Software Reviews

Software is an ever-changing landscape of the new, the old and the updated. Trying to keep up with what's available is hard enough. Trying to decide when to upgrade or when to stick with what you've got is even harder. Having the right information at the right time is essential to making the right choices.

In our Software Reviews area, you'll find up-to-date information on the latest versions of software you use and software you might want to use. We have searched the internet and brought together what we think are the best, most informative reviews on new and popular software. So before you decide on that next software purchase, be sure to check here first.

Layout & Design

  • (pcmag.com)
    "No creative professional will deny the need for Adobe Creative Suite, and as always it focuses on some of the toughest demands designers face in an interactive, digital, multimedia landscape."

  • (Mac|Life)
    "Illustrator remains hugely powerful, and a tool that is reliable, fast (as long as you have a good amount of RAM), and pretty much vital to any creative pro. The new pattern creation features are a joy to use, and the speed of this version alone will impress any daily user of the app."

  • (pcmag.com)
    "The go-to software for page designers the world over, Adobe InDesign CS6 easily earns our Editors' Choice and five stars for its wonderful flexibility and support for designers' creativity."

  • (Creative Bloq)
    "Photoshop CS6 is a major upgrade that will appeal to many kinds of users. Montage artists and retouchers will appreciate the new Blur and Liquify filters, the HUD controls and the ability to sort layers by type; designers will value the new text and Shape tools; and anyone with a recent digital camera will find the movie editing functionality a major bonus."

  • (CNET)
    "If I had to summarize the changes in this version of Acrobat in three words, I think I'd go with "work flow enhancements." Every change in Acrobat XI seems to be designed to move PDF files through your hands faster, increasing their interoperability with other applications, and making them more easily accessible from any device."

  • (pcmag.com)
    "Enhancements and new additions to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 turn Corel's vector art app and image editing tool into programs with much greater purpose. Dedicated Corel users will get enough out of X6 to warrant the upgrade."

  • (softpedia.com)
    "GIMP can perform a wide variety of tasks and is suitable for novice and advanced users alike. The powerful feature pack and the multiple possibilities for customizing it make this software a must have for anyone who needs an extensible and expandable image manipulation utility."

  • (macworld.com)
    "QuarkXPress 9 builds on the strengths of previous versions, and adds some innovative new capabilities, such as ShapeMaker. It has also added sophisticated tools such as Conditional Styles, Callouts, Linkster, and Cloner, and smart enhancements to style overrides. The new ePub export capability takes the right approach to handling these difficult conversions, despite removing text styles and not providing basic export controls or post-export editing capabilities."

Productivity

  • (pcmag.com)
    "WordPerfect Office X6 is a useful but not essential upgrade for WordPerfect loyalists, and worth considering for offices with sensitive data."

  • (ComputerWorld)
    "Office 2013's streamlined look and feel may take some getting used to, but I believe it's a step forward for the suite. After using it for a while, I found that Office 2010 started to look dowdy by comparison. Add to that a slew of new features in each Office app, including several big productivity boosters, and Office 2013 is clearly a worthy upgrade, even in this initial beta release."

  • (pcmag.com)
    "OpenOffice.org 3.0 is the best, cheapest alternative to Microsoft Office, but there's no need to switch if you don't require open-source software and you've already paid for a copy of Microsoft's suite."

  • (TopTenReviews)
    "With affordable and reliable productivity software such as StarOffice available on the market, it’s not clear why office software isn’t more diverse as a category. For users curious to move away from the ubiquitous Microsoft office and save some money in the meantime, we can heartily recommend StarOffice. StarOffice has a comprehensive set of productivity software that is fully compatible with the programs you’re already using at home, work or school."

Operating System

  • (CNET)
    "Though it's not a complete system or interface overhaul, Mountain Lion's improved core apps and new features make it well worth the $19.99 price."

  • (PC Advisor)
    "Microsoft has finally released its game-changing operating system, Windows 8. This is the biggest change to the Windows OS since the launch of Windows 95."

Internet

  • (pcmag.com)
    "Firefox remains a browser to be reckoned with: its clean design, fast performance, and vanguard support for Web technologies shouldn't be ignored. Web devs in particular should take notice."

  • (computerworld.com)

    "IE7 is a clear and dramatic improvement over IE6; with tabbed browsing, increased security, excellent RSS support, better printing and a cleaner interface, it's a no-brainer to upgrade from IE6."

  • (pcmag.com)
    "The race is tightening up, but Google Chrome remains the Windows Web browser to beat, in terms of speed, features, and support for new standards."

  • (MacWorld)
    "Safari 6 packs relatively few new features for a major browser update, and most of its shiny new bells and whistles need Mountain Lion to run properly."