Hi guys, I don't know if someone already mentioned that, but personally I use Paint.NET (the official successor of MS Paint) for nearly 99% of my artwork because it's very intuitive, simple and user-friendly. Best of all, it's absolutely FREE, multi-language and you can also download many additional effects and tools from the official forum (most of them are well explained in its own topic) by simply saving them into the program's "Effects" folder.
I know that Photoshop has more tools but it's too expensive option for those who need to draw only few custom buttons and backgrounds for Mach3.
Here are the links to the main website and forum where you can find loads of helpful topics, tutorials and effects:
Thank you for the link and pgm. I'm no expert by a long long shot but this looks like a great program.
I'm glad that you like it I forgot to mention the Button plugin for Paint.NET that can be downloaded from here: http://paintdotnet.forumer.com/viewt...p?f=16&t=28865
Although there are various ways to create buttons with the program, this one is the fastest and quite simple IMO. I even made a short video to show how easy is to create a rounded button with simple text inside:
* It's recommended to draw your buttons on a blank (transparent) layer, which means you either create a new layer and delete the default (white) one OR simply use the Select tool to select the entire image and then push the Delete key to make the image transparent.
* There are lots of fonts all around the Internet that will give you the option to quickly draw many figures instead of letters ("Wingdings" is one of them).
* You may want to leave the button without text and create a new (top) layer where to draw the desired text, numbers, figures, etc... This gives you more freedom as you can use additional effects to the top layer or just use the same button (which remain at the lower layer) for a common base of your buttons.
* For better results (eg. smooth anti-aliasing) I recommend you to draw the buttons twice the size you need, then resize them to 50% from Image > Resize > By Percentage > 50%.
Note: you must save the picture as 32-bit PNG if you want to have a transparent background: