Selecting an image editor usually
means choosing between power and simplicity. Jasc tries to strike a balance
with its new Paint Shop Pro Studio, a $79 program that borrows from the more
advanced (and pricier) Paint Shop Pro 9 but throttles back on the complexity
that beginners often find overwhelming.
Studio has all the basics:
cropping, rotating, color correction, clone brushing, and automatic exposure
improvements. But Jasc also throws in most of the best stuff from Paint Shop
Pro 9. The beta Studio software I tested included layer support, which lets you
produce composite images that have varying levels of opacity. Jasc’s
outstanding background eraser is here, too; with it you can knock out
backgrounds from portraits, leaving just the subject. In addition, you can use
the magic wand or any of several freehand tools–including one that locks on to
edges as you trace–to make selections.
Holding these tools together is
a solid help system that lives in a pane on the side of the screen. You can
easily find instructions for such tasks as combining two photos and removing
backlight; and help includes links that immediately open the tools you
Even so, Studio doesn’t always succeed in bringing its most
sophisticated features to a novice’s level. Many tyros will still find
the densely populated options palettes and the overstuffed Objects menu
intimidating. At the same time, regrettably, Jasc has removed a few
image-editing essentials such as level, curve, and histogram adjustments.
Nevertheless, the company has achieved something good with this program. If
you have no need to create scripts for batch editing, design animated GIFs, or
use the hyperrealistic brushstrokes found in Paint Shop Pro 9, Paint Shop Pro
Studio could be the image editor that wins you over.
Jasc Paint Shop Pro Studio
Superb image editing program eliminates most of the complexity.
Current price (if available)
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