Technology Positioning Statement Report

1.2.3 Advanced Graphics Tools

Description: Advanced graphical software tools and utilities for use by digital artists and illustrators, for scanned document processing, optical character recognition, form development and other specialized requirements.

Category: 1 - Authoring and Editing   Subcategory: 2 - Development Editing Tools
Old Category: none




Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Ease of learning; ease of use; features; speed; file format scope and compatibility.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: These products are used for the creation of drawings, image editing, OCR, file format conversion, survey and form creation, text titles, animation, compression and other image-related applications. This category is for the more advanced tools that are used by digital artists and web designers; more basic graphic tools are in category 1.1.3.

Adobe is a leading supplier of graphical tools such as PhotoShop and Illustrator, as well as Acrobat for PDF document creation and GoLive for web development. These products, along with Quark Xpress, are dominant producers of documents for printing on paper.

Macromedia supplies a top-tier web editing environment (Dreamweaver) as well as several products that support "Flash" animation and streaming audio within the web environment, using the Shockwave browser plug-in. Macromedia provides Flash and Director editing environments for these tools, which are widely used in the movie and television industries.

SC Usage: Adobe products are widely used in SC. When quality graphics and presentations are needed for senior management official documents or public publications and web pages, PhotoShop and Acrobat are unsurpassed and fully justified. However, for documents for internal use, Acrobat has been over-utilized in producing PDF formatted documents that preclude further editing and linkage, thus creating an impediment to document management. PhotoShop is a powerful but expensive graphics package; in many cases graphics needs may be satisfied with Microsoft Photo Editor, Paint, and even Word and PowerPoint. Users should note that for internal documents, addition of fancy formatting adds time and cost but not value.

SC uses the Macromedia Shockwave client to support the very widely-used Flash format for web-based animated graphics and audio.

SC Application Impacts: SC business applications generate documents that are by definition intended for internal use. In this case, graphics support is generally not needed. However, for scientific work and presentations (i.e. for the SC home page), graphical and animation tools may serve a vital need.

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