PaintShop Pro X8.1 Adds All-New Welcome Guide & More

PSPX8.1 Graphic_Feature_B
New PaintShop Pro Update Now Makes It Easier to Learn New Editing / Design Techniques

On behalf of the Corel Photo team, I’m excited to announce the latest update to PaintShop Pro—PaintShop Pro X8.1.

With this update, the team focused on improving the overall PaintShop Pro experience, making a variety of improvements in response to your feedback since the launch of PSPX8 in August, and adding some exciting new features that we think will help deliver a better overall PaintShop Pro.

First, please allow me to thank all of you who’ve been kind enough to contribute your thoughts and ideas with us. Whether it was a comment here on the blog; a message in our user-to-user forum; or a post on social media, our team has been listening and we’re working to integrate your suggestions and advice as we continue to improve PaintShop Pro.

Get Started Faster, Learn New Skills
While we get a lot of feedback from long-time users of PaintShop Pro, we hear a lot of requests for training and help information from new users as well. An increasing number of photographers, designers and marketers are turning to PaintShop Pro in response to Creative Cloud subscriptions, and regardless of where new users are coming from, we are keen to help them quickly become successful with PaintShop Pro.

One of the first things you’ll notice in the new PaintShop Pro X8.1 is the new Welcome Guide that greets you each time you fire up PaintShop Pro X8.


The Welcome Guide’s Learn tab introduces you to PaintShop Pro, providing you with a variety of free and premium video tips and tutorials to help you get a project started quickly and easily.

And we’ll be bringing you more than just the basics, too. My favorite part of the new in-app content delivery system is that everything is 100% dynamic. That means our team can switch elements out or add new ones, so you won’t get stuck with the same introductory videos every time the guide opens up.

Expect to find new tips and tricks based on community requests along with content inspired by trending photography and design techniques. Picking up the new or additional editing and design skills with PaintShop Pro has never been easier!

Discover New Corel Enhancements & Add-Ons
In addition to providing learning content, the new Welcome Guide also offers a Get More tab, which introduces you to exciting add-ons that will enhance and complement your PaintShop Pro experience.

Whether they’re full add-on applications like AfterShot Pro 2 to help beef-up your RAW workflow, plug-ins like ParticleShop to leverage the latest in particle brush technology, or content you can use directly within PaintShop Pro like one-click instant effects, we want to make getting the tools you need as easy as possible. You’ll see a growing number of free and premium items in the Welcome book in the months ahead.

In addition to the Get More tab, you’ll also find add-ons in a few other places within PaintShop Pro. Content and apps can now be provided at point-of-use using new Dynamic Content Trays. These new trays have been placed in locations around the app where you might find additional content or tools helpful. For example, are you working with different brushes and looking for some new tips? Just click on the brush drop-list, hover your pointer over one of the new add-ons and discover more about the specific brush or brush pack. Most dynamic content trays are easily hidden or shown according to your needs and tastes—keep watching these trays in the future as we roll out new tools and content.


Ongoing Performance Improvements
As images continue to grow in size (our friends over at Canon just released a camera that captures a whopping 50 megapixels – that’s roughly 8700×5800 pixels in size!), brushes have also had to get bigger. But larger brushes need more processing power and this can really impact performance—so, in X8.1, we’ve significantly enhanced brush speeds to make them as much as 4x faster.

Brushes like the Paintbrush, Texture Mask, Dodge/Burn, Clone and several others have seen average improvement of 2x faster than before, with some brushes getting boosts of up to 4x faster!

And, as PSP users have come to expect, this update also focuses on fixes for bugs, many of which have been sourced from our user community. X8.1 includes fixes for more than 100 issues.

These include:

  • Burn brush enhancements to correct edge results
  • Improvements to text-wrapping feature, including fixes to alignment
  • Changes to Organizer Palette, restoring drag-and-drop functionality
  • Updates to Adjust Workspace to set Save As preferences once per session; and many more.

