application

        EazyDraw is a pretty good vector drawing tool by what I recall of testing it… but then it should be as it is at the upper end of the price range. Not mad on the somewhat “toy town” icons in the Toolbox though

        I think I looked at Vector Designer but I don’t recall much about it… so it probably falls exactly where I would expect a $30 Application to fall, same goes for Artboard, which I tried recently and thought was a decently featured app for the money.

        I haven’t tried iDraw… as there is no demo available, but I did have an earlier version, and that was pretty good for the price.

        The best thing is to try out the free trials – because a $30 app that is sufficient for some users is a $30 underpowered piece of junk to another.

        Though on NO ACCOUNT bother with Macware’s Graphic Design Studio.. it is a piece of broken junk even at v3.0 and even DrawBerry is better – really

    • http://www.if.pro.br Igor Freiberger

      Perian is great, but was discountinued. It still works well for me in 10.8.2, but I am not sure how long it would be an option.

  • http://www.metzener.com/ Dave M.

    As far as a DaisyDisk alternative goes, OmniDiskSweeper is a great free app that shows exactly where space is being used on HDD’s. It used to cost money, but OmniGroup decided to make it free along with a few other apps like OmniWeb.

    There really is no other better choice for disk space management than OmniDiskSweeper.

  • Matt

    Grand Perspective is a great free alternative to DaisyDisk. You still get a nice visual representation of your drive… for free :)

  • Adi

    TunesArt>Bowtie…

    • http://www.if.pro.br Igor Freiberger

      TunesArt is very nice, but it does not work correctly with iTunes 11 and takes a good amount of memory.

  • DJR

    Filezilla and Cyberduck is pretty par…

    http://filezilla-project.org/

  • http://therankmaniac2011.blogspot.com/ Nihar Sharma

    I am pretty curious to check out Aptana Studio. Have been wondering for a while whether or not to rake out the big bucks for Coda after hearing rave reviews…maybe one last shot at saving some money.

    • http://www.3dy.ro/ 3dy

      Yep, it’s a really good idea. I’m using Coda over Aptana because I don’t create web applications or code in anything else than HTML, CSS and JS (although I heard Coda is also great at PHP). Aptana is, in my opinion, better for everything else…

      So if you just use the four languages I mentioned, Coda is infinitely useful because it supports them very, very well (although I expected more help with JS… but that’s it) and all its goodies are designed for them. But don’t even try to write Java in it…

  • AndyW

    Onxy is great for system clean up’s as well.

    • http://www.3dy.ro/ 3dy

      Onyx just allows you to do things the system does automatically anyway. Macs don’t need this kind of maintenance.

  • Billy

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    swagbucks.com/refer/mmPete

    • Vince

      I note you hate spammers me too so I went straight to swagbucks.com without your referral. Now we both feel great about it.

  • Hamster

    Harry,

    Please please please. “If you’re looking” is the correct way of writing it. Not “your”. ‘You’re”.

    Please fix the article.

    • Don Parr

      Seriously?

  • Madhukarah

    Nice post… Thanks a lot !

  • http://hacksocialmedia.com Tony

    Ummm.. Photoshop is $700? I thought it could be bought for around half that price. I mean if you buy it individually.

    • http://www.3dy.ro/ 3dy

      Nope, although they have ~50% discount for students. I’m in Romania, and I paid for Photoshop Extended CS5 around 450$ with this discount. In US / UK, you pay a little less.

      • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan Wright

        I believe the student version is for learning, but not for producing commercial work…

        Adobe can get away with this since they know their the king of the hill.

  • Bob Smith

    Seashore 0.5.1 instantly crashes every time I start it (as it has on every 0.5 release). Only the 0.1.9 version is reliable for me (on OSX 10.6.6).

  • Tim

    Also, a good alternative to DaisyDisk, if you are a visual person, is Disk Inventory X. It’s not as pretty as DaisyDisk, but it does it’s job. And it’s free.

  • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

    Cyberduck is one of my new favorites, and its UI is much nicer than FileZilla’s. Plus, it runs on Windows 7 too … and since I don’t have a Mac, its always nice to find newer, nice apps for PCs :)

    • http://www.rohstoff.co Benny

      I have bad experience with Cyberduck on Windows. I don’t like it at all. :(

  • Edward

    I’m very partial to many paid apps, but I have always been impressed by Aptana and Cyberduck. Both have saved me on several occasions.

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  • http://twitter.com/mdcrumpler Michael Crumpler

    I know this article is a wee bit old but I hope this gets read: another great alternative to a form of photoshop and vector editors and the like is Aviary. Its a free online app which allows you to make what you want, whether it be image editing, music, vectors, whichever. I love it :D

  • KangChao

    Thanks!

  • V.C. David

    I would add FileZilla to the list of free FTP. Bizarre toolbar, but otherwise, very easy to use.

  • http://daxisdesign.com Jessica

    Thank you for this useful post! Cyberduck (Transit alternative) is something I can definitely use!

  • http://www.driventodesign.com/ driven to design

    I have recently fallen in love with OpenOffice! I can’t believe how much stuff they packed in there, for FREE! Also use Filezilla, it rocks on Mac and PC.

  • http://www.driventodesign.com/ elise

    I’ve recently fallen in love with OpenOffice! I can’t believe how much stuff they packed in there, for FREE!!! +1 on Filezilla.

  • http://www.wpvine.com Vishu

    Having got my first Mac yesterday, this blog has become the new go-to place for me :) Very nice article btw, there’s a lot to explore out there for newbie OS X users like me..

  • meysam salim

    what about ?

  • http://www.mobilewebkit.com Brent

    Great list, many I have never heard of before. I’ll be trying AppCleaner and Cover Art Assistant today !!! Thanks !!!

  • Joshua Kievsky

    What about Soulver ($25) and Numi ($5) ?

  • Joshua Kievsky

    Oh.. Forgot that only free apps in contest! Sorry :-)

  • Luca

    Limechat is the best free IRC client for mac. And LibreOffice is better than Open.

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  • http://www.logoswish.com/ Logoswish

    Useful list. I love AppCleaner. Thank you.

  • Chris

    Cyberduck is really lame compared to what MacFusion does. I stopped using FTP clients and started using Finder (+ TotalFinder) for my file transmissions!

  • Sascha

    OmniDiskSweeper from the famous OmniGroup can replace DaisyDisk

  • Chas

    Nice list, except for: (all listed are free)

    - OpenOffice forked after being bought out by Oracle, so now you need to look at LibreOffice instead.

    - Look at Fraise for your text editing. Touch friendlier than Text Wrangler (to me).

    - Another choice for an IM client that works with most services is Adium.

    - Pixen is very much worth a look for free image editing.

    AND, look for Flip4Mac – a QuickTime add-on allowing you to play Windows media files via QT. Get Perian add-on too and you’re pretty much covered. Get VLC as a separate player, JIC, and you are definitely covered!

  • http://www.spiritualawakening.org.uk Patri

    What a great article! Very helpful indeed – wished I had found it earlier. Thanks!!!

  • http://www.designstudio16.com Saurabh Shah

    nice post.. thanks for sharing. It is very useful for newbie mac users like me.

  • Ashvin Ajadiya

    Hey I had purchase New Mac Mini And i dont have any FUll Version Software ..
    Can any buddy Help me..??

  • http://www.pellpax.com John Lubbs

    hi anyone, I had been just checkin out this web site and that i really admire the idea as soon as i’ve, and also have not do, so if anyone wishes to come with an engaging convo about this, please send me a email on myspace, la and orange county kim smith

  • http://soundcloud.com/hems henrique

    CODA have some fancy features that come built-in, but you can achieve much more with aptna and eclipse.

    people that complains about eclipse speed, should turn off “automatically build” and edit the “eclipse.ini” file in order to allocate more memory for the text editor.

    surely its not as light as sublime text or coda, but its the payoff of doing more and being 100% cross plataform.

    enjoy life

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