I am not sure what you mean by cleaning up graphics. If you mean mainly the scaling and setting the pixelation, The GIMP (http://www.gimp.org) is a free (as in speech and as in beer) alternative, and it you can get with it a very good, free handbook, help files etc. The only downside is that The GIMP does not support CMYK (4-color separation).
However ther is a plugin that can handle these and, of course you can send a RGB uncompressed TIFF file for CMYK adaption at the printshop etc. With Photoshop and FM under Windoze, you would have to, as so many times explained on this list, save the CMYK Photoshop file as ESP and import the ESP into FM for the CMYK not to be changed into RGB by Windoze/FM. I find it easier to use The GIMP to "clean up" my screen shots, photos etc. than PhotoShop and I have the CS. What I am using the most out of the CS suite is Illustrator (logoes, various vector drawings) and InDesign. One of the main practical differences between bitmap and vector is that vector is fully scalable, since it is a collection of commands on e. g. where to start a line, where to end it and whether it is a straight line, arc, etc., much like a PostScript font, whereas the bitmap is not talking about lines or fills (even though the bitmap application may do that -- PhotoShop etc) but is just a collection of bits in a given two-dimentional area in a certain order, much as you see on your screen, and therefore, scaling will in most cases mean a certain distortion of the image. Bodvar Bjorgvinsson On 5/26/06, Joe Malin <jmalin at tuvox.com> wrote: > My $.02 > > Cleaning up graphics is one of Photoshop's target tasks. If you have the > money, Photoshop is the way to go. > > Creative Suite is worth the price, since it includes Photoshop, > Illustrator, *and* Acrobat Pro. > > You will find that any sufficiently powerful bitmap editing application > is difficult to use. More power usually means more options, which in > turn means more ways to accidentally do something wrong! Fortunately, > Photoshop is one of the world's most popular packages, so all sorts of > help is available. > > Does everyone understand the difference between vector and bitmap > graphics? I can elaborate if necessary. > > Joe > > > Joe Malin > Technical Writer > (408)625-1623 > jmalin at tuvox.com > www.tuvox.com > The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not > necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc. >