Here we present practical methods for simulation and reconstruction of in-line digital holograms recorded with plane and spherical waves. The algorithms described here are applicable to holographic imaging of an object exhibiting absorption as well as phase-shifting properties. Optimal parameters, related to distances, sampling rate, and other factors for successful simulation and reconstruction of holograms are evaluated and criteria for the achievable resolution are worked out. Moreover, we show that the numerical procedures for the reconstruction of holograms recorded with plane and spherical waves are identical under certain conditions. Experimental examples of holograms and their reconstructions are also discussed.