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PC World

Top 10 art tools

March 2, 1999
Web posted at: 5:01 p.m. EST (2201 GMT)

by Max Green

(IDG) -- Having a hard time getting those creative juices going? Software might give you the jump start you need. You can always go with the path of least resistance -- the paint program that's bundled with Windows 95 and 98. But that's optimized for bitmap files, and if you want your masterpiece to go on the Web, you'll find those tools limited. To draw or retouch images, you need a more flexible, feature-rich program. Some of the most popular ones from FileWorld's shareware library are in the list below. If you want explore this category some more, click "More Graphics Extras," link below.

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  1. Paint Shop Pro: Paint, draw, convert, edit, and doodle with this widely popular graphics program. It's equal or superior to some of the big commercial graphics programs. PaintShop Pro can convert images in batch or single-file mode, create printer's separations, and crop and enhance nearly any image you can throw at it. (Trial)

  2. Microsoft Draw 98: If you already have Office 97, this application makes the OfficeArt drawing tools available in any OLE-compliant application. (Free)

  3. Art-O-Matic: Create 3D images that you can size, rotate, and otherwise manipulate. Advanced users will appreciate this program's ability to add lighting effects and adjust image attributes. (Shareware)

  4. PhotoLine: From editing photo files to producing your own, PhotoLine will handle just about any photo-imaging or painting task. It supports both raster and vector graphics, TWAIN devices, color separations, and various photo filters. Available in English and German. (Shareware)

  5. DeltaCad: An easy-to-learn CAD program. You can draft accurately scaled house plans, decks, business cards, forms, signs, labels, maps, and flow charts. (Shareware)

  6. The Graphics Factory: Create textures, backgrounds, designs, repeating tiles, patterns, artwork, landscapes, clouds, wood grains, marbling, and more. Pop-up hints provide tips on using the features. (Shareware)

  7. Universe 3D Image Creation: Allows you to create realistic deep-space images that you can use as backgrounds for 3D programs or simply enjoy. (Shareware)

  8. Top Draw: Use this easy drawing program to produce a variety of documents. From graphics to presentation materials, you can add layers, text effects, shapes, and many other features. Top Draw supports WMF, DIB, DMB, and PCX formats. (Shareware)

  9. Vue d'Esprit: This virtual landscape generator uses elaborate ray-tracing features to render photorealistic pictures of any landscape you can imagine. Creating a picture is as simple as generating a terrain, dressing it up with materials, adding meteorological effects, and taking snapshots. (Demo)

  10. SmartDraw: Draw great-looking diagrams, flow charts, organization charts, network diagrams, and space plans. This new version features rotation, automatic formatting, and easier access to symbols, as well as drag-and-drop editing, lines that automatically stay connected to shapes when they change size or position, automatic formatting, object autosizing, and lots of clip art. (Trial)


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    More graphics extras
    Top clip-art tools
    Top desktop-publishing tools
    Top graphics tools
    Top Web clip-art tools

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    Home of Jasc Software, Inc.
    Microsoft Draw 98
    e-on software:Vue d'Esprit

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