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Meet Photoshop's Nemesis: PhotoImpact X3

Introducing PhotoImpact X3

Corel subsidiary Ulead has had a unique role in the evolution of graphics editors for Windows—a role that few users know about, since it was kept hidden until a few years ago by a contractual agreement with Adobe.

But Ulead’s many years of experience in imaging software—even Adobe turned to Ulead for help in creating a robust image editor for Windows more than 15 years ago—has resulted in the evolution of a competitive piece of software, called PhotoImpact, that gives Photoshop a run for its money.

Because Adobe bought some of Ulead’s Windows image editing code many years ago, Ulead was long restricted from creating CMYK color mode software (to comply with a non-compete agreement). CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black) is the color set used by printers, while RGB (Red Green Blue) are the colors used by your computer monitor. The ability to simulate CMYK colors on a computer screen can lead to more accurate color matching, when the photo you see on your monitor is sent to your printer.

This color matching ability is one thing Photoshop has going for it, while Corel’s PhotoImpact (now in newest version X3) still does without. Corel is now free to add CMYK back into its product, yet hasn’t done so. But how much will this shortcoming affect PhotoImpact as a consumer photo editing tool? Read on to find out.