For each core area of digital literacy, the «Digital Literacies» project has tested and documented some quality tools.

These are either programs that the University of Basel makes available to its members and, where applicable, has licensed, or tools that have been identified as relevant for the «Digital Literacies» project. The majority of the tools selected by the project fall into the «Free/Open Source» software category.

Further links and recommendations in the area of software can be found on this web portal under «Information Resources», in particular on the page on general ICT competence and on the page on identity, security and health.

We have sorted the tools into the following categories:

The tools were selected after careful research and testing by the Project Digital Literacies. The recommendations are primarily aimed at individual users.

The project staff or the University of Basel cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by malfunctions in the program or by improper use. The project does not provide support for the selected tools.

similar to

Similar to. Two programs are called «similar» if they perform approximately the same functions and use a comparable user interface. The users who are familiar with one of the two applications can switch to the other without much effort. However, some special functions may sometimes be missing.

Pro Tool

Pro tool. This tag means that the software contains many advanced features that are useful for tech-savvy users. In some cases, it means that the tool is less intuitive or has a steeper learning curve.

course

Course. This tag means that the University of Basel offers courses for learning the tool.

open source

Open source. This tag means that the described program is free/open source software. Usually, such tools can be downloaded and installed for free. In addition, the source code is publicly available, so that every user can view, improve and redistribute it. This creates user communities, which usually also offer online help.

cross-platform

Cross-platform. This tag means that the tool can be used on a relatively wide range of operating systems. We apply this keyword only to tools that can run on Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux systems.

Uni. Basel

Uni. Basel. This tag indicates that the tool is offered or supported by the University of Basel.

web-based

Web-based. The tool runs on an online server. You can access it using a web browser. They don’t require installation, are cross-platform and always up-to-date. However, they also have disadvantages: functions may be missing, they are slower and less powerful. Besides, the platform often collects the data of its users.

Mobile App

Mobile App. This tag means that the tool is available as a downloadable application for mobile devices. We have selected only those tools that run on both Android and iOS (iPhone) platforms.


Features   

  • Google Chrome, currently the web browser with the highest number of users, is based on free software components. Chromium is the open source version of Chrome, with all proprietary parts removed.
  • Chromium is almost identical to its better-known counterpart. It is a full-featured, fast and user-friendly web browser that can be used for all usual browser-based tasks. However, missing from Chromium are a few features available in Google Chrome, in particular the Adobe Flash Player plugin and some video plugins.
  • Depending on the release, Chromium may entail new features. Not having been fully tested, they may cause some instability in the software.
  • Most help pages for Chrome apply to Chromium as well; specific Chromium support is provided by the community.
  • The browser is available on most platforms, including mobile devices.

Links

 

Tags

  • Similar to: Mozilla Firefox
  • Similar to: Google Chrome
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile App
  • Open Source

Features

  • Mozilla Firefox is an open source browser developed by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.
  • The browser is available on most platforms, including mobile devices.
  • Firefox can be customized with numerous add-ons.
  • Firefox has many privacy options that can prevent unwanted tracking, data collection, and the display of ads.
  • Firefox has good online documentation and a large community of users who offer help via online forums.
  • Firefox is not compatible with all online applications (e.g. some video conferencing platforms). It is therefore advisable to always have a second browser available in case of difficulty.
  • A basic PDF editor is integrated in Firefox, which can be used to add text, draw, and mark selected areas. The editor works well for simple tasks.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Microsoft Edge
  • Similar to: Google Chrome
  • Similar to: Chromium
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile App
  • Open source

Features

  • Tor is a stable web browser that pays special attention to the anonymity of its users. In order to achieve this, the browser sacrifices some speed and ease of use.
  • Traffic is routed and encrypted three times as it makes its way through the Tor network. The network consists of thousands of servers called run by volunteers, called Tor relays.
  • Tor is a robust, long-standing project with a large user base and excellent online documentation and support.
  • The software is open source and developed by "The Tor Project", a non-profit organization.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Google Chrome
  • Similar to: Firefox
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile App
  • Open source

