10 Essential Examples of Application Software

In addition to hardware or machinery components, a computer device is bundled with various software developed ranging from low-level languages to high-level languages. Generally, computer software is divided into two types or categories, namely system software, and application software.


In this article, we are discussing or listing some common examples of application software along with their brief description. Each has a specific role and is widely used by the users. Before discussing the names or examples of application programs, let us first briefly discuss the introduction of application software along with its definition.

What is Application Software?

By the definition, “an application software (sometimes referred to as an app) is a computer program primarily designed to perform specific tasks and meet specific personal, education or business needs. It is also known as productivity software and end-user software.

Although computers run or operate effectively with the combined function of system software and application software, application software is not actually mandatory. Instead, they are used in parallel with system software as they help to accomplish specific tasks, whether personal, educational, or commercial. Application software often simplifies certain tasks on a computer. Therefore, choosing ready-made application software or obtaining custom-built application software for certain needs can make a significant impact on any business.


What are the examples of Application Software?

There is a wide range of application software on the Internet that users can install on their computers based on specific needs or use cases. It is almost impossible to include all the application software names in a single article because at the time we are reading this article, there may be one or more application software launched on the internet at the same time.

Below, we discuss some of the most common names or examples of application software that we can find on most computers nowadays:


Examples of Application Software

Notepad

Notepad is the inbuilt application software in all versions of the Windows operating system. It is a basic text editor application especially used for creating, editing, and saving plain text documents (.txt). However, it can also be used to edit other compatible formats such as INI files, batch files, and log files. In addition, we can also use Notepad to read/write plain text encoded in ASCII, UTF-8, and UTF-16. It enables us to create basic HTML documents using Notepad on Windows.

Generally, Notepad is known for simple text manipulation features such as finding and replacing a specific text. Most people use this application software to paste formatted text and then copy it back to get the data as raw text. Since the application supports very few features, there are very few keyboard shortcuts to use within Notepad. It supports simple shortcut commands like New, Open, Save, Zoom in, Zoom out, etc.

Although it is a general text editor, it enables users to print files or content. We also get options to set preferences for header, footer, margin, etc., before printing. It is important to note that we can only open a text file up to 1 GB in Notepad as of the latest version that comes with Windows 11. To perform advanced text-based operations, we can try other application software like Notepad++.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular and widely used software for word processing. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite and includes a wide range of features desired for writing, editing, formatting, saving, sharing, and opening various document formats on a computer. We can also call it an advanced text editor which enables us to represent the content more professionally and effectively.


Common features of Word include formatting text with different colors and styles, paragraph formatting, bordering, grammar and spell checking, table support, adding images or clip art, etc. Although this application software is not intentionally made for image editing, we can find it somewhat easier to manipulate images with Word to some extent as it provides basic graphic manipulating tools.

Microsoft Word usually comes preinstalled on Windows-based computers because it is a Microsoft product. It can be preinstalled on a trial basis or a lifetime version depending on the price we pay when assembling our computer system. In addition, this application software is also available on other platforms such as iOS, macOS, and Android operating systems.

Microsoft Excel

Like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel is another popular application software that comes with the Office suite. Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet software that enables us to record huge data sets within cells and perform calculations. We can record text, numbers, dates, times, and other forms of data in these cells. Also, formulas are applied using one or more cells with data to get the desired result.

Apart from calculations, Excel can also help us create forms, reports, dashboards, or charts based on numerical data for better analysis. In addition, it allows data formatting, sorting, filtering, reconstruction, and more. With its powerful capabilities, Excel has become one of the most useful applications for finance and business people over time.

Like MS Word, Excel is also available for other popular platforms such as iOS, macOS, and Android. It can be used on a trial basis or can be purchased for a lifetime. Prices vary from version to version and are based on usages such as personal, family, or business.


Paint

Paint is a very popular application software found on Windows computers. It is used to manipulate images or graphics content. This application software can open and save files in JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and some other image formats. Since it comes installed with the Windows operating system, it became one of the most used graphic applications in its early days.

For most beginners, especially children, the Paint application is a kind of entertainment software. Many people use this application to start painting digitally on a computer for the first time. However, it is still widely used for basic image manipulation due to its simplicity and fast performance.

Microsoft also came up with an additional application software called Paint 3D to replace the original Paint application. However, the Paint application continued its usefulness and popularity, forcing Microsoft to introduce an updated version of Paint with the Windows 11 operating system. In addition to Paint, there are many other graphics and design application software for advanced operations. For example, Adobe Photoshop, Cyberlink Photodirector, Corel Draw, AutoCAD, etc. Each of these applications has distinct features to meet certain needs.

OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive (initially called SkyDrive) is an online cloud service that helps to manage our data on servers. It enables users to store, edit, delete, protect and share data with others. This application software is pushed through software updates to Windows users with their latest operating system. However, we can also download and install it manually on our computers.


Users usually get 5 GB of free storage space with free Microsoft accounts. However, it can be upgraded to a higher level as per the requirement by paying a decent amount for the paid subscription. When installed on the device, this application software creates a default location with a folder called OneDrive where we can save our files which will be automatically synced or uploaded to the connected account server.

