Pixels Made Perfect – Jasc’s Paint Shop Pro 6.0 – Software Review – Evaluation
Carol S. Holzberg
IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD A premium-priced image editor like Adobe Photoshop but still need to turn out picture-perfect solutions for screen, print, or Web, we’ve got three words for you: Paint Shop Pro.
Version 6 of Jasc’s no-compromise package bundles several paint and draw tools to optimize the look of digital graphics. You can download images directly into the editor from TWAIN-compliant scanners or any of 120 digital cameras; create images with multiple layers; use brushes, selection tools, draw tools, multicolor gradients, and special effects; and save images in a slew of formats for posting online.
We found several new features helpful for organizing our workspace, including customizable toolbars, rollup floating palettes, and the ability to open second views of open images. Inexperienced users will like Paint Shop Pro’s pop-up Tool Tips, tips of the day, and context-sensitive online help. Best of all, you can’t make a mistake: There are up to 99 levels of undo.
While all this help is built into the program, we were still daunted by a steep learning curve. You’ll need to read the online or printed manual to take advantage of most functions.
Our favorite new features were ones that helped us manage our images. One allowed us to print several images on a single sheet of paper; another let us preview pictures before opening them. The program’s drag-and-drop support made it easy to drag thumbnail images from the Paint Shop Pro browser into OLE-compliant applications like Microsoft Word.
When you buy Paint Shop Pro, you also get Animation Shop 2.0, which turns graphic images into multiframe animations. While the two programs can be used separately, they work well together.
Paint Shop Pro 6 isn’t the friendliest image editor on the market. But it’s powerful enough for almost any graphic task and affordable enough for almost any home office.
Paint Shop Pro 6
Requirements Win 95/98/NT 4.0, 32MB of RAM, 75MB
hard disk space, CD-ROM drive
Est. Street Price $109 (download $99); upgrade $49
Manufacturer Jasc Software, 800-622-2793, www.jasc.com
PROS Support for both paint and draw, multiple layers, and color gradients
CONS The manual is required reading
HOME OFFICE COMPUTING’S product scores are weighted averages of 1- to 10-point ratings for: Value (30 percent of total), Performance (30 percent of total), Ease of Use (20 percent of total), and Suitability for Home Office Use (20 percent of total).
V = Value
P = Performance
E = Ease of Use
S = Suitability for Home Office Use
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