PSP General Tutorial 1

The first two pages of the PSP tutorials are going to be a general introduction to the basics of PSP 5.0.  In this part of the tutorial I will cover Preferences, Tool Bars and File Commands.  Even if you are familiar with using PSP, you might want to take just a quick look.  The rest of the tutorials will cover specific operations such as setting up filters, using specific tools, making transparencies, making frames, using pattern fill for creative borders and text, etc.


The Toolbars

You can do a custom setup for your toolbar so that it suits the way you like to work.  To do this go to File, Preferences, and then choose Customize Toolbars.  A menu window will pop up.  On the left are the available tools, on the right is what will actually be on your toolbar when you finish.  The Add/Remove will shift the tools from either side.  Once you have a tool moved to the right side, you can adjust it's position with the Move Up/Move Down buttons.


And here is how my finished toolbar looks:

I tend to not put the file commands such as open, save, print, etc... on my toolbar since I would rather have more image editing tools at my fingertips.  First I like to have all my copy and paste functions together, and right next to the undo!  Then in the middle I keep the Acquire Scan, Batch Conversion, and Browse.  I use the Browse all the time so it helps having it right in the middle of my toolbar.  Next come the editing tools of Invert Selection, Flip, Rotate, Mirror, and Add Border.  Of these, Invert Selection is the most important to me for editing images.

Since I do a lot of exchange between Gifs and JPGs, I then put the arrow controls for Decrease to 256 colors next to the Increase to 16 million colors.  This is very helpful while working on transparencies.  I add just one Color adjustment, the Brightness control.  For other custom color changes I use the Colors menu on the toolbar.


Finally, I end my toolbar with the Toggle Controls.  From left to right: Tool Toggle, Color Palette Toggle, and Control Tools Toggle.  If you only put one Toggle on, make sure you put the Control Tools Toggle, the last one on my toolbar.  For PSP 5.0 this is very important when you use tools such as Fill, Air Brush, Paint, Magic Wand, etc.  The Toggle Control brings up the controls for brush size, tolerance, etc.

And where do I put the toolbar for those tools?  I like to adjust it from the standard setup that comes with PSP 5.0 and place it at the bottom right hand corner of the window so it is easy to access, but doesn't get in my way or take up too much space.  If you want an easy ability to clear more window working space, use the other two toggles.  The first toggle that looks like a wrench will remove the set of tools shown below, the ones I keep at the bottom right corner of my PSP.  The middle toggle will remove the color palette which runs along the ride hand side of the PSP window.  Want them back up?  Just hit the toggle again and there they are.  That's why I keep all three of these toggles on my top toolbar.  It's a little tricky getting the tools to setup where I have mine, but it's worth it.  You have to carefully position your cursor on the inside edge of the tools toolbar and double click.  If you do this right, it will pop off as a square box which you can then move.  Users of  PSP earlier versions have the standard toolbar setup on the top which can also be moved around, but not as nicely as 5.0.

The general terms you need to learn on this toolbar
for the rest of the tutorials are the following:

Selection, Free hand selection, magic wand, eye dropper, paint brush, clone brush, air brush, fill and text.  These are the ones used most often when editing an image.  The selection tool looks like a square rope, the free hand a looped rope.  The magic wand....well it looks like a wand, and the eye dropper looks like a dropper.  The single paint brush is the paint tool,  the double brush is clone.  The air brush looks like a spray can, the fill looks like a dripping bucket.   The text is a big A.


And the two color boxes to the far right become very important when working with borders, text, paint, and making transparencies.  Click on either of them to bring up the color palette, and flip them by clicking on the point where the two arrows meet.



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Navigation bar for the PSP tutorials
General 1 General 2 Copy & Paste Selection Tools
Resize/Resample Batch Conversions Framing Air Brush/Clone
Borders Color Menu Text Transparency 1
Transparency 2 Icons Filters/Plugins Fonts 1
Fonts 2 Fillers 1 Fillers 2 Index
Layers Tube Management Tube Making Free Tubes