Customer Reviews: Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate [Old Version]
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VINE VOICEon December 17, 2008
I have been negligent in reviewing the Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate image editing program because I wanted to be sure about what I suspected when I began using it a couple of months ago. "This program is better in many ways and cheaper than the top rated Adobe Photoshop Elements version 7."

I was reluctant to believe that hunch at first. I have both programs installed on a VISTA laptop. Both installed easily and without problem. Both function perfectly without any of the crashing and buggy performance described by other reviewers. I have been using the two programs interchangeably for awhile and eventually noticed that I was opening and using the Corel Paint Shop Pro program more often than the Adobe software. That was the prompt that I needed to offer this review, but my observations do not intend to say the Adobe Photoshop Elements program is necessarily inferior--I simply prefer the Corel software and find it less complicated to use. I will attempt to tell you why.

First, the Corel home screen is easier to see. I found the Adobe Photoshop Elements screen sort of dark and foreboding. The two screens are similar in how the toolbars and menu items are arranged, but not all that much alike in how they are applied. I think the Corel program is more intuitive and logical than the Adobe system.

Both programs have all of the usual features like red eye removal, cropping, brightness adjustments and cloning. These are mostly straight forward, but the Corel program strikes me as less complicated in these areas than the Adobe.

I should admit at the onset--I have yet to master the "Layers" functions in either program. Be that as it may, I am pretty familiar with the rest of the tasks offered by both programs.

Adding images to the organizer pallet at the bottom of the main Corel window is a snap. The "saving as a copy" option in the Corel program is very helpful. Image color adjustments can be made in a number of ways in both programs, but Corel Paint Shop offers better options for changing hue, saturation and texture. I was happy to find how easily edits can be reversed with undo opportunities along the way. The image straightening and adjusting perspective features are worthy of note as is the skin smoothing and tooth whitening options. There is even an option in the Corel program to make a person appear thinner. I never thought I would use that tooth whitening thing, but I have.

I found the Corel feature called "Browse effects" to be particularly useful because it brings up a familiar outline style listing of everything the program does all in one place. One doesn't need to click around on various icons and menu items in order to find the function desired. Clicking through this "Browse effects" list brings up thumbnails that illustrate the choices involved. One could almost use this feature and ignore the array of icons and menus situated around the main window.

I have used the Corel "time machine" function a few times to give vintage appearances to certain photos and find it to be fun if nothing else. The same is true for the frames and distort features along several other artistic effect functions that I doubt most people would use very often. The reason I mention these options is to point out the presence of several functions that are really just amusing to use and probably not essential to serious photo editing.

The ability to adjust the appearance of the home window in the Corel program is appreciated, but I have not messed with that at all. I like the looks of it as is.

Oh, one more thing--adjusting the "layers" in an image may have been included in both programs as a means to humble the user. Just kidding...

If you are trying to decide which program to buy and think the Adobe Photo Shop Elements program is definitely number one you should certainly consider the Corel alternative. I would recommend you buy the Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate instead of the Adobe Photoshop Elements program Version 7 not because they are so different in what they do, but because they are so similar in almost everything else except the price and ease of use. The Corel Paint Shop software is easier to figure out and it is significantly less costly than the Adobe program. Then of course there is the matter of how I found myself using the Corel program more often than the Adobe program. I think that says something.

UPDATE(December 2009):

