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by Ray Carlson

Q. The Prescott Computer Society has a reputation for identifying useful free software. Anything special for Windows 10?

A. Windows 10 includes apps to look at your email, calendar, photos, the news, weather, etc., but it also includes an icon to connect to the Windows Store. That store includes a large number of apps developed by other companies which can be added to Windows 10. Many are free. The Store includes user ratings for each app, and various reviewers have added their own evaluations. Top ratings for the free apps usually go to:

Adobe Photoshop Express, a reduced version of Adobe Photoshop Elements, the highly recommended photo editing program. Express allows Photoshop style editing of pictures and uses Photoshop's expertise in recommending changes.

Recuva which restores recent files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer or any drives attached to your computer.

VLC media player that plays everything from small movies, audio programs and slide shows to full DVDs.

Flipboard which takes content from your favorite categories and websites and creates a personalized magazine.

iHeart radio that connects with thousands of radio stations as well as millions of individual radio programs.

Separately, Microsoft recently developed an online version of its Office Suite. It includes the regular Office programs, except Access, but it leaves out sophisticated features. It is free for personal use. Like Google Docs, which is also free, all the work is done on the Internet and stored online.

If you prefer doing office work offline on your own computer, highly rated free office suites are available. LibreOffice gets special mention since they just released version 5.0 with several improvements. Files produced by that program can be interchanged with those produced by Office, but LibreOffice offers advanced features not available in the Online Office program.

Published: Courier 8/29/15 - Page 12A