Product Review: Paint Shop Pro

by : Richard Lowe



Many years ago I needed to create some graphics. Nothing fancy,
just some images for documentation at work. I had used several
graphics programs in the past, none of which really did the job
that I needed. I wanted a simple interface, a lot of power, and
most important of all, I didn't want to spend half the day
waiting for the graphics program to catch up to me.

I considered Adobe Photoshop, but soon realized it was priced
way over my budget. So I kept looking, and before long found a
great product called Paint Shop Pro. I downloaded the evaluation
version, and quickly realized that I had found a gem.

Paint Shop Pro supported everything that I needed, including
layers, vector and bit editing modes, a magic wand, and dozens
of other functions. The program also supports Photoshop filters,
brushes, patterns and far more other things than I have even
bothered to explore.

What I like about Paint Shop Pro is simple: the program is very
fast (even on a relatively slow machine) and it's inexpensive
(less than a hundred bucks). It also has some very nice features,
and I believe that PSP (as it is affectionately known by many of
it's users) has a larger user base than Adobe Photoshop (this is
at least true among the webmasters with whom I communicate).

Now, keep in mind that I've never really used Adobe Photoshop
much. Just a one week training class and half a dozen graphics
for a manual that I had to work on (at one of my consulting jobs
many years ago.) So I cannot say that Paint Shop Pro is better or
worse that the Adobe product.

What I do know is Paint Shop Pro will easily meet the graphics
needs of virtually all webmasters. I've found that it will do
everything that I've demanded, every single thing without fail.

I am especially fond of a unique feature (at least I think it's
unique) known as tubes. In the words of the vendor (Jasc
Software), "The Picture Tube Brush allows you to paint with a
variety objects without having to draw them. With a tree and
foliage tube, you could paint a forest with just a few brush
strokes. You can also create, collect, or share tubes with your
friends and colleagues."

For example, there is a tube with a dozen different leaves in
different shapes and positions. As you use the tube, the leaves
get scattered at different angles where you place the brush. This
way you can draw a really nice looking tree without having to
position and draw every leaf yourself.

I would recommend this product without hesitation to any webmaster
who needs to create graphics of any kind (including animationFind Article,
since Paint Shop Pro comes with another product called Animation
Shop).