Does anyone remember Adobe ImageStyler circa 1998?

Posted on 2005-04-06
Last Modified: 2013-12-20
I've been using ImageStyler forever, in combination with Paint Shop Pro. I just can't force myself the bridge the gap to PhotoShop. The ability of ImageStyler to take pre-defined shapes, drag and drop them, change their properties, combine/uncombine them ... just makes creating complex shapes and structures so easy!

Does anyone know of any modern-day products that resemble the functionality of ImageStyler without being all about Flash?

Question by:1248841
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Whenever I need to create something that's going to be based on rectangles, circles, stars, etc., with objects in front of/behind each other, grouped together, colored, and so on, my first thought is to pop open Microsoft Powerpoint.  Mainly because I've used it for years and am very comfortable with it.  I have made many complex images using it, with the aforementioned shapes, as well as make-your-own polygons, border colors, fill colors (including transparency).  The slides can be saved as jpg, gif, png, tif, bmp, wmf. ( is a free, open-source office suite that you can download. It includes a program that's just like PowerPoint which I use when I'm at home.  It may have even more save-as formats available.

    I am planning to soon jump into actual vector-based graphics software by installing Inkscape (  I'm not sure if it's got pre-defined shapes, and there's a good chance it's more powerful (and possibly confusing) than you need.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Hi 124,

    If drawing is what you need to do use a drawing program like Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Freehand. All of them allow you to Export your finished work to a raster format suitable for the Web.

    Good Vibes!

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I agree with Lobo ;) Illistrator can all of that and its easy if you want to travel between that program and photoshop
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    By the way, I remember Aldus PhotoStyler before the Adobe version ;o)
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    If you're just doing web work, Fireworks is awesome, has all the drawing tools you need, and has built-in tools to do image swaps, popout menus, mouseovers, etc.

    Author Comment

    Venabili -

    Sorry, but while I appreciate Lobo trying to help, he did nothing to answer my question.

    ImageStyler has pre-defined shapes. A lot of them. And not just squares, and whatnot - arrows, people, inanimate objects, angles and other structures for building more complex shapes. You can drag these shapes on to the canvas, and position/rotate/resize them on top of each other, and then combine them to form a new "shape" which can also be entirely repositioned/rotated/resized. Once you have a "shape" (pre-defined, or user-defined), you can apply textures and what the program calls "styles" to those shapes. And it has a bunch of those as well. Some styles are as simple as the application of a drop-shadow, bezel, or cut-out. Others are more complex. All of this is available through drag and drop, point and click. This is the functionality I'm looking for in a product that's not 10 years old. The new programs that I know of (PhotoShop, ImageReady, Fireworks) all require hand-drawing, or the manipulation of an image via layers or pixels or other things that I can't do. I'm not an artist, and I can't draw fer crap :)

    Antonio was closest - I hadn't thought of PowerPoint, but I looked at the functionality, and it's a step backwards in power and utility. It can do the types of things I want, but not even as well as ImageStyler from 98.

    So, if you want me to give Antonio the points, I can, but realistically this question is yet to be answered.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution


    Out of the three programs I mentioned, CorelDraw comes the closer. It has an extensive library of shapes in the form of Symbol fonts that you can drag and drop from a palette onto a page. Yes, you can combine them, crop them, intersect them, weld them, and you can also use many other free symbol fonts available all over the Net, so the amount of predefined shapes you can use is practically unlimited.

    The greatest advantage of using it would be that in addition to those basic capabilities you'll have many other features that come with Draw, like the ability to import raster images in many formats, export your work in many formats as well, multi-page support (up to 999 pages), and a lot more.

    PowerPoint, mentioned by AntonioP, is also a good alternative. Although geared towards the production of presentations and with more limited Export capabilities than Draw; PowerPoint can do what you asked in your question. If you need to learn how to use the mentioned programs you're gonna have to obtain them and install them; that's a different story altogether; but as for suggesting a program to use instead of ImageStyler, your question has been answered.

    Good Vibes!


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