Editing Digital Photos in Corel Paint Shop Pro
Corel Paint Shop Pro (PSP) is a general-purpose image editor with a reputation as the poor man’s Photoshop because Paint Shop Pro provides a substantial portion of Photoshop’s capabilities for less. Paint Shop Pro (shown in this figure) lists for about $100, but you can often find it for sale at a substantial discount.
Paint Shop Pro has its positives:
With age comes ease of use. Paint Shop Pro (which originally started as a shareware program) has been around for more than a decade — plenty of time to evolve and mature into a robust, easy-to-use product.
Filled with tools. PSP has a fairly complete tool kit that includes selection, painting, and retouching tools for direct manipulation of your images.
Offers layers. Paint Shop Pro supports layers, which enable you to achieve some fairly sophisticated editing effects. This is a surprising capability in such a low-cost image editor.
Here are the PSP negatives:
Uneven coverage: The breadth and depth of the Paint Shop Pro feature set is a little uneven. The program shows surprising depth in some areas, such as the availability of layers, and shallowness in others, such as the limited choice of selection and paint tools.
Experience required: Some tools (such as the Histogram Adjustment command) require more knowledge and experience to use effectively than do the corresponding tools in some of the other editors.
Windows-only: Paint Shop Pro doesn’t have a Mac-compatible format, so you can use it only if you have a Windows-based PC.
Evaluate the program carefully to determine whether its particular strengths and weaknesses are a good match for the mix of work you need to do.