Software Recommendations and what you use

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I started with Paintshop Pro because my mom gave me her copy of PSP7 when she upgraded to PSP8. As a low cost program, i stayed with it, and discovered it is so much more powerful than i thought. To me, Photoshop can be an overkill for most scrapbookers (even designers), and although it does some things that PSP can't do, PSP also does things that Photoshop can't (for example, i regularly get requests from PS users asking if i can convert my special picture tubes and scripts for them).

But again, many people also use more than one program. Why limit yourself to only one?

Photoshop IS powerful, Carole. Even after a decade of using it, there are still things I haven't learned about it--but I have the ability to create anything I need or want to make. I edit my photography, scrapbook, and design scrapbooking and commercial graphics with it. And if I want to take the easy route and use a premade style, brush, specialized gradient, or custom shape, I know that Photoshop is the industry standard, so there is something out there that matches my need--not to mention the actions (scripts) that I've written to make QCing go a LOT faster.

It's mostly a case of which one you learned first, and whether you're the type to dip a toe in with a program that's likely to eventually limit what you can do and require changing programs and learning the new one, or the type to grab the big one, spend a couple days watching internet videos to learn the basics of the program, and then just get into it and DO, finding a video if you want to know how to do something new. I'm the second type, and while I've been on a limited budget for a long time, knowing I don't HAVE to buy a more powerful program later on justified purchasing Photoshop. It meant more cheap meals for a while, but it's been worth it.

Photoshop IS powerful, Carole.

I agree it is. I am just saying that no program does everything (which is why several of my customers are Photoshop users who bought PSP just to add more functionalities).

Most program do what the users need, and many don't need more than what they have, which is fine. Even Photoshop can't do EVERYTHING; it is just that Photoshop users are happy with what they can do with it, and don't bother with what they can't, like most other programs users.

I started out with PhotoFiltre...but then went & got Paint Shop Pro.

I mainly stick with PSP (I have X5) for most of the stuff I do, but some stuff is easier in PS. I have both PSP X5 & PS CS3.

I am constantly switching between the two programs. I love that you can drag the image in one window & into another in PS. Plus, love being able to just Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail in PS to select it. In PSP, you have to do 3 steps to achieve that.

I am one who wishes they would just merge certain features of PS with PSP hahaha.

If you work with brushes, then you don't wanna try that in PSP lol. There's more settings in PS for brushes & the program doesn't freeze when you have more than 10 sets of brushes installed. I love working with brushes so if I want to use my brushes, I'll def be in PS.

I mentioned somewhere else that I have been a Corel Draw User since v2.0 back in the 80s, with Corel Photo Paint a little later. I am now on Corel Draw X5 (shying away from the next step not for cost reasons, but because they changed the colour management a I would have to adjust all my existing files). When I recently embarked on the digital scrapbooking adventure, I purchased PSP. Because I thought it would be easy for me, as it's coming from Corel. Well, it wasn't anything like Corel Photo Paint, I tell you. It was easier...! The brushes I find very tricky though, so I'm with Rachel on that in a way, but I have not experienced the PS way.
I would resume that PSP goes a long way at less cost, but useful tutorials are few and far between, you have to work out yourself how to translate PS processes into PSP processes.

There actually is a way to convert the process.

See in PS you can see what your brush will look like with various settings. In PSP there is no preview to it...and I think getting the right settings is a lot more difficult. Plus the brushes don't work smoothly in PSP.

Thank you everyone for this discussion, I learned a lot from all of you!
  In the meantime I use a program called Scrapbook MAX it is easy and especially nice for beginners, while reading the discussions here I also downloaded PC Inkscape and did little experience .really nice and easy to use.
I just dont know how to download the image to be a picture Instead url link...
If anyone can help me in this matter would love smiley

Sorry in advance for any spelling mistakes, English is a second language for me, assisted by Google Translate (blame them ..hhh) smiley

I started by using Powerpoint way back when, and was so happy when I discovered GIMP. I agree it's got a steep learning curve, but it's free and does the job well.

Inkscape is free vector software for drawing and painting. Useful if you want to create your own images.

