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Corel PaintShop Pro Review

article by Maria Perinic author September 16, 2019
our score
Corel PaintShop Pro offers a comprehensive solution of photo editing tools at an affordable price, making it one of the best photo editing software programs today. A wide variety of editing controls makes it easy for users to adjust, design, and create visual compositions.
  • Enhanced raw photo editor
  • Facial recognition features
  • Wide range of vector drawing tools and resources
  • Comprehensive photo editing tutorials
  • Comparatively affordable price point
  • User interface is a little cluttered
  • Inefficient chromatic aberration removal
  • Comparatively slow execution of tasks
Feature-rich photo editing software at an affordable price.
Maria Perinic, author
Free Trial Free Trial
User Interface Simple & Intuitive Workflow
Is it Useful for Small and Large Businesses Extensive File Support
Integrations Support for Third-Party Plugins
Ease of Use Instant Effects
€ 41.99 /user
  • Save 40%
  • Time-Saving Project Templates
  • Gradient Fill controls
  • Amazing Photo Restoration
  • Camera Raw Support
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X9 Ultimate Try Now >>
€ 69.99 /user
  • Save 20%
  • AfterShot 3 RAW Photo Editor
  • Corel Live Screen
  • Corel Creative Collection
  • Camera Raw Support
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Setup Setup

PaintShop Pro only works with Windows operating systems, with operating requirements allowing those with Windows 7 through Windows 10 for this program to run successfully.

Prior to installation, you will need to close all opened programs and it should be noted that antivirus programs, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌any‌ ‌firewalls, effect installation. You will also need to be logged in as an Administrator or have administrative rights.

As soon as you purchase the appropriate package you will be directed to an Order Confirmation page which will ask you to download the file. Then, you will receive an Order Confirmation email which comes with a link which you need to click on.

Make sure that you don’t have any pop-up blockers active. A file download will appear which you need to save somewhere that is easily accessible like your Desktop. As soon as the file has been downloaded you can double click on the icon in order for the initial installation.

You will then have to follow the install wizard which will prompt you to enter your serial number. This is the number that was given to you on your Order Confirmation Page or the Order Confirmation Email you received.

Personal Use Benefits User Interface

If you’re using PaintShop Pro for the first time you will get a walkthrough of all the features that are on the interface. On the left-hand side, you will find a window named Tools which will feature all the basic things you might expect a graphics editing tool to include such as:

  • Zoom
  • Dropper
  • Selection
  • Pick
  • Fill
  • Crop
  • Red Eye
  • Eraser
  • Text
  • Rectangle
  • Clone
  • Paint Brush

The interface uses various tables in order to divide the editing tools by function which ensures that the program is very simple to use, even for beginners. There are two main tabs on offer, Manage and Edit. When you click on the Manage tab you will find the photo organizer where you can browse and organize photos. The Edit tab will have all the tools needed that will let you refine your photos.

The great thing about this program is that it is customizable in terms of color as well as the size of elements like scroll bars and icons. You will also be able to undock or dismiss the side panels. These two main tools keep things separate so that you don’t get lost in the program.

Bottom Line Editing Tools

To make your images stand out, the picture editor has different effects that you can use as well as over 99 creative filters which can completely transform either the color or texture in your photos. There is also the possibility to layer photos in order to create vivid HDR images or even make panoramas.

One of the coolest editing tools made available by Corel PaintShop Pro is the 360-degree photo editing feature which you can use to stitch numerous images together and create a virtual tour. This happens as you manipulate the color and lighting effects, but if you have any trouble the program offers a few samples of 360 files that you can experiment with.

There is a new cropping tool that will show you what your end result will look like by making the rest of the image that is not within the cropped borders dark. With various composition guides, rule of thirds, golden ratio as well as golden spiral you will be able to rotate your image, with the crop box staying fixed so you won’t need to tilt your head in order to view your image.

There are other options in the Corel PaintShop Pro toolbar which include instant effects, bokeh effects, auto-fix, and the Crop as Mew Image which will automatically create another image using the new crop meaning you don’t lose the old one.

Smart Photo Fix will show you the before and after view of what your image looks like as well as a Revert Button. Another favorite feature is the Time Machine tool which shows you what your image would have looked like had it been taken in 1839, all the way through to 1960. Clicking on any of the effects including B&W, Artistic or Film will show the new effect, but will still show you the original photo by its side so you can see exactly what has changed.

In terms of advanced editing, there are some powerful tools in this software that allow you to manipulate grouped objects as well as add layers and adjust curve levels.

The updated version of PaintShop Pro 2019 offers new brushes, gradients, color pallets and textures with as many as ten new choices for each of the tools. You can even create your own custom brush tip.

If you have a bunch of photos you wish to make the same alterations on you can use batch processing, saving you an ample amount of time. This is something that competing programs do not permit, which means you need to go through each image one at a time. You can also make cool GIFs that you can export to social media platforms easily and quickly. Whilst there are some free features available you should know that there are additional ones on offer that you can purchase for a fee of $1-$5.

