A superb application that deserves all the praise it receives....

Product Overview


Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI

Price as reviewed:


Corel Paint Shop Pro XI has more or less the same interface as the previous version PSP X. The tools are identical, although perhaps there are a few minor tweaks in the actual appearance on some of the option icons.

What?s new in Paint Shop Pro XI?

Photo Organizer:

The PSP browser has had a major overhaul; it?s now called the Photo Organizer and you can manage images and perform complex searches by filename, date, keyword or folders. By default the organiser looks at the My Pictures and Shared Pictures folder for images, but you can add as many folders as needed by clicking on the Add More Folders icon. Depending on how many images are in your folders, it may take some time for the database to build ? but fortunately this is a background operation, so you can get on with other things.

The organiser incorporates a Tags feature, whereby you simply add a keyword tag to an image and then view the images with the assigned tag. To assign a tag to multiple files you select the images, drag them over and drop them onto the chosen tag. The actual process is not fast and images which had been assigned a tag didn?t always display immediately, nor did the search feature bring up all the pictures in folders which had been assigned a tag. However, refreshing the folder updates the database and then the images can be found. The search feature is excellent ? just enter a word, which could be the name of a folder or keyword, and all images are found almost instantly.

Colour Changer Tool:

Use this tool to globally change selective colours in an image. The tool works in a similar fashion to the Magic Wand tool: just click on a colour and it instantly transforms the colours to the foreground colour swatch. The magic bit is that it will keep the image detail and, by choosing another colour from the colour picker, it will modify the colours in the image. There are tolerance and edge softness settings ? ideal for adding a new colour to a sky.

Time Machine:

This filter transforms your pictures into simulated wet chemistry prints of a bygone era. The processes range from a 1830 Daguerreotype through to modern style cross-processing. The effects include an appropriate border and are very good and will prove fun to use, though I?d have liked a Holga or Polaroid SX70 option included. Perhaps in PSP XII?

Film and Filters:

One of the main drawbacks when shooting film was that you had to carry a bag full of optical filters. This is all a thing of the past with digital imaging applications, as most of the filters can be replicated via software. The Film and Filters plug-in does a good job of altering the colours and intensity on an image. Don?t sell your polarising filter, though.

Skin Smoothing:

If portraiture is your thing, then this filter may be of interest. It effectively removes blemishes, scars and wrinkles from people ? it may even prove to be a cheaper alternative to plastic surgery. Come on Corel, where?s the obesity filter?

Quick Review:

The Quick Review feature allows you to manage your slide shows quickly and easily. You can even apply a quick fix to a slide, set a rating for a slide, add captions and rotate images in a slide show.

Photo Trays:

Photo Trays allow users to sort their photos, letting users group photos in batches for convenience. This is a really useful item ? you can just add the pictures you want to work with to a tray and you can get on with editing.

Enhanced Curves and Levels:

The Curves and Levels dialogue boxes give users exceptional control over image adjustments such as contrast, colour and levels. The curves dialogue is a marked improvement over previous versions.

Enhanced Crop Tool:

The Crop tool provides users with the ability to get the exact dimensions they want in a snap. Great.

Enhanced RAW Camera Support:

Users can open and edit RAW files from leading digital cameras. As with version PSP X, this RAW file editor failed to produce a reasonable result with my Nikon NEF files. I am sure, though, that with a lot of perseverance I could get something acceptable.