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Introduction to Graphics Software

This is an overview and introduction to design graphics software, meant as a tutorial for the beginning student and includes software useful for Web and Digital Design professionals.

Web page authors need to be aware of tools they may download free trials of, or purchase, for use in their own Web page design work. Since students need to do their own investigative work I have listed links for further study.

ecover generator Create something that looks like a 3-d book with printing on the cover and on the spine, or a box in 3-d view with printing on more than one surface. Great for promoting your e-books.
Real Draw Pro  Now, for the first time, you have the power to combine vector, 2D, 3D and bitmap editing in one drawing package. Real-DRAW PRO seamlessly and instantaneously moves from one form to another, eliminating time-consuming conversion operations and the need for multiple drawing packages. Works on Win 95/98/NT/2000/XP. Real-DRAW PRO is the only drawing software to work in this way - the way you want to work. Read more about it here at MediaChance.com.
Paint Shop Pro  This is the preferred software of thousands of Web authors. Since it is less expensive than many of the professional software suites, it is the preferred graphics software program of students and others on limited budgets. Paint Shop Pro User's Group offers help and support. Many tutorials are available on the Web. Use google.com to search "psp tutorial" or "paint shop pro tutorial".
CoolText.com  is a place where you can use your own text to generate a banner for your own Web site. This has been a very popular site for students.
Coder.com Banner Generator  is a free service where you can create banners for your web pages.
AnimationOnline.com  animated banners can be generated here, by you, for your Web pages, or you can select other animated banners.
Free Adobe Acrobat Reader is a program you can download and install on your computer so that you can access and read pdf files, which can often look like a Web page. Some Web pages have embedded links to pdf files and this software will be very useful to you. It will not harm your computer. Download it from the adobe.com web site. (You will need the full version of Adobe Acrobat in order to make a pdf file. See below.) If you are using a school computer or a lab computer, you will not be allowed to download software but the network administrator may have already installed this program. If you have trouble accessing a file with a .pdf extension, discuss the problem with your instructor or a computer lab assistant.
CoffeeCup GIF Animator Download free 30-day trial. Buy full version for $30.00. Make GIF Animations with this software.
Maximized.com's Color Browser 2.0
This software will give you any color you will need for your Web site design. Free trial available. Read more about this valuable color browser. If you spend over an hour a day in Web design, you will want this software.
LView Pro Premium image processor. Read about LView online at their home site.

Reviews of Graphics Software

The Professional Products

Photoshop Steeper learning curve. I have heard professionals say that after using PhotoShop for several years, they are still learning new tricks. Get into user groups, take courses. I recommend beginner's use: Adobe's Classroom in a Book for Photoshopor order the book for the version you have. Order from Adobe.com or from Amazon.com by title. Hundreds of online tutorials are available and support is also available at adobe.com. Students: order the educational version through your campus bookstore and save 40-50% off the retail price. If you have to order a student body card, the savings here will pay for the card many times over.
The newer Adobe Creative Suites are worth for at the products list for adobe.com... Some suites of software include PhotoShop, Illustrator, one or two Web page editor programs such as GoLive and Dreamweaver and other graphics programs in the suite. If you are a serious Web author this is the way to go.
Corel.com Products  I used to be able to simply click a link to Corel Draw's home page, but now in the products list, it is a good guess where it resides for the PC.... take a look at the possibilities and try to find just the PC version of Corel Draw.... (sometimes Web page redesign makes things harder to find). I see a Corel Draw Graphics Suite but I did not want the suite. If you just want CorelDraw, try to order just that.
Adobe Illustrator A premiere illustration software program. You can order this separately or it comes in the creative development suites of software. Colleges and Universites offer courses. Users groups and online tutorials are available and books have been written for each version. Knowing this software program will be a plus on your resume when seeking IT design jobs from Web design to working with newspapers or magazine publishers.
Quark XPress  is a professional software program used by professional publishers. Again, colleges and universities offer class in Quark XPress but the listings for such class are in related areas such as Commercial Publishing or design, commercial art, etc. Ask a college or university near you if they offer classes. Otherwise, get the software and order the tutorial books for learning at your own rate. This has a steep learning curve unless someone else shows you step-by-step and you use the program a lot. Experience professional level publishing power with this software.
Take a look at the Adobe Creative Suite CS2 Premium edition if you already know you will need PhotoShop, Illustrator, and another adobe program.. This suite can save you money by buying the package deal if you are going to use the software.
Adobe Acrobat  Create secure and safe business documents for the Web or your own Intranet. Documents can be protected from unauthorized access or alterations. See free trial for creating Adobe PDF document online (you will be transferred to a secure page).

Directories of software links

Google.com directory of Graphics Software Well done and easy to navigate with a plethora of information.
DMOZ Open Directory Project: Graphics
Nerd's Heaven Software Directory Directory (maintained at boole.stanford.edu) Come, Seek, Find.






Updated 15 February 2007

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