Paint Shop Pro Free Training Course and Tutorial

Free Paint Shop Pro Training Course: Section 1

In this section, you will learn:

  • What is PaintShop Pro?
  • The Paint Shop Pro Interface
  • The image window
  • Using the tools and palettes
  • Common tools in PSP
  • Creating new files
  • Opening Paint Shop Pro files
  • Opening graphic files
  • Importing graphics
  • Printing images
  • Optimizing images for the web
  • Saving files

Introduction to Paint Shop Pro

What is Paint Shop Pro?

Paint Shop Pro is a sophisticated, yet fairly easy-to-use image editing program that’s far more affordable than others in its class. With tools for creating both raster and vector art, Paint Shop Pro is a comprehensive package that lets you create images as artistic and complex as any of the premier programs. Sophisticated photo enhancement tools help you rescue problem photographs, which you can import straight from your digital camera or scanner, and numerous effects offer endless possibilities for artistic enhancement. Version 9 also includes a new set of tools—the Art Media tools—that simulate painting and drawing in oils, chalk, pastels, and more. Used on a wet or dry canvas, the Art Media tools are designed to simulate the rich real-life process of creating art.

The Paint Shop Pro Interface

The Paint Shop Pro interface is organized into menus, toolbars, and palettes grouped around an image window in the center of the workspace:

Like other Windows programs, Paint Shop Pro’s menus and toolbars contain some standard commands in expected locations, like New, Open, Print, and Save, which are grouped in the File menu and on the Standard toolbar, and Cut, Copy, and Paste, which are grouped in the Edit menu. Most of the commands specific to working with your images are organized by type in the Image, Effects, Adjust, Layers, Objects, and Selections menus:

  • The Image menu contains commands specific to editing images, such as Flip, Mirror, Rotate, and Resize.
  • The Effects menu contains commands for applying special effects to images.
  • The Adjust menu contains commands for enhancing and retouching photographic images.
  • The Layers menu contains commands for working with the layers in your image.
  • The Objects menu contains commands for working with the vector objects in your image.
  • The Selections menu contains commands for working with the selections you create using the various selection tools.

The Paint Shop Pro toolbars group together shortcuts for the most common commands. The one you’ll use most frequently is the Tools toolbar, which by default appears vertically along the left side of the Paint Shop Pro window. This toolbar groups all the tools used to create and edit images.

The Paint Shop Pro palettes group related information about your image and help you to manage elements such as colors, materials, and layers. With the exception of the Tool Options palette, which appears horizontally below the Paint Shop Pro toolbars, palettes are displayed vertically along the right side of the window or floated over the workspace. Like the toolbars, they can be displayed or hidden, docked or floated.

There are ten palettes, but for basic image creation and editing, you’ll generally use only a few:

  • The Materials palette is used for selecting colors, patterns, and textures.

  • The Tool Options palette contains options specific to the tool or object that’s currently selected.

  • The Layers palette displays and lets you manage the layers in your image.

  • The Overview palette displays information about your image.

  • The History palette lists the actions you’ve performed, letting you undo and redo multiple actions at once.

The remainder of the palettes are fairly specific, so you can usually keep them hidden, preserving workspace until you need them:

  • The Mixer palette is used to mix pigments when working with the Art Media tools.

  • The Histogram palette graphs the distribution of red, green, blue, and greyscale values in an image, as well as hue, saturation, and lightness. This palette is often used for making complex corrections to an image.

  • The Brush Variance palette is used to set brush options mainly for a 4D mouse, tablet, or stylus.

  • The Script Output palette displays actions and script results.

  • The Learning Center palette contains some basic Paint Shop Pro tutorials.

Finally, the status bar at the bottom of the Paint Shop Pro window displays information about the tool you’re currently using, including instructions for using the tool. Keep an eye on the status bar when you’re using an unfamiliar tool, since these instructions can guide you through the process.

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