Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Create Your Own Workspace - Make PSP Your Own, Pt 1

Hi folks,
I got inspired to create a different sort of tutorial for Paint Shop Pro; one I have not been able to find anywhere else: creating your own workspace.  "Workspace" is the PSP name for the interface that you are presented with when you launch the program.  It is what decides which tools and palettes you will have at the ready.

There are no less than three different ways to do most everything in any graphics program: macros, a.k.a. shortcuts (Ctrl+ functions), menus (right or left click to reveal options), and buttons - just click and go.  Learning which of those ways works best for you and personalizing your space, accordingly, frees your imagination by allowing you to create more automatically.

Tutorial: Creating Your Own Workspace in Paint Shop Pro

A Paint Shop Pro (PSP) Tutorial by Hafapea

To start, I would like to share some of my favorite macros with you.  First, there are the basics that most Windows users are already familiar with and how they work in PSP.  (I do not know for sure but, my understanding is that, if you are a Mac user, then you simple need to substitute "Command" for "Ctrl," below):
  • Ctrl+C = Copy
    • This works only if what you are copying is the active layer in your layer palette for the selected image.  If you want to copy all of the layers as one, then you need to right click at the top of the image and select, "Copy Merged."
  • Ctrl+X = Cut
    • This will remove the graphic from the active layer in your layer palette, but will leave an empty layer for you to add something else to; something that can also be accomplished by pressing the "Delete" key on your keyboard.  If you want to completely remove the layer, then you need to right click on the layer and select "Delete" from the menu that appears.
  • Ctrl+V = Paste
    • This will only work when pasting a new layer onto an image.  To perform other pasting actions, you will need to either right click at the top of your working image or use these shortcuts, instead: 
* In the image, above, you can see that there are right-handed macros, as well (i.e. Ctrl+l, for Ctrl+V).  You will find all PSP shortcuts directly across from the name of the function on their menus. Use this to learn which work best for you.
  • Ctrl+S = Save
    • Used on an image that has previously been saved, it will simply overwrite the previous version
    • Used on a new image, it will open the "Save as" window:

* The window in the back shows the expanded "Save as type" menu, on the "Save As" window, that will allow you to choose which format to save your image in.  The blue highlighted section is where the name of the image appears and is edited.  This window cannot be customized.

These next few are specific to Paint Shop Pro and may or may not work in Photoshop, as well.  In using both programs I have found that they are more similar than different, though, so there is a good chance that they will.  Regardless, these macros are for the functions on the Image menu, shown below, that I use most frequently:

  • Ctrl+R = Rotate
    • This will open a new window that you can use to either rotate the entire image or just your active layer.  The interface looks like this and is pretty self-explanatory.  The only setting that may be a bit ambiguous is "Rotate single layer around canvas center."  This setting only affects active layers and how they are rotated.  If you tick the box, then the image will be moved around the outer circumference of the center's perimeter; if you leave it unchecked, then the image will turn in place.

  • Shift+S = Resize
    • This will also open a new window.
From the top:
    • Width & Height: You may set the dimensions of your image using Inches, Centimeters or Millimeters.  As you can see, I use Inches.  The padlock icon that is connecting Width to Height can be unlocked by unticking the box, below, "Lock aspect ratio."  More on that later.*
    • Resolution: You can set your image's resolution using either Pixels/inch, a.k.a. ppi and dpi, or Pixels/Centimeter.
    • Advanced Settings: When you launch this window for the first time, the bottom half of the interface will be hidden.  Tick this box to reveal it.
    • Resample using:  This setting offers 5 choices: Smart Size, Bicubic, Bilinear, Pixel Resize & Weighted Average.  I do not really know what the difference between most of them is, aside from the obvious "pixel resize;" so, if I don't like the way an image resizes, I just play with those settings to see if I can get a better outcome.  Weighted Average is the one that I tend to use most often, though.
      • Sharpness: A setting exclusive to Bicubic resampling that can be used to control how blurred the resized image or layer becomes.
    • Maintain original print size: I have never used this.  PSP's Help section can teach you more about it, though.
    • Lost aspect ratio: This box will already have a number in it when you launch the interface.  It is your image's width:height ratio.  If you wish to change this, i.e. make a rectangular image square, then you first need to *un-tick the box to unlock the connection above, as mentioned in the explanation of Width & Height.
    • Resize all layers: Does just what it says.  If you only want to resize your active layer, then un-tick the box; otherwise all of your layers will be effected.
  • Ctrl+M = Flip Horizontal
    • In earlier versions of PSP, this function was called Mirror (hence the M).  It will flip an image from left to right and vice versa.
  • Ctrl+I = Flip Vertical 
    • In earlier versions of PSP, this function was called Flip (does not explain the I hahahahah).  It will flip the image from right side up to right side down and vice versa.
Well, there you have it: A way for you to start learning which macros suit you best.  In Part 2 I will discuss Toolbars, followed by Palettes in Part 3.  If you would like to start poking around on your own, then right click on the top edge of the PSP window (up where the tabs are) and select "Customize" from the menu that appears.

Happy creating :),

PS: I have no idea why that one section is blue but, Blogger refuses to let me change it to black. hahahaha

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