Corel PaintShop Pro 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 on a social media site. We especially like its features, usability and sharing capabilities.
PaintShop Pro sells for roughly $80, making it neither the cheapest nor the most expensive graphic design program we tested. However, it offers decent tools for the price. If you’re not sure if this is the right software for you, check out the 30-day free trial.
Ease of Use
Corel’s graphic software has several tools that make it easy to use. The main interface includes the most-used tools, and there is a learning center on the opposite side of the screen. When you select a tool, the learning center lists helpful tips for how to use that tool.
The software has two work modes, labeled with tabs: Manage and Edit. The Manage tab, which lists the files on your computer, lets you open documents and view metadata. The Edit tab contains the illustration tools and photo effects. By categorizing the 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 from business cards to graphics for entire websites. In our testing, we found that PaintShop Pro has standard tools that allow you to draw and paint. These tools include a pen tool, an eyedropper, custom brushes, stamps and shapes. Although the pen tool lets you create vector shapes and images, it cannot trace vector images automatically. However, the software is compatible with tablets, so you can use the pen tool to trace an image or create your own brushstrokes and drawings by hand. If you want a program that offers vector tracing, consider CorelDRAW.
PaintShop Pro offers a variety of swatches, including a Pantone swatch, which ensures that the color you see on your screen matches the shade on paper. You can also alter your document’s opacity and gradients, images, text and shapes, as well as add 3D effects. This software accesses the font files on your computer so you can use them in your projects.
When you need precise designs, you can use the software’s grids, guides and snap-to alignment to ensure everything aligns correctly. You can place custom guides where you want them to appear and use them to align objects. 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
PaintShop Pro includes a wide selection of photo editing tools. With hundreds of photo filters to choose from, you can manipulate your images by adding colors, textures and designs. The software also helps improve image quality and includes both HDR imaging and panorama merging, which create beautiful and vivid images. The program also has several tools that correct images or subjects, including color correction, noise removal and automatic lens correction.
Along with the photo effect features, there are editing tools to resize and alter your images. You can use content-aware scaling to resize your images without distorting them and content-aware fill tools to remove unwanted elements. The program also has perspective-based editing that allows you to adjust the corners of your images to add dimension.
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Additionally, PaintShop Pro allows for batch processing, 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 and export your designs to social media. Although the software includes several editing tools and features, it comes with only a handful of free, predesigned templates. However, you can purchase additional templates in the New From Template window; most cost $1 to $5.
Help & Support
Corel offers several support options. In addition to the learning center in the application, there are video tutorials, online manuals, support forums and answers to frequently asked questions. You also can contact the company by email, phone or live chat.
Corel PaintShop Pro includes a wide selection of illustration tools and photo editing features, making it a versatile program for graphic designers and photo editors. With a variety of raster and vector tools, this program allows you to edit photos and create a wide range of designs. We would have liked to see more free, premade templates, but this software is still one of the best choices because it has the tools necessary for most graphic design projects.