Which graphics software to use?

What graphics package is good for cartoons?

I often get asked about which software packages I recommend. The easy answer is to say that no one piece of software is necessarily bad and it all depends on your personal style, but I do have my own favourites for cartooning.

3rd Place


A professional tool which costs a lot of money. It is a comprehensive, excellent piece of software, but as I said, its pricey. Thankfully PhotoShop Elements is now available. This is a stripped down version of the full product.


Runner Up


Designed to integrate with Macomedia's excellent web creation software (Dreamweaver). Although I really love Dreamweaver for web creation, Fireworks is not really my favourite graphics package. My major gripe is the confusing way it deals with 'objects'. Spend five minutes creating an image and you end up with hundreds of coloured lines, which appear and disappear when you move the mouse over them. They are supposed to make life easy, but they just annoy me.

The Winner is...(drum roll please)...

Paint Shop Pro

Paint Shop Pro is definitely my graphics package of choice. It started about ten years ago as a 'simple' program suitable for home use. Over the years Paint Shop Pro has evolved into a professional tool which has almost all the functionality of Photoshop, at a fraction of the cost. It is easy to use and comes with a free animation program, allowing you to turn still images into movies.

Anyone of secondary school age and above will be able to get to grips with most of the features by trial and error; and for those who want more help, a clear, comprehensive manual written in PLAIN ENGLISH comes in the box.

You can read more about Paint Shop Pro (nd even pick up a copy of this excellent product from amazon.co.uk who usually deliver in less than a week. In my opinion it is well worth the price. No other package in this price range comes close. If you want a cheap paint package that will keep you happy for years, then Paint Shop Pro is worth looking at.