PSP Tips and Tricks

Welcome! To anyone that has useful comments about art, especially computer art, you're more than welcome to  e-mail in your remarks. I plan to put up tips and tricks, advice etc. on Paint Shop Pro (plus anything else that comes to mind) that I have collected off the internet as I have the time.

For the first one, tip that is, practice makes perfect. That old saying still holds true today. And remember, patience is a virtue. Cliches? Yes, but you can do anything you set your mind to, even artwork, with practice and patience. I ought to know. I started with just a blob of paint not long ago in Paint Shop Pro, and now you can actually tell what it is that I am drawing.   

You can check that out for yourself right here at my :

Fantasy Art site.

Check out the Paint Shop Pro tubes here. Free for commercial or personal usage! No strings!

Tip 1:
In Paint Shop Pro or any image editor for that matter, you should save your work often in case of illegal errors, crashes, etc. if you don't want to lose all your hard work. For saving these works in progress, you should always save in a 24-color format with lossless (or no) compression. These include Windows bitmap (.bmp), TIFF (.tif), PNG (.png), and PSP (.psp) in Paint Shop. It is preferrable NOT to save in GIF or JPEG. Saving in GIF format before completion will cause loss of color depth, and should only be done if the image has very few colors. Saving in JPEG format will cause minor errors (such as slight blurred edges) from the lossy compression, which will be compounded every time the file is resaved. So save your work in a lossless compression format (above) for best results, guys.
I don't know about earlier versions of Paint Shop but in Paint Shop Pro 7, you can test this out using the 'Preview in Browser' command under your view menu and selecting all the formats in the box when it shows them.

First order of the day is a wish that goes out to a friend of mine: You can view it here:


Making a Transparent Gif

When you need or want to create a transparent GIF, don't forget that it works best on web pages with a solid color background.

If your background uses more than one color, choose the most common color on it. This will be used as the background color of the image you wish to make transparent.

Select the Eyedropper Tool and right click on the color in the image you want to make transparent.

Go up to the Colors Menu and select Set Palette Transparency.  Choose the Set the transparency value to the current background color option.

Now you can go to the Colors menu and choose View Palette Transparency and you will see that your image now has transparency.

Hide your Toolbars:
If you're tool bars seem to be in your way, you can use the Tab Key on your keyboard to toggle it out of the way. Just hit Tab to turn it off and Tab to turn it back on again. Easy, huh?

Plugin Files
Certain filters require the Adobe's PLUGIN.DLL file to be in your Windows/System folder to get them to work with Paint Shop Pro.
You'll also need to download and install the msvcrt10.dll to your Windows/System folder to get things up and running. You can get them here: Boxes in Paint Shop greyed out?
 If everything is greyed out in Paint Shop Pro, it could be for one of several reasons.  Check to be sure you are using 16 million colors. If not, go up to colors and then down to increase color depth. Click on 16 million colors.
Certain tools require a selection before they become available and until you make that selection, certain things will remain greyed out.
Some tools will only work on raster layers. If the layer you're working on is vector, then convert it to raster. Select layers, convert to raster layer. (PSP7)  After scanning something, be sure that you end your TWAIN session.

Using Cutout

Sometimes when you are using the cut-out tool in Paint Shop Pro to make a drop-shadow, it will cut out the entire image. When you don't want this to happen, float (Ctrl-F) the selection first. Then try apply the cut-out.

In Paint Shop Pro, the word MARQUEE refers to the the broken lines surrounding a selection, better known as the 'little marching ants'. Choosing hide Marquee on the menu turns the blinking edge on or off, although it remains in effect.

Defringe - will bleed non-feathered pixels in the selection outward and over the "jaggies" in the selection. This is used when the selection is made on a colored background.

The word FEATHER sets the sharpness of the edges surroundinng your selection by fading pixels along the edge. It helps to blend a selection into another image. Higher values mean softer transitions.

You can find lotsa Paint Shop Pro and Art resources here at New Concepts Fantasy Art.