Computer users such as engineers, architects, desktop publishers, and graphics artists for example, often use powerful software that allows them to work with graphics and multimedia. Types of graphics and multimedia software include:
- Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
- Desktop Publishing
- Drawing, Paint and Image-Editing
- Video and Audio Editing
- Multimedia Authoring
- Webpage Design/Authoring
Types Of Graphics And Multimedia Software
Here we look at the various types of graphics and multimedia application software with some examples.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software is a sophisticated type of application software that assists a user in creating engineering, architectural, and scientific designs. CAD programs are intended for the design of products, structures, civil engineering drawings, and maps. For example, using CAD, engineers can create design plans for aeroplanes and security systems. Architects can design building structures and floor plans. Scientists can design drawings of molecular structures. CAD and drawing programs are similar. However, CAD programs provide precise dimensioning and positioning of the elements being drawn, so they can be transferred later to computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software allows products designed with CAD to be input into an automated manufacturing system that makes the products.
CAD software eliminates the laborious manual drafting that designed processes can require. With CAD, designers can make changes to a drawing or design and view the results. Three-dimensional (3D) CAD programmes allow designers to rotate designs of 3D objects to view them from any angle. Some CAD software can even generate material list for building designs. Examples include AutoCad, Autodesk, PowerCADD, Visio Technical, and, TurboCAD.
Desktop Publishing Software
Desktop publishing (DTP) involves mixing text and graphics to produce high-quality output for commercial printing, using a microcomputer and mouse, scanner, laser or ink-jet printer, and DTP software. A DTP software package is capable of combining text and graphics and formatting capabilities powerful enough to accommodate a wide range of layouts from text files, word processors, pictures from graphics programmes, digitized images from scanners and camcorders.
Although many word processing packages have some of the capabilities of DTP software, professional designers and graphics artists use DTP software because it is designed specifically to support page layout, which is the process of arranging text and graphics in a document. DTP software is therefore ideal for the production of high-quality colour documents such as newsletters, marketing literature, catalogues, and annual reports. Examples of DTP applications are PageMaker, QuarkXPress Adobe InDesign, Ventura, and Microsoft Publisher (which is a “low-end,” consumer-oriented DTP package).
Drawing, Painting/Image-Editing Software
There are two types of computer art programs, also known as illustration software. These are drawing and painting software. As a graphics software, a drawing program allows users to design and illustrate objects and products. Examples of drawing programs are CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia Freehand. Drawing programs create vector images which are images created from geometrical formulas. Almost all sophisticated graphics programs use vector graphics.
Painting programs are graphics programs that allow users to simulate painting on-screen. A mouse or a tablet stylus is used to simulate a paintbrush. The program allows you to select “brush” sizes, as well as colors from a color palette. Examples of painting programs are Adobe PhotoShop, Microsoft Photo Editor, Corel Photopaint, and JASC’s PaintShop Pro. Painting programs produce bit-mapped images, or raster images, made up of little dots. Painting software is also called image-editing software because it allows you to retouch photographs, adjust the contrast and the colors, and add special effects, such as shadows.
Video and Audio Editing Software
Video editing software is used to modify a segment of a video, called a clip. This software allows you to import video footage to your PC and edit it, for example, users can reduce the length of a video clip deleting parts you don’t want, reordering sequences, and adding special effects such as words that move horizontally across the screen. Popular video-editing software packages include Adobe Premiere, Sony Pictures Digital Vegas, Apple Final Cut Express, Pinnacle Studio DV, and Ulead VideoStudio.
Video editing software typically includes audio editing capabilities. Audio editing software lets users modify audio clips, produce studio-quality soundtracks, and add audio to video clips. Audio editing software usually includes filters, which are designed to enhance audio quality. For example, a filter might remove a distracting background noise from the audio clip. Most television shows and movies are created or enhanced using video and audio editing software. Sound-editing software includes Windows Sound Recorder, Sony Pictures Digital Sound Forge, Audacity, Felt Tip Software’s Sound Studio, GoldWave, and WavePad.
Multimedia Authoring Software
Multimedia authoring software allows users to combine text, graphics, audio, video, and animation in an interactive application. With this software, users control the placement of text and images and the duration of sounds, video, and animation. Until the mid-1990s, multimedia applications were relatively uncommon, owing to the expensive hardware required. With increases in performance and decreases in price, however, multimedia is now commonplace. Nearly all microcomputers are capable of displaying video, though the resolution available depends on the power of the computer’s video adapter and CPU.
Once created, multimedia presentations often take the form of interactive computer-based presentations or Web-based presentations designed to facilitate learning, demonstrate product functionality, and elicit direct-user participation. Training centers, educational institutions, and online magazine publishers all use multimedia authoring software to develop interactive applications. Two popular multimedia authoring packages are Macromedia Director and Macromedia Authorware.
Webpage Design/Authoring Software
Web page design or authoring software helps users of all skill levels to create web pages with sophisticated multimedia features that include graphical images, video, audio, animation, and other special effects with interactive content. In addition, many Web page authoring programs allow users to organize, manage, and maintain Web sites. Application software, such as Word and Excel, often include Web page authoring features. This allows home and small business users to create basic Web pages using application software they already own.
For more sophisticated Web pages, users work with Web page authoring software. Some of the best-known are Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash, Coffee Cup Visual Site designer, RealMac Rapid Weaver, Microsoft Expression Web 2, and Dynamic HTML Editor. These tools generate the necessary HTML coding and other, newer language coding based on the user’s design and content and present everything to the user in a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) form.
Personal And Specialty Software
After using some of the productivity software described in a previous post, one may wish to become familiar with more specialized programs. The following post takes a look at few of the thousands of specialized programs available.
A growing category of software is Financial software which ranges from personal-finance managers to entry-level accounting programs to business financial-management packages. Personal finance managers can be used to track income and expenses, write checks, do online banking, and plan financial goals. Such programmes help you manage your money and many personal-finance programs, such as Quicken and Microsoft Money, include a calendar and a calculator.
Personal Information Management Software
A Personal Information Management (PIM) software includes an appointment calendar, address book, notepad, and other features to help users organize personal information. Such a software can be used to take information previously tracked in a weekly or daily calendar, and organize and store it on your computer. Mobile devices like smart phones and PDAs include, among many other features, PIM functionality. Information can be can synchronized or coordinated, so that both a mobile device and your personal computer and/or organization’s server can have the latest version of any updated information. Examples include Chandler, OpenIRIS, Org-mode, Kontact, and EssentialPIM.
Note Taking Software
Note Taking software enables users to enter typed text, handwritten comments, drawings, or sketches anywhere on a page and then save the page as part of a notebook. The software can convert handwritten comments to typed text or store the notes in handwritten form. Note taking software is convenient during meetings, class lectures, conferences, in libraries, and other settings that previously required a pencil and paper for recording thoughts and discussions. Examples of note taking applications include Zoho Notebook, Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, Simplenote, and Google Keep.
Examples of browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Netscape Navigator, Safari from Apple, and Opera. All major browsers have mobile versions that are lightweight versions for accessing the web on mobile devices. A browser and a search engine may often be confused but the two are not the same. A search engine is just a website, such as google.com, that stores searchable data about other websites. But in order to connect to and display websites on their device, a user needs to have a web browser installed.
If you liked this article and find it helpful, please feel free to share and don’t hesitate to ask any question or share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section below.