View Full Version : Mac people: please recommend graphics software

Gary Robson
08-11-2005, 04:26 PM
For many years, I used Paint Shop Pro on my Windows machines. It satisfies all of my needs, and lets me do photo retouching, ad design, and various other graphics work. Now I'm on Macintosh. Paint Shop Pro isn't available for Mac, and I don't have the budget for Adobe PhotoShop/Illustrator. Here's what I need:

Good bitmap editing and basic vector work (like shapes and editable text)
The ability to import and export a variety of formats (TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PSD, PSP...)
Simple 3-D effects (inside/outside bevels, shadowing, etc.)
A short learning curve and good, clear documentation
Reasonable cost (under $100 for a full, licensed copy)
Automatic photo retouching like redeye removal would be nice, but not necessary

What would you suggest?

08-11-2005, 05:02 PM
Not a mac user but... Photoshop?

08-11-2005, 05:02 PM
Photoshop Elements will set you back a cool $99. Sounds like it's exactly what you're looking for.

08-11-2005, 05:03 PM
Oops didn't see yoru price range, but being a student I can get it extremely cheap.

08-11-2005, 05:05 PM
Check that ... you can download (http://store.adobe.com/store/products/master.jhtml?id=catPhotoshopElementsMac) Elements directly from Adobe for a measly $79.

Gary Robson
08-11-2005, 06:21 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but I followed your link for Adobe Elements and it looks like it lacks most of what I need. I see no mention of vector elements, layers, editable text, 3D effect, and so forth. Apple's iPhoto software came free with the Mac, and does basic photo manipulation, but I can't create composite images and layer effects with it. Does Elements do anything more than what iPhoto does?

Gary Robson
08-11-2005, 06:24 PM
Upon further reading, I see it does have some text along with bevel and glow-type options. Basically, though, it looks like a photo retouching program. Could I design ads and create graphics from scratch with it?

08-11-2005, 10:35 PM
If you liked Paint Shop Pro on the PC, you've got one very nice shareware offering and one pretty damn good freeware package you should look at (in addition to Photoshop, the 900 pound gorilla of graphics software).

GraphicConverter. I think it's $35 shareware. The Swiss Army Knife of file-format (http://home.earthlink.net/~ahunter/Upload_Download/GCFormats.jpg) openers and converters. Does nice slide shows, light editing tools (cropping, drawing lines, ovals, circles, spot coloring, contrast and brightness, rotate, inverting, etc). Can download pix from your digital camera.

The GIMP. This one's free. You'll need the X-11 system installed (it runs in X-window) but it's available for compiling via Fink (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/12077) / Fink Commander (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15256). It's a full-featured graphics app comparable to Photoshop version 3 or 4. Quite powerful.

Paul in Qatar
08-12-2005, 12:50 AM
Graphic Converter is all (as a civilian) needs. It is an excellent place to start.

08-12-2005, 02:52 AM
I used to be a big GraphicConverter junkie, but after plunking down the clams for Photoshop Elements, it's my all-purpose graphics tool. You can most definitely do vector stuff with PE -- in addition to text, there's an entire library of pre-packaged shapes (arrows, symbols, etc.), and you can link simple shapes to create complex ones.

iPhoto is an entirely different beast all together -- it's more of a photo-storage program with some rudimentary touch-up tools involved. You can easily use Photoshop Elements to create professional-quality images if that's your game.