Welcome to the first of the Basic Tutorials

Finding your way around the basic PSP program (without an instruction manual) is a bit like walking down blind alleys, never knowing what you will find until you stumble across something interesting. Over the next few weeks I hope to be able to show you some of the easier tutorials to help you become familiar with the program.

Tool Bar Palette

The normal tool palette which is usually docked at the left of your screen holds the basic tools. Along with the tools options box, you can achieve many effects to which ever graphic you are working on. [I know this will be boring to many of you who have played around with the program, but may be you will find something here that you weren't aware of - so please, bare with me :o) ]
arrow Helps switch from one image to the other.
magnifier Zooms in and out for finer work
deformation Helps to change perspective
cropping select only a portion of your image
direction to move your layers around separately
selection selects areas of your image in various shapes and densities
lasso freehand selection
magic wand whole area selection tool
dropper colour selection tool
paintbrush colouring pixel by pixel
cloning tool copies and colours selected areas
colour changer changing colours in your image
retouch tool retouching areas of your image - used in conjunction with your tool options palette
scratch remover good for photos or old pictures you have scanned
eraser this can be good when dealing in layers, showing one layer beneath another - making the top layer appear transparent
tube applicator application of tubes with this tool
spray can applying paint in spurts instead of flood fill
bucket flood filling colours
text applying text to images
lines applying lines to images
shapes tool drawing with shapes, this tool is used best with vectors
object selector used with vectors to draw and adjust shapes

Layer Palette

Layer Palette Working in different layers of your image, you can alter the density of each layer here, by right-clicking on each layer bar.
*Note: When bringing up any option box/effect box, I always have the arrow next to the 'eye' locked down to see the effect as I am creating it.

Tool Options Palette

Tool Options Palette Use this box to change the effect of each tool on your tool effects palette. Line width, density of selection tools, feathering an area of selection, these are all available via this box.

My Preferences

This is the personal tool bar I have created - my most frequently used extra tools. Having these available at the top of the page, saves me going through each menu searching for a particular item. I will show you how to add this to your PSP view, below.

1,2,3 and 4 are what everyone has on there initial tool bar. They need no explanation. I also added 'save as' (5) and 'browse' (6) - in the first section.
7 - 11 are more of what is normally on the tool bar. Whilst (12) is the scanner or camera - depending on your 'twain selection' (13).
(14) Image mapper, for splitting images into two or more pieces for faster loading.
(15) My 'exporting as a gif image' - easier than travelling through your 'file' menu.
(16) Shows ruler markings, handy for when drawing lines, or selecting with the rectangle selections tool.
(17) Line guides - I use these for separating tubed images - but also handy for selection of areas.
18 -20 Toggles the tool bars I use the most - colour palette, tool options box, and layer box. Sometimes when closing multiple image boxes these get closed in error, so it helps to have them handy up at the top of the screen to bring them back into view.
(21) Not used much. Mainly used to find out what certain images are - if you con't see the whole title in the title bar.
(22)Snap shot camera, for taking screen shots.
(23)Flip image tool.
(24)Mirror image tool.
(25)Rotate image tool.
(26)Shows the information about an image - eg: who created it - if the image is copyrighted or watermarked.
(27)Adding vector layers.
(28)Adding raster layers.
(29)Duplicating layers - ideal for making your text stronger in an image.
(30)Merging all layers.
(31)Merging visible layers.
(32)Converting vector layers to raster layers.
(33)Select whole layer.
(34)Cropping to selection.
(35)Inverting selection.
(36)Adjusting text

To change the top tool bar of your PSP window do the following and scroll through the choices you have. (As you use your program, consider what the most frequently used options are for you and add as you think of them.)

Adding Icons

Right click on your top toolbar (where the icons are) and scroll down to 'toolbars' on the small menu that appears.Click on the 'Standard Toolbar' in the menu that appears, then click on 'customize'.

You will see two boxes, one with the icons and their uses, the other with the current icons that are displayed across the top of your screen.
Scroll through the first box to find the icon you would like to add to your toolbar - then click 'add' and it will be added to your toolbar. (You can select where you would like it to be inserted, by scrolling down the second box, and clicking on the icon you would like it placed next to. (It will be placed before the chosen icon on your toolbar.)

Okay, now you have a quick instruction on what everything you see on the toolbar does, let's go and have some fun with the shape selection tool? ;o)

Tutorial © colour-by-numbers designs
October 2002.
All Rights Reserved