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Open Source Content Creation Tools

Open source tools are tools created by programmers, and which are available to be used by the public for any purpose. Open source software is a subset of open-source tools, and is created for the same reason – to have the general public use it. A number of open source tools are available for content creation. These provide a variety of benefits, such as allowing users to have access to both paid and free content creation tools. This article features some popular tools, as well as reviews on these tools and where to get them.

Content creation is becoming increasingly important online. People expect high quality content on their favorite blogs, social media sites and in the news. Content creation tools provide the framework for engaging readers, getting more exposure and converting more leads to sales. The best free content creation apps allow people to streamline the writing, graphics and video editing processes through simpler interface designs, they also provide new ways to monetize content by increasing traffic to your site from social media and advertisements. In this article we will examine some of the most popular software packages available for creating that professional quality content your audience craves.

Open source content creation tools are computer programs that allow you to create all sorts of documents and media. While they are free and can be downloaded, they require that you own specific software or plug-ins to use them. Open source content creation tools are an essential part of the process for creating websites, blogs, or articles.

This article will introduce a layman to the concept of free open source software, and try to help them realize how it is often a great choice when evaluating new applications. However, in many cases the most frequently used word on the software market is “free”, which replaces many other adjectives like “good”, “fast”, or just “working”. Everybody wants to get something for nothing, but this is unusual case.

Free and Open Source Software Tools for Digital Content Creators


Bulma widgets

Bulma is a modular and responsive CSS framework for designing interfaces that flow beautifully. Design work is hardest between the moment of inspiration and the time of initial implementation, and that’s exactly the problem Bulma helps solve. It’s a collection of useful front-end components that a designer can combine to create an engaging and polished interface. And the best part is that it requires no JavaScript. It’s all done in CSS.

Included components include forms, columns, tabbed interfaces, pagination, breadcrumbs, buttons, notifications, and much more.



(Kristina Tuvikene, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Skeleton is a lightweight open source framework that gives you a simple grid, basic formats, and cross-browser support. It’s a great alternative for bulky frameworks and lets you start coding your site with a minimal but highly functional foundation. There’s a slight learning curve, as you do have to get familiar with its codebase, but after you’ve built one site with Skeleton, you’ve built a thousand, and it becomes second-nature.

The Noun Project

The Noun Project

(Kristina Tuvikene, CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Noun Project is a collection of more than 3 million icons and images. You can use them on your site or as inspiration to create your own designs. I’ve found hundreds of useful icons on the site, and they’re superbly easy to use. Because they’re so basic, you can use them as-is for a nice, minimal look or bring them into your favorite image editor and customize them for your project.



(Kristina Tuvikene, CC BY-SA 4.0)

If you fancy creating your own icons or maybe some incidental art, then you should take a look at MyPaint. It is a lightweight painting tool that supports various graphic tablets, features dozens of amazing brush emulators and textures, and has a clean, minimal interface, so you can focus on creating your illustration.



(Kristina Tuvikene, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Glimpse is a cross-platform photo editor, a fork of GIMP that adds some nice features such as keyboard shortcuts similar to another popular (non-open) image editor. This is one of those must-have applications for any graphic designer. Climpse doesn’t have a macOS release yet, but Mac users may use GIMP in the mean time.



(Kristina Tuvikene, CC BY-SA 4.0)

LazPaint is a lightweight raster and vector graphics editor with multiple tools and filters. It’s also available on multiple platforms and offers straightforward vector editing for quick and basic work.

Open eLearning

A free and open source course authoring tool, Open eLearning provides a platform to build and create learning content. A course authoring system, Open eLearning is Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) compatible, which means a variety of eLearning tools can import and use the content and educational games on their platforms. 

A user need not learn to code on the platform to create content, while the software’s easy installation on laptops allow it to be used anywhere. The intention is to give creators all the necessary tools to make engaging content in multiple formats.


Source – Open eLearning

Some features of the free and open source Free and open Source Course Authoring system are as follows – 

  • Easy content sharing tools
  • Third-party tool integration 
  • Bundling with Photoflare
  • Quizzes, test creator platform 
  • Platform independent program 
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) implementation 
  • Presentation creation tool (Slide sharing, numbering, editing, etc.) 
  • Object locking tools
  • In-app plugin implementation – Moodle and other important educational game implementations
  • Gamification interface and methods

Open EdX

While many learners are familiar with the exceptional EdX learning platform, the Open EdX Learning Management System (LMS) is the muscle behind it. Created as an open source course authoring tool, Open Edx enables the creation of instructor-led, online campus, degree, and self-paced curricula on the same platform. 

The eLearning system has already facilitated 40 million learners to achieve their educational ambitions. Close to 20,000 courses have also been created on the platform. The Harvard and MIT co-founded open project is massively scalable for learners and instructors alike. This helps large organizations, enterprises, and governments turn to EdX for their learning needs.    

