If you are getting into design for personal reasons or for your career path and you can’t afford to buy professional programs to develop your skills and learn the ropes of the design. Open-source software design tools come to rescue.

Open-source software is typically free to use. Its source code is available. This allows modification, evaluation and rapid growth. This means that you can modify the software to serve your specific needs.

All of the software on this list are cross-platform, open source, stable, actively maintained, well documented and supported.

1. Blender – 2D and 3D Creator

Blender is an all round software 2D and 3D content creation. It is compatible with all Operating Systems (Windows, Linux and MAC), and does a great job in multiple design industries like architecture, film and gaming.

As an alternative of multiple software’s, you create a completely seamless project workflow within the application. You can create your own tools and add-ons completely making it possible to move from 3DS Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and ZBrush.

Blender has a huge and continuously growing community. There are multiple available and active forums and video tutorials on the web. It is easy to get started.

Blender UI

2. GIMP – Image Creator and Manipulation Program

GIMP is GNU Image Manipulation Program in full. It is built with sophisticated tools similar to mainstream software. It is a superb alternative that can get your job done. Graphic designer, photographer or illustrator can benefit tremendously from GIMP.

GIMP’s interface is familiar to that of Photoshops. Switching is simpler, which is of great importance if you want to replace the latter with this open source program.


3. Inkscape – Vector Creator and Manipulator

Inkscape has a broad file format compatibility and flexible drawing tools like a powerful text tool, bezier and spiro curves. If you use only Adobe illustrator, it can be an amazing alternative.

Illustrators, designers, web designers or someone who needs to create some vector imagery, Inkscape is an amazing open source tool for you!

You can make all sorts of Graphics Design using this software.

Inkscape UI

4. Audacity – Audio Editor and Recorder

Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Audio creation and manipulation can be done for free, as it is an open source software.

It can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from other media. It can do almost everything with recorded sound. Plus it’s very easy to use, and anyone can learn it in a few minutes.

Audacity UI
Open source is well established in cloud infrastructure, web hosting, embedded devices, and many other areas. Fewer people know that open source is a great option for producing professional-level audio-visual materials.

If you have advice about using cross-platform software for audio and video projects, please share your ideas in the comments.

About Brian Gathu

mmGathu is a business and tech geek who spends half of his day, branding and designing. While the nights are spent on writing. You can check out-