Paint Shop Pro


Paint Shop Pro (PSP) has been the choice of many digital editors for well over 10 years - my first experience with the program was when the program was a free download from Jasc software well over 10 years ago.

Corel is the current publisher and their latest version is X8 . 

In terms of 'bang for your buck', the current version of Paint Shop Pro may be the best value on the market and it works perfectly with any one of the Wacom tablets.

The full version is under $100.00 and it approaches Photoshop full version in power. The primary reason that it approaches Photoshop in power is because it was upgraded to 64-bit support in version X6.

As a result, the program is faster and far more robust and these two things combined make it a pleasure to work with.


Click here to see the list of PaintShop Pro basic tutorials.


Pinterest Links

Text and Video

PaintShop Pro Video Tutorials

Paint Shop Pro
Workspace


To me this is a fabulous looking screen and completely different from what I am used to seeing. Everything is white writing on a gray-black background which is very impressive.

The screen may look intimidating to a new user but it really is quite easy to use once you get the hang of it.

On one side of the workspace is the Learning Center In X. 

When any tool in the Tool Bar is selected, the Learning Center displays instructions on how best to use that tool and a few tips as well.  

This is the Preset Shapes Tool panel.  It provides some hints and instructions about  what you need to know to use this tool effectively.

What a fabulous idea!  As you become more familiar with the program it's likely you will close down the Learning Center, however it's always available from the Palette drop down menu.

I was experimenting with different tools and was annoyed that I couldn't locate the keyboard shortcut to change brush size.

I looked at the tips for the Brush Tool and there was the answer - "Press Alt and drag to resize brush."

What a quick and easy way to change brush size! 

The right side of the screen is where the majority of the palettes live. You can have them visible or not and select the ones you want in the Palette drop down menu. 

My favorite, of course, is the palette that sets the Brush Dynamics for your Wacom tablet and it is called Brush Variance (the same name PSP has used in previous versions).

There are nine different options for the brushes, each of them the options has twelve different settings available and the jitter of each option can be adjusted as well.

This is an impressive group of palettes when you have a tablet (Intuos or Intuos Pro) installed. 


The rest of the Paint Shop Pro palettes are ...

Layers

Histogram

History

Learning Centre

Materials

Mixer

Organizer

Overview

Photo Tray

Tool Options

Brush Variance

Script Output

Review
Paint Shop Pro X8


Corel recently introduced their latest digital editing product, Paint Shop Pro X. As in previous versions, there are two flavours available – standard and ultimate.

From the Paint Shop Pro comparison chart it appears that the primary differences between the two are some enhanced software products. These include…

  1. Corel AfterShot 2 - Complete RAW Photo Editing.
  2. ON1 Perfect Effects 9.5 - Customizable filters and pre-sets.
  3. Perfectly Clear 2 SE by Athentech - Automatic photo creections.
  4. Creative collection - brushes, textures and backgrounds.

In general, it seems reasonable to spend a little bit more to get the added features of the ultimate version.

Probably the best reasons to upgrade to version X8 are the many enhancements included in the new version that were not included in previous versions.

In all, there are 15 new and enhanced features in X8 which compliments the new enhancements included in X7 which makes a powerful program even more powerful.

New Features at a Glance

Text Wrapping
NEW

Magic Move
NEW

Batch Processing
ENHANCED

Instantly fill a selection or vector shape with text that automatically wraps within it. 

Edit faster with this content-aware tool that automatically replaces the background when you move an object or person. 

Quickly apply batch actions, including Watermark, Resize and Script the redesigned Batch Mode. 


More Precise Selections
NEW

Accurate selections are essential in photo-editing software and PaintShop Pro X8 lets you define your selection size. 

Lens Correction
NEW

Apply Lens Correction tools automatically within the Edit work space or the Camera RAW Lab. 

4K Monitor Support
NEW

See each detail and appreciate the beauty of your photos when you pair your new photo-editing software with a high resolution monitor.

Faster Brushes
NEW

With speed gains of 40 - 120%, many brushes are faster and more responsive than ever. 

Smart Edge
ENHANCED

Enjoy up to 50% faster performance with Smart Edge, which works with several tools to help keep your brush strokes "inside the lines".

Layer Enhancements
NEW

Essential for advanced image editing, compositing and graphic design, layers are now easier to use. 

Text and Shape Cutting
ENHANCED

Instantly create a photo object by using text or a shape to clip an underlying photo or image. Then paste or drag it to any image as a layer.

Camera RAW Lab
ENHANCED

Editing in the RAW Lab is easier with new before- and after- views, and a bigger preview. Plus, PaintShop Pro continues to add support for new camera models.

Easy Built In Learning
ENHANCED

The handy integrated reference guide offers step-by-step instructions and quick access to the right tools to help you get the most out of your photo-editing software.

Graduated Filter Effect
ENHANCED

Gradients
ENHANCED

Faster Saving
ENHANCED



My recommendation is this -  if you're using a version of Paint Shop Pro before X6 it's probably a good idea to upgrade to X8. The reason for this is because in version X6 Corel included 64-bit support and a whole lot more interesting enhancements.

If you're if you are already at version X6 then you need to decide if the cost to buy a new software package is worth the expense and in my experience the cost of upgrading to X8 is well worth it ...!

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