TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Editor's note: A newer version of this product is available. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version of this product when we next update the Photo Editing Software reviews.

Our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner, Corel PaintShop Pro X7, is ideal for beginning photo editors, snapshot amateurs and professionals alike. With its powerful editing and design tools and friendly interface, you can quickly and easily make edits and get professional results.

For this new version, Corel has enhanced its versatile photo editing software to be compatible with modern computers using 64-bit processing. You can also edit efficiently and quickly with new selection tools and refinements to the organizational features.

Editing Tools
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10/10
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If you are new to the photo editing scene, you may feel intimidated by the complexity of most photo editing software. You may find yourself wondering where to start and what to do next. Corel has a multitude of instructional videos and tutorials to help new users learn the basics of editing in PaintShop. Unlike other image editing software, Corel is intuitive for users of all editing levels, so it's easy to pick up quickly.

Once you familiarize yourself with a quick video tutorial, the user interface is easy to use, and you’ll soon find yourself zipping around the various toolbars and menus like a PaintShop Pro veteran. Corel has achieved this ease of use by creating dedicated Manage, Adjust and Edit workspaces. Each of these workspaces has preset toolbars and options critical to these functions. This makes it easy to find the right tools for your task.

Once you import your images, it’s time to edit. Editing is where PaintShop Pro X7 shines. All the standard tools are present, including brushes, red-eye removal and cropping tools, color and light adjustments, color balancing, noise reduction, and text tools.

X7 also includes the Object Remover and Smart Selection Brush tools. Selecting parts of your image, especially in tight spaces with similar colors, can be frustrating and time consuming. With the Auto Selection tool, all you have to do is draw a rectangular box over the area you want to select and the tool automatically detects the edge and snaps to it. The Smart Selection Brush allows you to refine the selection area without having to start all over if you mess up.

A very welcome improvement and time saver Corel packaged with PaintShop Pro X7 is the new built-in script recorder. This feature allows you to record and save specific actions. For example, you can record a script that automatically applies a color correction and crops the photo to a certain size, then rotates the image 90 degrees. Scripts shorten this three-step process to a single click. This is an incredibly helpful feature, and it reduces the time spent applying repetitive filters, adding effects or cropping.

Another nice feature of X7 is that Adobe Photoshop and third-party plugins are compatible. Because of this, you do not have to rebuy any current plugins you own or worry about their compatibility.

Organizing
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10/10
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5

Corel’s ability to help you stay organized is impressive. As you build a folder structure to hold your photos, Corel helps you sort them with features like a five-star ranking system, drag-and-drop keyword assignments and search functions. Now, instead of your photo folder looking like a teenager’s bedroom, you can easily organize your photos into a convenient, easily located structure.

Import & Export Options
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10/10
Corel PaintShop Pro
Adobe Photoshop Elements
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You have the option to take photos on a variety of devices, including phones, point-and-shoot cameras and professional-grade DSLRs. You may also want to import your photos using a scanner. No matter what device you captured your images on, Corel PaintShop Pro X7 can import them with a few clicks of your mouse.

PaintShop Pro X7 has native RAW format support, which is convenient as most professional photographers prefer to shoot in this versatile mode. In the past, this format was problematic because each camera manufacturer had its own specs, and many software programs could only support the RAW format from certain manufacturers. X7 supports RAW pictures from over 300 camera models, making it very likely your RAW files are compatible.

This photo editing program can save your photos in over 50 different file formats. These include the popular JPG, GIF, PNG and TIFF formats, as well as lesser-known formats like PCX, JPS and PICT.

You can also take advantage of X7’s image slicing capabilities if you want to export your images for use on webpages. Slicing images into smaller pieces makes webpages load faster, and this is just one of the professional-grade design functions you can perform in this program.

Sharing
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10/10
Corel PaintShop Pro
Adobe Photoshop Elements
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5
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7.5
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7.5
5

X7 has some fun, effective ways to share your photos online directly from the program. The Find People application uses face recognition technology to identify and tag friends and family.

The program’s Photo Mapping option lets you set the location of a photo, and it then creates a map you can share online showing where your adventures have taken you. Along with mapping, the software allows you to create slideshows that link to your map when you use the Share My Trip feature.

You can upload photos to online photo sharing sites like Flickr, as well as email them from inside the program. You can also use Corel PaintShop Pro’s templates to print sheets of your photos with various combinations of sizes on a single sheet. Sharing your photos is easy thanks to these great functions.

Help & Support
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10/10
Corel PaintShop Pro
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Serif PhotoPlus
Zoner Photo Studio
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Photolightning
PhotoPad
10
10
8.5
6.8
8.3
6.8
6.8
8.5
3.3
8.5

There are multiple ways to connect with Corel’s customer service, including through email, phone or live chat. We were impressed with the responsiveness of the service representatives, and we found them to be consistently friendly and competent.

Corel goes above and beyond when it comes to helping customers understand how to use their products. PaintShop Pro includes many built-in tutorials and videos to get you off the ground and editing your photos. Corel’s support page has many links to tutorials and FAQs, and the program also has an active user community to turn to when you can’t find the answer anywhere else.

Corel PaintShop Pro Summary:
10/10

PaintShop Pro X7 is a great value for the money and a pleasure to use. You can expand your artistic talent and display your creative style with PaintShop Pro’s professional-grade photo editing tools, and you can process images fast with the redesigned user interface. All the features in Corel PaintShop Pro X7 work together to streamline your creative workflow, freeing up your time so you can accomplish more.

 
Software » Multimedia » Photo Editing Software Review » Corel PaintShop Pro
 
 

Corel PaintShop Pro X7

Pros
PaintShop X7 gives you the professional tools you need and integrates 64-bit processing to speed up your workflow.

Cons
It only works on Windows operating systems.

The Verdict:
 10/10

This program is easy to learn and use, and the professional-grade tools and features allow you to edit like a pro.