PROS / You can choose from 88 different photo filters, as well as create HDR images and panoramas.
CONS / This software is only compatible with Windows operating systems.
VERDICT / While the software has a wide assortment of illustration tools and photo editing features, it still remains user friendly.
Editor's Note: The manufacturer notified us that a new version of the software is available. We will test and evaluate the new version when we refresh the graphic design software site. You can still read our original review of PaintShop Pro 9 below.
Corel PaintShop Pro X8 has a variety of illustration tools, photo editing features and printing options that make it a versatile program. After creating a design, you can use one of the export options to move your file or share it directly to a social media site. We award PaintShop Pro our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for its features, usability and sharing capabilities.
Ease of Use
Corel’s graphic software has several tools that improve usability. The main interface includes the most used tools, and there is a learning center located on the opposite side of the screen. After selecting a tool, the learning center lists helpful tips on how to use the tool.
The software has three different tabs you can work under: Manage, Adjust and Edit. The Manage tab lists the files available on your computer, and this is how you open documents. The Adjust page houses color correction tools, as well as the photo effects you can add to your images. The Edit tab contains all of the illustration tools. By categorizing the various features, the software maintains a clean and user-friendly interface.
The best graphic design programs have a wide variety of tools to help you create projects ranging in scope from business cards to graphics for entire websites. PaintShop Pro has standard tools that allow you to draw and paint. These tools include a pen tool, eyedropper, custom brushes, stamps and shapes. While the software includes a pen tool to create vector shapes and images, it cannot trace vector images automatically. However, the software is compatible with tablets, so you can create your own brush strokes or drawings by hand.
PaintShop Pro offers several different swatches, including a Pantone swatch. The Pantone swatch ensures that the color you see on your screen appears the same on paper. You can also alter your document’s opacity and gradients, images, text, and shapes, as well as add 3D effects. With over 374 font styles to choose from, you can add text effects and adjust the font to fit your design.
When you need precise designs, the software has grids, guides and snap-to alignment to ensure everything aligns correctly. You can place custom guides on your project where you want them to appear and use them to align objects accurately. The program also has a text-wrapping feature, so you can place text as close to your design as you need to.
Photo & Image Editing
This graphic design software includes a wide selection of photo editing tools. With 88 photo filters to choose from, you can manipulate your images by adding colors, textures and designs. The software includes both HDR imaging and panorama merging. These features create beautiful and vivid images from your photos. The program also has several tools that correct images or subjects. PaintShop Pro has color correction, noise removal and automatic lens correction. No matter the photo you start with, the software can help improve its quality.
Along with the photo effect features, there are editing tools you can use to resize and alter your images. With content-aware scaling, you can resize your images without distorting them. The program also has perspective-based editing that allows you to adjust the corners of your images to add dimension.
Additionally, the program can batch process, so you can apply the same edit to multiple photos at once. This feature saves you a significant amount of time. You can also create animated GIFs on the program and export all of your designs to social media websites. While the software includes several editing tools and features, it does not come with predesigned templates.
Help & Support
Corel has several different support options for its software. In addition to the learning center in the application, it offers video tutorials, online manuals, support forums and a knowledgebase with a FAQs section. You also can contact the company by email, phone or live chat.
Corel PaintShop Pro X8 includes a wide selection of both illustration tools and photo editing features, making it a versatile program for graphic designers and photo editors alike. With a variety of both raster and vector tools, you can use this program to edit photos and create a variety of designs.