I agree with Carole. Although Photoshop is undoubtedly powerful there are things that PaintshopPro does better - for instance, making instant patterns from any image - which is marvellous for making scrapbooking papers. It also makes fantastic kaleidoscopes with very little effort. I don't think Photoshop does either of these, does it? (Although you can probably get plug-ins).

See in PS you can see what your brush will look like with various settings. In PSP there is no preview to it...and I think getting the right settings is a lot more difficult. Plus the brushes don't work smoothly in PSP.

I agree that there is no preview of brushes settings in PSP, however, there are lots of settings: they are just hidden in the Brush variance palette when you only need the basic ones. Open that palette with F11 and you will discover a whole new world.
How smooth the brushes work in PSP will depend on some settings: the step can be set to 1 if you have a small brush, but should be increased if you are using a LARGE one otherwise it lags. Also, if you find that the brushes have too much of a "jaggied" edge in PSP, try to reduce the hardness to 70 and it will look much better.

Whether it is using just about any program, users often think they can't do something when they see it in a tutorial for another program, yet, they often do, just differently. It is a matter of knowing all those tips (and i still don't know them all, even after using PSP for over 10 years and being on the beta testing team for over 5 years!)

When I was using brushes in PSP, I kept my brush variance palette to the right (auto-hide so it didn't take up too much space). Yeah my brushes seemed to lag a lot...had no idea to adjust the step! TY for the tip, Carole!

I started with and still use paint shop. I find that I can do most of the things that can be done in ps and the learning curve was a lot easier.
I can open psd files with it and work with them, can do most elements that others do in ps. wouldn't trade it in on any of the new ones.
Using psprox4.

Glad to see another PSP user!
Waving at you!

I think it is all a matter of choice and what you are familiar with and both have their merits of use. I am also a PSP user as it was the software that went with a new PC and I have stuck with it ever since. It does all I chuck at it and I am quite apprehensive about learning a different system to achieve the same outcome but there is always a but and I never say never.. I have found that, with a bit of re jigging PSP can do most of what PS does. There are some very good groups who offer free lessons on how to use PSP which enabled me to actually use the program to do things other than edit photo's. So far, and I don't mean to blow my own trumpet here but I have learnt with them to use the program, make and use masks, how to use plugins, make scrap booking elements, make elaborate and decorative frames, Blending, Animation, vector drawing, Letter making and beginner, intermediate and advanced tubing, PHEW. Although there are loads of online you tube tuts for PS as opposed for PSP, I am not sure there are the same opportunities for the type of lessons I had for PS but then I wasn't looking for that specific program. Carole Cassel is a fabulous teacher of PSP and I love her monthly seminars as I learn so much more of PSP's potential.

Sheila xx

I use Paint Shop Pro too, have been with it since 7, now using 16...does anyone have PSP 18? Is it worth the upgrade?

I have PSPX8 and it is great for scrapbooking as it now has text inside a shape!
Here are information on X7 and X8 from my point of view:

Thanks Carole, your page was very helpful, much better info than on the Corel site! I'll be watching for the next good sale to upgrade smiley

Arlene, the reason why that information was more helpful is probably because i wrote the articles with a scrapbooker's point of view! I am sure a photographer might not care much about my view.
Register to the Campus for even more info! (that is free and you get even more content)

Did you ever find out how to

here I also downloaded PC Inkscape and did little experience .really nice and easy to use.
I just dont know how to download the image to be a picture

Just stumbled across this.

If you are talking about wanting to export your work as a png or jpg, you first need to
File> Export Bitmap

You can export what's on the page or the drawing or the selection itself.

You need to give it a file name and then click the Export button at the bottom. It will only export as a png format.

Just wondering... is the Craft Artist limited to use with digikit or can you import digital kits found here and use them as well in Craft Artist? TIA for your reply smiley

The kits can be used. The templates, I have not been able to get them to work.
What you do:
I use Craft Artist 2 Professional
Create a new blank project.
Select the size of the project page.
While creating the project a popup window opens allowing you to select from the different kits on your computer. Close it and do not select anything.
A blank page is created.
Now go to Tools on the menu bar. Select DigiKit Creator.
On the Digikit Creator page. To the left select what you want to import.
On the bottom right, click Import button. Another window opens to allow you to go to where the stored files are and select them.
When done select another option and repeat.
When you are done with your selections Click the Done button on the bottom right.
You need to name your collection and save.
When this is complete you will find all of your selections waiting to be used.

