Taking photos is lots of fun, but to get the exact look you want, taking the images right off the camera is often not enough. Corel’s PaintShop Pro X4 is a robust photo editor aimed at both beginners and DSLR enthusiasts. It lets you manage your photos, adjust them, and edit them, all in a friendly interface that supports dual monitors right out of the box (but doesn’t require them).
This week, we’re giving away 25 free copies of PaintShop Pro X4 worth $2475 in total! Let’s take a quick stroll through some of its features!
Managing Your Photos
The image above is a bit small, but you can still see what the Manage view looks like. It lets you browse your system for photos, and add them to a tray for later editing. The Manage view features a tabbed interface, letting you work with several trays in parallel:
This screenshot also shows the Adjust and Edit tabs at the top of the window.
Once you’ve selected the images you want to work with, you can switch to the next step in the workflow by clicking the Adjust tab. Here’s a general view of what it looks like (we’ll be zooming in on the different parts in a moment):
At the bottom of the window you can see the tray, and at the top is the image you’re currently adjusting. You can also drag the try down to reduce its size, or even hide it completely. Now, let’s look at the toolbar:
The top of the toolbar shows a histogram of the current photo, as well as the camera settings in which it was taken. At the bottom are some simple settings you can adjust, as well as a “magic button” for suggesting ideal values. But in the buttons in the middle provide some interesting functionality; specifically, let’s look at the Makeover Tool:
This opens up several other tools, such as the “Toothbrush” tool for brightening teeth, the “Suntan” tool for improving skin tone, and others. Here you really start making changes to your photo, but don’t worry: By default, PaintShop Pro preserves an original copy of your photo (and of course, you can always undo your editing operations while you work):
Once you’re happy with your adjustments, it’s time to move on to the next step:
The third and final tab in the PaintShop Pro workflow is called Edit, and its interface looks like this:
There’s a lot to see here; let me take you on a quick tour of just a couple of its features. First is the awesome Time Machine:
I absolutely love this feature. At the bottom you see a timeline of photographic history, extending from 1839 all the way to 1980. Each thumbnail represents the typical look of photos from that era, and each even comes with a lovely explanation of the look’s history. The preview image updates as you select each look, and you can also control its intensity.
The last feature I will be showing is maybe the most important one: the Learning Center. One of the biggest challenges with most image editors is mastering them. PaintShop’s Learning Center helps you find the functions you need amidst the sea of options. It looks like this:
As you select each item, you don’t get a text document explaining it (although there is very good documentation); instead, you get the tool itself, ready to use.
PaintShop Pro is a huge product, and this isn’t even scratching the surface of what it can do. I hope I’ve managed to whet your appetite – if you have a passion for photography, this is one application you should definitely check out!
We’re giving 25 copies of Corel PaintShop Pro this week! Here’s how you can get your hands on a free copy.
How do I win a copy?
It’s simple, just follow the instructions.
Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form
Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.
The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from our Facebook page.
Step 2: Share!
You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!
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This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, December 16th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.
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