Recommended Software – Students

Although the only software Central requires is an antivirus software, we recommend that students install a number of the programs listed below. While none are required, they will all help to enhance what you are able to do on your computer. Faculty and staff using Central College owned computers – click here for software installation instructions.

IT Services recommends that you update your installed programs as you receive update notices. The best practice is to visit the software’s website to download updates.

Example: If you are on Facebook and are asked to update Adobe Flash, close Facebook and navigate to Adobe’s website to download the update.


Mac Users

Newer Mac computers have a security setting that needs to be changed before installing 3rd-party software. Open your System Preferences and go to Security & Privacy.  Look for the locked option that forces users to download Mac developed products. Unlock this option, and click load software from anywhere, and then lock that setting again when done. This allows programs outside of the Mac App Store to download and install successfully.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office software is available from the Central College Webstore:

Faculty and Staff

 Be sure to remove any existing Office software, including the trial version that often is loaded on new computers. You must have the key to activate the software. Write the key down and keep it, also store the download on a device off your computer!

If you need to reload the software you will need the key and the download. Microsoft Office 2016 and above will have you connect a Microsoft account to the product, therefore you should not physically need the key, but it is still a good idea to keep record of it. If you do not get the key at the time of the purchase, you have a limited time to go back into the store and retrieve it. After the time is up, you will be charged for access to your key. The key is generally red, and in the following format, where numbers or letters replace the X characters:


Microsoft Windows

When downloading Windows 8.0-8.1 or Windows 10, you may be asked to insert a blank CD or DVD to burn the software products, so you can install the software from the disk.

The Help Desk staff encourages you to download and install the Microsoft software on your own. If you have problems, support is available
from Kivuto Solutions at 888-396-1447.

Hints from the staff at the ITS Help Desk:

  • Remove old or preloaded versions of Office before downloading and installing the new version
  • Keep Kivuto’s phone number handy
  • Save the download file and product key on a device other than the one you are working on for later use – ITS does not have access to your product key
  • Windows operating systems require a bootable DVD, which generally requires the user to download a program that creates a bootable DVD or an ISO file.
  • Some Mac users need to remove the restriction limiting downloads from other non-Apple sites (Preferences –> Security)
  • Office products can be loaded on two different computers. DON’T SHARE because if your computer crashes you’ll need to reload the software on a new computer – another reason to keep the download and the product key!
  • When you have a blank hard drive to be used for Windows, and want to load Windows 8, click on the platform option, and choose the Mac version. This is a full version of Windows 8, and can be used on ANY blank hard drive. Some of the offered version for Windows are upgrades, and will not work on a blank hard drive

Software Availability

The programs listed below, and more, are available on campus computers.  Some are only available in specific labs, as indicated in parentheses.

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Lubbers 126, Roe 221, Kruidenier 112)
  • (website)
  • ArcGIS (VSC 120, 240, 241)
  • ChemDraw Pro (VSC 240)
  • Core Math Tools
  • Fathom
  • Finale (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • Garage Band  (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • GeoGebra
  • IDRISI Selva (select machines in VSC 120, 240, 241)
  • Mathematica
  • Matlab
  • Microsoft Expression Studio
  • Microsoft Office 2013 (except VSC 241)
  • Minitab
  • Python 3
  • Sibelius (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • TurningPoint
  • VectorWorks (Lubbers 126, Roe 227, Kruidenier 112)
  • Vision (Weller 102)


Vermeer Room 243 – specialized programs:

  • Gimp
  • IDLE
  • jGRASP
  • Netbeans
  • Pep8 & Pep8CPU
  • WingIDE
  • Xcode


Edited: 1/17/2019