Open-edx course authoring software

Source – Open EdX Learner Analytics

Some features of the advanced online course authoring system are as follows –   

  • Platform independent and easily scalable across multiple devices
  • Instructor View to Courses – Edit grades, manage teams, publish courses, etc. 
  • Customizable learner platforms to showcase the educational brand
  • Documentation and use of Open XML (OLX) standards using Open EdX Studio
  • Access to a vast library of third-party integrations and toolsets
  • Open EdX analytics and reporting dashboard 
  • Availability of high storage Learning Record Store (LSR) 
  • Content management (import and export) across multiple platforms 

 eXe Open Learning

An HTML-based eLearning and course authoring tool, eXe is a specifically designed tool to create, edit, and distribute online pedagogy. It can be used by teachers, professionals, and non-qualified teachers alike. 

It helps create content on self-contained web pages which can be loaded onto Learning Management Systems (LMS). It can also be exported as SCORM packages. Descriptive content as well as interactive modules could be easily developed using the software. 

exe course authoring software

Source – eXe

Some features of the free and open source Course Authoring tool are as follows – 

  • Ability to generate complete websites of content 
  • XLIFF, IMS, and SCORM compatible projects
  • Interactive Content production elements (iDevices)
  • WYSIWYG functionality on pages. 
  • Pedagogical tips around iDevice implementation 
  • Rich Text editor
  • Powerpoint Conversion
  • Quiz and Interactive assessment support  
  • Image and document upload support


Design beautiful, engaging and effective eLearning courses that have features such as microlearning with their cloud-based course authoring tool. EdApp is completely free and used to train teams large and small all over the globe. Some of their impressive clients include the United Nations, Shell, Mars, and Pandora, to name a few. A collection of EdApp’s clients have also shared their experience with the platform, to give insight into how they successfully train their teams with the innovative and intuitive Learning Management System (LMS).

Elearning Authoring Tool - Import Powerpoint


CourseLab version 2.4 is another free authoring software for building eLearning courses that can be published to the web or an LMS. You can make slide-based courses with images, videos, complex multi-object interactions, and quizzes. Unlike EdApp, it doesn’t have a library of ready-made courseware available. CourseLab does come with a set of eLearning templates, though learning how to use and customize them may require quite a lot of time. The downside of this authoring tool is that the interface isn’t as intuitive as others and may even feel a little outdated. This means it can feel quite complicated to those who are just beginning to work with authoring tools for eLearning. This tool is better suited to more experienced developers who have an idea of how LMS authoring tools work and are more comfortable navigating the platform.

Authoring tools - CourseLab
Courselab Elearning Authoring Tool

Organization tools for content creators

Organization is one of the first steps to creation. Even the most chaotic creators have a system, and sometimes a little goes a long way when paired with the best tools for content creation.

Google drive

With up to 15GB of free storage, Google Drive is a great organizational tool for anyone to use. Call sheets, receipts, scripts, documents, pictures, spreadsheets, or any other type of file can securely be uploaded all in one place, with sharing and editing options available for your team to access even offline. Google Drive is so easy to use that it makes it one of the best tools for content creators in the business. 


Dropbox is another no-fuss, quick, and secure way to store and share files with anyone, including people who aren’t Dropbox users. Just provide them with the login info for easy access to your shared folders. Dropbox is free for up to 2GB and can also sync up with all your devices, letting you organize and retrieve your files from your computer or your phone whenever you need them. Many coordinators and office PAs rely on Dropbox to organize their files from P.O. logs and receipts to their pre-pro book. 


While not technically content creation made easy, Trello is a visual organization tool that makes collaboration and content creation easier. Flexible and free, this platform is designed as a content development tool: the message board format lets you gather and sort information and manage your tasks or projects all at once. Teamwork and productivity can be taken to a whole new level. And if your system needs to be shared beyond your team, Trello’s got your back too, as it is compatible and exportable across most other content creation apps.


The biggest secret to content creation is organization and Airtable is an Organizational Guru. Airtable is a cloud-based spreadsheet allowing you to create different views so you can collaborate more efficiently on any project. The platform offers many solutions to organize your content, smooth out your workflow, and conduct your business like a boss. This software can be used as a content creation tool because it helps you save time while increasing productivity.


All content creators understand that it’s crucial to locate quality sites which provide, free of charge, some awesome open source content creation software and resources. But finding the best, most appropriate websites for them can be a challenge for anyone trying to learn how to use more new open source content creation apps.

Imagine your own story told by the facts you uncover late one night. Or a video of your new product creation strategy before anyone else. Or pictures for your blog about taking a trip to visit family in a distant land. Free content creation software is available and at your fingertips, whether you are writing fiction or factual articles. Here is an article of the top ten free content creation apps that will help you create professional content quickly and easily!

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