Corel Paint Shop Pro Vs. Adobe Photoshop

By Lauren Treadwell

i Michael Gann/Demand Media

Corel Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop are rival software programs used to manipulate and improve the quality of photos and other images. The user-friendly Paint Shop Pro is more suited for amateur image-editors and the general public, whereas the more complex Photoshop is the go-to-tool for professional photographers, graphic designers and Web designers. Paint Shop Pro has less image-processing power and fewer overall features than Photoshop, but it is also much less expensive.


Both Corel Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop perform a variety of image-editing tasks and can help you design flyers, posters and other visual media. Both programs include tools to adjust color, saturation and tone, and can also be used to distort, crop, retouch and layer images. In photographs, both programs can remove red-eye and allow you to airbrush blemishes away. Adobe Photoshop has a wider array of features, although newer versions of Paint Shop have added more advanced editing techniques such as Fill Light, which brightens dark areas of a photo.

Special Features

One of the features that has set Adobe Photoshop apart from its competitors is its content-aware scaling, according to "PC Magazine." Content-aware scaling allows you to resize an image without distorting key content such as people or buildings. One of Corel Paint Shop Pro’s distinguishing features is its auto-preserve originals tool. When activated, an original copy of the image you're working on is automatically tucked away in a new folder. If you make editing mistakes, you can restore the original. Once you do this, however, the edited version is deleted permanently.

Ease of Use

Adobe Photoshop’s interface can be confusing for some users, and the way tasks are split up can seem counterintuitive, according to "PC Magazine." Conversely, Corel Paint Shop Pro is user-friendly and features a streamlined interface divided into modes that are based on what you want to do with your photos: Manage, Edit or Adjust.

Professional Use

Contrary to its name, Corel Paint Shop Pro is not the more common image-editing program among professionals. But some professionals, especially those on a budget or who have just started out, do use it. Adobe Photoshop, on the other hand, is the industry standard: the most widely used image-editing program in the realm of professional photography, design and other related fields.


Corel Paint Shop Pro comes at a fraction of the cost of Adobe Photoshop, which costs hundreds of dollars as a standalone product. But Adobe also makes a stripped-down version of Photoshop called Elements, which is comparable to Paint Shop in price and features.