Corel PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate review

Ben Pitt
11 Oct 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Lots of great features and just as many irritating niggles – ultimately, the cons outweigh the pros


It's impossible to review PaintShop Pro without comparing it to Photoshop Elements. They're very similar in many respects but we've always found Corel's editor to be a little awkward and slow compared to its arch rival. It comes top for advanced features, though, with CMYK separations and 16-bit colour support aligning it closer to Photoshop CS6 than Elements. However, now that Photoshop Elements supports layer masks, these differences aren't so significant for home users.

The Manage mode is home to the best new tricks. It can now tag faces, and uses a combination of face recognition and names downloaded from Facebook to speed things up. Facebook uploads have tags that are linked through to friends' profiles. It didn't let us tag ourselves in photos, though. Face detection seemed accurate but the process of going through to confirm or correct tags was more time-consuming than in Picasa or Photoshop Elements. It was easier to let the software locate faces and then for us to name them manually by dragging the thumbnails on the People tags.

Corel PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate maps

Photos can be browsed on a map or via a directory of location names from country to street level

The Manage tab also adds mapping, and it's the best implementation we've seen to date. Geo-tagged photos can be browsed on a map, but it's also possible to browse them using location name tags, arranged as a tree view structure. Clicking a tag reveals all photos taken in a particular country, region, town or street, either on the map or as a selection of thumbnails.

Corel PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate Share My Trip

Share My Trip publishes interactive maps, complete with Street View

Comprehensive text searches of anything from postcodes to landmarks help to find locations for manually geo-tagging, and Street View images help pinpoint a location. A Share My Trip function uploads an interactive map to Dropbox and posts a link to Facebook.

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