Graphics software

Graphics Software ( or graphics) is the generic term for programs that are used in the graphics area to create or edit images or serve similar functions. These include for example image processing programs include ( image editor), drawing programs and vector graphics programs ( drawing editor ).


There are two types of computer graphics: vector and raster graphics. Illustrations are drawings of lines and curves; Raster graphics, however, are composed of pixels. A typical example of a raster graphic is an image produced by a digital camera photo. Vector graphics programs and image editing or paint programs: Accordingly, for these computer graphics certain programs specialize. Some manufacturers try to abolish the distinction between vector and raster graphics by integrating both functions into their programs.

Image editing programs

Image editing programs specialize in raster graphics (also pixel graphics or bitmap graphics called ) and serve the creation, improvement, modification and manipulation of digital images. The main functions of image processing applications are dealt with in detail in the article image editing. Here we only mention that image processing programs are mainly used for optimizing images, but partly also as paint programs.

Online photo editing programs include NexImage ( install by web hosts ), Pixlr, Snipshot, Pixenate and Aviary Phoenix.

D Painting

For Digital Painting programs are consistent with specialized functions for exactly this purpose. They are particularly suitable for the implementation of bitmap painting techniques templates and have a variety of artistic functions. Mostly the data on a so-called graphics tablet such as digital pen or digitizer can be entered.

  • Paint Tool SAI
  • Autodesk Sketchbook

Onlinemalprogramme include Paint and chat Oekaki.

Vector graphics programs

Vector graphics programs are used to create drawings or illustrations as vector graphics. For this purpose, on the one hand offer features to create simple geometric shapes such as rectangles, circles, or lines, but also more comprehensive functions for creating complex shapes and color gradients and transparency effects. Unlike image editing and paint programs, the objects are not stored within a drawing in the form of pixels, rather than vectors. Therefore, vector graphics can also resize or rotate without having to accept any losses in quality. In raster graphics, however, is seen in excessive scaling of the pixel; additionally, artifacts and other artifacts are visible. A typical example of a vector drawing is a clipart.

  • LibreOffice Draw
  • Skencil
  • Synfig
  • Xara Xtreme
  • Xfig

An online vector graphics program, for example, Aviary Raven.


Pixel images can be converted by Vektorisierungsprogramme in vectors and as such further editing. Different pitches of the original image are decomposed into areas:

  • Xara Xtreme, "Bitmap Tracer "
  • Integrated Inkscape, Potrace

Layout programs

In desktop publishing area there are DTP software to create layouts. These programs are mainly used for the production of multi-page, large documents. Products such as books, newspapers, catalogs, magazines, and brochures:

Tools and software for computer graphics

For graphics software in addition to the image-editing and vector graphics programs include many other useful programs that serve as aids or be used in different industries with different tasks.

Images, image viewer, image management, image search engine, and slide shows

Graphics packages

Graphics packages (English: graphics suite) are packages of several programs that are sold as a whole. Known graphics packages include Adobe Creative Suite, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite and Microsoft Expression.

Graphics filters

An important aspect of image editing programs is the possibility of extension functions with so-called plug-ins. This allows installing additional graphics filters, which can then be called in the program menu. These filters can then be on the image to achieve certain effects, such alienations.

Icon editors

(Also known as Icon editors ) Iconerstellungsprogramme are used to create and edit icons.

  • Axialis IconWorkshop
  • IconCool Studio
  • IcoFX
  • ArtIcons Standard
  • IconForever
  • Perfect Icon
  • IconoMaker

HDR software

Among the programs used in the field of High Dynamic Range Imaging:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • EasyHDR
  • FDRTools Basic (Freeware ), Advanced ( Shareware)
  • Luminance HDR, open source ( GPLv2 )
  • Photomatix
  • SilverFast HDR
  • HDR projects

RAW software

Powerful cameras such as digital SLR cameras can save in raw format RAW, which is significantly more of the original sensor information than the JPG format which usually already interpreted and processed by the camera software image files images. With a RAW software, these images can be losslessly edited and corrected.

  • ACDSee - Windows & Mac
  • Adobe Lightroom - Windows & Mac
  • Adobe Photoshop - Windows & Mac
  • Aperture - Mac
  • Bibble 5 Pro - Windows & Mac & Linux
  • Darktable - Mac & Linux
  • Digikam - Windows & Mac & Linux
  • GIMP - Windows, Linux and Mac
  • Phase One Capture One Pro 6 - Windows & Mac
  • RawTherapee - Windows & Linux
  • SILKYPIX Developer Studio - Windows & Mac
  • SilverFast DCPro SilverFast HDR - Windows & Mac
  • UFRaw - Mac & Linux

Stitching software

Stitching software (also called panorama software ) is used to create panoramic images. Several individual images are grouped together by the software to create a panoramic image.

  • Photomerge, a sub-program of Adobe Photoshop
  • Autostitch
  • Hugin

3D Programs / CAD programs

In 3D computer graphics 3D graphics software is used to model objects in three-dimensional space and then render. Purpose is the generation of computer graphics and computer animation. Furthermore, there are programs for creating and CAD design engineering drawings, for example of the architecture.


For visualization of business data in the form of diagrams (for example, Gantt charts, flow diagrams) or network plans are visualization programs.

Web Publishing

For the design and creation of web pages text-based HTML editors or graphical WYSIWYG programs can be used.


Interesting for the work of computer graphic artists are fractal generators for generating fractals.

Special input devices

The graphics programs can be operated using the mouse and / or special input devices:

  • For accurate work a graphics tablet is recommended that reacts with a sensor surface precisely executed thereon gestures and the applied pressure and relays this information to the program. This flowing strokes and fine running glazes are possible.
  • A further possibility is the use of the Tablet PC. They have a graphics tablet, which is integrated right into the display of the computer, thus allowing a direct painting / drawing on the drawing surface of the Graphics programs.
  • Graphics software

Pictures of Graphics software