to develop high quality animations and save them in AVI and animated GIF formats. Your kids can animate their favorite fairy tales. You can animate your presentations. You do not need to be an artist or advanced user. Tales Animator takes a screenplay in very simple format and converts it into high quality cartoons with sound and titles.
Tales Animator does not have real competitors because it is unique. Full 18MB installation available at the program web site Welcome DollySoft for people who want to take all the advantages. There is also great postcards service on the web site wich allows you to create pretty customizable postcards for your friends and congradulate them with Birthday, Valentine?s Day and other holidays.
Tales Animator is absolutely free. No registration, adware, spyware, banners etc. Enjoy the cartoons development!
This is also from a freeware site, so i am hoping its a full version but i have not tested it yet
GifSplitter can split gif animation to image file(s) list. Then, you can select any frames of the gif animation, and modify them as you like. Also, GifSplitter will create a .mifl file which can be used in Magic ASCII Studio (http://www.xoyosoft.com/mas). So, with the help of GifSplitter you can make ASCII Art Animation directly from gif animation file in Magic ASCII Studio now.
Morph two, three or more images together, or warp images individually. Images A, B, C, D etc can be morphed together in several different ways - in the simple sequence A to B to C to D etc, or by blending all images simultaneously, or with "wild" (random) mixing. Try multi-morphing all the family´s faces into one unique (or gruesome) movie! Save your animation as a Flash movie, AVI video clip, or bitmap/jpeg files.
Beneton Movie GIF is a complete GIF editing tool. Either beginners and advanced users will find an utility to this simple and effective program. BMG supports 48 file formats, such as BMP, GIF, JPG, and PNG. Use drag-and-drop to move frames quickly. Multiple frames selecting makes it easy to delete, copy, cut, paste, or move a part of your animation. Many different effects such as rotate, distortion and transition offer you many options to get the results you want in only a few clicks.
Some rare but useful features are also included: you can save and load a batch of single-frame files (frame1.bmp, frame2.bmp). Finally, a built-in image editor offer you to easily edit your frames with many tools (pencil, shapes, airbrush, alpha brush, fill, selection, text, onionskin, and others).
Animation Talk lets you create fun talking animations, get all your mates or collegues to download the program too and you can swap creations. Some funny example animations are available for download on my website, send in your best creations, I´ll post them too. Visit my homepage at AndroidWare | Created by Andy - Free Programs Written to request freeware to be written for FREE
Best Free Screen Capture Utility
Three recommendations here: The first is PrintScreen . It's a prime example of the KISS principle. It does exactly what I want, in the way I want while avoiding the trap of providing lots of useless and confusing features. It's the little things that count like making the hot key PrtSc so I don't have to remember it, and automatically sequentially naming the output files for multiple screen shots.
A second recommendation is Screen Hunter . It's a commercial product but the "lite" free version is excellent, offering more features than Gadwin at the cost of a little added complexity. It's also small, a tiny 381KB.
Also highly recommended is FastStone's Screen Capture  It doesn't require installation and yet has more features than you could ever want including the ability to capture scrolling screen shots across more than one screen page. It can also save in BMP, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, GIF, TIFF and TGA formats. In many ways it's like the full commercial
version of ScreenHunter except that it's free for personal use. All three products work with Win 98 and later versions.
Best Free Search Toolbar
Search toolbars allow users to do web searches without having to go first to the home page of a search engine. This really saves a lot of time. In the last year search toolbars have become a hotly competed product class and as result, users now have an excellent choice. The "best" in terms of features is probably Yahoo's Toolbar whose features include anti-spyware capabilities as well as popup blocking. It's for Internet Explorer but they are currently offering a beta version for Firefox. My only beef with the Yahoo product is that I prefer to use Google for my web searches rather than Yahoo and that's why I use the Google Toolbar which also offers popup blocking though no anti-spyware features. On the other hand it includes a useful web form spell-checker and a few other goodies not found in the Yahoo product. Google also offers a full Firefox version as well as the standard IE version.
Some folks still like Dave’s Quick Search Bar because it gives access to multiple search engines. Another advantage is that it resides in your task bar rather than your browser so it's easily accessible from any application. Other Dave's features include a dictionary, thesaurus, calculator and a lot of customizability.
Best Free Download Manager Updated 2nd November 2006
You have several good choices in this category. To me a good downloader is one that does the job, is well integrated into your browser and is not intrusive.
That's why my top recommendation for some time has been Star Downloader . Unfortunately the freeware version has been effectively frozen at version 1.44 with future enhancements restricted to the shareware version. It is however, still a fine choice.
