So you've come across a file that you need to open but can't? Maybe you just want to open it but can't. Either way, the defining word here is "can't." Open Freely can shorten it to "can" and also shorten the time and effort it takes to open over 100 different file types, including common types, of course, but also a whole lot of uncommon ones, from AMR to ZIP. It can display nearly any kind of media, edit documents and images, extract files, and perform other functions.
Open Freely's installation includes the free K-Lite Codec Pack, which contains dozens of codecs for opening media files and other formats. Open Freely's main interface has an attractive, muted gray color scheme with contrasting highlights and icons that turn from dull to colorful when active. The only active icon that appears when you first open Open Freely is the Open File icon. We browsed to a folder we keep with various file types for just such an occasion, but we failed to seriously challenge the tool. PDFs appeared clearly; XML files displayed coded text; music files opened in an embedded player with a spectral display; a saved YouTube video played normally; you get the picture (we sure did, in any image format).
We could also edit files with the built-in Hex Editor; copy, save, and print files; open and make changes to Word documents; and zoom in and out. On editable documents, the program opened a toolbar with a suite of formatting and editing controls typical of a lightweight word processor. Since it uses downloadable codec packs like K-Lite, we'd imagine it's easy to upgrade and update, too.
There's no shortage of frustrations when it comes to software, so why add to them by making it difficult to open files? Open Freely's got you covered and then some.