Item Description
JASC (Corel) Paint Shop Pro 10  
The popularity of digital capture has forced
image editing applications to add features that address common
photographic problem areas, such as barrel distortions, chromatic
aberrations, low light noise, RAW file compatibility, work with
EXIF information, amongst many others. Paint Shop Pro X boasts many
new features specifically for the digital photographer and at a
price point that would make it seem like a bargain.
This is Corel’s first release of Paint
Shop Pro since they acquired JASC over a year ago. The PSP
interface has been given a face lift, at long last Paint Shop Pro
is beginning to shake of a shareware look.
 The whole GUI interface has been reworked
and comes out saying
help and ease of use. The new
Learning Center is now by default posted on the
left as a 120 pixel wide column of context sensitive and very
precise comments on how to use the currently active tool. Normally
this reviewer turns off the Learning centers like this because they
just get in the way. But Corel has really gotten this right on -
and so I am leaving it on while I learn the new tools:

Red Eye Removal tool - this is point and click
simple

Blemish Fixer tool - for portrait artists what a
god-send, fix blemishes, teeth, and suntans

Change to Target tool - from previous version but
refound - use it always with Blemish tool

Object Remover tool - works like Patch tool from
Photoshop but with nifty blend option

ArtMedia Tools - also refound - a wonderful way to
add painterly effects to your photo comps
and become re-acquainted with some tools that I have
neglected to take advantage - notably the Art Media Tools.
In addition, discerning users will note at the lower right the
Layer Panel has been extensively modified making
it easier to use - the layer thumbnails are always on and the
controls easier to get at. Likewise, this reviewer really likes
what Corel has done for the
Image Browser. It sits along the bottom of the
screen and shows a filmstrip view of the images in the current
working directory. Previously browse mode operated only full
screen. It can be enlarged to full screen and given its familiar
look and feel with a tree list of file on the right. But the
important point is the browser Window now becomes a resizable panel
that can be sized to appropriately work with the current image on
canvas. Now more than ever before I value the
File | Workspace commands that are available to
save a particular layout of PaintShop Pro panels and workareas.
So the Learning Center has brought me up to speed in a number of
"new" tools and really is so concise and helpful I now turn it on
whenever I get flustered rather than first proceeding to Help. But
PaintShop Pro X also has some great free video tutorials from
Lynda.com that also help bring the user up to speed in the many
rich photo finish offerings available in this tool. Finally, the
written manuals are top notch and now set

Ease of Use

As a Camera Club member, I constantly get asked what program
is around that is easier to use than Photoshop or even Photoshop
Elements - without a hesitation I recommend PaintShop Pro (it used
to be Corel Photo Paint; but that program appears to be retired by
Corel in favor of PaintShop Pro). And there are three reasons for
this -all oriented towards ease of use.
First, PaintShop Pro X continues the move to one stop wizards
that help users get started on major photo fixes in very helpful
ways.

Smart Photo Fix command - gets user close to a
good color correction with automated suggestions and then allows
for users to adjust the three most important color factors:
brightness, saturation, and black/white density. So first time
users will see what the major controls are for color corrections,
get a feel for how they work and then be able to relate these to
other PaintShop Pro color adjustment commands.

Digital Camera Noise Removal command - does the
same for fixing camera based artifacts and thus alerts users to
digital camera problems and either prevention or software fixes.

Manual Color Correction command - is one of the
most powerful color correction command when their are major color
exposure adjustments to be made to a photo. Yet the operation is
fairly intuitive and straight forward.

Adjust Command - has a whole group of 8 photo
camera related commands from backlighting to Pin Cushion Distortion
correction. These are problems that photo and camera people know
well - and its good to see that there is one place to go to get
them fixed.
It would be nice to see PaintShop pull together another
wizard for say Image Sharpening and/or Smoothing.

Effects Browser - really allows a user to see all
the options available in Adjust and Effects commands. Ulead
literally lead the way on this; and Adobe has now trumped people on
the Effects side with its layered Filter/Effect Browser.
PaintShop Pro and Ulead's Photo Impact have pioneered on
Wizards usage and now Adobe with Photoshop and especially Photoshop
Elements is following up with its own Photo Wizards. But PaintShop
Pro has some ease of use features that Adobe has yet to
emulate.
Second, Adobe was late to supplying a context sensitive option
bar which changes with the selection of each tool. So PaintShop Pro
is still ahead and better refined here. Also PaintShop Pro X
remembers in all its dialogs for color correction and effects, what
settings were used the last time - while Adobe starts from a
default setting every time. All of PaintShop Pro X color correction
and filters have 3 previewing options - Adobe has only one. All of
PaintShop Pro X color correction and effects have a return to
default setting button plus save and/ load previous settings
buttons. For Adobe, only a few effects have the ability to save
settings.

Third, Photoshop has become so large and overlapping in
functionality, its can be hard to find specific functions and
features. The great user customization features of PaintShop Pro X
- especially the ability to extend keyboard shortcuts plus create
user designed toolbars makes it a lot easier to control that sprawl
in PaintShop Pro X.
works in XP, Vista and 7
cd comes in a paper sleeve, please email me with any questions