Thank you so much for answering my question. Really appreciate it smiley

You are welcome!

Hello Everyone!
I am a bit nervous about downloading a software program. It also has to be a free program as my husband and I are both full-time students who should be getting ready to retire. I have been using Microsoft Publisher and have been able to create layouts and quick pages, but I want to try designing my own papers and such. Can you recommend a free program that is relatively easy to learn?

Thank you!

I forgot to ask if anyone used pattern cooler. It is free (donations accepted) and it allows you to add texture, and change colors. I haven't used it yet but I will experiment later. I was just wondering if it was okay to use it.


Here is another PSP user. I use it for almost 20 years. When I start with PSP7 by Jasc I joined a german PSP class and this was very helpful. There were about 50 lessons and I learned a lot.
Now I'm looking forward to buy a new laptop and a upgraded version of PSP.

Does somebody know if the old filters like SuperBladePro by Flaming Pear and Harry'sFilters will also run on laptop with a windows version with 64 bit? I love to use my filters and won't miss them. My current version is 32 bit.

PS: To create seamless pattern I use a little program called "2020". Oldie but goldie. Just copy and paste your picture or one layer in the programm and with one click it is a seamless pattern that you can copy and paste back in PSP or Photoshop. Very helpful and quick. And it was free.

I was a big fan of Corel products (PSP and CorelDRAW) but then went Mac. I am currently using Affinity Designer and love it. Being a new (just a few years into the making) program, it lacks some features that CorelDRAW had. (I was using X4) But it also has some features that I hadn't used before. They are updating the software, and will give free upgrades until they reach version 2.0.
I also use Silhouette Studio Designer Edition. It is also being improved with free upgrades, but find I can do more in Affinity Designer, so often find myself creating PDF files to import into my cutting software.

Hey I have PSP and Photoshop both .. I started in psp and love it been using it for 16 -18 years got it instead of Photoshop because I did not want to buy PS and never use it and waste the money if I did not like my new graphic adventure was i wrong I started with psp and have not looked back

I upgrade PSP every two -3 years just upgraded to X9 I use both PSP and Photoshop daily and I agree with Carol there is things I like PSP better then Photoshop but there is things I love in PS that PSP does not have .... I love making my backgrounds & tubing (removing background) I also like the text tool better in PSP I do allot of tubing but I love the layer styles & the blending and Photo Repair options better in Photoshop

I got PS Cs3 from a friend who got it and never used we transferred the license to me it its was sitting on on my pc for 3 years without touching it ( had health problems & neck problems and was banned from the computer for two years ) when I came back they was offering the new CC subscriptions offer to Photoshop owners and I tried it and love it and having a blast learning it I do not go shopping or movies or watch much tv just stay at home and I feel like I am worth 10$ a month.still have that old CS 3 on a shelf with my PSP 7

my sister in law and niece is getting PSE for crafts and scrap booking and want me to teach them the program and working with layers I told them I do not have PSE and they said that would be fixed so I might have all three programs individually if they do buy PSE and wants too learn who knows ... ..but I kinda think not sure PSE is a milder version of Photoshop I guess I will see if they buy it plus I told them about Pixel Scrappers

I say if you are on a budget to go with PSP when you learn it you will love it and I think PSE is about the same price to

PS Carole I will have to sign up for your classes I love learning ... and I learn something everyday even though I use to teach beginners classes on a regular bases but have not taught a a full class for a long time only do 1-2 at at a time now a days

Gonda if you get a new laptop with Window 7 or 10 I recommend you getting the new current version PSP version if you have a 64 bit computer PSP will give you a option how to install it they have both 32 and 64 bit .. and if you have 64 bit you can install both 32 and 64 I recommend to install both 32 bit version and64 bit .. you would need the 32 bit to run your old plugins 64 to run your new plugins and large files I have wrote two tutorials on my blog for my students and members of the forum I belong to for new computers , and PSP and the old plugins we was having allot of help post on plugins so I wrote it up Installing X6-9 on New Windows Click Here

Plugin Help & Trouble Shooter Click Here