Features

  • Jabref is a reference management program with powerful search, sorting and tagging features.
  • Technically, Jabref is an editor for BibTeX files. BibTeX is a tool for creating citations and bibliographies for the TeX/LaTeX typesetting system. BibTeX bibliographies are a widely used standard, and many library catalogs, platforms, and databases (e.g. Swisscovery, Jstor, Google Scholar, etc.) can export to this format. BibTeX files can also be opened and edited in a text editor. Despite its relation to TeX/LaTeX, JabRef but can also be used in combination with other applications, e.g. LibreOffice.
  • Jabref formats and exports selected entries into many different predefined citation styles. Personalized styles can be added.
  • Jabref can import bibliographic information directly from multiple online databases (Google Scholar, Springer, Medline, etc.), either via DOI or ISBN identifiers or via keyword searches.
  • Jabref is a stable, mature open source application under active development.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Endnote
  • Similar to: Citavi
  • Similar to: Zotero
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • Mendeley functions primarily as an online platform/web application.
  • To use the Mendeley platform, an account must be created.
  • Mendeley can also be used on your own desktop/laptop, as well as on mobile devices with an app.
  • It can automatically search in, and add data from, various catalogs and databases.
  • Bibliographic records can be linked to files. Both online and on the desktop, Mendeley offers a PDF reader with support for highlighting and annotation.
  • To simplify working with bibliographies when writing texts, Mendeley can be integrated with Microsoft Word and LibreOffice via a plugin.
  • Mendeley recognizes various bibliographic formats, including BibTeX, Zotero and Endnote.
  • Mendeley has a well-designed interface and is easy to use.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Endnote
  • Similar to: Zotero
  • Similar to: Polar Bookshelf
  • Cross-platform
  • Web-based
  • Mobile App
  • Uni. Basel
  • Course

Features

  • MuPDF can display files in various formats, such as PDF, epub, XPS and TIFF.
  • MuPDF offers fast and high-quality document rendering in a simple, distraction-free user interface. MuPDF is also well suited for presentations.
  • MuPDF also offers a version for mobile devices.
  • MuPDF is open source software and is in active development.
  • Some versions of MuPDF have editing functions for filling out forms and commenting on PDF documents. The editing functions of MuPDF are handy, but rely on an unusual user interface and are therefore advisable only for more advanced users.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Acrobat
  • Similar to: Sumatra PDF
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile app
  • Open source

Features

  • Okular is a full-featured open-source replacement for Adobe Acrobat.
  • With Okular, you can view, read, and annotate documents in a variety of formats, including PDF and ePUB (electronic book format).
  • In annotation mode, Okular can be used to highlight and underline text, add comments in the form of pop-up notes, or draw directly on the document.
  • Users can also use Okular to fill out electronic forms.
  • The program has many features that help users navigate documents, such as table of contents, thumbnails, and list of comments.
  • It is a cross-platform, mature, actively developed open source application.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Acrobat Reader
  • Similar to: PDFsam
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source

Features

  • PDFsam can merge PDF files (the entire document or selected pages), split PDF files and (including on the basis of page properties:  odd, even, single pages etc.). It can also change the orientation of PDF files, as well as single pages within them ("rotate").
  • It is also possible to merge several PDF files, with the option to insert a page alternately from the one and the other file.
  • PDFsam Enhanced and Visual are siblings of PDFsam Basic. They offer additional functions such as modifying, converting, verifying, signing, form filling, encrypting, cropping, splitting by text, etc.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • Open Source
  • Cross-platform

Features

  • Sumatra PDF is a simple PDF reader with an intuitive tabbed interface.
  • It has all the basic features that are required to view, read, and present PDF files (collapsible table of contents, search function, presentation mode, powerful zoom).
  • The program also supports several ebook formats (.epub, .mobi) as well as less well-know document formats such as XPS and DjVu.
  • Sumatra PDF is an Open Source application that runs on Microsoft Windows.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Reader
  • Similar to: MuPDF
  • Open Source

Features

  • Xournal++ lets you annotate existing PDF documents or create entirely new notes, e.g. in the form of a journal.
  • Handwritten notes and drawings can be created using a stylus on mobile devices or on graphics tablets. However, this function is not completely mature yet.
  • Xournal++ can import from and export to many different formats, including PDF.
  • Xournal++ is also integrated with LaTeX to more easily represent mathematical formulas.
  • Xournal++ is an open source project with a large user base and as a result there are also numerous plugins for it.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Drawboard
  • Similar to: One Note
  • Open Source
  • Cross-platform

