Top 10 open source alternatives

We run down the 10 best open source alternatives to the business software we use every day.


Alternative to AutoCAD


Archimedes is a computer-aided design application which is shaping up as a competitor to industry leader AutoCAD. The software is being developed in conjunction with various architects to meet the rapidly evolving needs of today's market, with the long-term goal of being a direct replacement of Autodesk's package.

The range of tools is ever expanding and currently includes lines, arcs, polylines, trimming, editable text, offset, area measurement and filleting as well as the option to export to .SVG or .PDF.

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Archimedes is very much a work in progress but even in its current state, which is stable, it offers users on a budget a decent set of tools to carry out their work. Response to the software has been overwhelmingly positive and it's a name to look out for in the future.

Our view: 4/6


Alternative to WinZip, WinRAR, Archive Utility


Whether it is for tidying up your hard disk or compressing larger files down for email an archiving tool is a fundamental piece of software for any PC or Mac user.

As with other popular applications, PeaZip offers support for multiple file-types (7z, RAR, TAR, Zip, PAQ/LPAQ) fast extraction, extreme compression and secure deletion along with a wide range of compression and encryption standards.

The whole thing is neatly packaged into a very user-friendly and attractive application that should be at the top of any users list.

7zip is another great open source file archiving tool but one which favours the more technical user. It offers great compression but can be fiddly to use and resource hungry; overall it just isn't as user friendly as PeaZip, but if you're that way inclined and you need some serious compression, give it a look.

Our view: 4/6

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