The Best Photo Editing Software Revealed – How to Choose the Perfect Photo Editor

The first step to choosing photo-editing software is determining how you want to manipulate photographs. In part, this will depend on your level of skill. If you are an amateur and just want to “mess around,” you would just want the most basic photo-editing software. If you are an experienced user, you may want more features like creative effects. Next, you will need to decide on a budget. Photo-editing software can be quite expensive. If the software is for a student, find the academic versions. These versions will provide everything a student would need and they offer a very large discount.

Once you know what you need and the amount you can afford start comparing programs. Consult the following list to begin your research:

The Top 5 Photo-Editing Software Programs

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 is an easy to use program that offers a wide variety of features for both the beginner and the expert. Some of its more unique features include a beginner’s guided editor and online functions through adobe express.

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2

For years, Paint Shop Pro has been and excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike. The easy to use interface makes it perfect for beginners and the reasonable price appeals to professionals. Paint Shop Pro X2 is almost as powerful as Photoshop Elements 7. However, it does not offer some of the less popular features.

Serif Photo Plus X2

This is the perfect program for someone just starting out editing photos. It is easy to use and offers sound assistance. The program contains all the necessary features for beginners but offers some of the more advanced features also. The beginner will not easily grow out of this program.

Ulead Photo Impact X3

This program is a little more difficult to use as Adobe Photoshop Elements 7. However, once the basics have been mastered the program becomes much easier to use. The program can be used in two modes – expressfix and full edit. Ulead Photo Impact X3 also has the ability to make web pages.

ACDSee Photo Editor 2008

This program combines photo editing, graphic design and presentation projects. It features How-To projects to help the novice learn some of the more complex features. However, it does not offer much in the way of sharing or organizing.

The Best Web Design and Graphic Software is Available in Academic Software Versions

Macromedia’s Studio 8 Suite Academic Software Package

Macromedia Dreamweaver

My first choice for HTML editors is Macromedia’s Dreamweaver. It has an easy to use, intuitive user interface and state of the art design tools. With a customizable user interface, you can work the way you need to. Although the student software doesn’t come with manuals, Dreamweaver has excellent online tutorials.

You can design intricate CSS-based layouts and designs easily with tools that allow for quick selection and control of page and site wide style properties. There is a built in graphics editor that uses Macromedia Fireworks technology. Dreamweaver allows you to develop HTML, XHTML, XML, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, and Macromedia ColdFusion websites.

It has a cross-browser code validation feature that automatically checks tags and CSS rules for compatibility across all the leading browsers and allows you to configure browser preview for multiple browsers.

One of the nicest features is the Property Inspector that enables quick, comprehensive property editing that makes getting it perfect a no-brainer. This is the editor I use to create and maintain all of my web sites. I have used all of the professional and many of the other HTML editors available and can say that Dreamweaver is absolutely the best HTML editor. Since Dreamweaver is taught in most graphic design curriculums, it inclusion in the academic software package is needed.

Macromedia Fireworks

Fireworks is Macromedia’s answer to Photoshop and is included in the student software package. Fireworks has all the tools a web professional needs to create everything from simple graphical buttons to sophisticated rollover effects. You can import, edit, and integrate all major graphics formats, including vector and bitmap images and easily export Fireworks images to Flash, Dreamweaver, and third-party applications.

Besides all of the normal features you would expect in a professional photo editing program, fireworks includes new interactive design features and the ability to create pop-up menus in the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) format without the need for programming. One thing Fireworks does exceptionally well is batch processing. I use Fireworks batch processing all of the time to optimize entire directories of photographs. I can resize and optimize 50 photographs in just a couple of minutes.

Macromedia Flash Pro 8

Flash is the industry leader for creation animation and video movies for streaming over the internet. Flash creates movies with surprising small files sizes. That translates to quick download times and the availability to use flash animation on slower links and mobile devices and comes complete with tools for video creation especially for mobile devices. Flash pro 8 provides everything needed to create great looking videos. Since flash is being used more frequently is essential that it be part of an academic software package.

Macromedia Contribute

Contribute is Macromedia’s answer to the problem of content management. It provides the ability to change the content of a website without having to know anything about HTML, but does not need all the expensive software and databases that a regular content management system uses. Contribute allows companies to buy an inexpensive tool that lets them provide content without messing with the design. Contribute is a solution that is custom-made for small to mid-sized companies that don’t need all the power of CMS, but would like some of the benefits. Being included in the academic software package will give students an opportunity to see how a very simple CMS system works.

Macromedia FlashPaper

FlashPaper generates compact, fast-opening Flash documents that can be published to any website using Macromedia Contribute, Dreamweaver, or any other HTML tool. FlashPaper creates Flash documents through intuitive Microsoft Office integration and file drag and drop. Create Flash documents that are immediately available cross-platform on any web browser. Compact Flash documents open within a web page, eliminating the need for a separate viewer application. Flash documents can also be incorporated into Flash projects. Adding this to the student software package allows the student to experience using a very handy tool.

Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Premium Academic Software Package

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is the graphics industry standard and my choice of photo editing software. I have to admit I love Photoshop. You can create original images or modify photos using a wide range of painting, drawing, and retouching tools. You can work the way that’s best for you by creating personalized workspace and tool settings and customized keyboard shortcuts.
You can achieve sophisticated results by compositing images, text, and effects on hundreds of layers that you control by grouping into sets, color coding, and locking. You can simulate traditional fine-art techniques with dry and wet brush effects, pastel, charcoal, and more and even use brushes to add special effects such as grass and leaves.
There are tools to improve the color, contrast, and dynamic range of any image, easily remove dust, scratches, blemishes, wrinkles, and other flaws with the Healing Brush. Photoshop can give high quality output by working with the complete raw data files from most major digital camera models. It’s great all-around imaging software. Photoshop is taught in all graphic curriculums and had to be included in the student software package.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is also taught in every school’s graphic curriculum and is another essential part of a student software package. It is also an essential tool for anyone who needs to express ideas visually in print, on the Web, and in any other medium. When my clients send me a rough pencil drawing of the logo they want for their business, I create the logo in Illustrator then import into Photoshop to get it ready for their web page.
Illustrator has great 3D features, advanced typographical controls, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) integration and enhanced printing options. Illustrator will help create and efficiently publish your artwork anywhere.

One of the nicest features is the ability to apply live effects without affecting the underlying artwork, so you can edit at any time without starting over. There are blending modes and transparency effects similar to those in Photoshop software but, unlike Photoshop, Illustrator has intuitive tools such as the Pencil, Smooth, Erase, and Pen tools.

Adobe InDesign

InDesign is the best page layout software available and is the choice of most print design professionals. With the advent of paid subscription totally-digital magazines, it is getting popular for laying out the print like pages of these products.
It can integrate with both Photoshop and Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) file formats and supports the multiple layer capability of Photoshop. It is an all around necessary tool for the professional graphic designer. Although not usually covered in most curriculums, it is a welcome addition to any academic software package,

Adobe GoLive

GoLive is Adobe’s answer to Dreamweaver. It has all of the features that you can find in Dreamweaver and is integrated directly into the rest of adobe products. Personally, I prefer Dreamweaver but golive is an excellent HTML editor and completes the suite for a web designer. Although usually on touched in classes, GoLive is welcome addition to any student software package.

Adobe Acrobat

Acrobat is the number one tool used to create the widely used PDF document format. With its built in security features that can prevent the user from copying or changing the document and the ability to require a password to open the document, acrobat is still one of the leading choices for creating paid e-books. This program is an absolute necessity for a web designer and therefore a welcome addition to the academic software package.

Adobe Version Cue

Version Cue is a file manager that tracks the different versions of the files you create with the graphics as well as some others. It is a very nice tool if you have several people collaborating on a project since you can maintains a complete change history of the files.

Are One Dollar Photos The Best?

If you took time to check out books at Noble and Barnes, at the airport or at Walmart or even your teen’s high school textbooks, you will find few generic images. Generic Images mean general, non-specific images that could be used as ad backgrounds, general illustrations and layout fillers.

The truth of the matter is that editorial photo editors do not love having Micro-stock generic photos; if they had a job at an ad agency, they would use them. However, the work of an editor is to match targeted contents of the text in a book or margarine with relating images.

According to a research, it showed that customers who buy books or magazines on specific information they are interested in; they prefer going for those with illustrating images alongside the text.

Did you that, using generic $1 photos in layouts open the door to lots of problems: to both researchers and even editors. Well, a good example of such problems include, having the same micro stock photo, which might appear in many other magazines, newspapers, brochures and in the worst-case scenario in your competitor’s publication. People who do invest in publications, coffee table books, textbooks, magazines and others do rely on exclusivity. In other words, they do not expect to find the same photo being used anywhere else.

Many beginner photo editors do experience losses in their early stages of micro-stock photography, when they use inexpensive photo sources and use them months later or even the same month. There is a popular saying in the photo research arena that says, “If a photo costs a dollar, it could cost your job”. Remember, it is important for editors to provide relevant, distinctive and well-researched photos and text. This is how the business becomes easy to invest in.

False Warning

The imagined treat of competing for $1 pictures available online, decreases even more; by looking at what is happening when it comes to selling your editorial stock images.

The truth of the matter is that editorial stock photographers have learned to personally keyword their images with a targeted keyword/niche that guides photo researchers while on their website. A good example is iStockPhoto, which guarantees high buying traffic.

Moreover, photo buyers have discovered new ways they could use the internet to find the best, exclusive and exact photo for their publishing project. A majority of them do use text descriptions on popular search engines like Yahoo, Google and even MSN to locate what they are looking for. This method creates a good connection between the buyer and the photographer’s website, which makes the work of photographers easy and available.


The truth is that this system is in its early stages, but the way of the future. Because of this, it is the best time to take your camera together with your notepad and take photos while overseas, in your backyard and even of your local region. Anytime you take an image, write down a few works and keywords you could use to identify it. Remember, one-word keywords or descriptions such as airplane, weed, camel and others, are no longer used in many databases. The best way to go about the whole thing is by having at least four to five words describing your images.