Features

  • Zotero is an application with which to collect, manage and cite bibliographic data.
  • It is available as a browser plugin, a cross-platform desktop program and a mobile application.
  • The program has numerous extensions and can be customized in various ways. For example, Zotero has a one-click feature to quickly extract bibliographic information from a web page. It can communicate with Microsoft Word or LibreOffice via plugins to easily cite from one's database while writing.
  • Zotero uses its own bibliographic format internally, but can import from and export to many other formats, including BibTeX and RIS.
  • Zotero has a large user base and provides extensive documentation and a forum where questions are quickly answered.
  • Zotero also contains a PDF reader and editor with the possibility to save and manage highlights and annotations.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Endnote
  • Similar to: Citavi
  • Similar to: Mendeley
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile App
  • Open Source
  • Course

Features

  • Confluence is an online editor and document manager with collaboration features, developed and operated by the company Atlassian.
  • Confluence enables collaborative work on online documents and websites (wiki principle). The Confluence editor is a collaborative real-time editor: multiple people can edit pages simultaneously, changes are immediately visible to all people currently viewing the pages, and Confluence automatically synchronizes the changes.
  • An advanced track change feature makes it easy to keep track of changes. Confluence keeps track of past versions of each page, making it easy to revert changes and track progress, for example for reports. The Confluence editor provides editing features similar to popular word processors: Rich text editing with tables with keyboard shortcuts, automatic generation of lists with to-do lists, text and background colors, insertion of links and images, tables of contents, diagrams, etc.
  • The University of Basel runs a local implementation of Confluence that is private and secure. It is accessible to all university staff and faculty and serves as the university's intranet.
  • With Confluence, users and teams can manage permissions for reading and editing pages.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Microsoft OneNote
  • Similar to: OnlyOffice
  • Web-based
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • EtherCalc is an open source spreadsheet program with a web-based interface that allows working on different types of data simultaneously.
  • EtherCalc offers many basic options, including raw data and column management including formatting, calculations with many different functions, and simple plotting and graphing.
  • However, the more advanced features remain limited compared to other desktop tools and to some web-based spreadsheet programs. The tool reaches its limits when it comes to complex tasks.
  • Both existing MS Excel files and open document files (LibreOffice, OpenOffice) can be imported into and exported from EtherCalc.
  • EtherCalc stores data online so that it can be easily shared with other users.
  • No registration is required to use Ethercalc. Existing spreadsheets can be accessed by anyone who has the appropriate link. The program should therefore not be used for confidential data.

Links

Tags

Features

  • Etherpad is an open source rich text editor that can be used in the browser. With this tool, multiple users can create or edit a text simultaneously in real time. Each person is identified by a special color.
  • Etherpad provides a chat function for further exchange about the text in real time ("real-time collaborative editing").
  • Each text or "pad" is identified by a unique URL and stored on the server so that editing can be paused and resumed later. However, it is good practice, especially on public servers, to store a copy of the document. Furthermore, on public servers, the content is de facto available to anyone.
  • The tool is available as a module in the University of Basel's learning platform ADAM. Etherpad runs more stable on ADAM than on other servers and also offers the best data protection.
  • At the end of the editing process, the text can be exported to various formats, including HTML, Microsoft Word and Open Document Format (LibreOffice). There is also a function to replay the entire editing process.

Links

Tags

  • Web-based
  • Open Source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • LibreOffice is an open source suite developed by the non-profit Document Foundation.
  • The software includes several components: a word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation (Impress), image editor (Draw) and database management.
  • LibreOffice uses the Open Document Format (.odf), an internationally recognized open standard, as its default file format. In most cases LibreOffice programs can seamlessly import from and export to common Microsoft formats (.docx, .xlsx etc). However, some elements of layout and formatting are often lost in the process.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Microsoft Office
  • Similar to: Microsoft Word
  • Similar to: Microsoft Excel
  • Similar to: Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Similar to: Google Docs
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source

