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I've spent quite a lot of time in the past few months ragging on The GIMP and its usability problems. I've also had some not very nice words to say about Paint Shop Pro, which has great usability but is marred by some of the nastiest bugs I've ever seen in commercially published software. I've gone as far as to pit the two programs against one another in a steel cage death match. I'm colouring The Gang of Four in Photoshop 6, and it's only fair that I share some of my experiences with that program as well. Let me just report some of the things I've been saying to myself while working in Photoshop:

Huh? I'd already coloured that! Huh. No! Oh God, no! Not again! NOOOO! WAAAAA! What? What the fuck? How can this be? NO! Don't be so fucking stupid! Oh, God, no! Huh? Undo, dammit! Oh, wait, it works differently. Aliased zoom hurts my eyes! C'mon, respond to my key-presses! NO!

Trust me, the swearing is mild compared to what actually came out of my mouth these past ten minutes. I'll admit that most of the "huh"s are the result of hitting a shortcut I know from using Paint Shop Pro and then having something happen that's completely unrelated to what I want. But still. It's becoming very hard to see why Photoshop has become the standard app for image processing in the print world: it may do CMYK output and colour proofing well, but actually using it makes my blood boil. Easily the least comfortable application I've worked with in a long time.

Altered widget

Mind you, with a little bit of dragging between palette widgets, I've managed to fix one problem: the overload of palette widgets cluttering the screen. Now I've got just one, with the stuff I need in tabs. I hope it doesn't reset the next time I start the program.
This is not recommended for beginners. I may not know Photoshop too well, but I know what functionality exists, what I use a lot, and how to look for Actions, Channels and Paths if and when I need them. But if you don't know image editing software well, you're better off having all your options in front of you, grouped in a way that shows you which are conceptually related.

Update1: The widget reset upon exit and restart. Bad, bad Photoshop.
Update2: The bit that I thought I had coloured still wasn't colored after I colored it the second time, which I distinctly remember because the trouble I had getting the flood fill tolerance right nearly drove me to tears. This is enough to make me never want to use Photoshop anymore. Anyone have any experience coloring for print in Paint Shop Pro or GIMP?


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