Paint Shop Pro 9 Beta

Paint Shop Pro 9 Beta

I’ve been a fan of Jasc’s Paint Shop Pro since I encountered it in version 3 under Windows 3.1, so I was excited to read yesterday that Jasc Software are shortly to release Paint Shop Pro version 9. And not only that: I can try it out for free right now!

Jasc have released a Public Beta version for free download; mind you it is a 101 MB download, so if you’re not on broadband then I’d give it a miss if I were you, to be quite honest.

Having been using PSP 4.15SE (which didn’t have GIF support), which I got free from PCPlus in 1997, I upgraded to PSP 7.02 a few years ago when I saw it with 50% off on Amazon.co.uk. A couple of months later PCPlus included PSP 5 on one of their cover CD for free. I was tempted to upgrade to PSP 8 when it was released a while back but couldn’t really justify the expense when all I really wanted from PSP 8 was the halftone effect and the background eraser.

This afternoon I installed the PSP 9 Beta and I can say that it’s very different to PSP7. My immediate thoughts:

  • It’s got quite an Adobe / Macromedia feel to it, in terms of the docked pallettes
  • It feels like it uses far more system resources to run, I’ll have to check this, as some of the effects feel sluggish and slow to respond (and my system isn’t exactly poor: Athlon 2800+, 1 GB RAM, Radeon 9800 128 MB)
  • It takes 7 seconds to load, compared with 2 seconds for PSP7
  • I like the way it handles some of the Preferences, for example File Locations, and the Image Browser options are better, with a thumbnail now available up to 250 pixels instead of 100 px.

I have 64 more days to check it out before this Beta release dies on me.