Features

  • OnlyOffice is a free open source application developed and operated by the company Ascensio System.
  • OnlyOffice is a collection of online tools for creating and editing documents, including text files, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Several users can work on one document at the same time ("real-time collaborative editing").
  • It has a simple interface and offers most of the basic functions of office programs.
  • OnlyOffice can import from and export to many popular formats, including Microsoft Office, LibreOffice and PDF.
  • Switch has integrated OnlyOffice with Switch Drive so that documents stored on the platform can be easily edited.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Google Docs
  • Similar to: Google Sheets
  • Similar to: Google Slides
  • Similar to: Microsoft Office
  • Web-based
  • Open source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • With Rawgraphs, complex data can be presented in a graphically appealing way using nothing more than an online interface.
  • The data can be directly pasted into the webpage, uploaded or imported from a URL.
  • Rawgraphs can use different table formats (TSV, CSV and DSV) as well as JSON data.
  • Some training and learning is necessary before using Rawgraphs. However, there are a lot of tutorials available to help you get started.
  • Rawgraphs is an open source application that is under active development.

Links

Tags


Features

  • Audacity is an audio editor with a graphical interface.
  • The program has many editing functions, including mixing multiple recordings, cutting and pasting audio passages, adding fade-in and fade-out effects, changing the pitch and changing the tempo.
  • It can also import from, export to, and convert between various audio formats including MP3, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC.
  • As a recorder, Audacity can record from various sources: not only from external audio sources, but also from computer audio. So it can record streamed content, such as Internet radio.
  • Audacity is open source software.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Avid ProTools
  • Similar to: OcenAudio
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • Blender is an application primarily designed to create 3D-images and animate them. 
  • Due to its many advanced features, Blender can be used to produce anything in the area of 3D and animation, from realistic-looking 3D-models all the way to complete movies. It can also be used to create animated cartoons in 2D.
  • Blender features a capable video editor that can be used to modify existing video files (trimming, mixing, adding sound, adding text, etc.).
  • Blender is a complex program with a relatively unusual interface. For this reason, the program requires time and effort to get used to. It is rather suited for advanced users. The active community of Blender users and the many online learning materials provide excellent help.
  • Blender is a free, open source software with a large user base and is actively developed.

Links

Tags

  • Open Source
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool

Features

  • OBS Studio can capture audio and video content from various sources: computer screen (full screen or individual applications), computer camera, microphone, subtitles from text files, etc. Any number of sources can be added.
  • Many fine-tuning options are available (resolution, color, text layout, etc.).
  • Using the program's graphical interface, users assign screen space to each source. For example, presentation slides and the person giving the presentation can be recorded simultaneously.
  • OBS-Studio supports several streaming platforms, e.g. Panopto and YouTube. Thus, it can be used for live presentations.
  • OBS Studio has a relatively simple interface, but it takes some getting used to due to its many options. Some test runs are advisable, especially for webcasting.
  • OBS Studio is an open source software with a wide user base.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Camtasia
  • Similar to: Panopto
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool
  • Open Source

Features

  • Panopto can record lectures - including slides - at home or in the lecture hall with a laptop, or stream them as well.
  • In addition, Panopto can also be used directly from the browser, although some functions are not available.
  • Panopto can also be used to make simple edits to one's recording, such as removing scenes or adding subtitles.
  • Panopto also provides access to a video distribution platform that can be used as an alternative to Switch Tube.
  • Panopto can be used to conduct "webcasts," which are livestreams that can be prepared in advance and then shown to an audience by providing a link. Panopto allows interaction with participants, e.g. via chat.
  • Panopto is integrated into ADAM, the Learning Management System of the University of Basel, which facilitates the use of videos in one's own course.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Zoom
  • Similar to: SWITCHtube
  • Web-based
  • Cross-platform

Features

  • Shotcut is an open source video editor with all the usual functions.
  • Shotcut has good online documentation and a large community of users who offer help via online forums. There are also official tutorials. With these, the programme is very easy to learn.
  • Shotcut is cross-platform and available for Linux, Mac and Windows.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Première
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source

Features

  • VideoLan Client, better known as simply VLC, is the Swiss Army Knife of multimedia players: it decode almost any file format out of the box, including older or rare ones, as well as audio CDs and DVDs.
  • It sports a variety of advanced options, including playlist management, podcast support, conversion between file formats, audio and video recording.
  • VLC runs on a large number of operating systems and also provides a mobile app.
  • VLC is a robust, mature open source program with a large user base.

