Learn about the tools and tool options in Paint Shop Pro 8, including, how to select colors, gradients and patterns. Reuse of materials is also covered. (From the book, Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893.)
Working with Tools in Paint Shop Pro 8 (Page 1 of 16 )
Every tool in PSP can be customized with options you can set and adjust at any time. In this chapter, you'll learn how to choose the tool you want and set its options. For each of the painting, filling, and text tools, you'll also learn how to select a material to use with it, such as a color or pattern. You'll also learn how to save these selections permanently, so that you can reuse them without having to re-enter all the options each time you use the tool.
About Tools and Tool Options
The Tools toolbar is perhaps the central functional component of Paint Shop Pro. Almost everything you do in this application begins there. If you want to crop an image, for example, you select the Crop tool first. Clicking a tool on the Tools toolbar determines what your mouse pointer will do when it enters the area of your image's window. For example, if you click the Crop tool, the mouse pointer changes to a crop pointer as you move it over an image. This tells you that PSP is ready for you to crop out a portion of the image and throw away the rest.
Notice that some of the buttons on the Tools toolbar have arrows. The arrow hides a menu of tools in the same category as the one shown on the tool button. For example, click the arrow on the first tool button to reveal a menu that contains both of the image viewing tools, Pan and Zoom. If you choose Zoom from this menu, the Zoom icon is shown on the first toolbar button, rather than the Pan icon, which appears there by default.
Tip - If you've hidden the Tools toolbar, redisplay it by choosing View, Toolbars, Tools. For more information on how to use toolbars in general, see Chapter 1, "Start Here."
After you've chosen a tool, but before you use it on an image, you set its options. The Tool Options palette shows the options for the currently chosen tool. Each tool has its own specific options; in the tasks that follow, I'll tell you exactly how to adjust the tool's settings so that you can accomplish that specific task. But first, it's useful to learn what all the options are for, so that you can make your own adjustments to the instructions whenever you want.
Tip - Sometimes it's hard to find the tool you're looking for because its icon is not currently displayed on the group tool button. But if you remember what group the tool is in, you can find it easily enough.
Figure 3.1 The Tools toolbar.
To help me demonstrate what these options mean, I'm going to pretend that I want to use the Flood Fill tool, and explain the Tool Options palette in relation to it. In brief, when you click a pixel with the Flood Fill tool, you coat an entire area with a chosen color, pattern, gradient, or texture. You can fill an entire layer or selection with this material, or you can have PSP change only those pixels within the image, layer, or selection that is similar in some regard to the pixel you clicked. With that in mind, the following sections offer brief descriptions of the more common tool options.
Tip - At first, PSP places the Tool Options palette in the horizontal area just above your image, but you can move it elsewhere. If you've hidden it, select View, Palettes, Tool Options to redisplay it.
This chapter is from Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.