Monday, March 12, 2007

Which Software for Church Design?

Stuart Atkinson is looking for software recommendations. "I am currently using Microsoft Paint, Publisher 2003 and Photostudio 5.5(a free photo editing program which came with my Canon printer) to do any layouts for church activities(bulletins, brochures, powerpoint slides etc)," says Stuart. "I find that I end up sometimes using all three, because no one program seems to be able to do everything I need. ie Publisher lets you move stuff around to your heart’s content, but you can’t rub bits out or be very creative. I played around with a trial Coreldraw program, but it seemed too technical. Can anyone suggest something that is more of a one stop shop, but doesn’t cost three hundred dollars?"

It would be great to hear from regular blog-readers on this. I'll start. First up, if you've got a tertiary student in the house, did you know that Office Ultimate (with Publisher 2007) is available for download for just $75? More details at However, as Stu points out, Publisher is a layout program, not a bitmap editor. You really do need both. Stu, take a look through the blog and find the link for Photofiltre, a free bitmap editor that's much better than Microsoft Paint! And for my money, Corel Draw is certainly worth the learning curve. It's almost essential if you want semi-professional results.


Mike said...

It's hard to get a one-stop-shop solution, but try the following free software for some of what you want;

* GIMP for free Photoshop functionality.
* Inkscape for free Illustrator (vector art) like functionality (see my other comments here).
* You could also try some of , which is just older versions of its commercial packages.

Samuel said...

I can second Mike on those multi-platform suggestions:
* Inkscape for vector graphics
* GIMP for bitmap graphics, although it has a steep learning curve and it's interface is very different to Photoshop. You could try GIMPShop for a Photoshop look-a-like (though I haven't used it myself)

May I also suggest these open-source apps:
* Paint.NET as a great free replacement for MS Paint. It is designed for image editing and photo manipulation, and supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, etc.
* Xara Xtreme as another advanced free vector graphics editor (but only for Linux)
* DRAW as a more simple, but still quite capable vector graphics editor

See Wikipedia for more complete lists and comparisons of both vector and bitmap (ie raster) graphics editors.

mark said...

There are some links to tips/tutorials for the GIMP at ""

Anonymous said...

HI can you please also give me info on a simple user friendly program that will allow me to make nich church brochures, pamlets or memory booklets. for the extra, i would love something that is free. our church is very small but i want to do nice work.I would like to have something that I can do nice text with inserted pictures with a good layout and borders PLEASE HELP ASAP. thanks

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