Links

Tags

  • Cross-Platform
  • Mobile App
  • Open Source

Features

  • Darktable is an application to manage one's photography collection (virtual lightroom).
  • It also contains advanced tools to modify and improve pictures, either individually or in batch (virtual darkroom).
  • Darktable can work with files in raw format.
  • Darktable processes images non-destructively. This means that the original image is never changed.
  • Darktable is an open source program.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Lightroom
  • Open Source
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool

Features

  • draw.io is a program for creating and editing diagrams. It can be used both, either through an online interface or through a desktop/laptop application.
  • The program has a simple interface and offers numerous templates for easy creation of tables, flowcharts, organizational charts, etc.
  • It can import from and export to many file formats (including .jpg, .png, .svg).
  • draw.io is open source software. Both the online platform and the desktop application can be used free of charge and without registration.
  • This tool can also be used over the intranet of the University of Basel, where it is implemented as a plugin.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Microsoft Visio
  • Similar to: LibreOffice
  • Similar to: Inkscape
  • Cross-platform
  • Web-based
  • Open source

Features

  • digikam is a photo manager that offers a wide range of options (e.g. advanced search, tags, ratings, metadata, geolocation) to view, manage and search one's digital photo collection.
  • digikam can directly import photos from a wide range of digital cameras. Raw formats are also supported.
  • The software also includes an image editing tool with numerous functions ranging from resizing and cropping to color enhancement, exposure correction or noise reduction.
  • digikam is an Open Source software with a good online documentation.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Lightroom
  • Similar to: Microsoft Photos
  • Similar to: Apple Photos
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool
  • Open source

Features

  • Excalidraw is an open source whiteboard tool to create drawings and diagrams as if they had been drawn by hand.
  • It offers various tools that support drawing and sketching (e.g. tools to create shape, to rotate objects, etc.).
  • On mobile devices, Excalidraw offers intuitive drawing by hand or with a stylus.
  • The software can save the drawings as PNG, SVG or online.
  • It offers a live collaboration mode that allows multiple participants to draw simultaneously.
  • Various extensions created by users are available to simplify drawing and sketching, and custom ones can be created and added to the database.
  • Excalidraw is open source and web-based. If required, it can also be hosted on-premises.

Links

Tags

Features

  • GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an application for editing images in raster graphics format. It uses its own file format, but can import from and export to a variety of image formats.
  • The software has numerous functions for resizing, cropping, combining, retouching, enhancing and converting images. It can also apply a large number of different filters and effects to images.
  • The program includes a number of drawing and painting tools such as pencil, airbrush or brushes, so it is just as suitable as a painting program.
  • GIMP has a large community of users and a good online support forum.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Photoshop
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source

Features

  • Inkscape can create and edit vector graphics such as diagrams, logos, icons in professional quality.
  • Due to its text editing capabilities, it can also be used to create documents such as posters or flyers. Starting from version 1.2, Inkscape support multipage documents and can therefore be used to create brochures or flyers.
  • It has full support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format and can import from and export to many different formats, including PDF.
  • When combined with Sozi, Inkscape can create modern presentations.
  • Inkscape is a free and open source program that is not always easy to use due to its many features. To learn the program, the very good help pages and tutorials of the large user community can be used.
  • At the University of Basel, Inkscape can be installed via the Portal Manager tool.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Adobe Illustrator
  • Similar to: LibreOffice Draw
  • Pro tool
  • Open source

Features

  • Krita is an advanced application to create digital images, with a focus on digital painting.
  • The tool offers a wide range of drawing tools, including a large variety of brushes.
  • Krita has an excellent support for many different kinds of graphic tablets.
  • Krita also works on Android tablets.
  • Krita is a mature open source project with a large community of users.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Inkscape
  • Similar to: Adobe Illustrator
  • Open source
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool

Features

  • With Sozi, presentations with zoom-in/zoom-out and panning effects (so-called "zooming presentations") can be created from SVG documents*. Presentations are not linear and divided in slides: they can better be compared to a poster, in which one moves around.
  • Presentations created with Sozi can be exported as PDF or as video.
  • Sozi is an open source project.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Prezi
  • Similar to: PowerPoint
  • Open source
  • Cross-platform

Features

  • Stable Diffusion is an open source AI-based image generator. It can produce images from text input, including photorealistic ones.
  • The text inputs can be created by the user or obtained from the “Prompt Database”.
  • The tool is available online on the web and as a mobile app.
  • The images generated with Stable Diffusion are often not as good as the ones produced by other tools, but they are open source, free to use, and can be generated without an account.