Download the PaintShop Pro X8.1 Update Today
The new PaintShop Pro X8.1 update is available now from our Updates page and you should receive an in-program notification shortly.

Is there something you’d like to see added in an upcoming update? We want to know about it. Tell us in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to share your ideas with our development team!

Comments (7)

Reader Interactions


  1. Matthew says

    I won’t lie. When the service pack said it would allow us to discover new additions I was hoping more for something similar to Microsoft’s office templates where it would show individual brushes and the like that can be downloaded one at a time if we selected them. Not advertisements.

    I do have to agree with others. While it’s an interesting idea. I’m afraid the execution has made PSP closer to shareware being forced to endure advertisements. It takes up unnecessary amounts of space, especially if you have a smaller screen, and I question the ultimate value it offers your users. I have no doubt some will like it. But right now it offers too little to seem in any way more than advertisements in a product we’ve paid to use already.

    • Alex Brazeau says

      Thanks for the feedback, Matthew & Steve, it’s greatly appreciated. Our team is working hard to deliver all kinds of new and exciting content and other add-ons through the Dynamic Content Trays. We’ve only just rolled out this new feature and there’s lots more to come that I think you’ll really enjoy. In the meantime, the Tray in the brush panel can be collapsed by clicking the ^ icon in the tray. Hope this helps and thanks again for your comments.

  2. Steve says

    I understand your need to advertise new content, however “Dynamic Content Trays” are unprofessional and will cause me to decline future upgrades to your programs.

  3. Sonjia Starnes says

    I learned PSP on PSP 10. Then bought PSPX2, X4, X5, X6, X7and X8. I’ve never had a problem with Plugins working on any version, until PSP X8. I don’t know what was changed in X8, but I’m very unhappy with it . Lots of plugins will crash my X8.1 and close the program , then I will need to go back and use my X7, where all the plugins worked. If I need to use X7 for all my plugins to work, then I don’t see any reason for me to buy any future PSP programs. I’ll just keep using my X7 version. I know lots of these plugins are old, but they all worked perfectly in X7. For this X8, I’ve patched some of the plugins and got them to work this way, but other plugins, that can’t be patched don’t work. When X8.1 crashes, I have to open X7 and use it to complete what I’m working on. I sure do wish Corel would correct this problem, so it’s a usable program for me. It really irritates me to have purchased a product that I can’t use for lots of projects. If this issue doesn’t get fixed in X8.1, I will not be purchasing any new PSP products.

    • Alex Brazeau says

      Hi Sonjia, sorry to hear about your troubles when using older plugins. Generally speaking, keeping a particular plugin compatible with a new release is up to the developer of each individual plugin. It’s possible a member of our support team may be aware of a workaround. Drop a line to our support team and we’ll be in touch soon to help as much as we can. Thanks.

  4. Herbert Dupree, II says

    I am still on X7 Ultimate due to finances to upgrade.
    Requesting 3 things that would help:

    1. CorelDRAW support (.cdr). You currently have Adobe Illustrator support. I am aware that PSP is not primarily a Vector program, but it would be nice to have that option.

    2. Better text support or a different engine. I would love to do photo layouts with text that I currently use Word for text layout over a picture, export to PDF, re-export to TIFF uncompressed, then bring in to PSP as a layer to enable different background layers and what not. I am not an expert @ CorelDRAW, which is closer to a layout program, so this is the way my workflow works.

    3. Better rasterizing of PDF files. I would like it uncompressed, or at least have that option. Right now, the image is blurry and unusable directly, so I have to export from Acrobat to an image file that I can work with. I can and PSP supports PSD files, but if I wanted to use Photoshop files, I would be using probably Photoshop Elements as I can’t afford the full PS or Creative Cloud subscriptions.

    • Alex Brazeau says

      Thanks for sharing your feedback, Herbert–much appreciated. We’ll be sure to share these excellent suggestions with our development team. Thanks again!

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