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How do I get modern Imageready functionality

Posted on 2010-08-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I'm a programmer - not an artist -- who occasionally has to deal with PSD files. I have Adobe Imageready 3 and Adobe Photoshop 6.

Functionality I use now:
- opening PSD layers files
- Taking JPG's and slicing them into HTML
- using Pen and Erase to clean up images

The question is, what is the best but also most cost-effective way to get the same functionality I use now but in a more modern version?

Do I really have to spend $850 for an Adobe product?

Also I'd prefer something that isn't massively complex.
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Question by:joomla_php
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Accepted Solution

by:
avgavg earned 63 total points
ID: 33451580
For the purpose you have described, the versions of PS and IR are more than enough. There is no need to upgrade since no new functionality has been added in newer versions that are not available in your versions with specific reference to the purpose you have listed.

Good Luck!
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Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33451585
Thank you avgavg - sometimes photoshop can't open psd's saved in later versions. I sometimes can get them open in imageready. Other times I have to ask that the saved version be downgraded.
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Assisted Solution

by:jeremyjared74
jeremyjared74 earned 125 total points
ID: 33451587
If you only need to optimize images you can use Yahoo Smush it, it is simple and effective. You loose no quality, but reduce the file size greatly. LINK: http://www.smushit.com/ysmush.it/

For Photoshop edit-ability you can try this site for 5 alternatives: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/8-simple-free-photoshop-alternatives-that-are-under-2-mb/

For the best match, but not exactly simple: http://www.gimp.org/
(This one is completely free also)
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Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33451867
jeremyjared74 - I'm not sure I see it in the makeuseof list - The ability to open psd layers.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:avgavg
ID: 33451975
Joomla_php:

To open and convert a large number of image formats including PSD, an excellent and free option is IrfanView.

You can check out the free trial version first from http://www.irfanview.com

Good Luck!
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LVL 13

Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33452023
well what I really want is a simplified version of imageready's editing toolbar functions, not just a viewer. i.e., use the magic erase, clone -- simple things compared to the whole photoshop experience but typical for my use.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:avgavg
ID: 33452082
Check it out. It is not just a viewer and can do most simple editing functions.

Good Luck!
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Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33452107
I did. It doesn't do the stuff you'd find on the imageready toolbar.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:avgavg
ID: 33452119
Joomla_php:

It is certainly not a substitute for PS or IR. You can use it to open and convert newer formats which you are unable to open in your PS or IR versions.
 
Cheers!
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:SaigonJeff
SaigonJeff earned 62 total points
ID: 33455432
You might also want to take a look at Paint Shop Pro. It's not that much and has many of the same abilities as Photoshop. I used to use it often until I made the switch to Photoshop completely.

Try it out... You can get the full version right now for a mere $60.

Check it out here:
http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/us/en/Product/1184951547051#tabview=tab0

Good luck
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Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33462539
Is there also a paint shop pro XI? I'm confused about the versions.

Or is one photo only?
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Expert Comment

by:SaigonJeff
ID: 33465723
Actually It is now Paint Shop Photo Pro X3. This is the only version currently available that I am aware of and it is supposedly the New and Improved Paint Shop Pro.

It will certainly do everything you need to accomplish and at a very reasonable price.

I recommend that you download the trial and give it a try... it be just what you are looking for.

Good luck.
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LVL 13

Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33481390
I'll take your word for it if you say yes or no, but I can't find these features. Does it let you:

erase an entire background (magic erase)
erase like drawing with a pen
clone an area
draw a gradient
stroke text?

To all of my kind experts - maybe I wasn't clear before, do any of the tools you've posted do these tasks?

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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:jeremyjared74
ID: 33481903
ImageMagic does this, and it is free.
http://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php#features
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LVL 13

Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33481986
Does imagemagick have
- a windows installer
- a windows GUI interface

?
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LVL 13

Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33482019
I found the installer but the only GUI is imdisplay, which doesn't have any editing capability.
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Assisted Solution

by:jeremyjared74
jeremyjared74 earned 125 total points
ID: 33482056
I posted the wrong program I meant InkScape:
http://www.inkscape.org/download/?lang=en

You will see a windows version click and download it.

As for the imagemagic here is a site with some install information:
http://www.learningmovabletype.com/a/001866installing_imag/
0
 
LVL 13

Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33504292
While I don't see the analog to imageready I'm looking for, inkscape and paint shop pro are reasonable answers to the question.

I guess I was hoping for an imageready clone. I suspect inkscape has a lot going on but there's a learning curve, and paint shop pro does some neat smart extract that will take some time for me to finesse.

thanks for all of the answers.
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Author Closing Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33504333
It's hard to answer a question that doesn't have an answer. But I do appreciate the expert answers given.
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LVL 13

Author Comment

by:joomla_php
ID: 33524750
I know we closed this - I will open a new thread if there's interest. I just found xara which looks pretty good, full version is $500 but lesser versions are cool and quite cheap.
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