There’s little left to write about Paint Shop Pro that people already don’t know. I get the feeling that the conclusion to this review is already well known. In that case, I might as well just say it. It lives up to its reputation - Paint Shop Pro 8 is an excellent piece of software.

To list the functions or discuss them in any depth would take more than this short review - this is evident in the manual that comes with the package. It is 400+ pages - not so much bedtime reading, as a reference manual and unofficial piracy protection, and to get the best out of Paint Shop, you need it. Of course, in this day and age there is a comprehensive Help section with the software, as well as a tutorial and some functional demonstration movies.

If you are looking at a piece of software like this, you should probably be aware that it retails at around the £100 mark (probably to make up for the development of earlier versions), and for that, you get some serious image editing power. For you to be considering it in the first place, you should at least have some idea of the things out want to do with it. What ever they are, you probably can. One of the best features of PSP8 is that you can automate functions, so if you are using this in a capacity where you need to carry out the same processes, say in photo correction and personalization, then you can set it all up and save much time and effort.

In a quick session, you can make huge improvements either automatically, manually or a combination of both. There are all the comedy features you’d expect, to expand regions you want bigger, or airbrush things you want to change - think professional magazine cover images, and you can do it.

Also bundled is Animation Shop, which, as the name suggests, is a quick and easy way of creating animations. Within 5 minutes, we had a comedy gif created for the web.

Price when reviewed:

Now down to the criticisms. I don’t think I can find anything, except for the price. It is expensive, but you get so much functionality for that, I think it is fair. Perhaps it is a little complex for some users, but this is aimed at serious users - not really a homework application for the kids. Of course, it’s a great way of creating naked teacher pictures, but there we go. In summary, it’s all here, and its fantastic.