PaintShop Pro X9

Review: Corel’s venerable image editor offers more for artists and illustrators than you might expect.

Our Verdict

Photoshop remains the more powerful choice and has better art brushes, but PaintShop Pro certainly gets the job done.

For

  • Highly affordable
  • Manageable and eficient layer system
  • Support for new technology with this release

Against

  • PC only

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PaintShop Pro has been around since 1990 in one form or another, meaning it’s only a couple of years younger than the doyen of graphics software, Photoshop. The two products are broadly similar in that each caters for a wide range of designer and artist needs, including photo-editing and illustration. PaintShop Pro competes on price rather than features: it offers a subset of what you can achieve with Photoshop, but for much less dosh.

What you get for your 60 quid (which buys you about six months of Photoshop access, even on Adobe’s best-value subscription plan) is a package that’s capable and well thought out, but probably won’t offer the seasoned creative many surprises. The Ultimate version costs £20 more, but the extra features are geared towards photographers, not artists.

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The Verdict
4

out of 10

PaintShop Pro X9

Photoshop remains the more powerful choice and has better art brushes, but PaintShop Pro certainly gets the job done.

Richard Hill

Richard is an editor and journalist covering technology, photography, design and illustration. He was previously editor at the magazines 3D World, Mobile Computer User and Practical Web Design, as well as deputy editor at Mac Format and commissioning editor at Imagine FX. He is the author of Simply Mac OS X.