Re: Graphics Tools

Subject: Re: Graphics Tools
From: David Mitchell <mitchell -at- SKY -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 20:35:59 +0000

>johnr -at- BRS -dot- COM writes
> I am increasingly needing to edit graphics before they enter my documents, and
> in doing so am finding "Paintbrush" incresingly deficient....
> I need a graphics editing tool that is 1) more powerful than paintbrush, but
> 2) not be so powerful that it will either cost a fortune, be a resource hog,
> or take forever to learn.
> I have seen CorelDraw 5, but consider it beyone my needs (and a little pricy).
> Does anyone out there have any other info on the products listed? Any
> recommendations? What do *you* use?

Recommendation for a cheap and very powerful tool: Corel Draw 3.
Why version 3 when version 6 is now available? You can get version 3
for less than $70. Corel still supports it and it provides an
outstanding vector tool (Corel Draw) and a good bitmap editor
(Corel PhotoPaint). For information on why you'll want both, see the
introduction to graphics programs at the end of this message.

The basic drawing tools haven't changed since version 3. If you get
hooked, you'll want to upgrade. If you don't, you'll at least get a
CD with a lots of clipart and some average fonts. (Corel 4 and 5
include a much better quality font collection, mostly licensed from
Bitstream, but they cost more money).

In additon,with Draw 3 you get a lousy charting tool and a pathetic
presentation tool that collectively aren't worth the storage space
they take up on the CD-ROM. (The supplemental programs get
better in the later versions.)

I used Corel Draw 3 for two years before moving to version 5. I
would stay away from 4 because I don't think they ever got the bugs

By the way, Paintbrush, for all of its weaknesses, is a handy 16 color editor.
The color eraser alone is worth keeping it in your Windows directory.

Another great paint program is PaintShop Pro. It's current version is
loaded with filters and processing tools. I like it for converting
file formats. The new version also lets you crop while zoomed in, a
useful innovation.

An introduction to graphics programs
Corel Draw is a suite of tools, the most powerful being the flagship
Draw application. Draw is a vector drawing tool. You work with
beizer curves (a special type of curved line) to create your

Compare a vector drawing tool (often simply referred to as a "draw")
tool with a bitmap editing tool, like paintbrush. In a bitmap editor,
you modify an image composed of little tiny dots. Each dot can be a
different color. (Bitmap editors are sometimes called "paint" tools).

By the way, I think the paint/draw naming started with MacDraw
and MacPaint on the Macintosh.

If you are creating artwork, you will probably want both types of
tools. They are both useful. Bitmap editors are great for editing screen
captures. Draw programs are great for creating callouts over screen
captures. Draw programs are also useful for creating diagrams. You
could create diagrams and other original illustration work in a bitmap
editor, but it would not print at at the highest possible resolution and
it would probably be more difficult to edit. You could also re-create
screen captures using an a draw program, but why would you want to
when there are so many great screen capturing tools?

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