I recently loaded the Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate software into a new Windows 7 laptop and it went in perfectly and quickly. The program seems to open up and run faster than it did on my VISTA machine. I like it even more. Just thought you would like to know.
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on October 9, 2008
This product is wonderful, it allows you to do anything with a photo. It is not a sit down and start using program and does take some time to learn. The book is well worth reading because it is a bit complicated. However, once you learn how to use it, its super simple and can easily change any photo into a great portrait.
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VINE VOICEon December 2, 2008
I uses Photoshop CS 2 before and while this is a phantastic software for editing pictures, it was really shooting birds with canons.
The most pictures I make these days fall in the category of family snapshots, with the occasional landscape and some other documentary photos.
So I was looking for a more simple solution with more automation / with three kids, you just don't have the time anymore to individually tweak every photo to the max in PS. And with my wife discovering the joy of taking pictures of our kids, the picture count for this year is slightly below 3000.
X2 Ultimate has everything that I need - a quick fix button for my wife, a somewhat more elaborate but still simple tweaking capability for me and if I really need it, it also has basically the same functionalities built in as PS, when you delve deeper into the menus.
It also has a decent photo viewer and comes will all kinds of bells and whistles that I haven't tried out so far (like the background removal tool, the HDR fuction etc.).
The worklflow might not be as refined as with PS and Lightroom, but for my basic and simple needs it is a perfect fit.
The learning curve is practically non-existent if you already have some experience with other photo editing software. And it runs very fast even on my old XP machine with 1GB RAM.
I used the ancestors of this software way back in the early 90s, before I became a serious photographer and updated to the big gun PS. Now that I have reverted back to being a snapshooter again, X2 Ultimate is the BB Gun I need to shoot my birds. :)
11 comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 26, 2008
I have been using Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate, version 12.50 on Windows Vista Home Premium for about 2 months now. First, I used the downloadable trial version from Corel's website. After a month I uninstalled it and bought it from Both the uninstallation of the trial software and the installation of the purchased software were smooth with no hang-ups. The program has never crashed. I use a Nikon D80 as the most common image source with it and have had no problems. I shoot in NEF (raw) and JPG LF. The Paint Shop program handles these formats for me with no problem and so far I have been able to do everything with Paint Shop that I want. After reading one of the earlier reviews about someone's problem about converting NEF into TIFF files, I used Paint Shop to convert a Nikon NEF into TIFF and had no problems except that the exif information did not convert; however the resulting TIFF file was fine and easy to use. For me personally this is of no consequence since I rarely use TIFF files and then only for insertion into documents. The Paint Shop program, as, I suppose, with most decent graphic software, seems to need processing power. I have an Intel 2.66 GHz quad core, with 4 GB RAM. This setup needs up to 25-35 seconds occasionally for a few processes. However the great results that Paint Shop provides me make it worth the wait. Be aware that there is something of a learning curve if you want to do more than the quickie touch-up type of thing to your images. My level of photography is what I would call serious amateur. Paint Shop does everything I need or want it to do. I have no complaints and am extremely pleased with it. Based on my personal experience, I am glad I purchased it and see no reason not to recommend it to others.
11 comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
We bought "Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate" for use on our shop computer to edit product photos. We have Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended [OLD VERSION] for use at home, but did not need that much power (or want to spend that much money) for our shop work.

Paint Shop Pro installed quickly on my Vista PC, is fairly feature rich, and is an easy program to learn. It compares well against Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 and is much less expensive. Some of the more advanced tools are just great, such as Background Remover and Color Replacer.

The included 2gb USB Flash Drive is nice, but shouldn't be main reason to buy this program.

Overall, this is a great program at a great price! Highly recommended!
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 26, 2009
I've been a PSP user since JASC PSP v1 and have always had good experiences with it. My most recent upgrade to X2 was from IX. I was VERY disappointed in how horribly slow it was to load and to save files. I was about to give up when I decided to search once more for a fix on the Corel site and I did find the problem. This is the fix:


In some cases, if Paint Shop Pro Photo XI or Snapfire Plus was installed or is currently installed on the same computer system as Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, you may experience slow performance when saving files. This behavior may be related to issues with the database files used by all of these programs.

The following two sets of instructions may resolve this behavior and allow for proper file saving speed.

Set #1

Do the following to delete the Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Database files. The program will recreate the files upon next launch. First Close Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 if is it running.
1. Go to Start | Run, Type %temp% and click Ok. (on Vista, click Start button, then highlight Start Search. Type %temp% and then push enter on keyboard)
2. On the Windows® Explorer Tool bar, Click the Up Folder button. The Up Folder button looks like a folder with a green arrow pointing up. If you don't see it, Click View | Go to | Up one level. (On Vista, click Organize | Layout | Menu bar. Once displayed, go to View | Go to | Up one level).
3. (on Vista skip to step 4) On XP, Double click on the Application data folder. NOTE: The Application Data folder is a hidden folder. Make sure you have enabled viewing of Hidden files and folders to see this folder. We have included instructions* below for enabling this view.
4. Double-click on the Corel folder.
5. Delete all files and folders in the Corel folder.

* To enable viewing hidden files and folders do the following:
1. Go to Tools | Folder Options.
2. Click on View tab.
3. In the large white area marked Advanced settings, check the "Show Hidden Files and folders" radio button.
4. Click OK to accept this setting. You should now see the Application data folder as described above.

