We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Utilities software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Free Opener review - Free Opener can open almost any type of file you can think of


Manufacturer: Free Opener

Free Opener truly can open a large amount of formats, including documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, media, and code. Here's our Free Opener review.

Free Opener

What do you use to open files? If you're in the majority, your answer would be "depends on the file." This is not the case with Free Opener. Free Opener claims to open over 80 different file formats--anything from Microsoft Office documents and PDF files, to image, video and music files, with many more in between. It may not open as many file types as Quick View Plus, and it's certainly more of a viewer than an editor, but you can't argue with the price. It's a good first stop for trying to view that mystery document. See all Software reviews.

Free Opener comes with a simple interface that includes four basic menus and one toolbar. I started off my testing with the types of documents I edit most often: DOC and DOCX. Despite the respectable editing options--color, formatting, highlighting, tables, etc.--the first thing I noticed was a mysterious lack of keyboard shortcuts. According to the program's menus, all the basic shortcuts should be available. They're mentioned in the menus next to their respective commands. In practice, important shortcuts such as Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+Z failed to work, while others such as Ctrl+F, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+O, etc., worked without a hitch. The undo feature did not work from the menu either, and worked only when I used the toolbar button. Note that Free Opener will not prompt you to save your work if you close it without saving. See all software downloads.

Free Opener: similar to Free Editor

So far, the experience was surprisingly similar to Free Editor, a similar all-around tool. This continued through the available DOC editing options such as tables, formatting, highlights, and more, but that's where the similarities ended. As opposed to Free Editor, Free Opener has almost no spreadsheet editing capabilities, lacking support for functions or formatting of any kind, which cripples viewing as well. It includes only basic image editing features, and those are presented in a confusing and not-so-intuitive interface. Music and video files open without noticeable problems, and offer repeat and shuffle functions, although the volume on some videos was significantly lower than on my default player.

Which brings us to PDFs: This is the most celebrated format on the program's website, and true to form, Free Opener opened every PDF file I threw at it, and even presented an automatic table of contents on the left sidebar. Problems started when I tried using the table of contents for large documents. Crashing, not responding, or simply doing nothing were all common occurrences. It sometimes took manual page-flipping to remind Free Opener that more pages exist in the document, an action that can only be done my clicking icons on the toolbar or with the Pg Up/Pg Dn buttons. No scrolling.

After checking out the most common formats, I took Free Opener through its paces and opened the following files successfully: CSS (no syntax highlighting), HTML, JS (with syntax highlighting), MOV, PPT, PPTX, RAR, REG, SWF, XML, XPS, and ZIP. While I didn't try all 80+ supported formats, everything I tried worked, and I found nothing that was supported in name only.

Free Opener

Free Opener Expert Verdict »

Microsoft Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows Vista/Windows XP

Free Opener delivered on its promises every time. Free Opener feels like an honest try to make our lives easier, and it truly does open a large number of formats. If you need to view multiple formats and can only install one program, Free Opener can be a lifesaver. It may not be a complete substitute for other programs, but for viewing purposes, it can definitely save you some money.

  • Free Editor review - open and edit any document for free

    Free Editor - open and edit any document for free

    Free Editor is free software that lets you open and edit over 70 different file types for free. Here's our Free Editor review.

  • OfficeSuite Pro for Android review

    OfficeSuite Pro for Android

    OfficeSuite Pro (13 euros for the full version, with an eight-euro upgrade version and a 30-day free trial) is one of a growing number of apps that try to strengthen Android's weak office-document support.

  • MDB Viewer Plus review

    MDB Viewer Plus

    Freebie MDB Viewer Plus lets you look at Access (.mdb) files - but it doesn't always make it easy to work with them.

  • Google Docs & Spreadsheets

    For those seeking an alternative to Office, OpenOffice is comprehensive. But Google offers a very different approach.

  • ThinkFree Office Online productivity suite

    ThinkFree Office Online productivity suite

    ThinkFree has three main components - Write (a word processor), Calc (a spreadsheet), and Show (presentation software) - all of which are listed on the site's My Office page, along with your most recently edited files.

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ (UK Sony Xperia Z4) UK release date, price and specification: Pre-order the Sony Xp9......

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

What Jony Ive's new job means for Apple design

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer