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Software Purchasing and Recomendations


Software Purchasing and Recomendations

MSL IT can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars in software costs by directing you to the optimal licensing solution for you or your lab.  You may already have access to a license for a piece of software and don't even know it.  Please consult us via email or a visit to our office before purchasing any software.  Below is a brief list of commonly requested software and information about it.

Software Available at no cost for Staff and Faculty on UBC Owned Devices

Visit this link to see a full list of software that is freely available to be installed by MSL IT on a UBC owned device only.  These are not available for installation on personally owned devices.

Software Available At Minimal Cost for Staff and Faculty on personally owned devices

Microsoft Office Home Use Program

UBC employees with personally owned systems are entitled to access the inexpensive Microsoft Home Use Program.  If you are assigned a computer to do your work at UBC, and that computer is owned by UBC, you can purchase a Microsoft Office license for home use online directly from Microsoft (approximate cost between $10 - $40 USD). This permits you to run Microsoft Office on a personally owned machine (PC or Mac). For information on how to get Microsoft Office via the Home Use Program, please contact us.

If you purchase Microsoft Office under the Home Use program, you must uninstall and discontinue use of Microsoft Office from your personally-owned computer when you leave employment of UBC or if the Campus Agreement ends.

The Home Use Program does not apply to any other software except Microsoft Office.

Software Available At No Cost for UBC Students on personally owned devices

Visit this link to see a full list of software that is freely available to be self installed on a UBC Student's personally owned device.  MSL IT does not provide support for installation of this software.  Please contact the UBC IT helpdesk directly for support.

Full list of UBC Licensed Software

Visit this link to see the full list of software available to be licensed through UBC IT.

Citation & Reference Managers

Not sure which Citation Manager is right for you? Take a look at the following features, and choose a workshop to attend. Remember, you can always come to more than one!  Check out the UBC Library for additional information on their recommendations, training, and workshops:


UBC Owned Devices

All UBC owned computers with an existing license for Microsoft Windows (any version) are entitled to an upgrade to the latest version through the UBC Microsoft Campus Agreement.  If you wish to upgrade please contact us and we can coordinate a time to do so.  Note: upgrading Windows is a non-trivial procedure and can take up to a couple of days to do so.  All of your specific research programs (not our base programs like office) will need to be reinstalled and configured by you.

Personally Owned Devices

For personally owned computers there is available for free an upgrade to Windows 10 Education through the UBC Faculty of Science Microsoft Web Store.  You will need to do the upgrade yourself.  We can only offer very minimal support for personal systems.


ChemDraw is the world’s leading scientific drawing program. Hundreds of thousands of users benefit from its ease of use, high quality output, robust chemical intelligence, rich set of biological tools and integration in the ChemOffice Professional suite and with many third party products.

ChemDraw is available for all MSL and Chemistry personnel.  The individual registration website requires an OR email account to self-register.

Visit this page for instructions on how to get ChemDraw:

Other Department and Lab Licenses

Some extra software packages have been licensed for use by the MSL or individual MSL labs.  Please contact us to see if you are eligible.  The packages available are:

  • LabView (Physics License - Hansen Lab)
  • Prism (Multiple MSL Labs)

Free Recommended Utilities

MSL IT Support recommends and supports the following free and open source software packages for your computer systems.  Many of these packages compete directly with expensive commercial software packages.  Please make sure to check the software requirements as you may be running an incompatible operating system version.  Contact us if you have any questions or do not feel comfortable installing them yourself.

Password Management

Due to the growing list of passwords, password complexity, and aging password requirements it has become a daunting task to remember them all.  We strongly recommend you use invest some time in using password management software to help ease the burden.

  • Windows & MacOSX - LastPass (Free & Premium)
  • Windows - KeePass (Open Source & Free)


Ninite is a service that enables you to download a small program that will quickly and without interaction download and update all of our recommended windows utilities.  This is by far the best way to install and update a large amount of useful utilities.  Please visit the Ninite website for more information.

Click here to download our customized Ninite windows utility easy installer.