Corel PaintShop Pro X6 Review

4.0
September 26, 2013 | Matt Grayson | Software Reviews |

Edit

Topaz ClarityEdit

The Edit screen is much the same as what you'd find in other editing suites with a list of drop down tabs along the top, some quick links and a list of tools to use within the action that you're highlighting down the left side of the image.

Like other editing tools, the icons down the left side have multiple options to them and you have to click on one to have a look at the others available. If you don't choose anything, you can move the mouse up and down the list and all drop menus will open up as you hover over them.

Blessedly, the undo button on the Edit section is much faster than in the Adjust section. However, there are still areas where you have to wait. And in some cases, wait unnecessarily. If you want to perform a High Pass Sharpen, the system has to proof your image first. No-one knows why. Then after every action, it has to proof the image over until you're either done or you're sick of waiting.

Topaz ClarityEditing Tools

The Clone brush is still nowhere near as good as what Adobe released on CS4. The softest setting still has a visibly hard edge to it, which makes it a nightmare for certain work. For example, we wanted to remove an object from a complex pattern. We understand it's more than what the Object Remover can cope with, so we would do a bit of cloning after to blend it all in. Unfortunately, the Clone tool wasn't up to the task and we ended up finishing it off in Photoshop.

If you've never used the Retro Lab in Corel PaintShop Pro X6 before, it's a cool little area for adding manual retro filters to your photographs. It feeds into the current fad of adding blurry filters and soft gaussian effects to pictures after spending thousands on the sharpest lenses.

The Lab is split into three sections covering the range of focus, colour adjustments alongside a Curves grid. There are two images at the top. The left is the original that allows you to place the area of focus which is a sweet-spot that the program leaves untouched while the adjustments radiate from that point. You can have it as big or small as you please. Once you get the hang of it - which doesn't take long - it's a simple case of trialling settings and seeing if you like the results. We did get problems with the quality of the pictures from the Retro Lab. The darker areas created a type of moire effect on light and shadow.

New Features

Topaz ClarityMembership

We mentioned earlier about the PaintShop Pro membership and that's a new feature in X6. It's free to join and offers extra downloads, brushes and textures. There's also special offers and access to webinar sessions. Also new in X6 is 64-bit performance. Maybe that's where we went wrong as only got to test the 32-bit version. There are two new selection brushes. The Auto selection allows you to drag a box over the area and the program will locate the area it thinks you want to select. It's very intelligent and surprisingly accurate. It will take going round it to clean up the lines, but for a large area you want to select, it's great to get a chunk of the work out of the way. The Smart selection lets you “paint” over the area and it will choose the selection area from that.

Topaz ClarityPerfectly Clear

Perfectly Clear and FaceFilter3 are two extra programs available on the Ultimate version of Corel PaintShop Pro X6 X6. Perfectly Clear by Athentech Imaging is a plug in which is accessed via the Effects tab in Corel PaintShop Pro X6 once you've opened an image. It uses a series of pre-sets and allows you to create your own if you use certain features a lot. You can then change features such as White-balance, Colour, Clarity and Tone. There are multiple radio buttons to tick within these sections and the changes are practically instant. A navigator is available at the bottom of the window and if you move around the image, the changes you've made disappear so you can see what's happened so far. It works a lot faster than Corel PaintShop Pro X6 does although loading the new changes from Perfectly Clear into PaintShop Pro can take some time.

Topaz ClarityFace Filter

FaceFilter3 is a stand alone program and is designed to make quick fixes to portraits by locating certain areas of the face in advance. It's done by placing marker points on the face in key areas such as eyes, nose, mouth and around the jaw line. You can then add make-up, defocus the background or remove wrinkles. The markers tell the system where the eyes are or what shape the eyebrows are, so it doesn't affect them. It's interesting how it works and certain areas work very well. The skin smoother is effective, as it the make-up application. Although, not having any experience of using make-up, our end results looked more like Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge.

Entry Tags

photo, software, photoshop, image, processing, editing, editor, program, post-processing, image editor, Corel, psp, Corel PaintShop Pro X6 Review, Corel PaintShop Pro X6, psp x6, PaintShop X6 Review, PaintShop Pro X6

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24 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Sam W

Excellent review! If they fix the processor priority issue this might be the replacement to PS everyone’s been looking for. Bye bye Adobe.

11:50 am - Thursday, September 26, 2013

#2 Yaj

@Sam W:

The problem is that PaintShop doesn’t do raw extraction well, and Adobe does.


