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Updated: November 13, 2013

We are going to take a short break from the history and look at a list of affordable software that can assist you in organizing the information that you have gathered while researching the topic you are writing about. 

Historians use database programs like FileMaker Pro and Citation software to organize their notes and prepare footnotes and bibliographies. They use software programs like Microsoft Explorer and Netscape to find information on the Internet. After they have gathered all the needed information, they write about it in a word processor like Microsoft Word or Corel Word Perfect.

Some of these programs, used by professional historians, can be too expensive for the average user or student. Therefore, check out this list of affordable software programs. All of these software titles are downloadable or available for purchase on the Internet.

Word processors

Microsoft Office and Corel Office are program suites that have word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software and more. These programs are quite expensive but there are two more affordable, alternative Office Suites.

  • Star Office
    This office suite has everything that Microsoft Office has except a grammar checker. What makes the program a great alternative is that it is free and cross-platform capable. It includes a built in email client and browser for surfing the Internet. You do have to pay for services and support however.
  • 602Pro PC Suite
    This productivity package has almost everything that Microsoft Office and Corel Office have, except it is much less expensive.

PDF Format

Adobe Acrobat
The Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to read files created in the PDF Format. It is free and available for all operating systems.

Database software

These database programs have just about everything that the higher-priced programs have.

  • Scholar's Aid
    This shareware title is a cheap, alternative database program loaded with capabilities similar to FileMaker Pro and Citation.
  • History Database Program
    The History Computerization Project created this program. This page describes the program and how it works. You will have to write or call the center, however, for more information.
  • NetXtract
    This freeware program will assist you in finding the information you need on the Internet by indexing each page that you view in your browser. (Requires Internet Explorer 4.0 or later)

Internet Browsers

The links to these programs are for windows XP and later. For the Mac OS, check out Mac Downloads at

Translation software

Babel Fish Online Translation
This web-based program will translate Web pages for you.

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