updated 03:25 pm EDT, Wed August 8, 2001
Corel has officially begun shipping Painter 7 under the "procreate" mantra used heavily during last month's Macworld Expo in NY. New features include watercolor paints, liquid ink, and a fully Aqua-compliant interface. MacNN reader Don Shank has sent us an extensive first-hand report (click on "read more") about Painter 7, which is priced at $499 for the full release and $199 for upgrades.
"The program is very nice. Image windows respect the dock, and won't let you drag the window resize widget down below the dock. I like that. Tool Palettes are also expandable and they also respect the dock. :-)
"There are 5-6 palettes (for some reason choosing hide or show for 'controls' or 'color set' does nothing - so i don't know for sure how many palettes there are) Each of these palettes has several subsections and even though they are all logically grouped they don't let you move any subsection out of that palette to be it's own palette. Obviously they invented this new palette scheme for painter 6 because they got so much flack for having so many palettes that it was unwieldy but if you are a professional artist you might have a large display and would have the space, to customize to your own taste. My problem with the current set up is that there are certain controls that i want in certain places on my screen to work best and those controls are stuck scrolling up and down and accidentally getting minimized and whatnot. forgive me for running on about this but I even wrote an email to Mark Zimmer pleading to add the ability to move subsections out of the parent palette and I guess they decided not to - or didn't have the time.
"In any event they must be applauded for getting this app out sooner rather than later and it doesn't appear to be buggy (like the Bryce trial i have been trying), and it has a lot of great things going for it. Image windows have a scale slider along the bottom as well as a pop up image navigator, like photoshop's, except that because the navigator is attached to the image window via a popup the navigator takes up no screen real estate as a palette. The navigator window is quite large. Very nice.
"The new water color tools are absolutely Fantastic! They have to be seen to be believed!
"I don't know what else I could say about it at this point. It seems to run at the same speed as it does in OS 9. There's no way for me to guage something like this. The program works good and it looks really good.
"I did have a bit of trouble with the image navigator on one image it didn't want to work. a little glitch i guess. It worked fine on all the other images.
"The manual has, in the past, always alternated between Windows interface and Mac interface for the diagrams. Now the manual is virtually taken over by the OS X interface (with the exception of part of one chapter that uses some Windows windows, and one part with some OS 9 windows)
"All in all i think they did a great job with it, and my earlier worries about it being sold to Corel have vanished. This feels like the program that made me buy a Mac in the first place back in 1994."