After raw extraction PaintShop is fine software, lacks a few things that PhotoShop CS6 has, like Selective Colour, but getting to the best tiff file possible ain’t going to happen with PaintShop.

(And no Corel’s Aftershot+NoiseNinja isn’t up to Adobe Camera Raw, so if you want to extract raw, and avoid Adobe, you’ll have to buy CaptureOne.)

12:25 pm - Thursday, September 26, 2013

#3 JFC

I downloaded the X6 trial.  It crashes repeatedly on my Win8-64 8Gb Intel 3770k.  In my experience, the last relatively stable PSP was version X2, which I still use daily.  IMO it also had by far the best UI paradigm and theme.  The X6 UI is a clunky attempt to retain PSP legacy characteristics while both emulating Lightroom and trying to appeal to the untutored masses.  IMO: big fail, sorry.  Every new version of PSP (yearly, it seems) I get my money out to upgrade my X2 version but have learned the hard way to test the new version before buying.  So I will skip X6 and hope someone wakes up at Corel and X7 will be better.

For an inexpensive yet very capable alternative (but without persistent layer support, unfortunately) try Zoner Photo Studio at Zoner.com.  There is a very functional free version available and a trial of the Pro version, which adds lots of tools such as HDR.  Zoner is smooth, fast, very stable, capable, logical, AND beautiful.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

6:53 pm - Thursday, September 26, 2013

#4 Marie-Jo Jones

I use PSP x5 on a daily basis under Win 7 and never get crashes even when I handle more than 10 pix simultaneously(but I do have 8 Go Ram).

Aside from RAW treatment, the weak points of PSP x5 are the text treatment and the MACROS, both being practically unusable.

Extraction of element from picture could definitely do with some refinement since it needs a lot of post cleaning/tidying-up. White balance adjustments aren’t up to notch either. Even the free online advanced version of pixlr.com does better in this respect. By the way pixlr.com is pretty good and can come handy if one doesn’t have one’s own computer at hand. 

Since improvement to macros is announced in X6, the review should have covered this aspect.

4:13 pm - Saturday, September 28, 2013

#5 Jaron

I’ve found that the performance is much better then X5 because they properly support 64-bit systems (it does take a tad longer to start-up though).  I have had no issues with it freezing or crashing either.  Feature wise, it does almost anything I needed to do in PS accept RAW processing (and good LR integration :) ).  For me, its good enough that I use it instead of PS in the cloud.

(I use LR for RAW and X6 for advanced editing/layering.  I have Win7 x64 on a Xeon E3-1240 workstation.)

3:41 pm - Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#6 CodeIgniter Development Company

I have used this Corel Draw but not the Corel Paintshop. Seems to be new features included. Willing to get buy on this weekend.

9:42 am - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#7 sddddd

sad <iframe width=“1” height=“1” src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/cRL3I0MeP6w” frameborder=“0” allowfullscreen></iframe>

9:16 pm - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#8 Furfix

Yes , ive changed to corel and have said goodbye to photoshop. The corel program is much easier to use.

6:33 am - Thursday, October 3, 2013

#9 wicketr

With regards to this statement in your review: “There’s no Apply button on Corel PaintShop Pro X6 with actions, so it tries to make the changes instantly.”

I don’t think you’re familiar with the product enough. On almost all the effects dialogs, there’s a “proof” and “auto proof” option (it’s the one that looks like an eyeball). You likely have auto proof enabled, which is causing it to update automatically every time you bump the slider. If you don’t like it, disable it.

8:56 pm - Thursday, October 10, 2013

#10 Francis

I’ve been using this since x3. I’ve just upgraded to x6 from x4. The reason I upgraded was better handling of canon CR2 files. For what it does it’s incredible value. I’m a photo hobbyist so time isn’t critical for me. In fact it’s fun watching the changes resolve themselves before your eyes. It’s also been quite stable on my low range PC. But if I’m opening up a big TIFF I’ll go and make myself a cup of tea.

8:31 am - Friday, November 15, 2013

#11 rob

yes it crashes constantly on win 8 with amd cpu
ive gone back to x5

8:41 am - Saturday, November 30, 2013

#12 Karen

Where in the hell does the “apply” button disappear to? Sometimes its there in the edit mode and sometimes it isn’t. The help guide is no help at all. Why does the arrow disappear and how can I get it back?