Links

Tags

  • Web-based
  • Mobile App
  • Open source

Features

  • Ghostwriter is a Markdown editor with a simple interface that can be used both for quick notes and for writing long pieces of text without distraction.
  • Titles and subtitles, highlighting, lists and tables can be formatted using the Markdown syntax. It can then be easily exported to HTML, PDF, Word or LibreOffice files.
  • In addition to text editing, Ghostwriter has a number of other useful features, including word counting, spell checking, navigation windows, and support for to-do lists.
  • Ghostwriter is a free open-source program.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Notepad
  • Similar to: Evernote
  • Similar to: Joplin
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source

Features

  • Joplin is an open source note manager. The notes are organized in notebooks. Images, links, and To-do lists can easily be added. The notes are searchable and can be tagged.
  • A mobile version of Joplin is available. Notes can be synced with various cloud services such as OwnCloud, Dropbox, or OneDrive. In this way, one's notes are always accessible and up-to-date on all devices.
  • The program has a simple interface and is easy to use, but it also offers many configuration options and advanced features.
  • Joplin is a free, open source software.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: OneNote
  • Similar to: Evernote
  • Web-based
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile App
  • Open Source

Features

  • Overleaf provides a full-featured online LaTeX editor with syntax highlighting, spell checking and auto-completion; side-by-side viewing of the source file and the resulting PDF file is supported.
  • It interfaces with a full TeX installation on the server side, which is responsible for creating the final document.
  • It provides collaboration features such as comments, chat and access management.
  • Registration for a basic account on Overleaf is free. Advanced features such as faster compile times are available to paying premium users.
  • Overleaf can be used to create PDF documents from TeX/LaTeX source files when local installation of the program is not possible.
  • Overleaf can be used in teams to collaborate on TeX/LaTeX documents.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: TexMaker
  • Web-based
  • Pro tool
  • Open Source

Features

  • Texmaker can be used to create and edit TeX/LaTeX files. It integrates many tools needed when creating documents with TeX/LaTeX in one application.
  • The program has syntax highlighting, spell checking, auto-completion, code folding, document structure display and entails a built-in document viewer that synchronizes with the source document.
  • Texmaker has templates for standard LaTeX documents and "wizard" functions for automatic generation of LaTeX code, for example tables.
  • BibTeX bibliographic databases are supported, and Texmaker can auto-complete citations using the appropriate identifiers.
  • Texmaker is a mature open source software with extensive online help.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Overleaf
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool
  • Open source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • The website "Chat with Open Large Language Models" presents a variety of open source AI systems for generating text.
  • In addition to the listing, there is an arena where multiple AIs can be compared simultaneously.
  • The leaderboard lists those AIs that have been singled out by the community as the best.
  • Vicuna and Koala are particularly noteworthy: Vicuna achieves a quality score of 90% compared to ChatGPT-4, and Koala is specifically designed for academic use.
  • It is important to note that the service collects user dialogue data and reserves the right to distribute it under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.

Links

Tags

  • Web-based
  • Open source

Features

  • Visual Studio Code is a program to write, edit, review, test/compile and debug code — either programming languages such as Python, Javascript or C, or markup languages such as HTML, CSS, Markdown, or TeX/LaTeX.
  • The program has all standard features of advanced programming editors, including syntax highlighting, code completion, spell checking, built-in file management, embedded terminal, and full interface configurability.
  • Visual Studio Code also has functions to quickly navigate through documents, including quick search through one or several open documents, code folding, and document overview (minimap).
  • The software is extensible through third-party plugins, many of which are available. An intuitive tool to search for plugins and install them is included in the program.
  • Visual Studio Code is an Open Source programmed developed by the Microsoft Corporation.

