“Ancillary: providing support or help; additional, or providing additional support or help; auxiliary”

Authoring tools might not provide all of the support functions that an instructional designer or course development team member needs. Examples most often include audio editing, image editing, video editing, and screen capture. Designers may find it necessary to search for such help, or when the need for such a function appears.

In this article, I am providing listings of free software for the most commonly-needed ancillary functions. I have personally tried very few of these, and I make no guarantees about the suitability of any of them for your application. What I have tried to do is provide an easy-to-use listing and links. Software in each group was free when I made the list (February, 2021), and that means free to use, for the most part not requiring payment for a license and mostly not offering paid-for upgrades. Lists are in alphabetical order, and they do not imply any kind of recommendation or review—the first one listed is not necessarily the best for your particular purposes. Not all of the software listed is compatible with all operating systems. Some of the software is simple to use and suitable for beginners; some is intended for users with more advanced skills and experience. These lists are not complete and are not intended to be; my policy is to not add software to the lists after this article is posted so if you want to list your tool, use the Comments on this article but note that I will remove inappropriate or spammy remarks. If a reader wants to keep up or find more examples, I recommend doing what I did: a simple Google search for free software.

Free audio editing and conversion

In my opinion, you don’t need anything other than Audacity for most projects. You may copy, distribute, modify and/or resell Audacity, under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Free screen capture and recorders

Most of these are Windows-only. Try the Windows built-in features first.

Free image editing and conversion

Free video editing and conversion

I hope you find what you need!