Can publish to Internet, PDF, or standard image formats
Relies on WINE for much of its functionality
Large download (90 MB)
Vintage Corel: Photo-Paint integrates its Windows interface well into the Linux environment with Wine.
Pentium 200 MHz or greater
Linux kernel 2.2 or above
glibc 2.0 or 2.1
PRM or DEB package management
64 MB RAM minimum
128 MB RAM recommended
These days, there is certainly no shortage of graphics editors for Linux. Several already come with most Linux distributions, and many others can easily be downloaded from the Internet. Casual users, however, may find some of these editors too complex to set up or use. Other editors are more specialized and have more limited functionality. Well, if you’re in need of an easy- to-use photo-editing package, Corel’s Photo-Paint 9 for Linux is worthy of serious consideration.
Corel Photo-Paint is truly a fully featured photo-editing suite. It is especially well-suited for users who are already familiar with the Corel Draw Graphics Suite on Windows platforms. It includes image-scanning capabilities, batch processing of images, direct Internet publishing, and even the ability to create PDF files. Any feature you’d expect from Adobe’s Photoshop, or other similar package, can be found in Photo-Paint.
The first thing that struck me about this program was its sheer size. The rpm version of Photo-Paint was a 90 MB download from the Corel Web site! Other packages, such as GIMP, total fewer than 5 MB. Corel also has a .deb version of the program available on its Web site, which is sure to make Debian diehards happy.
Setting up Corel Photo-Paint was a fairly painless endeavor. The installation wizard is very straightforward and walks you step-by-step through the setup. Including download with a DSL connection, it took about 20 minutes to get this behemoth up and running.
Once Photo-Paint was installed, I ran it in an X-term window, and it loaded up the Wine libraries. It then built its internal font listing in about two minutes.
We tested the program on a system running Linux-Mandrake 7.1 with Helix GNOME installed. We performed edits on a number of existing photos (such as the kaleidoscope image of my daughter in the screenshot), and the results proved that Photo-Paint for Linux lives up to Corel’s reputation for producing excellent graphics-editing tools.
While there are no major problems with this product, there is one downside that isn’t a problem with Photo-Paint itself. In order to more easily port the graphic editor to Linux, Corel relied on the Wine package to emulate Windows system calls used by Corel Photo-Paint for Windows. This got the product running on Linux without a major rewrite, but it brought many Windows-related problems (such as crashes and GUI oddities) to the Linux version.
All in all, Corel Photo-Paint 9 for Linux is a good choice for anyone who wants a free application with basic photo-editing and touchup capabilities. While many may prefer GIMP for quick and dirty image editing, Corel Photo-Paint may become the new favorite for batch processing of images and complex graphical effects.
If you’re looking for a more complete end-to-end image editing and manipulation package, take a look at the Corel Draw Graphics Suite. For $199, you get Corel Draw 9, Corel Photo-Paint 9, Bitstream Font-tastic, Netscape Navigator, and a wealth of clip-art, fonts, and stock photos.
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