After trying half a dozen other products, I've settled on "Free Download Manager"  as my current top selection. It's fast, stable and integrates well into both Internet Explorer, Opera and Firefox though the later works best with the free FlashGot extension installed. "Free Download Manager" offers simultaneous multi-part downloads, easy restarting and recovery, a powerful scheduler, downloading from mirrors and just about everything else you need in a download utility. Additionally, there is no embedded adware or nag screen. I've had some reports that the author's site shows up red on McAfee site Advisor and I've recently double checked the download file and it is 100% clean. However the cautious may want to download it from Softpedia  who also rate it as "spyware free."
After using it for a couple of weeks, I've decided that it's actually just as good as Star Downloader with the advantage that it's still being actively developed. Indeed, version 2 released in April 2006 adds even more features to this already impressive product.
If you are looking for another option the commercial FlashGet  program is now available for free. It's certainly full featured and nicely integrated but I find it overly complex to use. The product has a bit of a history of bundling in other products with the install but when I tried V1.72, it was totally clean.
Another excellent choice is the time-proven LeechGet  program which is free for personal use. Again it's got pretty well everything that you want in a download manager. Some folks find its colorful graphical presentation attractive, I find it a little gaudy and intrusive. Looks aside it certainly does its job well. Note that the indicated download rates are a tad optimistic so don't mistake this for superior performance. There is a separate plug-in for Mozilla/Firefox, Netscape and Opera integration.
Finally for Firefox users there is the superb free add-in called DownThemAll . It's not as configurable as some of the other products I've recommended but for most users it's all they will ever need.
Best Free Web Site Ripper
HTTrack is one impressive product: it's easy to use, has an excellent user interface, offers every feature you could want, is blindingly fast and free of any adware as well. If you like to download web sites so that you can "browse them offline", this is the product to get.
Best Free Download/Upload Meter
NetMeter  shows upload and download speeds, along with cumulative weekly and monthly volumes and projected values. The program reminds me in many ways of Hagel's excellent $20 shareware product "DU Meter." It's freeware and works with all Windows versions. In essence, everything you really need for nix.
A good second choice if you have the Microsoft .NET package already installed on your PC is BitMeter II from Codebox Software  . It's a little more feature rich than NetMeter but uses a tad more of your PCs resources to deliver those features.
My first choice here is CCleaner , a product that started off as pretty basic but has continued to improve to the point where it is now very close to the best in its class regardless of price. It's very effective in freeing up disk space by removing unused and temporary files, cookies, Recycle bin entries, Windows hot-fix files, sold prefetch data, history and cache files in many applications such as Internet Explorer and Firefox and much more. Additionally it will check the Windows Registry for invalid entries.
There are some minuses: first the installation settings are quite aggressive so do check them carefully. Second the product installation, by default, includes the installation of the Yahoo Toolbar so if you don't want it, make sure you uncheck that option. Finally I wouldn't trust this product to do your Registry cleaning; that's a job for a specialist utility. Similarly if your aim is to remove all your surfing traces rather than just to clean up your disk I'd be inclined to use a specialist cache cleaner.
However if simply freeing up disk space is your objective the CCleaner is hard to beat.
A good companion to CCleaner is Empty Temp Folders. It's not as complete a product as CCleaner and it's been a while since it was last updated however I find it always manages to clean more temporary file than CCleaner. That's why I suggest you use both.
Another cleaner with a solid following is Steven Gould's CleanUP!  It's a compact, well designed and very well maintained and is a real alternative to CCleaner. I've had a couple of instances of it causing problems on my test PC but this may be specific to my setup. Certainly the feedback I get from users has been uniformly excellent.
Best Free Sticky Notes Utility
Some people hate these programs others swear they can't work effectively without them. I used to be in the first category but with so many things on my plate these days, I'm slowly being converted. The function that I find really useful is the reminder that pops up at a designated time and date. I use it for simple things like "put up the latest issue on the web site." ATnotes is a neat implementation that features configurable alarms, resizable windows, variable fonts and a host of other useful features. The product is remarkably similar to the class-leading commercial sticky notes utility called, TurboNotes, a case perhaps of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
NOTE: As of the 30th of May 2005, development work has ceased and the author's site pulled down. However someone has built a mirror of the author's site  where you can read about ATnotes and download the final version. You can also download ATNotes from the a number of other sites including the second link below. If you want an alternative that is still being developed try StickyPad. Some folks actually prefer it to ATnotes and I must admit the interface is very slick but I find the alarm function to be rather inflexible. It cannot for example handle recurring events such as birthdays. If you want that functionality you are better of with another sticky note program called "Stickies" from Zhorn Software. It's not quite as svelte as the other two programs I've mentioned but it's very effective in operation.
Best Free Secure Erase Utility
Eraser  is a free, GNU license utility that will securely erase files, folders or even whole disks from any Windows or DOS PC. Eraser overwrites data area with selectable random data patterns and also wipes data in the paging file, Internet cache, temporary files, Internet cookies, unused disk space and a number of other places where data can secretly lurk. It handles FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well. Erasing files with high security will always be a difficult and time consuming task and can never offer absolute 100% safety. However Eraser makes the task about as easy as it be, with a security level beyond most conceivable requirements. The author's site is sometimes unavailable but you can find Eraser at numerous download sites including MajorGeeks .
