The Best Computer Software for Back to School

A woman wearing glasses is holding a laptop over a yellow background.

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

It’s that time of year again. Back to School. As you gather all your notebooks, pens and pencils don’t forget to think about all the technology and software you will need to achieve your best in school this year.

If you have your own laptop or computer to write up all those papers that will be coming your way this year, then it is good to stock up on some essential software that will help you handle your workload like a pro.

Here is a list of the best computer software for back to school 2017. And most of them are free so your wallet will thank you.


While Microsoft Word is probably the most popular word processor program out there, there are other suitable alternatives that are cheaper. If Microsoft Word is too expensive for your budget, then try LibreOffice which is free. Free is good for any budget, right?

LibreOffice has almost all of the same features as Microsoft word and also comes with a spreadsheet and presentation tool. You don’t have to worry about formatting issues either. LibreOffice allows you to easily share files with other people. Add-ons are also available if you want to power up the software even more.

Kaspersky Free

Want to protect your computer, but don’t want it to cost you an arm and a leg to do so, then consider a free security toolkit like Kaspersky Free. It will keep your computer free from viruses and protect your work so it doesn’t get destroyed by malware. This toolkit will warn you about any dangerous websites and quarantine any emails, downloads or files that are infected. Keep in mind though the Kaspersky Free just offers basic protection, but even so its protection rates are high so you can feel confident that your system is in good hands.


Sometimes simple is, well, just better. When you just want to jot down a list or a quick reminder for yourself, is it really necessary to go through the process of opening a word processing program? Not when you have Simplenote which allows you to do the simple things like make a shopping list or take notes in class or create a reminder for a paper you have coming up. The beauty of this tool is in its simplicity. There are no bells and whistles to distract you from the task at hand.

Going back to school has never been easier. Because Simplenote is cloud-based tool, when you create a note it will be available on all your devices, including computers, laptops and phones through desktop apps. Want a way to organize your notes? You can easily search for them or even tag them whichever you find easier.


Have you noticed all the grammar memes floating around? If you are guilty of make those embarrassing comma mistakes, why not get Grammarly for your computer? While your word processor does have a spelling and grammar check, it is always good to have extra insurance just in case it misses something. Grammarly can also help when you are writing online or creating an email message. You always want to put your best foot forward when you are communicating with teachers and professionals in the outside world.

Grammarly is a browser extension that is available for Chrome, Safari and Firefox, but you can check your offline documents too. The basic software is free. This version does all the essential checking on the most common spelling, punctuation and grammar issues, but if you want more comprehensive coverage that includes plagiarism detection then you will need to upgrade to their premium package which runs about $12 per month.


If you like to work with graphics a lot, then Paint.Net is a must have. This program allows you to touch up or crop photos or screen shots and scan documents. If Adobe Photoshop is just not in the budget right now, then at least you can do basic graphic work with Paint.Net. You can even get support for layers and plugins for Paint.Net if you want to be able to do a little more with the program. And don’t worry, it works with both PCs and Macs.

Free Games Galore

With all that studying and hard work coming up, you know you will need an occasional break from the stress, right? To combat that stress, make sure some of your favorite games are downloaded on your computer or laptop. Just make sure that play time doesn’t over take work time. Check out this list of free computer games.

If you have a little extra money budgeted for new computer software, then look for deals on more premium packages like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop for better graphics and layout. If you are interested in pursuing professional publishing then QuarkXpress is a layout design program that you should consider investing in now. In addition, CorelDraw is a vector-based program that is also a more precise tool if you are an artist. Ask your school if they have a list of recommended software and other tech for their students.

When making your list of must haves for back to school, take the time to really think about what will help you have the most productive and most successful school year possible. Are you taking a journalism class, an art class or even a photography class? Will you be helping with the yearbook this year?

Take also this into consideration. Also, make sure to also include other necessities like headphones, USB flash drives, printer, ink cartridges and plenty of paper. See if you can get a membership to Amazon or your local office supply shop to get discounts on all of these necessities.

Make this the best back to school season possible. While you will have to do all the hard work to earn those A’s, these tools will give you the support you need to always be at your best. If you are headed to college, learn about the must have tech for your dorm room here.

Another back to school essential is a healthy, beautiful smile. Visit Orthodontics Limited, PC, to learn more on how they can help you improve your smile.


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