A Comprehensive Review of Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro Review

When you think of image editing tools, the first tool that would come into your mind is Adobe Photoshop, right? But other tools are worth trying too. One of them is Corel PaintShop Pro. As it’s a review post, we wouldn’t just flatly say how good this product is.

Instead, we would review the entire tool and then pass our judgment toward the end. While reviewing Corel PaintShop Pro, we will give you an overview of the image enhancement tool, highlight the core features, and also take a closer look at the pricing plans.

What is Corel PaintShop Pro?

An image editing program, Corel PaintShop Pro uses artificial intelligence for editing and has scores of features similar to Adobe Photoshop.

So, how to use this photo editing software? At first, you have to install a small downloader program that completes the installation. Then, you need to choose whether you want 32-bit, 64-bit, or both.

What is Corel PaintShop Pro

Following this step, the program will ask you to enter an email address to create an account and confirmation can take place by responding to an automatically generated email.

What’s New in PaintShop Pro?

Corel has exerted a wealth of effort into improving and injecting features into the image editing software. It took valuable feedback from user advisory boards and program telemetry to dig and decide what people look for.

Some of the new smashing features for the new version include AfterShot Lab, Frame Tool, Focus Stacking, Real Time Blend Mode Preview, Snap to Objects, Usability, and Performance.

New in PaintShop Pro

The earlier version of 2022 basically featured AI Background Replacement, AI Portrait Mode, and a much-improved AI Style Transfer. It also incorporates support for the HEIC and HEIF file types that iPhones deploy.

When it comes to the Ultimate version, it includes a Highlight Reel video slideshow-creating feature, MultiCam Capture Lite for screen and webcam video presentations, Painter Essentials 8 for simple drawing, sketching, and painting on the PC.

Corel PaintShop Star Features:

Smashing AI Tools:

One of the highlights of PaintShop Pro is the inclusion of killer AI-powered features. What are they? Take a look underneath-

Smashing AI Tools

AI Upsampling: This is something that allows users to blow up photos up to 40,000 pixels without deterioration of the quality.

Artifact Removal (AI): It lets users weed out artifacts and distortions in images.

AI Denoise: This feature is meant to fix any low-light noise in your photography.

AI Style Transfer: This one works simply to apply effects to your imagery.

Boasts Photography Workspace

One of the conspicuous facets of Corel photo editing software is the offering of several workspaces. The default one, however, is Photography and it’s the simplest one for noobs. Apart from the Photography workspace, it contains other workspaces like Essentials, Complete, and Sea-to-Sky.

The “Essentials” workspace is meant for starters and intermediate-level users while the “Complete” workspace is designed for the advanced users. The former primarily contains basic features and the latter contains professional editing and graphic design tools.

When it comes to Sea-to-Sky workspace, it’s available only in Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate. Through this workspace, you can retouch underwater and drone photography.

It also provides a host of tutorial video resources that you can access to help you kick in with different aspects of the software.

Special Tools

Corel PaintShop Pro comes with a big list of standard photo editing tools like Essential tools, Adjustment tools, Selection and Correction tools, Time Saving Tools, etc.

These tools help to improve factors like Brightness and Contrast, Fill Light and Clarity, Fade Correction, Hue and Saturation, Vibrancy, White Balance, Noise Removal, Sharpening, Color Balancing, etc.

Special Tools

It supports raw file formats and is able to merge several bracketed images to produce High Dynamic Range photos. The photo enhancement program has other smart selection tools such as Selection, Freehand Selection, Magic Wand, and Refine Brush that make selecting shapes and subjects in photographs as easy as pie.

With this fascinating image retouching tool, you can either build a new project from scratch, leverage one of the many pre-designed templates to build upon, or simply open an existing project to kick off.

Templates are useful for users who need to design flyers or online content, as they provide a launch pad of graphics from which to create bespoke works for publication.

Palettes, Brushes, and Gradients for Creative Works

To carry out creative tasks, PaintShop Pro comes at the forefront. It will blow you away with its number of color palettes, brushes, gradients, picture tubes, and textures.

You can access all these palettes, brushes, and gradients from the Materials panel. For additional ones, you can always go and download more from Corel. It’s no doubt as good as what you will get with Adobe Photoshop Elements, but not quite as limitlessly modifiable as Photoshop.

360-Degree Photo Editing and Retouching

When you first attempt to open a 360-degree image file shot on a camera like the GoPro Max, a dialog will ask you if you want to edit it as 360-degree image or open it for making adjustments and applying effects. The latter doesn’t impact the geometry of the photo.

Instead, you can modify just the lighting and color effects, as if it were a warped 2D photo. Doing so will keep it in 360 format with your lighting corrections. As a result, you can still upload it to Facebook or other 360 viewers. Corel helpfully incorporates a handful of sample 360 files for experimentation.

360-Degree Photo Editing and Retouching

Opening an image in 360-degree mode presents a distinct editing window and an explanatory dialog box showcasing what you can do with the file type.

With this feature, four editing options are available: Straighten, Remove Tripod, 360-to-Panorama, and Planet Effects. The last two editing options convert the image from 360 to a standard format, such as JPG, after applying the effect.

Platform Compatibility and Plugins

Corel Paintshop Pro runs only on Windows 10 and requires an internet connection to access tutorials and download extra content via the store.

