An Introduction to Paint Shop Pro 6

Paint Shop Pro is a graphics program for Windows that displays, converts, alters, and prints images. It also has a screen capture utility that allows you to capture all or part of your Windows desktop. Major file formats supported include BMP, GIF, PCX, PCD, and JPG. Paint Shop Pro allows you to zoom in or out on an image. For your evaluation, you can obtain shareware versions of the latest releases, PaintShop 6.0 (Windows 95/98/NT and Paint Shop Pro 3.11 (Windows 3.11), from JASC, Inc. at http://www.jasc.com/psp.html

JASC, Inc states "Paint Shop Pro is one of the easiest and most powerful image viewing, editing and converting programs you may ever use. With support for over 30 image formats, and several drawing and painting tools, this may be the only graphics program you will ever need!"

You can alter the image by rotating, resizing, resampling, trimming, making color adjustments, adjusting brightness and contrast, or increasing and decreasing the color depth. Color images can also be converted to greyscale.

Before you begin, you will need to download the file 205.zip and unzip it into a folder called workshop on your hard drive.


Using PaintShop Pro

  1. Run PaintShop Pro from the Start menu.

  2. Use the File, Open command from the Menu Bar to open your image file. Open the file sealion.gif from the workshop folder.

  3. Use the Colors, Adjust, Brightness/Contrast command from the Menu Bar to obtain the Brightness/Contrast window. Click the up arrow for %Brightness to change the value to 10. Click OK to return to the main window to view the changes to the image. This was a slightly dark image and this should have lightened it up for a better view of the sealion on the rocks.

  4. To select a portion of the image to crop, click the small dashed rectangle from the Tool Palette and move the mouse pointer over the image, noting that the mouse pointer changes to a cross-hair. Move this cross-hair to the left of the sealion. Click and hold the left mouse button, then move the mouse down and to the right to observe a selection box being drawn around the image. Let go of the left mouse button when you have selected the desired part of this image. Try and select about 1/2 of the total image since you will conclude this lesson by using the Resize command.

  5. Use the Image, Crop command from the Menu Bar to crop the image.

  6. Use the Image, Resize command to obtain the Resize window. Look in the bottom right corner of the screen to find the original size of the image. Change the first number in the Custom Size box to about 1/2 of the first number for the original size. Make sure Maintain Aspect Ratio is checked.

  7. Use the File, Save As command from the Menu Bar to save this image to your hard drive or data diskette. If you are saving this image, name it small.gif. The final image should appear similar to the one shown here:

As an alternative, you could just use Edit, Copy to place a copy of this image on the Windows Clipboard.

You could then use Edit, Paste in PowerPoint or ToolBook to place a copy of this image in your application.


Creating Special Effects with Text

Paint Shop Pro 6.0 for Windows 95/98/NT provides a very convenient way to create text headers for your application or for a Web page.

  1. Run Paint Shop Pro and click on the New icon from the Tool Bar to obtain the New Image dialog box.

  2. Use the default setting for Width (600) and Height (500). Set the Background color to White (or whatever other color you choose). A later section will show how to make a transparent gif by making this background color transparent. Set the Image type to 16.7 Million Colors (24 bit). Click OK to continue.

  3. Click on the Zoom icon from the Tool Bar and click in an open area of the image window to set the Zoom to 1:1.

  4. Click the Text icon from the Tool Bar and move the cross-hair to the center of the blank window.

  5. Click the left mouse button to obtain the Add Text dialog box. Set the Font to Arial, Bold, 20. Set the Alignment to Center.

  6. In the Enter text here box, type: PaintShop Pro is Fun to Use. Press the Enter key after the words PaintShop Pro to create two lines of text. Click OK to return to the image.

  7. Click the Air Brush icon from the Tool Bar and click anywhere in the Color Palette to select a text color from the Color Tray.

  8. The Color Tray is shown here.

  9. Move the mouse pointer back and forth over the block of text and hold the left mouse button down to paint the text.

  10. While the block of text is still selected, use the Image, Effects, Drop Shadow command to obtain the Drop Shadow dialog box.

  11. Set the Color to Black, the Opacity to 50 and the Blur to 20.

  12. Move the Offset sliders so that the drop shadow is offset by 5 units both Horizontal and Vertical. Click OK to return to your window. Click the Selection icon and click in an open area of the window to observe this special effect.