One advantage of OneDrive is that we can use it on multiple devices. In addition, it can be accessed through the web using modern browsers. This creates somewhat easier access to cloud storage space, allowing users to manage their content from everywhere. By default, Microsoft Office for the Web uses OneDrive to store Office documents. Due to cloud space, it becomes easy for people from different places to work on the same document simultaneously.

Skype

Skype is the world's most popular messaging, voice, and video chat application. This application software facilitates communication between different people or devices over the internet. It enables users to create conference calls with up to 25 people simultaneously, allowing them to connect with family, friends, or colleagues. However, everyone must have Skype installed on their devices.

The desktop version of Skype is free for Windows users and can be installed like any other typical application software. In addition to Windows operating systems, the Skype application is also available free for iOS, macOS, Android, and Linux. Although it's technically free to use over the Internet, users need to pay for a subscription if they need to make direct calls to any cell phone or landline number.

Some of the notable features of Skype include file sharing, screen sharing, call recording, and more. Unlike other group meeting applications, Skype somewhat offers longer duration meetings per session. This typically limits calls to four hours, with a total of 10 hours per day and 100 hours per month.


VLC

VLC Media Player is well-known application software that enables users to play various multimedia files on computers. It can play songs, videos, and even large size movies efficiently. Due to the multiple file type's support, it is made compatible with a wide range of file formats or extensions like MP3, MP4, WMV, AVI, MKV, etc. In addition, it also supports network playback and network shares.

One of the major advantages of VLC is that it is free to use open-source application software. Due to its easy user interface, fast performance, and multiple multimedia file support, VLC has become one of the best media player applications for the Windows operating system. VLC is available for all versions of Windows, easily supporting almost every audio and video compression process and file format.

Apart from the Windows operating system, VLC is also available for other popular platforms such as iOS, macOS, Android, and even several Linux distributions. This makes VLC a cross-platform multimedia player.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is one of the most used application software in the world under the category of web browsers. It is fast, free, easy-to-use, cross-platform web application software available for Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux distributions.

Google Chrome also serves as a platform for various browser app extensions. There are a variety of extensions available on the Google Web Store that we can use to enhance or add new functions to the browser. In addition, various themes are also available to change the look and feel of the interface within the browser.


When it comes to security, Google is very serious about it. The browser receives regular updates to enhance security and privacy features. In addition, users can browse the Internet using the private (incognito) mode to keep details such as their IP address and browsing history secure. Some of the notable features of Chrome include fast downloads, data saving, voice search, built-in translator, data sync across multiple devices, and more.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat is a family of multiple application software developed by Adobe Inc. Often called Reader, it is one of the most popular desktop application software used by many people across the world. It is commonly used to open, view, and print PDF documents. An advantage of this application software is that it is free to use with a minimal and clean user interface.

Apart from a freeware version of Acrobat Reader, users can also get its premium version to access additional features such as editing or manipulating text and images in PDF, scanning signatures, encrypting PDF, sharing PDF among others, and converting into other document formats such as Word or Excel, etc.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for multiple platforms such as Windows, iOS, macOS, and Android. Documents can be synchronized to the cloud to be accessed across different devices. Cloud support also helps in easy sharing and collaboration.


WinRAR

WinRAR is one of the essential application software for Windows users. Although WinRAR is primarily Windows-only software, related programs are also available for other platforms with different names. It is primarily known as file compression and management software. This application software comes as trialware, which means users can try out the features for a few days. After the trial period is over, users must obtain a paid subscription to continue using the software.

Specifically, WinRAR software is used to compress or archive multiple files of different formats into a single compressed file with a size significantly smaller than the total size of the individual files. Thus, the software helps us to save disk space and further share it easily on the internet. In addition, we can also decompress, unarchive, unpack or extract compressed file formats like RAR, ZIP, etc.

WinRAR is much more than just a compressor-decompressor. Apart from this, there are many other special features. Some additional features of this application software include built-in tools to repair broken or damaged archives, encrypt with a password, split large files into multiple smaller parts, open compressed files as previews without extracting or decompressing, etc.

Defining Application Software Examples by their Types

As we said earlier, we cannot cover all application software in one article. However, we describe some other common examples of application software below and divide them based on certain types or categories of application software:

Application Software Type Application Software Examples
Word Processing Software Microsoft Word, G Docs, OpenOffice Docs, etc.
Spreadsheet Software Microsoft Excel, Google Spreadsheet, OpenOffice sheet, etc.
Presentation Software Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Adobe Spark, etc.
Web Browsers Software Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, etc.
Educational Software MATLAB, Google Classroom, etc.
Multimedia Software Spotify, WMP, VLC Player, GOM Player, Real Player, etc.
Graphics Software Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, Corel Draw, etc.
Communication Software Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, Discord, Outlook, Google Meet, etc.
Database Application Software Microsoft Access, DBMS, Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, etc.
Simulation Software PCB Software, VLSI Simulation
Others Google Maps, WinZip, 7zip, Viruses, Games, etc.


Summary

This article discusses some common examples of application software. However, they are not limited to those discussed in the article here. They are unlimited and one can get his/her customized application software developed by professional programmers by paying a decent amount to get their specific task done. These days, most of the applications we see on our smartphones, especially those downloaded from the App Store, are the best examples of application software.


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