1. Technology

Corel Ulead PhotoImpact X3

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Corel Ulead PhotoImpact X3

Corel Ulead PhotoImpact X3

© Corel

The Bottom Line

PhotoImpact allows beginners to quickly achieve professional-looking results, while providing advanced features so users won't feel limited as they gain experience. With each new release, PhotoImpact includes more new features to keep it in line with the competition. For many years I have considered PhotoImpact the best value photo editor for Windows and it consistently remains one of my top picks, especially for beginners.


  • Successfully blends ease of use and flexibility.
  • Impressive variety of native filters, special effects, and art work.
  • Extensive Web graphics and 3D capabilities.
  • ExpressFix mode and SmartGuides ease the learning curve for beginners
  • Includes a detailed, printed User Guide book.


  • GIF Animator is no longer included and no replacement is provided.
  • Inconsistent compatibility with third-party plug-ins
  • Not a lot of new features for upgraders from version 10/11/12.


  • All-in-one solution for photo editing and enhancement, graphic design and Web design.

  • Presets and automated tools make it easy for beginners, but advanced users have powerful tools, too.

  • Combines vector & bitmap drawing, photo enhancement, retouching, text, 3D design, and Web graphics.

  • Offers batch processing & automation, multiple print layouts, many presets, effects, and filters.

  • EasyPalette offers one-click preset effects, animations, brushes, styles, fills, shapes, objects, etc.

  • Offers the most comprehensive Web publishing tool set of any other product in its class.

  • Includes Corel MediaOne Plus for photo organization and Painter Essentials 3 for creating digital art.

  • Tons of bonus content: Web components, photos, clip art, presets, animations, filters, objects, etc.

  • New: resize for email, rule of thirds and golden ratio crop, comic strip and collage layouts, cloud pen, slideshow wizard.

  • Enhanced: ExpressFix crop and straighten tools, RAW Support, panorama maker, DVD menus/labels, calendars, cards, wallpaper.

Guide Review - Corel Ulead PhotoImpact X3

PhotoImpact delivers a mind-boggling array of features at a price that makes it one of the best values in image editing software for Windows. PhotoImpact offers a suite of tools for Web graphics creation, image editing, photo correction and enhancement, drawing and painting, plus plenty of extras for special effects and creative exploration.

At the heart of PhotoImpact is the EasyPalette which includes hundreds (if not thousands) of predefined drag-and-drop effects, styles, objects, textures, and shapes. Any of the presets can be customized, refined, and saved for future use in the EasyPalette. There is also an ExpressFix mode that automates common tasks and simplifies the user interface for new users. A new SmartGuide also provides step-by-step help for new users. PhotoImpact comes with a Web component designer, image slicer and optimizer, panorama photo creator, print layout component, screen capture tool, automation and batch conversion features, project templates, and Web page creation tools.

Version X3 brings a few new features as well as enhancements to existing features and improved performance and compatibility with Windows Vista. In addition, PhotoImpact X3 comes bundled with Corel MediaOne Plus for organizing and cataloging your photos, and Corel Painter Essentials 3 for creating artistic effects.

PhotoImpact is easy and fun to use, but flexible enough to grow with the user. It offers many unique features that aren't available from the competition, such as 3D object manipulation, DVD slideshows and menus, and Web publishing capabilities. It's a terrific all-in-one solution for users who don't require high-end features and commercial output, and its unique offerings and low price make it an attractive companion tool for those who do.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.