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Readers Respond: What Graphics Software Do You Use for Design and Publishing

Responses: 23


Photoshop may be the best known graphics software and it may seem like everyone uses it. But there are other popular choices as well such as the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite and free graphics software such as The GIMP and Inkscape. What graphics software do you use for graphic design, Web design, and desktop publishing? Do you use free software because it's free or because it's better? Do you stick with Adobe because it's an industry standard? Share with us what you use and why you use it.


i was literally thrown into graphic design a few weeks back with zero knowledge of what to use where, am still blindly finding my way around in the dark. illustrator and photoshop are what am working with mostly, i find corel draw very helpful and intuitive but unfortunately can't use it much. am on my way to dreamweaver and indesign for i now have to blindly go into web design, i must say though, i am as quick as they come and can master just about anything. :)
—Guest jen


I am studying degree in graphic designing. In my institute we are using adobe products. Photoshop for image editing. Illustrator for vector graphics. Indesign for page editing. Dreamweaver for web.
—Guest muhammed shahir.s

Industry Standard

I have been a Graphic Designer for over 25 years. Between my partner and I we have approx 50 years of experience. I have worked in many venues including in commercial print shops in the prepress department amongst others. If you want your end product to look professional and print on a commercial printing press, there are many programs to stay away from as they will not RIP properly ending up causing more trouble for prepress and possible ugliness in your final piece (if it can be printed at all). Most commercial print shops (unless they are small mom & pop shops - not high professional shops) will not attempt to process files from MS software (Word, Publisher...), PublishIt, CorelDraw, and outdated software such as Quark or PageMaker (otherwise known as PainMaker). The industry standard of today is the Adobe Suite. I suggest if you really want to produce quality products, use the best software out there. Yes there is a learning curve, but in the end - well worth it.
—Guest Imagebird

Best Graphics Software

I started out on a typesetting dedicated computer, with a green text screen which outputted type in a strip, which had to be chemically (messily) developed, and then pasted onto a board with rubber cement or for those that were big time, a waxing device. I graduated onto Pagemaker when it came out and thought it wonderful. From there I progessed to In Design along with Photoshop and Illustrater. All great programs. tried MS Publisher, Corel Draw, and MS Word, along the way. Corel was also a great program but the MS programs I just couldn't get along with! I never could figure out how to do color seps in MS Pub (at least easily) and Word was even more useless. A lot of the people I dealt with had Macs and were using Quark which they really liked. As I used my pc for other things like accounting and database functions I never got to try Quark. Bottom line is that, for me, the best combination is In Design with Photoshop, along with Illustrator about 10 % of the time.
—Guest paul

I used iCollage for Mac

I used iCollage for Mac, it can make scrapbook, wallpaper, comic, card, calendar and so on. also it has many free template, so i can easy to use. you can try: http://www.imediacreator.com/icollage-for-mac.html#175


I prefer acdsee 10 Hobby I do a lot of photo editing Simple and powerful Have photo shop, corel, and others
—Guest cowboy

Photoshop all the way

I Have been using Photoshop now since version 4. I have not seen a program with more power or features. It does have a learning curve but there are lots of resources that can be found to help with that. (Shameless plug coming) As a matter of fact... I have a resource for budding graphic designers and desktop publishers at http://www.desktoppublishingsecretsrevealed.com You'll find a load of flyer design tutorials all done right inside of Photoshop. I know some designers are loathe to use Photoshop for anything other than image editing and quite frankly this resource is not for pros, but for people that want to learn some of hottest design techniques using Photoshop.
—Guest Keith

Print or Web the way to go is Adobe

Been designing for the last 14 years, started in print moved into the web back in 1996 and stayed there ever since. I started out using whatever was available in my college back in 94 which was PageMaker on a Mac and I believe we had Photoshop 1.0 back then. Purchased my first PC and went with Corel Draw suite because it was cheaper then adobe. Corel draw is a wonderful product, but as soon as I started my first full time job noticed that cross any industry I worked Adobe was standard, which forced me to start learning Adobe illustrator, Photoshop, then flash, etc. It wasn’t that difficult switching to adobe and as a career move was the way to go. Today I use CS3 Suite and must tell you I could not live without my adobe collection everyday all day I switch between Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash and Illustrator; these are my tools of the trade. Nothing more, Nothing less.

My DTP preferences

After years of using PageMaker on Windows, (does anyone remember that ?), I find that all my DTP needs are met by Open Source (free) software. Specifically, I use GimpShop (graphics) and Scribus (for DTP; it matches a rather expensive non-Linux program whose name begins with 'Q' ...
—Guest Maurice George

graphics software

I have photoshop,corel, and others.Have found microsoft word for web stuff and ACDSEE for photo editing best for my purposes
—Guest cowboy

Adobe is difficult to use

I have found Adobe products to be unnecessarily difficult. There are too many steps to go through to get a simple thing done. I do admit that you can be a little more precise than with other programs, but I don't know if it's worth it. I use MS Photodraw 2. I have had great luck with all my presentations and most of the things you want to do is a simple click away. The documents look proffesional and you don't have to have a degree to run it. I am in college for a degree in design and I use this program for all assignments and I am making all A's. It is a great program and a lot cheaper than Adobe.
—Guest lhylton@charter.net

Adobe Adobe Adobe

I use PS for image work, ID for layout work and Illy for vector work. Acrobat for proofing in all and Dreamweaver for Web design. Trying to work with text beyond a web banner is limited in PS and I honestly fell in love with ID when it came out and the love affair continues. Having to work with Word/PS in a production situation where ID would have been the smart and professional choice taught me to appreciate using the right tool for the job. Photoshop = Imaging Illustrator = Vector based design Dreamweaver = Websites/Pages InDesign = Pure Heaven for Everything!

Keeping it simple

Most of my work is small. Flyers, brochures, etc. I software of choice is CorelDraw, with Corel PhotoPaint as a back-up and support for the photos I often use. I do work with a non-profit, and there I am stuck with Publisher, which is so not user friendly! LOL!


I am a graphic design student at Erie Community college and I have been using Photoshop for a couple of years. I love working with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, but my first introduction to computer graphics was Windows Paint. I actually did some pretty amazing stuff with that program. I was introduced to PowerPoint by my GED teacher, and just a short time later, I was making animated cartoons with these two programs. My point is that imagination is the artist's (or designer's) most valuable tool! Use, and do your best with what you have or can afford. I am using Adobe CS2. I can't afford to upgrade to CS3 or 4, but when I think about what I started with, I appreciate what I have in spite of anything that might be better. The grass is always greener - right? Ps Jacci, I have been reading your About articles for a long time, but this is only my second time to send a response. I want to tell you that I appreciate your articles and advice. Thank you!

I Use InDesign & Photoshop

I use InDesign for practically everything, simply because I learned it first. Or should I say, I learned PageMaker first. In case, I use InDesign for any layout project and Photoshop to edit all images which are then placed in InDesign. Source files for printing are right from InDesign too.

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