Be aware that the current version of Eraser has a bug that is evident if you select the option to erase unused disk space. Stay well clear of that option as you may end up corrupting your drive.
If Eraser is overkill for your needs try Simple File Shredder. It's not as comprehensive a solution to secure deletion as Eraser but it's much easier to use.
Another rather different alternative is Darik's Boot and Nuke . Its an Open Source program that's used to construct a floppy disk or CD that will automatically wipe the all hard drives of any PC booted from the disk. It's great for bulk disk cleaning of PCs and is useful too as an emergency tool for quickly removing sensitive information. However this power makes it a dangerous tool in the hands of beginners.
Best Free Registry Editor
I've used the full version of Resplendent Registry Editor for years and have never had any reason to look for an alternative. Recently a subscriber asked me what was the best free registry editor and that made me realize I've never looked at that particular product category. The first product I checked out was Registrar Lite , the free version of Resplendent Registry Editor and I'd have to say it's an impressive freebie. To start with, it works totally reliably - an essential feature for any registry editor. On top of that, the user interface is simple, the functionality excellent and, perhaps most importantly, it has a really fast search. I did, however, miss a "search and delete" option - that's unfortunately only available on the full product. That said, it leaves Regedit for dead. If you know a better free registry editor, drop me an email. NOTE: It looks like Resplendent have pulled the Lite download page from their site. You can still get it though from various download sites including MajorGeeks .
Best Free Search and Replace Utility
There are several contenders for this title but HandyFile's excellent Find and Replace program is my favorite because of tiny size and no nonsense simplicity. It's also fast, has a simple but effective user interface and some nice features including support for regular expressions. It started life as a free product before going commercial however the free version 1.2 is still floating around and can be downloaded from a number of sites including this one .
If you are looking for something a bit more comprehensive then check out A.F.9 from Fauland . It allows multiple search and replace operations in the one pass, can save search and replace operations for later re-use and has full drag and drop support.
Note that these programs are designed for use on text based files such as .txt and .html and must not be used on binary files or proprietary formats such as Microsoft Word. If you want to search and replace these kind of files then check out InfoRapid Search and Replace . It's not as powerful as the best binary editors but with suitable add-ins it can handle certain Microsoft Office file types plus .rtf and .pdf.
Best Free Paint Program New! Added July 23, 2006
Although they overlap in function, paint programs are really a different class of product from digital editors such as Photoshop and The Gimp. Paint programs are specifically designed to facilitate freehand drawing. They are ideal for sketching, painting, creating animations and special effects. Most folks have dabbled with Microsoft Paint (aka Paintbrush for Windows), which comes free with most versions of the operating system. In fact MS Paint is probably responsible for the generally bad reputation of paint programs. Early versions could only produce crude two dimensional drawings with jagged edges and no color gradients. Its free availability also encouraged untalented amateurs to produce works that could only be described as abysmal. Past reputation aside, the latest XP version of Microsoft Paint is actually a very capable and resource efficient product and deserves to be more widely used. In the hands of a good pixel artist it can give excellent results.
My favorite free paint program is however, not Microsoft Paint but Project DogWaffle. This is a commercial product but the developer offers an older version (V1.2) as freeware. The free version is surprisingly full featured. It has a comprehensive set of tools including fully customizable brushes, lots of filters and effects, multiple color selection options, a good set of color gradients, animation aids and more. On the downside the program runs slowly on older PCs, has limited layer support, has a clunky cut and paste mechanism and only handles .BMP and Targa files. Like all graphics editors, you'll need to invest a bit of time to learn how best to use DogWaffle but those with artistic skills will find the effort well rewarded. Freeware, all Windows versions, 4.5MB. Project Dogwaffle 1.2 - the Free PC Paint and Animation Program for prople who love to draw, sketch, animate and paint
Best Free Data Recovery Utility
PC Inspector File Recovery 4 is a free utility that does an impressive job recovering accidentally deleted files or files lost through corruption of the file system. It works with the FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS file systems which pretty well covers all Windows installations.
It has some nice features, like the ability to recover files with lost headers, and to recover partitions even when the boot sector has been lost or damaged. It even supports the saving of recovered files on network drives.
Experienced users will find the product relatively easy to use but novices may be challenged. Data recovery by its very nature is a demanding task and cannot be reduced to simply pushing a button.
This is no home written utility - it is a serious product from a reputable German company with a long history in commercial data recovery. PC Inspector is the ideal product for those who want the security of a data recovery program but are not prepared to fork our big bucks for the extra features of high end products. Freeware, Windows 98 and later, 5.8MB PC INSPECTOR File Recovery