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XnView  XnView is the best free graphics viewer I've seen and it is very easy to learn. It has a special feature that I happen to like that allows you to open any image you see with any program you put on the list. This makes it ideal for use with GIMP as it can save you several clicks.
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sTile seamless tile maker  sTile is I think the best graphics application for making "Seamless Tiles"(a small image that, when lined up adjacent with itself, makes a seamless pattern with no discernible borders). It can do other things, but that was (and still is) its primary purpose. It is based on gradients, the gradual shading from one color to another. Best results for 3D look is to use a light color and a dark color for the gradient. After the gradient, there are numerous 'filters' and 'distortions' that can be applied to the image to alter the appearance in a variety of ways.  Here is a link to Harmware.net the original creator of sTile's home site.
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Wood Workshop  Wood Workshop is a free seamless texture editor that specializes in the creation of seamless wood textures.  It comes with a generous collection of over 100 preset wood textures, all perfectly seamless and ready to go.
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GIMP for Windows  GIMP is possibly the most versatile free graphics program that is out there but the windows interface is odd. I have found that it will do almost anything that PaintShop Pro will do. True it is not quite as well interfaced as PaintShop Pro but it is free while PaintShop Pro is $99 normal but there is a legal way to buy PaintShop Pro for $30 at Amazon.com. Also there some very good tutorials available like the The GIMP Tutorials. There are even thing discussed there that can be used with other programs.
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GIMPshop for Windows  GIMPshop is an induvidual package of GIMP it is easier to setup and run amd works more like a standard windows program.  Scott Moschella's put together GIMPshop and made some changes like menu structure and naming conventions because the original GIMP's menu structure and naming conventions had been a constant source of frustration for him and many others. Now they function and look very much like Photoshop.  Making GIMPshop the easiest GIMP windows version to use and so possibly the most versatile free graphics program that is out there. I have found that it will do almost anything that PaintShop Pro will do. Now it is almost as well interfaced (Photoshop is not as well interfaced as PaintShop Pro in my opinion) but GIMPshop is free while PaintShop Pro is $99 normal but there is a legal way to buy PaintShop Pro for $30 and Adobe Photoshop CS2 is $429.95 at Amazon.com. GIMPshop was indispensable in making this site's graphics. Also there some very good tutorials, that work for GIMPshop also, available like the The GIMP Tutorials. There are even thing discussed there that can be used with other programs.
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PaintShop Pro  PaintShop Pro is one of the original graphics editors, stretching back over 10 years. This version of the program features a new interface, which is more logically organized. Gone are the cumbersome floating palettes, so much a feature of earlier iterations. The tool options palette, for example, is now a context-sensitive ribbon under the menu bar or dockable where you want it. Lifting a leaf out of the CorelDraw handbook, the color palette and several others have been rearranged as dockers on the right-hand side of the screen, too. Using a unique combination of automatic and precision tools for photo editing and graphic design, Paint Shop Pro is one of the most complete, easy-to-use professional digital imaging software packages available. This is another not free program but it is such a good low cost program, under $30 at Amazon.com, that it is worth listing. It would have 5 Home State rating, except it is not free.
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