Serif PhotoPlus X3 Review

October 6, 2009 | Jon Canfield | Software Reviews | |

What's Missing

PhotoPlus X3 isn't without its drawbacks though. Many of the filters and effects are only supported in 8-bit files, so you'll have to down-sample to use these features. Also, a complaint that I had in the previous version is still true - there is no support for color managed printing. You can soft-proof within the application, but unless your printer supports custom paper types, you'll likely find problems if you prefer to print on third party papers. To be fair, the photographer most likely to be doing this is going to be using Photoshop, but I find it odd that you can soft proof but not manage the print.

Finally, there were a number of bugs that I found during testing. I could open files from a network drive, but not save to the same drive (even though I have admin privileges on the share). I also had difficulties with the Print Studio module. Changing layouts would often not update the preview window, and occasionally would crash PhotoPlus.


It's hard to find fault with a program that sells for $79.95 and offers almost all of the functionality of Photoshop at $699. For the typical digital photographer, PhotoPlus X3 is an excellent option, offering more features and ease of use than Photoshop Elements for the same price. There are a few bugs that need to be fixed, but overall, Serif has a very solid offering in the digital image editing market.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Value for money 4.5

Entry Tags

software, photoshop, image editing, serif, x3, photo plus, alternative, Serif PhotoPlus X3 Review, digital studio

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Your Comments

6 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 handy akku

  I like the previous version for its good features.I think as concerning this review that this one is also be great application.

10:08 am - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#2 Chris

It would have been nice to have known that this was Windows-only somewhere in the first page.

4:16 pm - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#3 Chris

Thanks for this reviewer. I have this software and can appreciate a lot of the comments first hand. Whilst not a pro photographer, I can easily see that Photoplus give you way more functionality than Elements and nearly that of the main product.
One that could be missed by the reviewer is that under the File menu is ‘Colour Management’. It is there that you seleect to use Colour managed printing profiles set up (papger types and ICC profiles etc etc) as well as the Screen profile.

I have several profiles for Fotospeed and Ilford papers and I just wondered if this is what the reviewer meant in the conclusion.

2:36 pm - Friday, May 7, 2010

#4 Colin Harris

I have Serif PhotoPlusX3 but cannot determine how the size of the clone tool can be changed. When clicking on the ‘clone tool icon’ a circle appears which is much too big for intricate areas that need to be cloned.

Can anyone out there help me please ?

Colin Harris

1:19 am - Saturday, January 22, 2011

#5 Chris Wynne

Hi Colin,

The selection tool works like many others in this package and uses the size given on the context toolbar - the brush size is what you look for. Click in the box and either type a new pixel size value or drag the slider left or right to suit the circle size for the pickup point you want.
On X3 you can also do this with the mouse scroll wheel which I found great but X4 does not do that (why??). Alternatively I think you will be able to use up and down arrows on the keyboard as I can with X4.

Hope it helps!!


2:00 pm - Saturday, January 22, 2011

#6 sameer

no thing

9:04 pm - Monday, February 7, 2011