Links

 

Tags

  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool
  • Open Source

Features

  • BigblueButton is a video conferencing application that has an intuitive user interface. Participation is easy via a previously generated link and works on all modern browsers.
  • BigBlueButton meetings are stable on average and provide good audio and video quality, even for large meetings with several hundred participants.
  • The program offers many options, including screen sharing, chat exchange, recording, waiting room, control of participants' audio and video by the organizer.
  • No login is required to participate in a conference. Only the administrator requires a login.
  • Features such as shared notes, multi-user whiteboards and polls allow for a varied conference.
  • BigBlueButton is open source software and has online help.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Cisco WebEx
  • Similar to: Skype
  • Similar to: Jitsi Meet
  • Similar to: Zoom
  • Web based
  • Open source

Features

  • Jitsi Meet is a simple video conferencing software for small, informal groups.
  • Jitsi Meet works with a variety of operating systems. On desktop computers and laptops, Jitsi runs in the browser and requires no installation; for mobile devices, there is an app.
  • Jitsi Meet offers basic features such as chat and screen sharing.
  • For host individuals, there are also features to control the exchange (including protecting the meeting with a password, turning participants' audio or video input on and off).
  • The software is developed by a large open source community. A good online help is available.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Zoom
  • Web-based
  • Open source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • Thunderbird is a desktop/laptop program for reading and composing emails and for inbox management.
  • Thunderbird can read the emails directly from the mail server or store them on the computer hard disk. The program can work with multiple accounts from different providers.
  • In addition to all the features common in most e-mail programs, Thunderbird can be extended via plug-ins for advanced functions (e.g. encrypting messages, searching and deleting duplicates, scheduling the sending of messages).
  • The program also has a calendar feature that can communicate with various electronic calendar providers, including Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Thunderbird can be downloaded from the University of Basel's Portal Manager.
  • Thunderbird is a free open source software with a wide user base.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Microsoft Outlook
  • Similar to: Gmail
  • Cross-platform
  • Open source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • Switch Drive is the file hosting platform of Switch, the IT provider of the Swiss universities.
  • Switch Drive can be used to store, share or backup any kind of files.
  • Log-in is done using the eduID logon (instructions here).
  • Files can either be uploaded directly or stored in a folder on the hard drive. From there, they are automatically uploaded by way of a synchronization tool.
  • Switch Drive can display most file formats directly in the browser. Certain file types, for instance office files, can be edited in the browser with the OnlyOffice plugin.
  • Switch Drive allows sharing with other Switch users as well as with the public.
  • Switch Drive is based on the open source software OwnCloud.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Dropbox
  • Similar to: Google Drive
  • Web-based
  • Mobile App
  • Open source
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • Switch Filesender is a simple online tool for sending very large files (up to 50 GB).
  • The files are stored on servers in Switzerland and are therefore subject to Swiss law.
  • Files are only stored on Switch Filesender for a short period of time. To make files accessible for longer periods, Switch recommends using the Switch Drive platform.
  • Switch Filesender is based on the open source program FileSender.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: WeTransfer
  • Web-based
  • Uni. Basel
  • Open source

Features

  • Zoom is an easy-to-use but feature-rich video conferencing software.
  • Anyone who wants to organize a Zoom meeting needs an account. The other participants to the meeting do not need an account. The University of Basel has licensed Zoom for all its members (registration via eduID at https://unibas.zoom.us).
  • Without an account, Zoom can still be used, but the duration of a call is limited to 40 minutes.
  • Zoom meetings are stable on average and provide good audio and video quality, even for large meetings with several hundred participants.
  • The program offers many options, including screen sharing, exchange via chat, recording, polls, waiting room, breakout rooms for group work, control of participants' audio and video by the host person or persons.
  • Zoom is particularly suitable for teaching due to its good usability, stability and many functionalities.
  • Zoom offers good online help as well as a good online help forum.

Courses and information at University of Basel

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Cisco WebEx
  • Similar to: Skype
  • Similar to: Jitsi Meet
  • Web-based
  • Mobile App
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • With Anki, flashcards decks for learning can be created and used on one's computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) or on the go (Android and IOS).
  • Anki is popular especially among students worldwide, but the program is not always easy to use and needs to be learned first.
  • Decks can be shared with other users or downloaded. The flashcards support text, images, audio, video and scientific representation (via LaTeX).
  • Anki is a free, open-source software and has many useful add-ons to customize it to your needs.

