Recommended software


Revision as of 15:17, 24 August 2006 by Pnaulls (Talk | contribs)
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This is a preliminary list of 'must have' software and utilities for RISC OS.

Shareware is starred - * Commercial software is bracketed - ()


Essential modules

  • SharedUnixLib - Needed for a growing number of programs being developed: NetSurf and Cretin, to name just two
  • Universal Boot (RISC OS 3.x only) - This enables users of < RISC OS 4 to have a compatible Boot structure. Essential for all users, regardless of vintage of hardware

Text Editors

There's a huge debate about which is superior. My advice is: flip a coin, and stick with that one, then cite it as the best whenever anyone asks. A quirk with both StrongED and Zap is that by default, the Delete key does a LEFT-DELETE and Copy/End does a RIGHT-DELETE, instead of the more common Delete for RIGHT-DELETE and Copy/End to jump to the end of the text. To fix this please follow the instructions on this page.

Desktop Utilities

  • StrongHelp - provides help for a number of programs
  • Director - browse the directory structure of your Harddisc using menus and submenus
  • Thump - Filer-like image viewer
  • HID* - drivers for interactive USB keyboards and mice (Iyonix and Castle USB only). 10UKP to register
  • SparkPlug (SparkFS - 25UKP) - Decompress (and compress) ZIPs and other archive formats
  • Organizer (Latest version: 11UKP) - Fully functional addressbook and diary, capable of running tasks, remembering anniversary dates, alarms
  • Remane* - Bulk renamer: rename entire directories of files using simple criteria and wildcards. 10UKP to register
  • ChangeFSI - Multi-format image convertor, outputting jpegs or sprites
  • FSIbatch* - Batch process of images with ChangeFSI, eg: convert a directory of large 16million colour jpegs into smaller 256 colour sprites for desktop backgrounds. 10UKP to register
  • (cdvdburn - 65UKP) - cd and dvd burning software
  • cdburnlite - provided with the Iyonix PC


  • AltClick - Alt-Click on a window to bring it to the front
  • NetTime - Update your clock to internet time servers
  • PlayIt - codec for most audio formats on RISC OS
  • AMPlayer - adds support for MP3 playback
  • SpecialFX - utility that improves overall desktop appearance by anti-aliasing drawfiles and blending fonts. Also fixes printing issues which can occur when printing text from several applications
  • MiscSetup - a !Boot plugin that allows easy configuration of several desktop appearance choices no configurable elsewhere
  • ZapFonts - Bitmap font renderer. Used for Zap, StrongED and Cretin, among others


  • Messenger/Lite (Pro - 39UKP)/(Pluto - from 29UKP) - Email and News Agent, allowing sorting and searching of messages and news
  • Newsbase - Freestanding News database for use with the free version of messenger

Note: The free version of Messenger and Newsbase are not 32bit compatible, however the Iyonix is provided with Messenger Lite as standard

  • Popstar - Mail client for fetching and sending Email
  • Newshound - News client for fetching and sending news

Other Internet

  • NetSurf - Free web browser, under constant development
  • Firefox beta - A Work-in-progress port of the popular Firefox browser to RISC OS, currently undergoing further improvement and testing.
  • Ftpc - FTP access, fully featured
  • Cocognut - File share client for the Gnutella network


  • PlaySound
  • DigitalCD - multiformat audio player (MP3, Audio CD, wave)
  • AMPlay - Sophisticated MP3 player with filterable playlists

DTP and Spreadsheet

  • (Easi/TechWriter - 99 & 124UKP respectively)
  • (Ovation Pro - 125UKP)
  • (Impression Publisher) - Currently being rewritten by X-Ample Technology
  • Writer - Provided free with RISC OS 4
  • Writer+ - Provided free with the Iyonix PC
  • (Fireworkz Pro 26 - 100UKP) - Fully functional spreadsheet and database package
  • Fireworkz32 - Provided with the Iyonix PC

Instant Messaging

  • (Grapevine - 29UKP) - Supports MSN, ICQ and IRC
  • LIRC - Free IRC client. Fully featured. Not currently 32bit compatible
  • Cretin - Alternative free IRC client. 32bit version available.


  • Quake Ressurection
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 2
  • 6502Em


This issue is rather important for all users of minority systems, so here we go: MS Word compatible software:

  • AntiWord - a viewer and convertor of MS Word (.doc) documents. Converts to Text or Draw
  • Writer(+) also can read MS Word documents to a fair degree of accuracy, and convert them to its native format.
  • Easi/TechWriter also exports MS Word documents

MS Excel compatible software:

  • ViewXLS - ditto for MS Excel (.xls) spreadsheets. Converts to CSV, TSV or Draw. CVS files exported can then be loaded into eg: Fireworkz for editing.
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