Open Source Software

Adobe software is made accessible on Wellesley campus computers only and is not available for use on student's personal computers.

Students who want to access to Adobe applications on their personal computers have two options available to them. Students can purchase the Adobe Creative Suite for a discounted price through eAcademy. Students can also take advantage of the month-to-month Adobe “Creative Cloud” service (be sure to select the Student/Teacher edition for better pricing).

When Adobe is not a course requirement, students requiring access to pdf, image, audio, and video solutions can make use of open source software available free of charge or low cost software applications available for student purchase through the respective vendor (see list below).

Multimedia Project

Free/Open Source Software

licensed Adobe equivalent

if you want to...

try using...

  • edit a photograph
  • add text to an image
  • create a digital drawing or painting

Photopea (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux) 

A browser-based tool designed to mirror Photoshop; supports several file formats (including PSD and RAW) and offers features that other free image editing programs don’t (Spot Healing brush, Quick Selection, and more).


GIMP (Windows, Mac, Linux): 

Arguably the most popular Photoshop alternative; used for image editing and retouching, drawing, switching file formats, and more specialized tasks. You can customize and extend features via plugins.

  • design a research poster
  • create an infographic
  • trace a map
  • make a logo
  • create a digital drawing or painting

Vectr (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux)

Browser-based tool that includes most of the basic features you need to start making simple infographics, icons, logos, or other small vector illustrations. Great for quick file creation; account required in order to save project files as drafts.


Method (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux)

Browser-based tool that allows you to quickly create and save vector graphics as .svg and .png files.


InkScape (Windows, Mac, Linux)

A vector graphics editing application for creating things like illustrations, charts and logos. Has more features that Vectr, but requires download and install before use.


Krita (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Aimed primarily at artists; great for creating things like concept art, texture and matte digital paintings, illustrations, and comics.

  • design a research poster
  • create page/booklet/magazine layout

Scribus (Windows, Mac, Linux)

An open-source page layout program that has the same basic features and function of InDesign. Compatible with TIFF, JPEG, PSD, and AI files (but not InDesign (.INDD) project files). Note: if you use MacOS Mojave or Catalina, you will need to download the Scribus 1.5 development version instead of the Scribus 1.4 stable version.

  • create a PDF from scanner
  • combine multiple PDF files
  • edit PDF file (delete, add, insert, rotate, crop pages)

Scribus (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Although it shares more similarities with Adobe InDesign than Adobe Acrobat, Scribus is a good choice for creating and editing PDF documents! Note: if you use MacOS Mojave or Catalina, you will need to download the Scribus 1.5 development version instead of the Scribus 1.4 stable version


LibreOffice (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Multi-functional tool that replaces the Microsoft Office suite and is a great choice for creating a document and exporting as a PDF. To edit an existing PDF, you’ll want to use LibreOffice Draw (included in the LibreOffice download). 


InkScape (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Not just a vector graphics creation tool; you can also import and edit PDFs with it! This is particularly a good choice if your PDF is image-heavy.

Acrobat Pro
  • edit video clips together
  • add titles and transitions

OpenShot (Windows 7-10, MacOS X 10.9+, and Linux)

Simple video editing program that has comparable features to iMovie. It requires less processing power than heavy-duty video editing software like DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Premiere Pro, and is relatively easy to learn. This tool is especially useful if you have an older operating system that won’t run other video editing applications!


Adobe Premiere Rush (mobile) (iPhone or Android)

Video editing application from Adobe that has many of the same features as the iMovie mobile app; titles, speed controls, multiple video + audio tracks. Only the mobile version offers free unlimited project exports; the desktop version is limited to 3 projects.


DaVinci Resolve (Windows 10, MacOS 10.14.6+, and Linux) 

A powerful free software with features comparable to Adobe Premiere Pro. Perfect for advanced features like color correction, minor VFX edits, and integrated audio post production. Requires processing power and space that not all computers are equipped with; minimum of 16GB memory, 32GB is preferred.

Premiere Pro
  • capture clips from a DVD
Handbrake (Windows, Mac, Linux)  
  • video compositing (like if you combined Photoshop + video editing!)
  • VFX

Blender (Windows, Mac, Linux)

A 3D modeling tool that can be used to create 3D and 2D animations, visual effects, compositing and videos.

After Effects

There is no free software that fully dupes AE, but some 3D modeling softwares can achieve similar end results.

  • record audio
  • edit audio clips together
  • optimize audio
  • create music tracks

Audacity (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Great tool for beginner and intermediate audio recording and editing. Lacks some bells and whistles for super-specialized audio editing, but should serve the needs of an average user! Screen-Reader Version on macOS


AudioMass (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux)

A lightweight, browser-based tool perfect for quick edits or for Chromebook users. You can use it offline by preloading it under the “Help” menu and you can save drafts of your audio projects via the “File” menu. If you close your browser without saving your project, all edits since your last local save will be lost.

  • record a computer screen
  • create a screen cast for software demonstration
  • design interactive instructional content


Zoom (Windows, Mac, Linux)

QuickTime (Windows, Mac)

Apowersoft (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux) 

Skitch (Mac)


There is no free software that fully dupes Captivate, but using different tools in tandem can achieve similar end results.

  • create 2D or 3D drawings
  • create 3D models
  • CAD/CAM design/engineering

Blender (Windows, Mac, Linux)

A 3D modeling tool that can be used to create 3D and 2D animations, visual effects, compositing and videos. 


Autodesk (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux)

Free to students (must register and validate .edu email)


Onshape (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux)


Sketchup (Chromebook, Windows, Mac, Linux)

Aero, Dimension
  • convert audio or video files formats
  • compress audio or video files
ShutterEncoder (Windows, Mac) Media Encoder