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Abobe Photoshop vs. Corel Photo-Paint: Why I switched

May 12, 2011

in All Articles,Photo and Video

Post image for Abobe Photoshop vs. Corel Photo-Paint: Why I switched

I’ve been a Corel user for a good chunk of my life. I’ve dabbled with the Corel Graphics Suite since version 6, released in 1995. Now I’m done with Corel Photo-Paint and am using Adobe Photoshop.

From 1995 to 2011 is a long time to dedicate to a particular company, much less a particular program. But in the past it was justified – I played with most aspects of the Corel Graphics Suite, but really purchased it for its photo-editing software, “Corel Photo-Paint”. It was significantly cheaper than its competitor, Adobe Photoshop, and in my mind was just as good or better.

All things must come to an end. I get that. But it’s frustrating when I’m pushed into that decision by bad tech support and product design. I wasn’t led away by a competitor, but pushed away by Corel.

Here’s what happened:

I’d been using Corel Graphics Suite v12 as my photo-editing software. With the recent purchase of a high-powered PC, I wanted to upgrade my version of Corel – the old version was 32-bit and I was having problems installing it on my newer 64-bit OS (Windows 7). So I figured I’d upgrade.

I did. Corel Graphics Suite x5 worked fine, until I started running it with other programs open at the same time. Then Corel Photo-Paint x5 would crash. This could be during any type of operation, but it seemed to most often crash during processes that required more memory allocation (like copying/pasting pictures or making an animated GIF).

While these Corel crashes were clearly memory-related, my system wasn’t at fault. I was running 64-bit Windows 7 with 8GB of RAM. This was a very clean install and the system was only days old. The only things I had installed when the problem occurred were MS Office, Dreamweaver, Vipre antivirus and Chrome. I verified that yes, there were no memory issues and all Microsoft and Corel patches were at latest versions. I turned off Vipre as part of the troubleshooting. Yet Photo-Paint still ended up crashing.

So I emailed Corel support. Here’s the email chain:

I have a new Windows 7 64-bit PC that’s recently been formatted and reloaded. The Corel X5 Suite was one of the first things I loaded. I’m currently running it with SP2. Corel updates show none available.

My primary application used is Corel Photo-Paint X5. Unfortunately, it keeps crashing on me. It is almost always when I’m manipulating layers or resizing photos, cropping, pasting, moving, or doing other pretty generic operations. This happens most often when I have 3 or more windows open, leading me to believe it may be a memory issue.

My PC is a Lenovo T410, with Windows 7 Enterprise and 8GB RAM. I have all MS updates available for Windows, all Lenovo drivers updated to latest versions (including video card).

Photo-Paint crashes enough that I really can’t use it reliably – I experienced 5 crashes in a 30-minute period, after which I found that lowering the number of active windows seemed to prevent the crash.

Please help me to either fix this issue or process a refund.

They emailed back:

Case 00969462

Dear Mr.Kaiser,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

Please be informed that CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 requires a lot of memory resources, therefore it is advisable to avoid using the program with other program running in the background. Eventhough, you have 8Gb of RAM since the program is a 32 bit application, it cannot maximize your 8Gb memory resources.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further questions.

So I wrote back:

If Corel then can not work well on my system, I’d like to process a refund and return my license. Please assist me in doing so. What do I need to do to make this happen?

There was no response after eight days. So I wrote again:

I have not yet received a response on my question below: if this software can’t be made to work on my system, may I process a refund and return my license?

A month later: No response.

Now, in fairness to Corel, my purchase was just outside the 30-day return window – I think I was at 40 days or so by the time I initiated this request. I didn’t expect a refund, but figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. Life was busy and I didn’t install the product for a while after purchasing it. My fault. But it’s still frustrating to get NO response back from a support department.

I work for a service organization myself. If I treated my own clients like I was treated here, I’d be fired. So, with regret, that’s what I have to do to Corel. Here are my reasons for leaving them:

  1. CorelDraw Graphics Suite x5 is 32-bit. The online detail alludes that it’s 64-bit. In my opinion, that’s false advertising.
  2. It’s buggy on my brand-new system.
  3. Support can’t or wasn’t willing to help resolve those bugs.
  4. Repeated requests to support go unanswered.
  5. I’m out the cost of the upgrade ($160) with nothing to show for it.

No support. No refund. Therefore: No more Corel.

It’s sad that, as a dedicated user for 16 years, I’ve had to move away from the Corel Graphics Suite through the failure of software and product support. I’d rather have competing products continue to outdo each other and get better over time. I’d rather have a product’s increase in quality be the deciding factor on who gets my money. Not here. Here, the lack of quality (Corel’s tech support and their software itself) made the decision for me.

Goodbye, Corel Phot0-Paint. Hello, Adobe Photoshop.

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