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Introducton to Adobe Photoshop
What is Photoshop  

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Adobe Photoshop is hands down, the most popular program for creating and modifying images for the web.

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 around.

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 market.

Photoshop Requirements  
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.

Photoshop Resources  

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