Corel PhotoImpact X3 is sophisticated photo editing software and basic web page design software in one. This product comes with royalty free images, web elements, templates and bonus software. Language is technical and effects are professional—be prepared to refer to the tutorial frequently. With better support, this product could challenge much more highly ranked products.

Not as user-friendly as more highly ranked products, PhotoImpact is nonetheless fairly easy to navigate once you learn the basics and become with all of the technical language used. You can use a wide variety of importing, organizing, editing, and sharing tools. The helpful welcome screen is accessible along the top menu. Use it as a navigation shortcut when you want to switch tasks. PhotoImpact is organized into eight functional areas broken down into more specific tasks at the start.

PhotoImpact imports from three sources on the primary "Get Photos" screen: camera drive/card reader, digital camera and image folder stored on your computer. You’ll have to go to the file menu to import from your scanner or from a web page. Corel PhotoImpact supports the following formats: 001, BMP, CLP, CUR, DCS, DCX, EPS, FAX, FPX, GIF, ICO, IFF, IMG, JP2, JPC, JPG, MAC, MSP, PBM, PCD, PCT, PCX, PEF, PGM, PIC, PNG, PPM,PSD, PSP, PXR,RAS, SCI, SCT, SHG, SVG (output), TGA, TIF, UFO, UFP, WBMP and WMF.

PhotoImpact has powerful editing tools. You can work in two modes: ExpressFix and Full Edit. ExpressFix offers one click adjustments to exposure, color, focus and skin tone. You can use full edit three ways: enhancements, portrait touch-ups and effects.

Take the time to go through the SmartGuide to see a variety of techniques you will find useful. Yes, it’s technical and not intuitive, but with perseverance, you can achieve astonishing results. Try making an animation: instant gratification.

You can make all your subjects look better by learning how to edit to enhance specific features. Whiten teeth, remove under eye bags and add some muscle without the gym. It’s all under Portrait Touch-ups. SmartRemove Scene Compositor lets you clip people and objects from one photo and place in another. Just use the tool to draw around what you want to remove and move to another destination. Capture images or complete web pages: PhotoImpact gives the most flexibility in capturing exactly what you want, regardless of size or position.

Use the Photo Project Wizard to create greeting cards and labels for CDs and DVDs; print multiple photos and posters and make Web albums and slideshows. You can save your photos in a format compatible with email, mobile phones and PDAs. Saving to these devices, however, is a cumbersome process because in order to do so, you have to specify aspect ratios. PhotoImpact supports many file formats with the exception of PDF. The Web mode is unique to this program. Use the Component Designer to make themed Web pages with buttons, rollovers, navigation, etc.

The Manage Photos function in Corel PhotoImpact will not work without Photo Explorer. If looking for a truly seamless process, we suggest considering more highly ranked products that have this functionality built in.

We highly suggest using the PhotoImpact workspace that includes a SmartGuide on the right-hand side. This function will provide the critical link between what you want to do and the technical task labels on the drop down menus. Here, you will have access to user-friendly language and appealing editing applications as well as the learning center, FAQs page, technical support, training center and the community forum online.

Corel PhotoImpact Summary:
7.3/10

Corel PhotoImpact offers the most editing features and includes the Web mode for creating Web pages. However, it is technical, lacks adequate integrated help, and requires a second program for full functionality. Look to the top ranked products, such as Corel PaintShop Pro and Adobe Photoshop Elements for professional level editing without the frustration. 

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Corel PhotoImpact X3

Pros
This program has all the basic photo editing tools you will need and can import almost every file type.

Cons
We would like to see more sharing and organization features added to this program.

The Verdict
: 7.28/10

This program is not remarkable, but it will get the basic editing jobs done without a hassle.