Technology Positioning Statement Report

1.1.3 Graphics Editing Tools

Description: General-purpose desktop applications for creating and editing graphical and photographic image files, including both vector and raster formats.

Category: 1 - Authoring and Editing   Subcategory: 1 - General Purpose
Old Category: End-User Tools Productivity Elements Graphics


 ChemDraw Ultra
iGrafx Business
Map Point
SVG Tools


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Ease of use, especially ease of learning the tools, which tend to be complex; import/export of many file formats; processing speed; templates and other aids.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: Adobe's PhotoShop and Illustrator are the leading full-featured graphics editing tools, followed by Quark Xpress. These are expensive applications which are used for graphics creation in many printed publications. Adobe is also a leader in tools for current-generation web site graphics (GoLive), although Macromedia Dreamweaver, with its Flash and Shockwave web animation, is a close competitor.

Output file formats from these tools are often too large and impractical for web usage. Major web browsers generally support three bit-mapped or raster graphics formats: JPEG, GIF and PNG. Because of their relatively large size, many efforts are underway to develop vector-based standards that will provide significant reduction in the size of graphics files. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is the name given to this evolving standard. This standard will supersede the earlier VML (Vector Markup Language) standard. Since slow dial-up networks are likely to be with us for several more years, vector-based graphics developments are important and tools to support this should continue to arrive.

PowerPoint 2000 can be used for basic graphics, in conjunction with its multimedia capabilities. For more details on these, see Category 1.2.8, Audio and Video Editing Tools.

SC Usage: Several categories of usage may be distinguished. The standard desktop image provides general graphics tools for all users; this will include PowerPoint 2000, Draw, Photo Editor, and Organization Chart, as well as iGrafx and/or Paint Shop Pro, relatively low-cost tool for graphics development. Visio 2000 is also provided on request for specialized industrial graphics. However, some users in SC demand more expensive tools like Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, and FrameMaker, so this software will be provided on request. TeX, PostScript-based graphics, and other formats still prevail in the broader DOE community. These formats need to be readable by SC workers, but not often created or edited, so a file format conversion utility such as DeBabelizer will be provided to all users. General use of non-standard tools will be contained in order to reduce costs and the diversity of formats, but some tools for graphics must be purchased upon request to fulfil individual users' needs for specialized scientific graphics.

SC Application Impacts: Budget Formulation and Supplementary Materials applications require some graphics functionality.

Last Update: Valid Until:


Previous TPS
Microsoft standards support

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