Paint Programs (July 2007)
Paint Programs are generally thought of as simple graphics editors, focused
more on pixel editing than on editing photograhic images. Ask most folks to name
a paint program and you'll probably get the answer "Microsoft Paint", which has been available
in all copies of Windows.
The problem in selecting programs for review is that all graphic image editors contain many
features associated with "paint" programs. So, I've had to take judgements as to which
software to put in the category of paint programs and which to put into the category
of image editors. The criteria, which are entirely subjective on my part, are
extreme ease of use and a defined, minimum set of features.
This review is in work. Until the review is complete, I suggest the following application for your paint program needs:
Paint Program Features
These are the minimum features that I expect from a paint program. Having
more features does not necessarily make for a better paint program because
as more features are added, the more that the application cannot be distinguished
from a photographic image editor.
I recognize that the dividing line between
paint programs and image editors is somewhat arbitrary but there is a real need
for a program with intermediary features - one that doesn't take weeks of study
but that can nonetheless provide needed capabilities. So here's my take on
defining a paint program.
- Extreme ease of use (Help file not needed)
- Select Type (rectangle, freestyle)
- Select Action (move, copy/move, feather
- Resize (image or canvas)
- Rotate/flip (image or selection)
- GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP support
- Color Application Tools (flood, line, brush, spray, line, free-style line)
- Erase (to background, color)
- Object Tools (rectangle, circle, rounded square, polygon)
- Text (standard, anti-alias, shadow, 3D)
- Layers support
- ... still in work ...
Taking into account the criteria listed above, here are the programs I'm treating
as paint programs for the purposes of this review.
User Feedback & Suggestions
I welcome any suggestions on other paint programs that should be considered,
or suggestions on how better to review the selected programs.