Software Programs Every Laptop Should Have

Kathryn Lively
 


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We know that laptop computers are portable, convenient, and very necessary in today's fast-paced world. A laptop gives its owner a renewed sense of freedom and capability. With a strong wireless Internet connection, business may be conducted from anywhere in the world. Cubicle walls expand to reveal wide open spaces, where people may communicate, shop, and accomplishment countless tasks.

Choosing the right laptop to suit your needs may take time and research, but one thing is for certain: all laptop owners should have the basic programs installed to get through daily life and work. Whether you are a writer, a computer programmer, a businessman, or work at home, these four programs are irreplaceable and versatile. Each should have a shortcut icon right on your startup screen.

Let's take a look at what you need:

Word Processing Program

You don't have to be a student to need a good word processing program. Can you think of a day where you haven't written anything? Even for a one-page note, it is hand to have a word processing program installed to suit your needs.

These days, many computers come equipped with such software, though what is included may not necessarily meet your requirements. While all programs allow you to type, save, edit and print with ease, some programs go the extra mile and allow you to enhance presentations with embedded imagery, video, and font manipulation. Microsoft Word, as part of the Office Suite, lets you these things and more. A simpler program will limit the boundaries.

As you shop for your next laptop, consider what word processing packages are included, and determine if you need an upgrade.

Accounting Software Whether you use the laptop primarily for business or household purposes, a good accounting program can serve as a solid backup for your traditional system of bookkeeping. Using accounting software to keep track of your income, bills and other expenditures is a good way to maintain organized focus throughout the year. You condition yourself to keep better track of your finances, and should you lose any paper you have that backup to consult onscreen.

Quickbooks is one example of such a program, and offers various features for whatever organizational purposes you seek. If the laptop you buy does not include accounting software, consider looking for some.

Electronic Book/Document Reader Electronic book, or e-book, technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. With the Gutenburg project, students and other avid readers have access to thousands of classic and academic texts, and third-party retailers like Fictionwise and Amazon.com offer instant downloads of electronic novels for sale. With a laptop, you can shop for a book, purchase and download, and read it instantly. You don't even have to be in a bookstore!

That said, with certain e-book formats you will need specific readers. A PDF document will not open in a word processing program, and an e-book formatted for the Microsoft Reader will not open in Adobe Reader. Therefore, it is wise to keep such programs on hand in the event you need or want to read a book from your screen. The best thing about such programs is that they are offered for free by their respective companies. A quick Internet search will lead you in the right direction.

Security Software No laptop is complete without a strong security program. As viruses and spyware become more prevalent and more sophisticated, the need to protect your computer is very important. Especially if you are a frequent user, you would be best suited to a program that offers anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall capabilities. Options to filter junk mail and prevent annoying pop-up advertisements is also a plus.

Not every computer system will offer such protection, so be sure to consult with a sales person before buying. Make sure your security programs are updated often to combat new issues.

From composing mail to battling SPAM, your laptop should be ready to do everything you need. Take care when shopping and don't forget these essentials when you are ready to work.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer and editor. She writes for The Computer Connection, military computer financing at affordable rates. She also offers free SEO advice to authors.

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