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Adobe Photoshop is hands down, the
most popular program for creating and modifying images for the
This is true not only because Photoshop is
available on a
wide array of platforms ranging from Mac to Windows to UNIX,
but because after four generations of development, Adobe
Photoshop has the most intuitive user interface, the most
complete set of tools, and the largest number of reference books
In fact, as Deke McClelland says in
Photoshop 3 Bible, "Some estimates say that Photoshop
sales exceed those of all of its competitors combined."
Photoshop is only one
tool in a good designer's arsenal. Other popular tools include
Paint Shop Pro, DeBabelizer, or LView Pro for Windows and GIF
Converter or Graphics Converter for Macintosh. Fractal Design,
Aldus and HSC also put out some excellent programs
Kenji Tachibana (a gifted freelance graphics
artist) and I decided to focus on Photoshop primarily because
Photoshop is the program that most web designers use.
However, since most programs these days use
similar concepts, many of the things we talk about here will be
directly relevant to any other graphics program on the
One thing to keep in mind about using
Photoshop however, is that since Photoshop is so powerful, it
requires a fairly souped up working environment.
Specifically, it would be a good idea
to have at least 32MB of RAM. After all, as a web designer, you
will be tasking your system while developing. Often you will
have two browsers, Photoshop, an HTML editor, a word processor,
and two or three ftp/telnet sessions open all at one time.
Without enough resources, your computer will not have enough
gusto to keep up with you
Another downside to Photoshop is that
it can be rather expensive to get the latest and greatest version.
However, this tutorial is written with this in mind. We have
limited our discussion mainly to 3.0 basics (which still
apply for 4.0 users). These basics represent the
foundation of your skills with Photoshop regardless of the
version. Thus, after reading through this tutorial, you will
have what you need to make stunning web graphics by investing
in a 1/4 price year old version of Photoshop. Eventually, of
course, you will want to upgrade.