Speech Therapy Information and Resources

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Free Software for Assignments

I’m all in favour of using free software – well, why pay for something if you don’t have to? Of course, the quality needs to be good enough for your purposes.

You may already have commercial software that you prefer to use but if you need to upgrade any programs – and you’re on a budget – then the following suggestions may help. They represent some of my favourites. Basically, having a program from each of the eight areas is probably all you’ll need to complete most written assignments for training courses and to operate safely on the World Wide Web.


1. Office Suite

 Open Office

Open Office http://www.openoffice.org

Leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases.

2. Graphics


Paint.NET http://www.getpaint.net

Image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.


GIMP http://www.gimp.org

The GNU Image Manipulation Program is a comprehensive program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

3. Audio Recording


Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net

Software for recording and editing sounds.

4. Anti-virus

 avast! home

avast! www.avast.com

Virus protection, with anti-spyware and anti-rootkit software built in for added security.

5. Web browsers


Firefox http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/

Web browser alternative to Windows Explorer.


Opera http://www.opera.com

Web browser alternative to Windows Explorer (also includes an email program).

6. Email Programs


Opera http://www.opera.com

Email program and web browser combination.


Thunderbird http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/

Email alternative to Microsoft Outlook.

7. Communications


skype http://www.skype.com

Make calls from your computer — free to other people on Skype and cheap to phones and mobiles around the world. Can also do video conferencing.

8. Statistical Analysis

This is a specialist area and there are many free software packages available. Your choice will be influenced by the detail/depth of analysis required. For fairly straightforward, common statistics used in speech therapy, the Gnumeric spreadsheet is worth looking at. For in-depth, robust analyses R is used extensively. However, as it uses a scripting language, there is a steep learning curve if you’re not comfortable/familiar with programming.


Gnumeric http://projects.gnome.org/gnumeric

Easy to use spreadsheet with pre-programmed statistical functions, including, ANOVA, correlation, covariance, histograms, ranks, percentiles, regression, T-tests, F-test…and more.


R http://www.r-project.org

A wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques, including, linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, and more. R is also a programming language with an extensive set of built-in functions.


Licences and permissions to reproduce logos

Open Office

GNU Lesser General Public License


Paint.NET is a trademark of Rick Brewster and licensed under
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States

GIMP; Gnumeric; R

GNU General Public License


Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic


avast! and avast! logo are registered trademarks of ALWIL Software.
Permission to reproduce avast! logo


Opera and Opera logo are copyright Opera Software ASA
It is believed that the use of a low-resolution logo image for the purpose of identification and critical commentary qualifies as fair use. Use of the logo here does not imply endorsement of the organisation by STIR! nor vice versa.

Firefox; Thunderbird

GNU General Public License, version 2.0


Skype is copyright Skype Limited


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"It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water."

- Franklin P. Jones