It also offers plugin support, which means you can extend the power of PaintShop Pro with 64-bit third-party plugins, including Adobe plugins or brushes, Topaz Labs, Nik Collection by DXO, and so forth.

Flawless Drawing & Painting

PaintShop Pro isn’t merely for editing photographs. It incorporates a whole lot of drawing and painting tools that are inspired by (if not taken directly from) one of Corel’s other well-known programs, the unimaginatively named Painter.

Flawless Drawing & Painting

You can turn your imagination into reality by making use of the striking drawing and painting features that PaintShop Pro offers.

Manage Window Functionality

You can use the Manage window easily and simply to browse the folders on your computer. Here you can browse your images by deploying a regular Windows-style directory tree, but there’s also a Collections panel where you can inject specific folders to the PaintShop Pro catalog.

This is a long way from Lightroom, no doubt. PaintShop Pro does have huge Collections and Smart Collections, but only for images and photos in folders you’ve bookmarked.

It does offer tags (keywords) but only in a simple linear list and also a pointer to showcase that you’re successfully dragging at tag on to an image or vice versa is so tiny as to be nearly invisible.

This feature doesn’t offer any non-destructive editing tools either. This part is left to AfterShot Lab or the Edit mode. All you can see in the Manage window is images edited or saved elsewhere. Aside from that, it has no editing or quick-fix enhancement tools of its own.

AfterShot Lab

The next one we have is AfterShot Lab which is used for RAW processing between the Manage and Edit modes. It does have presets, but nothing remarkable to match Lightroom. Besides, its editing tools also come nowhere close to Adobe Camera Raw’s.

If you have RAW files, you have a preference for processing options! AfterShot Lab, no doubt, is an optimum feature of Corel PaintShop Pro and is something you should avail yourself.

AfterShot Lab has a bunch of useful RAW processing tools, although not a huge selection. It doesn’t have Curves, for example, Clarity, Dehaze, and perspective controls. Neither does it have the array of one-click presets you typically find in Lightroom and other programs. However, it does have automatic lens correction, noise reduction, and sharpening tools.

The adjustments you make to RAW files in AfterShot Lab are non-destructive, unlike the Manage Window functionality.

You can always go back later and tweak them. But it’s part of an outdated linear process-then-edit workflow and not like the seamless non-destructive and organizing tools existing in more modern rivals.

Stellar Edit Mode

PaintShop Pro editing tools show up somewhere between those in Photoshop Elements and Photoshop itself. They’re not crap, but they do sometimes feel antiquated.

Its “Edit mode” provides some interesting preset effects, including ‘Time Machine’ looks which sound like “sci-fi”.

The “Edit mode” is somewhat like Affinity Photo, Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements – a classic ‘destructive’ photo editor with layers as well as masks, adjustments as well as effects, and retouching tools.

Quality of Output

The results of different features of the software differ. And some of the AI-powered and automated edits don’t always perform as well as you’d hope. However, this can count on the image being edited and the features themselves, so it’s worth experimenting with taking a look at what works for you and your photography.

The new AI Portrait mode in the “Complete” workspace functions reasonably well to recognize people in the scene, but you nearly always have to adjust the mask manually. The AI does make this easier than conventional masking as the mask snaps to the edges.

Quality of Output

The best image quality and results naturally come from editing within the “Essentials” and “Complete” workspaces where you have the highest levels of control even though the “Complete” workspace has the edge.

This is because it’s the most fully-featured part of the software with the tools, adjustments, and features more advanced users would anticipate.

Corel PaintShop Pro at a Glance:


  • Photoshop-like features available at a lower price
  • Robust effects and editing tools
  • Vast help resources and tutorials
  • Nice assortment of vector drawing tools
  • AI-based tools like automatic noise removal


  • Interface not consistent
  • No macOS version available
  • Some operations work slow

Pricing and Subscription:

This special product costs $79.99 or $99.99 for the Ultimate edition, which incorporates many more application features. They include Painter Essentials 8 and the Sea-to-Sky workspace, as well as the option to use Multicam Capture Lite to create videos and screen recordings, to name some of them. Once you pick up it, you own it, but future upgrades will require spending more money.

Is Corel PaintShop Pro Worth Picking Up?

It’s perfect for those just starting in image editing and who want a flat one-off fee to get access to multiple workspaces that grow in complexity alongside their skill level. You can’t go wrong with Corel Paintshop Pro.

The fact that you have to pay for upgrades is not a new system, rather it has been there for years. Having said that, its limitations in terms of batch synchronization and clunky organization of files do mean other software at a similar price point is more appealing.

Nevertheless, it does a good job of editing and enhancing photos with precision and flexibility. So, it’s always a green signal from us to go for this amazing image-processing tool.

It’s your Turn…

Photo editing is something that you often tend to do. If you aren’t directly involved with photography, you may not require tools like Corel PaintShop Pro. Those casual tasks you can carry out with free online tools or with your smartphone’s built-in editing features.

However, if you are a professional photographer or a photo editor, you must leverage tools that bring out professional results. Needless to say, you will get dozens of photo editing and retouching tools online and you can pick up one to carry out your job.

But that’s surely a gamble! You don’t know how they will perform. Even if you read customers’ reviews, it won’t give you sufficient info. That’s why you need a comprehensive write-up like this that deals with such tools from top to bottom.

We have put forth all the details as well as the pros and cons of Corel PaintShop Pro in this exhaustive write-up. Now, you decide if you want to grab it or not!