Recommended Software/services: The criteria here is that the software is open source or offered as free for personal, non-commercial or educational use and that it is natively multi-platformed for Windows and Mac.
Note: Recommended resources are routinely tested and evaluated on an ongoing basis for their suitability for the stated purposes here. This results in frequent updating of this list with resources added or removed.
Book preparation and publishing:
LibreOffice 7, LibreOffice Writer. Free and open source software. Windows, Mac, Linux.
Writer is a well developed, mature application that, while acknowledging its word processing heritage, offers a wealth of page design and layout features. Writer is fully ODF compliant. For publishing the final document, Writer offers significant control over the .pdf creation process. There is a learning curve for this program when moving into the desktop publishing realm, but the results are well worth it. Download the office suite from - https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/.
The GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is free and open source software. Windows, Mac, Linux. Allows for the complete manipulation and editing of photographs. Similar to Adobe’s Photoshop. Download the program from https://www.gimp.org/downloads.
XnView MP. Proprietary software but offered freely. Windows, Mac, Linux. A very good, lightweight image viewer and browser that offers basic but competent image adjustment. If XnViewMP seems to be a bit shy on features, it is still in active development and this cross-platform application is based on the well-developed XnView Classic image viewer. It should be noted that there are some quirks in the user interface that take some getting used to. https://www.xnview.com/en.
The idea behind this list is to present freely offered, open source, multiplatform applications that are of use here. The following recommendation gets away from that a bit...
FastStone Image Viewer. One of the best image viewer-browsers with adjustment capabilities regardless of price. The program is highly configurable and supports a wide variety of image formats. It offers a wide range of highly refined image adjustment functions. Currently freely offered, it is updated frequently. FastStone Image Viewer is a Windows-only application but will run on Macintosh equipment under Boot Camp. Highly recommended. It can be downloaded at http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm.
FreeFileSync. Free and open source. Windows, Mac, Linux. FreeFileSync lets you synchronize files between two folders or drives. You can create an exact copy of the source folder, do a two-way synchronization that will copy new or updated files in both directions or use the "update mode" to copy only files that are new or have been changed from the source to the target. You can choose how to handle file deletions, sending them to the recycle bin or moving them to another folder.
While there are a number of .pdf readers available, Microsoft Edge (Chromium), Mozilla FireFox and Google Chrome web browsers support .pdf files natively and work well for viewing and printing files. It should be noted that as of this writing Edge and Chrome supports .pdf forms while Firefox does not.
Online image hosting services:
Use of photo sharing sites, social media sites or portfolio sites for book presentation is not recommended for a variety of reasons. There a number of free Joomla web hosting services available and these can be located by Googling “free Joomla hosting”. There is a learning curve to Joomla but there are plenty of online resources to help you. The results are well worth.
Recommendations for file formats:
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group, ISO standard format) device independent, extension - .jpg – compressed file format, use this file format for in-camera storage of images and display on the internet.
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format, ver. 6.0, tiff/ep (tiff/electronic photography) is an ISO standard format) device independent, extension - .tif – non-compressed file format, use this file format for making image adjustments, printing, in documents used for creating PDF files and long-term storage.
BMP (Bitmap Image File, de facto standard) device independent, extension - .bmp – non-compressed file format, as an alternative to the TIFF file format, use this file format for making image adjustments and long-term backup.
PDF (Portable Document Format, ISO standard format) device independent, extension - ,pdf - compressed file format designed to present (in part) documents that combine text and images, general presentation is in standard pdf configuration while pdf/a or pdf/x configurations can be used for long-term archiving.
It is recommended that when you are photographing, store images in the JPEG format. If the camera being use offered a dual-save option (JPEG and its proprietary “raw” format) that option can be selected. For processing and storing, it is recommended that you convert either JPEG or raw files to the uncompressed TIFF file format. It is not recommended that the camera’s native raw format be used exclusively for long-term storage as these formats are both proprietary and device dependent.