Thursday, March 31, 2016

Create Your Own Workspace - Make PSP Your Own, Pt 2

 Hi folks,

Here I am to tut away!  hahaha

First things first, just in case you missed it,  if you want one, you can get a free graphics program from Google.  They recently decided to give away their photo editing software, Nik Collection.  Photo editing software is technically what both Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro are. 

Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw are the graphics programs released the their respective creators.  I have never used it but, you never know - it might be a really great program.

Just a quick recap: Last week I showed you how to find and use macros, a.k.a. keyboard shortcuts, to personalize your Paint Shop Pro experience.  This week I will show you how to personalize your Toolbars.

Tutorial: Creating Your Own Workspace in Paint Shop Pro

A Paint Shop Pro (PSP) Tutorial by Hafapea

The Tool Bars run along the left-hand side and top of your Workspace.  Here are pictures of mine:

The image above show the Toolbars that are at the top of my Workspace and the image below depicts that which is on the left-hand side. 

In the first image, above, there are two Toolbars topped off by the Menu Bar.  The Toolbars look similar but, they serve two very different purposes.  The topmost bar can be personalized, as can the left Toolbar below; however, the bottom Toolbar cannot be.  Which Toolbars appear on the bottom row is partially up to you, though.

Using the Toolbars menu, shown below, you can select which Toolbars will always appear at the top of your Workspace.  As you can see, I use Standard, Status and Tools.  The Standard Toolbar is the topmost bar that can be personalized.  The Tools Toolbar is what you will use to change the settings of the Tools that are in your left-sided bar.  The options will change with each tool as it is selected.  The one shown in the picture above contains the settings for the Pan Tool.

Hint: Play around with those settings so you can learn what they do.  I like to make big changes so that the effect is obvious, such as changing the Step of a Paintbrush from 0 to 50.

Now I will tell you about the Toolbars that I don't use but, before I do, I just want to mention one thing: the Toolbars that stay put are "Docked."  You Dock a Toolbar by selecting it from the menu and then, after it opens in a new window, you Click & Drag the top of the window to an empty space on a Toolbar: either that on the left or the topmost bar.  When you have it in the proper position, it will visually pop into place.

To remove a Toolbar after it has been docked, you can either pull up the Toolbars Menu and deselect it or you can Click & Drag it off and then click on the X that appears in the upper right corner.  Once a Toolbar is docked, a row of dots with appear along either the top or the left-hand side of the bar (see images above).  If you hover over these dots, your cursor will change to a Move icon and you can then Click & Drag it off of the Toolbar.
OK, from the top:
The Effects Toolbar displays a selection of PSP's own plugins from the Effects Menu.  The image below shows the default settings.  Since this Toolbar docks in the left and topmost bars, it can be customized; so, if you have favorite "go to" plugins, then this would be a great way to save time when using them.
Please note that this Toolbar will only work with PSP's native plugins.  If you install others that you like to use, then you will only be able to access them via the Effects Menu.   There are hundreds, if not thousands, of plugins out there and I will teach you about them later, in another tutorial.  Trust me, you are going to LOVE plugins!  They're almost as wonderful as fonts. hahahahah

Next is the Photo Toolbar.  This Toolbar displays a selection of options that you can find on the Adjust Menu and it, too, can be customized.

The Script Toolbar is similar to the others in that it, too, can be Docked and customized; however, if you decide to use it, you should probably just leave it as it is.  The bar contains all of the options available for recording Scripts and you will need each one of them to do so. 

What is a Script, you ask?  The simple answer is that it is a recording of each step you take in creating an image that, once saved, can be used to replicate the image anytime you wish.  It is very popular with people who like to create digi scrap kits because it makes creating things like buttons, bows and brads super easy.

The last Toolbar is called Web.  I do not use this Toolbar but, I do use some of the things that are on it; so I have added them to the bottom of my left-hand bar, as shown above.  This Toolbar is for optimizing your graphics for use on the Web.  The three that I use compress images into a smaller file size so that they will load more quickly: JPEG, GIF and PNG.  Compression also comes in handy if you need to send an image via email to someone who doesn't accept zip files - especially if you're sending them a photo that you uploaded from a digital camera.  Photo files are huge!

OK, now that you know which Toolbars do what, you are ready to customize them.  Customizing is pretty simple, really.  It takes a while to learn what the Tools do, though, so you may not get around to it until after you have become more familiar with the program.  That's no reason why you can't start poking around now, though.  Open up the Help Menu in one window and the Customize window in another and start learning :).

The Customize function can be found by right clicking in the blank space on either Toolbar's docking station, as shown below:

After you left click on the word Customize, the follow window will appear:

As you can see, there are six tabs available.  The Commands tab is what you will use to edit your Toolbars.  The Toolbars tab is the same menu that we accessed from the View Menu, above.  The Keyboard tab will allow you to write your own macros (create your own Shortcuts).  The Menu tab allows you to edit which options appear on a Tool's default settings menu. 

The Options tab will allow you to edit the way in which your Toolbars function.  There is also an option there to "Reset my usage data" that may come in handy, someday.  And, finally, the Scripts tab can be used to Bind native PSP plugins and tools to an icon.  Once you have bound a function to the icon, you can then add it to a Toolbar for easy access.

So there it is: quick and dirty.  Everything you need to Customize your PSP Workspace.  Get in there, poke around and have some fun.  Then, when you are done, click on the File Menu > Workspace > Save (see below) so that the program does not revert to default settings the next time you launch it.

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