There are many, many different software programs that you can use to create and save images for the Web. Most modern image editors have special tools for creating Web images, which take into account the factors discussed earlier in this chapter.
The industry standard is no doubt Adobe Photoshop ($650) though its less expensive cousin, Photoshop Elements ($90) is a very powerful program in its own right. Both are available for Macintosh and Windows. I have used these two programs to illustrate a few techniques in this chapter.
Let me stress, however, that the basic strategies for optimizing images for the Web are the same regardless of the software you choose. The command names may be slightly different and there may be more or fewer steps, but the ideas remain the same.
There are many alternatives to Photoshop, including Paint Shop Pro for Windows by Corel (formerly by Jasc Software) and GraphicConverter for Macintosh by Lemke Software. Feel free to use whatever program you're most comfortable with.