Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 is the latest version of an image editing program which for nearly 20 years has been the leading consumer alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Starting life in 1992 as a fairly basic raster painting and image editing package called Jasc PaintShop Pro, it has steadily developed over the years into a very powerful program. Jasc Software was acquired by Corel in 2004, and since then the program has undergone several changes, not least to its name which has got progressively longer and more complicated with each new iteration. The latest version changes the name from the well-known “PaintShop Pro Photo” to “PaintShop Photo Pro” for some reason that probably seemed like a good idea to Corel's marketing department.
PaintShop has always been seen as a cheaper alternative to Adobe Photoshop, and indeed its success was one of the main reasons that Adobe launched Photoshop Elements in 2001. PaintShop Pro is quite possibly the most pirated program ever made, and earlier versions (up to version 9.0) are freely available for download from a number of websites. The latest version is available as either a boxed program with a full printed manual, or as a download from Corel's own online store, priced at £79 for the full version or £59 as an upgrade from version 10 or higher. However if you shop go to Amazon you can find the full version for as little as £65. If that still seems a bit expensive, bear in mind that the latest version of Adobe Photoshop will cost you around £600, and even Photoshop Elements is around £75.