Set #2

Do the following to delete the old Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Database files (this is a critical step).
1. Go to Start | Run, (on Vista, click Start button, then highlight Start Search)
2 Type %appdata% and click Ok (on Vista, push Enter key on keyboard).
3. Double-click on the Corel folder.
4. Delete the following files. If you do not see all of these files, delete all of these files that you do see.
5. . Delete the Paint Shop Pro Photo folder and then close this window.

NOTE: if you receive any prompts about not being able to delete specific files (being used by another program, etc), restart the computer, then try deleting the file again.

Try running Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 again after deleting all files from above procedure. Try saving a file and note if the behavior continues.

If this corrects the behavior, then we recommend no longer running Paint Shop Pro Photo XI or Snapfire Plus on this computer system. Instead we recommend using Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and Corel MediaOne (this is the updated version of Snapfire Plus).
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I do graphic design and marketing and do much with photographs in my day job. This is a go-to program for me both at home and at work. To me, there is more to use and it's easier to follow than even photoshop. It's what my non-artsy honey learned to use at home too simply via the video turtorials...which make it all come together quickly and easily if you have no experience.

There are endless ways to use this. I've edited wedding photos so that the photo is vintage but the flowers are in color for dramatic effect. I've taken photos and just made them into outlines (like a coloring book picture..more on that in a minute) so that I could transfer them to a canvas and paint them, I've made wrinkles easily disappear when doing corporate photos and made teeth whiter in one button click, I've edited out wires under a table and made grass greener for real estate photos easier than can be imagined...

ah, I could go on and on...and that isn't even mentioning the things you can do just for fun and "art" make a photo look woven, or like it's tiled, or has a corner curling up...

Also, though everyone may not need this part, it was a plus for me as an artist: I've tried a lot of photo software and even free sites on the internet to find the best way to turn a photograph into what looks like a pencil drawing...but one with REALLY clean edges and detail. None have come close to this: you just bring up the photo, click on "edges" then "find all"...boom, your color photo is now a line drawing like a cartoon book or sketch book drawing. Not only is it great to see a perfect sketch of someone for fun, but it makes it super easy to copy it onto a canvas if you want to.

to me, there is so much for the advanced user here but I think a strong advantage is that, for the beginner, the tutorials, in my opinion make that user more quickly become advanced and be able to do so many more things than in other programs such as photoshop. The tutorials are all you need to do pro work quickly.

It's hard to wrap up all that can be done in a mere brief review. So, suffice it to say, I've used so very many programs and this remains our go-to program. In fact, when I've shown all that can be done on Paintshop ProX to photoshop users such as the realtors I work with, I get em to switch over to this side!
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on October 27, 2008
Program offers a wide variety of creatibility and encourages imagination to run wild. The "help" feature is very user-friendly.

+ Amazing and cutting edge program
+ Works well with Vista
+ Affordable
+ Product description accurate

- Requires a LOT of memory usage
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on March 25, 2009
I have been using Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate for a little over 2 months now, and I LOVE this software. It can be a little overwhelming at first learning how to use the software as there are so many different tools and options, but it is definitely worth the time. My favorite tools are the tools are the object remover and the clone brush which performs a similar function. I was able to fix a non-professional wedding photo of my husband which had a vehicle in the background. Now the vehicle is gone and you can't tell it was ever there in the first place....amazing. Another really cool feature is the color changer tool which allows you to change the color of solid items in a picture like a person's shirt, etc. I have yet to discover all the other cool features! I shopped around for a month or so trying to find the best price for this item, and beat all others. The software usually retails for around $90 at office supply stores and Wal-Mart, and the manufacturer will sell it for around $70 if you use the trial version for awhile, but Amazon's price still beat that. I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone unless you are just wanting a very simple photo editing program and too many features overwhelm you. Overall, great product, great price!
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on December 16, 2009
This is a great photo editing software. It has features that made editing a lot easier then it should be. One of the great things that is not mentioned is the training that comes with the product. It has a CBT from [...], one of the best training sites that I have used.

This product also is etremely customizable. It can be adapted to fit a novice or a seasoned pro.

I recommend this product to anyone that have used Photoshop and question is there a good but less expensive alternative.

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