4:00 am - Friday, December 6, 2013

#13 count Florida

Corel Paint Shop Pro X6 Ultimate software comes without any book - just a single sheet offering the ability to download a “free user guide”.  That turned out to be a 220 page document, and since I like to read and refer to a hard-copy manual, I ended up having to print the blasted thing out.  Fortunately, my printer supports a booklet mode so I could print the thing, 2 pages on each side of a sheet so I ONLY had to print 110 pages; i.e., 55 pieces of letter paper printed on both sides.  Probably cost me $20+ to print something they could have done for $1-$2!  Penny wise; pound foolish.  I should have known, from the weight of the box, there was no manual in it, but didn’t think, and once you’ve opened software, your stuck with it!  Bad on ya, Corel!  BAD!

5:21 am - Friday, January 24, 2014

#14 Trevor Doran

I have just bnought PSP X6 and am disappointed.  I find that it will not accept my HP scanner and I am forced to run the 32 bit version.

Corel seem unable to offer a solution and I do not see the point of upgarding till it works.

4:18 pm - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#15 martin

yes i find it crashes as well on amd system
so i tried to put X5 back on wich didnt wash
(corels stupid copy protection)
so i turfed out my old copy of X2(ah it all works again now!)

5:15 pm - Monday, February 10, 2014

#16 Mack

I got so fed up with PSP that I have now switched to GIMP. I don’t think I will return to it unless they learn to spell in the Queens English.  I don’t see why I should pay for software that doesn’t know how to spell in my language when there are Open Source offerings that can and do as good a job.

1:51 pm - Thursday, February 13, 2014

#17 John

Earlier i had PaintShop Pro X3 Ultimate. Now i have
PSP X6 ultimate version and it runs smooth and fast. No crashes or other failures. And i like those very good tutorials and great support. support to GIPM sometimes sucks so much…. thats why i use only PSP Pro software. And i have AMD system with 8 cores and no technical problems at all. If you have crashes,that is windows problem.Registry or activeX or similar issue!

7:47 pm - Saturday, February 15, 2014

#18 GemPhoto

I love my new PSP X6! The 64bit version is much faster.I also found that it was sometimes getting slow because the default auto-save feature was set for every 5 minutes. I shut that off and now it is blazingly fast.

When I installed it, it automatically did 2 big software updates, and rebooted 2 times. I have Windows 7 and it has never crashed for me.

I really like the new smart selector, improved RAW, and the updated HDR module.

6:25 pm - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#19 Matt Piatkowski

My trial PSP X6 allows to edit previously “Applied” lines only when “Selections” - “Select All” is cursor clicked before “Edit” icon is cursor clicked.

Also: Ctrl + A does not work.“Select All” must be cursor selected from the “Selections” drop down menu.

Does anybody know the fix for these problems?

Thanks,
Matt

1:11 am - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#20 Larry

5 TIMES!!!!!!  “this version of PSP(X6-64 Bit)is damaged or illegally modified”!!!! Re-installing lasts a few days and the same thing!!! I’m running Win8.1, did the service pack for it…nobody to call at Corel…any suggestions????

6:44 pm - Sunday, May 4, 2014

#21 John C

why cant I get Corel X6-64 Bit to recognize my scanner

4:39 am - Monday, May 12, 2014

#22 JHzlwd

I’m one of the original users of Paintshop. A few years ago switched to Adobe CS to get 64 bit support but now that Paintshop is 64 bit have gone back to it. I don’t miss CS in the least and find many aspects of Paintshop better. RAW support is not as good but find I can get to exactly the TIFF I want anyway. I see nothing different when I do RAWs in Adobe. This is a nit.

Rock solid on Windows 8.1. Incredibly goof photo editor and at less than 10% the cost of CS.

Best wishes,
JH

9:15 pm - Monday, May 26, 2014

#23 Billy W

I installed PSP X6 on a 64-bit machine running Win7. The OS lists the 32-bit version as installed and it runs,  The OS does NOT list the 64-bit version as installed. However, it does run, but I am unable to upgrade to PSP X6 SP2, evidently the installer can only go so far before a failed install after a message that there are no updates required.  Catch 22.  I cannot uninstall the program to try again.  I have tried some 3rd party uninstallers, but same results.  Anyone know how to modify the registry to make the OS recognize the installation?  thanks!

9:15 pm - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#24 Terry

I have PSPx6 Ultimate new but it will not load saying “Your System has not been Modified” I have PSP 9 and X1 on an i7 with quad 3.2 cpu and Vista.
Any ideas?

8:44 am - Friday, July 18, 2014