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Image editing programs

After you scan an image into a computer or take a photo with a digital camera, most likely you will want to make some changes to the image. You may need to clean up some dust and scratches; change the brightness, contrast, or colors; or take out the background and add other images. Whatever you plan to do, you need an image editing or photo retouching program. The most popular image editing program is Adobe Photoshop. However, there are others, such as Photoshop Elements, MetaCreations Painter, Corel Photo-Paint, and Jasc Paint Shop Pro that have similar features.

This kind of application creates images using pixels, the tiny dots on the screen, so the images are bitmapped graphics (information is “mapped” to each pixel on the screen with “bits” of electronic messages). The combination of all those pixels can hold thousands or sometimes millions of colors, and you can edit files in an image editing program pixel by pixel. You can use paintbrushes, erasers, spraypaint, and other similar tools to create or edit graphics.

Image editing programs have hundreds of features, far too many to list here—but what is just as important is what they don’t do. The following are a few things you shouldn’t do in an image editing program.

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