Thank you for your question.
There are several varieties of graphics programs - raster and vector
based, for example. One deals with images such as bitmaps and jpg's
and the other with illustrations for eps files and line drawings. In
both cases, the acknowledged leaders are from Adobe and are Photoshop
and Illustrator, though Corel and others make competing products.
Check www.adobe.com for details on these programs.
That being said, let's see what others have to say and fill in the top
five for you:
"...Top 7 Graphics Software For Business
From Susan Ward,
Your Guide to Small Business: Canada.
Whether you need to create illustrations for print or graphics for the
web, these top graphics software programs will give your business the
professional edge. Image editing, drawing diagrams, photo enhancement,
animated Web graphics - these graphics software programs all offer
powerful tools to enhance your creativity. All you need to do is
decide which graphics software best suits your needs.
1) Paint Shop Pro 7.0
This graphics software is my number one pick because it has enough
features to deliver professional results for the typical business user
and is reasonably priced. Paint Shop Pro is also easier and faster to
learn than many graphics software programs; you'll find you're able to
quickly learn to create images and Web graphics and edit them easily.
Animation Shop 3 is included.
2) CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11
This is an excellent graphics software solution for business users
because it's a suite of products; CorelDRAW 11 for page layout and
illustration, Corel PHOTO-PAINT 11 for image editing and Corel
R.A.V.E. 2 for vector animation. I'm hard-pressed to think of anything
graphics-related this program won't do, and do well. Suite 11 includes
live feedback, SVG support, and some new tools.
3) Deneba Canvas Professional 8.0
What I really like about this graphics software is that it's an
all-in-one, integrated program designed to do illustration, photo
editing, page layout, presentation, and Web graphics. And the
program's Sequence recorder gives you more control over the graphics
processes you create. Lower priced than some comparable programs, this
could be the ideal business graphics software.
4) Visio Professional 2002
If your graphics needs include diagramming process flows, network
topologies, organizational charts, or facilities plans, this is the
graphics software for you. Visio Pro offers comprehensive drawing and
diagramming tools and is relatively easy to learn. Technical
professionals and business people who need to create graphics for
presentations will love this program.
5) Adobe PhotoShop 7.0
Graphics designers and others who need advanced image editing features
will find this graphics software impressive. PhotoShop 7 offers a new
paint engine, a healing brush to get rid of blemishes, and a file
browser to quickly inspect images as well as improved GIF transparency
6) Adobe Illustrator 10
Billed as the vector graphics standard, this graphics software program
is for professionals who need to produce vector graphics for print or
the Web. Version 10 offers powerful new drawing and automation tools,
new slicing options and SVG support for Web graphics, and symbols
7) Ulead PhotoImpact 8
If you're mostly concerned with image editing and photo editing,
consider PhotoImpact to meet your business' graphic needs. It has
drawing and paint tools, of course, but you can also create 3D
interactive photo slideshows. The price is modest, too, compared to
other image editing software. Windows only..."
So, although the list does not seem to be rated, you see the above
mentioned Adobe products. I will be very surprised if any top list
does not include them.
This site reminded me that included in business graphics software is
also presentation software. The market leader here is Microsoft
PowerPoint, part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Having other graphics
programs to make or alter your graphic images will make your
presentations that much better, but if you need to do presentations,
this is the one to have:
Here is another About.com page with numerous quality links on graphics
software. They also mention that it is difficult to make
recommendations without knowing the platform, hardware and exact
application for the programs - something I should have likely stated
at the beginning of the answer as well. But do look at this page and
links for helpful information.
Also under the category of business graphics software, we must include
a web page editing program. You can not go wrong with Microsoft
FrontPage. Although personal preferences will always show other
competitors such as the excellent Macromedia Dreamweaver, you can
accomplish all you require with FrontPage and it just might have a
lower learning curve as it includes the standard Microsoft interface
most are already familiar with:
Looking at categories for business graphics software, since you will
likely need multiple programs, you'll find the broad categories of:
Pixel Based or Photo Editing
Line Drawing or Vector Art
Web Design Programs, and
Page Layout Programs
Let's look a little more closely:
Yet another about.com page lists the top 6, and I agree with their
assessment. Photoshop is always the top rated, yet for far less money,
JASC PAintSHop Pro does "almost" as much.
Check PaintShop Pro at www.jasc.com which now links to Corel as the
new owner of the program.
Once again, about.com comes through with a good list of the top products here:
Choose from among the top three from Adobe, Macromedia and Corel and
you can not go wrong.
Stay with the industry standard - PowerPoint
Web Design Programs
This time, about.com runs you through a questionnaire to decide which
is best for you:
Inputting my own criteria, the recommendations came out:
Adobe Creative Suite $999
Macromedia Studio $799
Macromedia Dreamweaver $299
Adobe GoLive $399
Macromedia Homesite $99
Microsoft FrontPage $199
I still believe FrontPage is a best bet with smaller learning curve,
but Adobe and Macromedia products are also excellent. They differ in
small ways - they all accomplish the same for you.
You will find some comparisons here:
And Page Layout programs:
Once again, about.com comes through:
I totally agree with their list and almost with their rankings!
"...Page layout programs is where it all comes together: graphics,
text, and photos. The choices aren't as broad as the choices for photo
editing software, but you'll still need to decide whether you want to
take a chance on newcomer Indesign, stay with the industry standard
Quark, or go for long document layout programs like Corel Ventura and
1) Quark XPress
Many designers will tell you that you need to know Quark, because it's
the industry standard. Quark is expensive, though, and not know for
its technical support. You'll easily find support for Quark, and there
is a lot of third-party software written for the program.
2) Adobe Indesign
Indesign is the up-and-coming page layout program. Touted as the
"Quark killer", it's not quite there yet but continually improves.
Indesign integrates well with other Adobe products ? it can even take
native Photoshop files! Some service bureaus support Indesign; others
aren't on the Adobe bandwagon yet.
3) Adobe Pagemaker
Pagemaker used to be Adobe's premiere page layout program. With the
introduction of Indesign, Pagemaker has been refocused to the business
user. Pagemaker integrates well with other Adobe products, and many
service bureaus (but not all) offer support.
4) Adobe Framemaker
If you work on large products, such as books, you may find Framemaker
more suited to your needs. Although all page layout programs have some
book layout capabilities, Framemaker's main focus is on long document
5) Corel Ventura
Like Framemaker, Ventura is focused on long document layout. However,
like CorelDRAW!, you won't find as much support for Ventura as you
will for programs like Quark and Indesign. Ventura has a small, but
very loyal, user base..."
I'll also give you a link for a similar question on page layout
programs I answered last month. You might find it interesting:
best +business +graphics +software OR programs
top +"line drawing" OR vector +software OR programs
top +"web design" +software OR programs
compare +"web design" +software OR programs
top +"page layout" +software OR programs
I trust my research has provided you with the information you require
to make good business graphics software decisions. If a link above
should fail to work or anything require further explanation or
research, please do post a Request for Clarification prior to rating
the answer and closing the question and I will be pleased to assist