Graphics program recommendations

From: user 1.
Sent on: Sunday, July 8, 2007 4:54 PM
Hi everyone,
 
I'm an intranet programmer who is starting to get more into commercial sites, and am finding I need a better graphics program.  I can't afford to spend a lot though, preferably under $100.  Photoshop is way out of my price league and probably has way more than I need as well; Corel looked promising at first but I can't seem to get the free trial (Paint Shop Pro Photo XI) to do some fairly obvious things.
 
Right now my main criterion is being able to make graphics with a transparent background, so I don't have to redo them every time my site background color changes -- like banners with a few words in large type, or a small floating image.  Corel can convert existing images into transparent GIFs but doesn't do a good job of getting all the old background, so there are still bits of blue clinging to the letters.  It can also create new images with transparent backgrounds, but when I save them as GIFs with transparent background the letters get all thick and jaggy for some reason.  Maybe it's just my ignorance but for web design you would think this would be a common need and they would try to make it straightforward for you!  If Photoshop can do that then maybe I should go to Half Price and buy an older version??
 
I won't be able to make it to the July 25 meetup but would very much appreciate any suggestions or advice.
 
Thanks!
 
Elisabeth

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