Links

Tags

  • Mobile App
  • Open Source

Features

  • Authors prepare questions in advance and then make them available to the public, for example during a class or a public speaking event. Participants can answer the questions via a smartphone or computer. The results of the survey are made available to the authors in real time and can be discussed immediately.
  • The authors can log in via their eduID credentials
  • Klicker supports single-choice, multiple-choice, free-text and numerical questions. Images and LaTeX formulas can also be used for questions.
  • The program is easy and intuitive to use.
  • Klicker is open source and was developed by the University of Zurich.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Zoom Survey-function
  • Similar to: movo
  • Web-based
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • With TRAVIS GO, users kann indicate specific sequences in a video, describe them, tag them with keywords, and set links to further content. In this way, they can give feedback on video content, and make it available to others.
  • Several users can work simultaneously and collaboratively on the same video content.
  • It is possible to save all comments and tags by exporting them to a Word document.
  • To add content, users must provide a link to a YouTube video or to a file stored in a Dropbox folder. The possibility to add further sources, for instance SWITCHtube, may be added later to the software.
  • The software is intuitive and easy to use. A mobile application is available. It does not require registration and does not collect users' data.
  • TRAVIS GO is a project of the University of Basel and can be used free of charge.

Courses and information at University of Basel

Links

 

Tags

  • Similar to: Panopto
  • Web-based
  • Mobile App
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • Bitwarden stores your passwords as well as other credentials such as credit card or ID information in an encrypted online database.
  • The software communicates with your browser, so that it helps you log into most websites quickly and easily.
  • It also has a password generation feature to create extra secure passwords for you.
  • Bitwarden synchronizes one's passwords on all devices.
  • Bitwarden is an open source software with good online help (FAQ and forum).

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Keepass
  • Similar to: Masterpassowrd
  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile App
  • Web-based
  • Open Source

Features

  • Cryptomator is an encryption tool designed specifically for use on clouds.
  • Cryptomator is available on all desktop and mobile devices.
  • Cryptomator encrypts file contents and names using AES. Your passphrase is protected against brute forcing attempts using script.
  • The application of Cryptomator is free and open source software licensed under the MIT / X Consortium License.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: TrueCrypt
  • Similar to: VeraCrypt
  • Open source
  • Cross-platform
  • Uni. Basel

Features

  • With Duplicati you can create backups of your files either via a web-based user interface or via the command line.
  • The tool can be configured once and then take care of backups automatically.
  • It saves storage space by using incremental backups and data duplication.
  • The tool can encrypt files with a strong form of encryption (AES-256).
  • It works with standard protocols to back up files to a remote destination (FTP, SSH, WebDAV); alternatively, it can talk with popular services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, SWITCHdrive, and many more.
  • Duplicati is an open source program.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: PGP, GnuPG
  • Open source
  • Cross-platform
  • Pro tool

Features

  • Keepass stores your passwords locally in a securely encrypted database.
  • Keepass can also generate strong passwords.
  • Keepass can be used to organize passwords into different categories and provides a quick search function.
  • The software can be set up so as to communicate with other programs. For example, your email program can retrieve passwords from Keepass. With the help of plugins, the same can be done with browsers like Firefox or Chrome. This way, all passwords are securely stored in one place.
  • Keepass was primarily developed for Windows. However, there are now also versions for macOS, Linux and Android.
  • Keepass is Open Source software.

Links

Tags

  • Similar to: Bitwarden
  • Similar to: Masterpassword
  • Cross-platform
  • Open Source

Features

  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) are two implementations of the same open cryptographic standard, OpenPGP, which relies on public-key cryptography.
  • These tools can be used to strongly encrypt data and limit access to it (either to oneself or to selected others). The data can then safely be permanently stored or shared with others.
  • PGP and GnuPG can also be used as authentication tools: they enable users to sign their files, data or messages and to verify the signature of others.
  • PGP and GnuPG can integrate with some e-mail programs such as Thunderbird to sign and/or locally encrypt messages, rendering them readable only by the designated recipient. In this case, even the e-mail service provider has no access.
  • The GNU Privacy Guard is cross-platform and open source.

Links

Tags

  • Cross-platform
  • Mobile app
  • Open source