Paint Shop Pro 7 Anniversary Edition

To celebrate Paint Shop Pro's 10th anniversary, Jasc Software has released a new edition of its popular image editing software - version 7. This $239 shipping package is unchanged from the version we reviewed in the October 2000 issue, but it does come bundled with some great extras - notably the Animation Shop program, as well as Media Center Plus, a program for organising and categorising media files such as digital photos. Plus, in the lead-up to Christmas, Harvey Norman and Dick "Smith Electronics stores are offering the anniversary issue at a special promotional price of $199.

The package throws in a selection of filters for processing images and adding special effects: one lets you transform photos into collages, and another into pastel paintings. Many of these filters (such as Eye Candy Fire, which can easily add smoke or flames to any picture) are useful; others are older versions of filters available from their third-party makers or are demo versions that put a big stamp across the image.

Paint Shop Pro remains an extremely powerful and reasonably priced Photoshop alternative, with plenty of image processing tools inside. Still, some aspects of the program (such as the masking and the photo enhancement tools) remain difficult to use. The new filters and additional programs are nice extras.

Paint Shop Pro 7 Anniversary Edition

Price: $239; Upgrade $149; Education $199; Distributor: Communique; Phone: (02) 9622 5624; URL: www.comm-unique.com.au; www.jasc.com

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