- Platform: Windows 2000 / 95 / 98 / NT / Me / XP
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The painting engine itself has been rewritten to give smoother control over your brushstrokes and it's now quite possible to do delicate work with the mouse, where before a graphics tablet might have been necessary.
Several new tools have been introduced and others have been enhanced, so they're equally useful to the casual photo retoucher and the professional digital artist. A couple of examples are the red-eye removal and erase-to-background tools. Red-eye removal calls up a two-pane dialogue, for editing on the left and preview on the right. After highlighting each eye in turn and selecting the colour and hue of your choice, the result can be a very natural looking pair of irises.
Erase-to-background enables you to paint away any part of a photo and leave just the unpainted parts as a foreground image. It's more intelligent than a simple eraser and detects line edges so works particularly well on high-contrast subjects. Other new tools include warp and mesh warp brushes.
A major new productivity feature is the scripting recorder, with which you can teach the program a task and get it to repeatedly run that sequence of operations. This is ideal if you want to convert a batch of files from one format to another or resize a series of images. --Simon Williams