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Graphics software

Started by Arminius, July 04, 2010, 09:45:05 AM

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Which graphics programme is best for World of Coins?

Photoscape (PC) free
5 (17.2%)
Paintshop Pro (PC) paid
7 (24.1%)
Irfanview (PC) free
3 (10.3%)
Graphic Converter (Mac) paid
2 (6.9%)
GIMP (PC, Linux) free
2 (6.9%)
Microsoft Paint (PC) paid
0 (0%)
PaintNet (PC) free
1 (3.4%)
Photoshop (PC, Mac) paid
7 (24.1%)
ACDSee (PC, Mac) paid
0 (0%)
Resizr (web-based) free
0 (0%)
Resizejpeg (web-based) free
1 (3.4%)
PicResize (web-based) free
1 (3.4%)

Total Members Voted: 28


I recommend the irfanview freeware to combine and resize pics.



For Mac users: Graphic Converter is my favourite. Much easier to use than Photoshop, takes much less memory (not difficult.)

The poll runs forever. You can change your vote, but you have only one vote. I have the intention to add new names as the come up come up asap, provided that there is a link to the software's web page.

Web-based tools will in principle work with any operating system.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I have Photoshop but what I actually use is Paintshop Pro.  Much easier than Photoshop and cheaper.

Old versions

Or new:



I bought Paint Shop Pro 7 when it was released. My version is 7.04. It's beautifully intuitive and does everything I need. It's not freeware, though.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


My vote also goes to Paint Shop Pro.  It does a lot of things most coin collectors will never want to do (at least, they will never want to do these things to coin images  :-\ ) but the relatively narrow range of functionality usually wanted for this hobby is easy and intuitive, quick and reasonably reliable in daily use.  I have had occasional problems with this programme 'hanging' and needing to be re-started (with consequent loss of work) but generally OK.  I tried the Irfanview programme and didn't like it at all, and Photoshop is way beyond my means, and I would certainly never need about 97% of its functionality for coin image manipulation, so why clutter the hard drive with such a lot of unused bloatware?  PSP has worked well for me with Agfa, Epson and other brands of scanner and a 'microscope' from Stanley Gibbons, and with several versions of Windows on a number of PCs, and I have recommended it to a number of chaps, all of whom have been satisfied.  Best image manipulater I have ever seen was a Mac programme, but I don't have a Mac, so can't comment about them, except to say that most folk would drive a Rolls Royce or Lamborghini if they could afford one.

I was never happy with the Serif programmes, if anyone is considering them......

Where's my commission, Paint Shop?  ;D

Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.


Here, on this computer (a Mac) I use GraphicConverter. For very basic stuff (rotating, mirroring, etc.) the Preview app which comes with every Mac is fine too. But with anything beyond that ... GC rules. :)  On the Windows computer (an XP netbook) all I have is something called Microsoft Paint. Not thrilling but OK for what I want "on the road".



GIMP is freeware and should be enough for most users. You can get it on Linux (Unix) or Windows platforms.

Best program should be Photoshop, but most people don't know how to get the best of it, and it is not easy to use.

So, as you said, Paint Shop Pro is quite intuitive. So my vote goes for it.


Tried GIMP, but it crashed on my machine (Mac book pro with MacOS 10.5). Too bad. I like the open source/GNU approach.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

thelawnet is as easy to use as paintshop pro, and 100% freer.

UK Decimal +

I usually scan carefully, using the Epson Smart Panel settings to the best advantage (using an Epson CX3600 printer/scanner) and then, for scans needing a reduction use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to reduce the size (for consistency, usually to 40%), also cropping any unwanted border at the same time, plus any other adjustments needed.

As I am sending full-size scans to SCWC, I name the originals with the prefix GB, e.g 'GB 2009 £1 Dent o', the last letter being for obverse/reverse, and any reduced ones are saved without the 'GB'.

A usuful tip, given by Tony Clayton in a previous topic, is to scan the coin 'upside-down' and then invert the image, this giving the light from the top of the coin which often shows the detail with a more natural lighting angle.

Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.


I second Bill's suggestion of scanning upside-down if your scanner works like his and mine, because it seems natural to assume that the light shines from above, and if we scan so that it is shining on the lower side of the legends, it looks odd, and our eye often presents them to our brains as incuse designs, and it takes an effort of will to see them as they really are.  Whatever we do, consistency is important.  We all set our own rules in that respect, and for dpi, monochrome or colour and so on, but for sharing images, some agreement between parties would be valuable, I think.  A picture only paints a thousand words if it is made correctly, and old worn coppers present problems much worse than worn silver coins, and we all have our own ways of tackling them, but entirely satisfactory results are rather elusive for the worst coins.  That is why a number of workers prefer line drawings, and some (like Hans Herrli) have become extremely good at the techniques involved, but some of us do not have the necessary patience or artistic skill.
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.


Photoshop I find difficult to use ::) So I use photoscape,which is also a freeware software.Easy to use and takes less memory...

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.


I scan at different dpi depending on the result I want but never less than 300dpi.  My favorite settings are 300 dpi, 600, dpi and 1200 dpi.  Then I take them into Paintshop and if the images are for email or the internet, I reduce the dpi to 72 dpi.  I get a much better image that way than scanning them at 72 dpi to start with which results in a horrible image.

If they are going to be printed I make them or leave tham at 300 dpi.

After I decide on the dpi then I change the physical size (inches in my case) to the desired size.  Often I will increase the contrast, and sharpen the image once.  If the image is for a coin that I plan to sell on eBay that is all I will do.

If the coin image is strictly for display, I will remove any stray lint from the image and major bag marks and sometime small discolorations.

Next time I will examine the upside down scan technique...thaks for the suggestion.



Like you, Dale, my preferred resolution for images intended just for my own records were 300dpi.  But I found that people who wanted any of them for publication required better images, and the coins would have to be re-scanned at 500 or even 800 dpi, so I made my standard images 500dpi by default.  I do not convert to inches or mm but leave them described in dpi, bacause if I use 'canvases' of the same dpi I know they will appear on the page as lifesize unless they get adjusted.  800 dpi images and bigger make large files for storing and attachments to mails, so I avoid them unless they are needed for a special purpose, or are wanted by a colleague.  I used to use monochrome, but now I save them as both monochrome and technicolour, because both are often needed for specific purposes.  My 'usual' journal, the JONS, requires monochrome, but more and more publications printed in India (books, brochures, 'souvenirs' and newsletters) are nowadays printed in clour, so it is useful to have both.  Very few of my coins have much in the way of very fine detail, so 1200 dpi is wasteful of storage space and scanning and manipulation time, so even if I needed them for some reason, I would probably not keep them after the job was done.  Little bits of detail like Amit has bee showing us is a different matter, of course.
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.


I need something that will crop out backgrounds and give me a circular finished image - for coins, at least!  None of the free image programs that come with later versions of Windows will do this, so I keep copying an old version of Photo Editor from computer to computer as I upgrade.  I fear the day will come when it will no longer be compatible with my OS (Windows 7 may be problematic, I don't know) but for the moment it works.  I use the Photoshop 5.0 LE that came bundled with PageMaker many years ago for basic image manipulation, then PhotoEd for final cropping if needed.

If any of the free programs that our colleagues have mentioned in this thread will do circular/oval cropping, I'd love to hear about it!