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Great Web Sites: General Research Guide: Freebies

Need to find quality material on the open web? Has your professor asked you to find a web page for your paper or Powerpoint, well look no further.



If you need an online site to do a specific task such as host documents, convert them, store links and images etc... the web offers some excellent choices.

Convert PDF files to readable Word files and vice versa. Also converts a wide variety of image, audio, and archive formats.

This multi file conversion tool not only beautifully converts PDF files to Word (and vice versa) but also handles image files with grace.

Google Drive
Google Drive is a great place to save papers and spread sheets. You can even give access to friends and colleagues for collaborative projects. Note: the word processing software on Google Drive is not quite Word 2013/2016/365 but downloaded documentsto be reasonably compatible. Current Word documents with lots of formatting may behave strangely when uploaded to Google Drive.

Evernote lets you upload and share writing and pictures. Evernote makes a great place to keep notes for papers and other research projects. As of November 2017, Evernote now allows the uploading (but not cloud-based editing) of Word documents, spread sheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It also makes available a web clipper add-in for Firefox. is a giant communal blog that now resembles a classier version of a Facebook feed or a glossy magazine. Users get to like the stories, but most are fairly long form articles from other web sites. Comments take place on Facebook and Twitter. Digg also features sponsored stories that are hard to distinguish from user-generated content.
A utility that offers quick conversion of one unit of measure to another. Visitors can convert anything from cooking measures, to time and distance, to angles and radians.

Free Hosting

home for pagesFree Hosting

Do you need free space to write a blog, create a wiki, network socially, or just display your html skills? Then try some of these directories of free hosting.

Curlie -- Weblogs -- Hosts
This is a list of working hosts for blogs. Not all hosts offer the same features. A few may not be in in business and some may charge for their services. Take a good look before setting up your blog.

Curlie -- Wikifarms
This is a fairly current list of hosts for wikis, group software to which friends or even strangers can edit any page. Wikis vary in their difficulty of use, and not all the wikis shown on the list are available as free services.

Curlie -- Social Networking
If you are looking to set up a site in a social networking community, take a look at this list. Note: the old standbys, MySpace and Facebook, have special sections with links to them at the top of the page. These include not only MySpace and Facebook themselves but articles about them. The main list on this page is other communities. Not all the communities are friendly to those signing on solo. Not all of them include users who are close to your age or who share your interests. Some may even be barely active if active at all. Select carefully.

Free Web
This site maintains a reasonably up-to-date directory of providers offering free hosting for traditional web pages. Free Web is a good place for beginners who want to mount a site to find its first home. Check the web hosts carefully since providers can go out of business at a moment's notice or less.

Free Software

Free Softwaresoftware in action

If you need software to use either on the web or on your own computer, these directories offer fairly extensive and accurate listings. Also on the list are sites for exceptional and freely available software such as GIMP.

Curlie -- Software -- Freeware
A listing of sites that provide freeware to use on your own computer or download to a flash (USB) drive. Some freeware still asks for contributions or is "try before you buy" shareware. Some consists of demo or partially working copies. You may also have to do the installation on your home computer even if you choose to run this software from a flash drive. And of course, some free software providers may no longer be in business. Look at these sites and the software they offer carefully.

Resource Index
This site is a directory of scripts you can use with your traditional web page and sometimes as widgets on social networking sites and some blogs or wikis. Scripts are in a variety of languages, but the Remotely Hosted items are WebApps, and the second level of the site has an unfinished appearance.

Google Play -- Android Apps
"Shop" for both free and paid software (apps) for your Android smart phone.

GIMP is free graphics software that is every bit as powerful as Photo Shop with a learning curve to match its power. Even when it required a double procedure, GIMP installed effortlessly. There are, however, few cookie-cutter tutorials. Practice makes perfect. Trial and error is an excellent teacher, or look in GIL-Find for books on GIMP. Note: the results with this software are truly amazing. I create and edit all the images used in my LibGuides and displays with GIMP.

Kindle for PC  and
Nook for PC
Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer free eBook readers for your computer. eBook excerpts and eBooks that are in the public domain (mostly older titles) are free. Others are available for a reasonable price or perhaps through some libraries.