Top positive review
powerful photo-editing software that is very affordable
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2019
I have used PaintShop Pro off and on for many years. I own last year’s version of Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate and wanted to see what this newer, 2020 version has to offer.
This product is sold on PC disc or digital download. If you purchase the PC disc version it will have a paper inside the package that gives a link for digital download. Installation of PaintShop Pro 2020 Ultimate and its add-on programs is very cumbersome and time consuming. Each has to be individually installed and registered. All of the necessary software registration keys are on the disc envelope. To register all of the software in the bundle you will have to enter seven separate and lengthy registration codes. It would really be nice if Corel would streamline this process for future versions. I have the PC disc version of PaintShop Pro 2020 Ultimate and was surprised to see that you do not actually have the program on the disc. The PaintShop Pro 2020 program is downloaded from Corel’s web site. So if you want a backup copy of the installation software you will need to download it and save it to your computer (a link to do this is provided on a sheet included in the product box). What’s actually on the disc is the add-on software and bonus content.
For those who are new to digital photo editing, Corel PaintShop Pro remains the most powerful and low cost software you can purchase with many sophisticated features that can otherwise only be found on far more expensive software from other vendors. It does take time to learn how to use this software. There is no owner’s manual included. The owner’s manual, which is about 575 pages long, and video tutorials are available online via Corel’s web site. There are links to these in the Help menu of the software, so you don’t have to go searching for them. Those who are brand new to using software for digital photo editing will definitely want to explore the video tutorials as the software itself is not very intuitive. Those who are accustomed to using prior versions of PaintShop Pro should have no trouble making quick use of PaintShop Pro 2020 Ultimate.
Last year’s iteration of PaintShop Pro Ultimate included several add-in programs (“lite” versions, not full versions) to supplement PaintShop Pro’s capabilities and add in some additional features. This newer version of PaintShop Pro Ultimate has basically the same add-in software as the 2019 version, and it does not appear any of those programs have been updated. So as far as add-ins go, you will not really gain anything by upgrading to the 2020 version if you have last year’s version. On the product package, these are the things Corel reports as being new in this 2020 software version:
Touch-ready photography workspace
SmartClone content-aware tool
Extremely precise selection Refine Brush
More brushes, color palettes, gradients, patterns, and picture tubes
Remarkably faster Text rendering, editing, and wrapping
Improvements based on direct user feedback
Easily duplicate layer styles
Improved depth of field precision
Latest stylus and graphics tablet support
After installing PaintShop Pro 2020 I find that it does run significantly faster than the 2019 version. You will find the program loads much quicker, and rendering new effects is a lot faster. The editing workspace can be configured several different ways, and you can limit it to just very basic photo editing, a workspace with more digital editing tools, or you can max out the workspace to its full potential. There is a link to a variety of training videos to help you learn how to use the software on the home page of the program, and help can also be accessed from the help menu in the workspace you’re using.
Unless you are a very sophisticated PaintShop Pro user who does a lot of complicated photo editing, I’m not convinced there is enough new here to justify paying for the upgrade from the 2019 to 2020 version of PaintShop Pro Ultimate unless you’re unhappy with the slowness of the 2019 version.
For anyone new to digital photo editing, or those wanting affordable, full-featured digital photo editing software, you really cannot go wrong with Corel PaintShop Pro 2020 Ultimate. There is more power and digital editing features in this software than the majority of people will ever use, and there are a ton of fun things to explore and play with without having to purchase expensive plug-ins like you would with more expensive products from other vendors. Most importantly, when you purchase this software you own it. You are not expected to pay a monthly user fee like some other vendors are now requiring with their software.
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