With even mobile phones coming with basic image editing options built-in, dedicated photo editing software needs to promise more options, a simple workflow for consumer users and a price that won’t break the bank. Corel’s PaintShop has always managed to tick those boxes. While professional designers invest large sums in Photoshop and long hours trying to get the most out of it, hobbyists have been able to pay far less for PaintShop, and get almost the same amount of features. It’s also easier to use.
PaintShop is organized into three modes. Manage organizes the photo collection and it already shows the compromises that PaintShop makes. Image organization is important but PaintShop doesn’t allow for previews or tagging when importing. But it does allow tags and keywords after the import, and you can easily build collections. Smart Collections even let you create complete collections based on specified criteria. It gets the job done even without the extra bells and whistles.
Adjust provides a histogram that makes changing lighting and color very straightforward. it even suggests settings that can make simple corrections fast. If you don’t want to spend hours figuring out how to improve your pictures, the Adjust mode with its Suggest Settings can iron out the mistakes in your f-stop settings very quickly.
Edit is where things start getting really creative. You can add layers, move things around, select areas and do much of the design work that PhotoShop offers. It’s possible that there are some advanced features in PhotoShop that you can’t find on PaintShop but it’s unlikely that you’ll miss them. For improving your images, Adjust will do trick while for getting design-happy, you’ll find most of what you need in the Edit mode.
Tutorials and sample images talk you through the features, so you’ll have to invest a little time in your education when you start using PaintShop Pro. It won’t take long, and it’s worth the effort.
PaintShop Pro has been around for a while, and the latest version packs in a few useful extras, including the ability to capture screenshots and templates that speed up projects.
PaintShop Pro has always been the poor person’s answer to PhotoShop but it’s also the hobbyist’s budget-conscious choice that avoids complications, a high price and tools they never use. It will do what you want to do quickly and easily.
|Usability: 8 /10||Speed: 7 /10||Features: 7 /10||Support: 7 /10||Pricing: 8 /10|