  13. Finally click the Selection icon, move the cross-hair to the upper-left of the text, hold the left mouse button down, then move the mouse down and to the right to select the block of text. Let go of the left mouse button when you have selected the area you want.

  14. Use the Image, Crop command to crop the image to the selected size and area.

  15. Use the File, Save command to obtain the Save As dialog box. From this box, set the Save as type to Gif--Compuserve and the Sub-type to 89a--noninterlaced. Set the name to psp.gif. Click Save to complete the save.


Making This Gif Transparent

  1. Click on Colors, Set Palette Transparency and Yes to reduce the color depth of this image. Accept the defaults and click OK.

  2. From the Set Palette Transparency dialog box, check Set the transparency value to the current background color. Click OK to continue.

  3. Use the same procedures as above to set the Save as type to Gif--Compuserve and the Sub-type to 89a--noninterlaced.

  4. Click Save to save this as psp1.gif.

That's all there is to it!! Now when this image is used on a Web page, the text and drop shadow effect will appear to be directly on the page and any background image or color will show through the area that was white.


Adding Text to an Image

  1. Open the image pic30047.jpg from the workshop folder.

  2. Click the Text icon from the Tool Bar and click above the fort.

  3. Type Old San Juan. Set the Font to Arial, Bold, 16. Click OK to return to the image.

  4. Use the procedures described earlier to paint this text with a color of your choice from the Color Palette.

  5. While this text is still highlighted, use the procedures described earlier to add a Drop Shadow effect to this text (recall that it is the Image, Effects, Drop Shadow command).

  6. Click on the Selection icon and click somewhere away from this text to view the results of this exercise.

  7. Use the File, Save As command to save this as fort.jpg to conclude this lesson.


Creating a Feathering Effect

So far you have used the Rectangle option for the Selection tool with no Feathering. This lesson will show how to use the Selection tools options for a good special effect.

1. Open the file pic30047.jpg that you used earlier.

2. Click the Selection tool and then the move the mouse pointer over the Tool Options dialog box.

3. Change the Selection type to Ellipse and type a 15 in the Feather box as shown here.

5. Move the mouse pointer over the center of the image, hold the left mouse button down and draw an ellipse around the lighthouse part of the image. Don't go too close to an edge.

6. Now use the Image, Crop to Selection command to obtain the image shown here.

7. Notice that you get the selected area of the ellipse but the edges are light. This is the Feather effect and you can increase or decrease the number to get more or less of a lightened edge.

Note: You could now set the Palette Transparency to the current background color and save this as a Transparent GIF as you did earlier.

8. For this exercise, just do a File, Save As and name this fort1.jpg.


 

 

Circle Deformation

  1. Open the file pic10029.jpg from the workshop folder.

  2. Use the Image, Deformations, Circle command to see this special effect.

You could use the procedures described earlier to set the background color as transparent and then save this as a transparent gif.

Embossing

  1. Open the file pic30052.jpg from the workshop folder.

  2. Use the Colors, Grey Scale command to convert this to a grey scale image.

  3. Use the Image, Other, Emboss command to emboss this image.

  4. Use the Colors, Adjust, Brightness/Contrast command and increase the Brightness by about 20%.

  5. You could now save this as a jpg image and use it as a tiled background image for a web page. You also could just take a small area of this image and save it to add a texture to your web page.

Hot Wax Coating

  1. Open the file pic30059.jpg from the workshop folder.

  2. Use the Image, Other, Hot Wax Coating command to observe this effect. Notice that the color of the wax is the color that you have currently selected from the Color Palette.

Buttonize

  1. Open the file sydney1.jpg from the workshop folder.

  2. Use the Image, Effects, Buttonize command. Check Solid Edge. Set the Height and Width to 5. Set the Opacity to 50. Click OK to observe the results of this.


Capturing Images from Other Windows Applications

Take a look at the Capture pull-down menu to see the many different options for using Paint Shop Pro to capture all of part of another window from any Windows application. The Setup option is used to define the keystrokes used to activate the screen capture. I often use CTRL+F12 as my settings. After you have defined what you want to capture, just click on the Capture Now button or Capture, Start command from the Menu Bar. Then go to the window or screen you want to capture and use these keystrokes. Note that you can also include the cursor if you want the mouse pointer captured. Once you have captured a window or screen, you can select part of it and use the Crop and Resize commands as needed to get your final image.