Ease of Use Features

There are some extra imaging tools that really set PaintShop Pro apart from the rest which include things like Pic to Painting. Using the benefits of AI technology you can transform your photos to make them look like art resembling that of great painters like Van Gogh or Picasso. Whilst this feature is free it doesn’t come with the basic installation. You will need to install it separately which does take a few minutes but will be easily discoverable when you do so on the Welcome screen.

To get this feature you can find it in the Plugins menu. There is a better selection of plugins for this program compared to other image editors, as well as the option to preview them and the ability to select the strength of the effect, ranging from low, medium and high.

If you struggle with your creative side there are also templates to save you in your time of need, whether you need to create a collage, card or brochure. PaintShop Pro has various predesigned layer groups where you drag and drop your images to create a quick work of art. Again, some of these are free, but others you will need to pay for.

Screen Capture has a few different screenshot styles, including a rectangle tool, but it doesn’t work in the background so you will need to open up the program to make use of this tool.

Text Tools will help you insert text into an image and it also has a great feature called Paste to Fit which will match your text to the image. Using this, you will be able to hollow out the text as well as create faster cutouts. The program is also compatible with Windows Stylus which is a pen that you can use with Surface Book and will let you draw with pressure sensitivity.

You can share any of your images by exporting them using JPEG, GIF or PNG formats as well as make use of Web Sharing that will upload any of your images directly to platforms such as Flickr or Facebook. The great thing is that you can select numerous platforms at one time for multiple uploading and choose if you need the full-size photo or a reduced size to make uploading easier.

There are tutorials to help you out with the application which can be found on the web. These cover all the features in the app and you will be able to find what you’re looking for quickly. Step-by-step video tutorials are available too, to help resolve any problems as well as show you all the features on offer.

Multiple Devices PC Compatibility Requirements

As we mentioned earlier, only those with a Windows operating system will be able to use PaintShop Pro, so if you have a Mac device you will have to look for another similar program. In terms of your PC version, PaintShop Pro will work on Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 7 that has the latest service pack installed (64-bit or 32-bit editions).

You also need to have Intel Core i-series or AMD Phenom II or above with a recommendation of having Intel Sandy Bridge or AMD Fusion or above for optimal performance.

4GB of RAM is also required, however, if you would like to have 360° photo, SmartClone, and Pic-to-Painting plugin support, then it is advised you will need 8GB.

When it comes to available hard disk space, Corel PaintShop Pro will require at least 1.5GB, however, 3GB is recommended for Pic-to-Painting plugin support. In terms of color display, 1366x 768 resolution with 16-bit color display is best with up to 250 DPI supported with appropriate resolution display.

You will also need the DirectX9 or later video adapter with the latest driver as well as Internet Explorer 10 or higher. To make the most of all the online features available, including video tutorials, you should also have an internet connection.

Pricing Pricing

You can get PaintShop Pro from the Corel website for $79.99, however, if you already have a previous version and you would like to upgrade, you can do so for only $59.99 – you can also keep an eye out for frequent discounts found online. Alternatively, if you choose the Ultimate edition there is a higher price tag which will set you back $99.99 or $79.99 for the upgrade.

This is not the most expensive, nor the cheapest graphic design option on the market, but considering the tools you get, it is a fairly decent price. If you’re unsure of which option to go for there is a free trial that runs for thirty days.

Payment methods include credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB. Alternatively, you can purchase your PaintShop Pro program via PayPal or even use a bank transfer.

If you are unhappy with the service there is a 30-day money-back guarantee on offer as well which excludes shipping costs. All you need to do is contact Corel customer service and they will sort everything out. The Corel website explains more about their guarantee saying,

 “Please note only products purchased directly from Corel qualify for the Corel 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Purchases made from a retailer or partner must be returned to where you made your purchase and are subject to the return policy of that retailer. Purchases of transactional licenses, maintenance, Wacom products, Wilcom DecoStudio, download insurance, Protection Plans, Training Plans, Subscriptions and Product Memberships, and Priority Tickets are excluded from this guarantee.”

Bottom Line

This photo editing software is one that we would recommend for those just starting out, as well as photographers that might need specific tools to edit and process their images. There is also room for people who want to explore creatively with tools allowing them to layer and adjust images by way of noise removal, vibrancy, fade correction, and sharpening.

You can manage and save your metadata within RAW files which will allow you more control as to the information your images contain. Correcting problem areas is easy by adjusting shadows and highlights which will result in a higher quality image.

One of the best aspects of this editing software is batch processing which will allow users to automatically edit a large group of photos by adding watermarks, resizing or adding picture frames saving a lot of time.

The latest version of PaintShop Pro includes 50 fixes that are based on customer reviews including a quicker clone tool, enhanced 4K support as well as autosave enhancements. The crop tool is much faster than it was before and you can also enhance your photos from the crop toolbar directly which wasn’t an option before.

Those who have used PaintShop Pro in the past will be pleased to know that previously installed scripts, plugins, color pallets, brush tips, patterns, gradients, textures, and effects are instantly available in the new version.

To see whether Corel PaintShop Pro is the right editing program for you, make use of the 30-day free trial, an ample amount of time to make up your mind to see if this program is the right fit for your image editing needs.