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Tips and Tricks for PSP 8


1.     When working with images, always make sure that you are in 16 million colors. When you're using the wrong color depth, filters (and some tools) will be grayed out. To correct this, click on Image and Choose Increase Color Depth.

2.     If you have problems with opening  PSP8 files in Animation Shop.... try this.  When you save your image, on the file save as box, click on the options button and click Save as PSP 7 compatible file.  (Although PSP was updated to Version 8, Animation Shop is the same, so it looks for PSP7 files.)  Now it should open just fine in AS.

3.  When you scan photos and they are very large, check your settings in your scanning software.  There are many ways of adjusting the settings so that the scanned image is not so large.   Remember too, the higher the resolution, the larger the file.

4.  When offering tubes for download, it is better to put them in a zip file than to have them as a file with the .psptub extension.  Lots of the web providers do not recognize the .psptub extension and when you download the file, it will have no extension at all or it will not download at all.

5.  Use Doctor HTML to check your code on your pages. It's free.   Here's the URL    Just click on single page, type in your url and get a report.

6.  When using the Dodge, Burn, Smudge, Push, Soften, Sharpen and Emboss brushes (from the tools toolbar) remember that you can adjust the Size, Hardness, Step, Density, Thickness, Rotation and Opacity.

7. To completely remove the color from an image but retain the shadows, use Adjust> Hue and Saturation> Hue/Saturation/Lightness.  On the Hue/Saturation/Lightness screen set all settings to 0.

8.  If you find your keys are not working - shift D to duplicate for example,  go to View-Customize, and click on the reset button.   

9.  If you find that PSP is not displaying your toolbars correctly, you need to reset your workspace.  (If you have created a custom workspace, you will substitute it's name for Default.)    Click on File > Workspace then click Default.PSPworkspace.  This will reset all your toolbars and everything will be back in place and working correctly.

10.  There are some things that are a little more difficult to make tubes of than others.. One thing that seems to help sometimes is to go to Selections/Modify/Contract. Use a low setting at first - like 1 - or you might take a little too much off. Once you have done the contract, it's best to copy and paste as a new layer and then get rid of the first one after you're finished.

11.  When you go to File/Export/Picture Tube and you get the message "To save the image as a Picture Tube, the image must be 24 bit and have only one Raster layer with a transparency."  be sure your image has only one layer.  Sometimes, even though you have only one layer, you will get this message.   Try copying the image and pasting as a new image, then try exporting again.  Many times this works.

12.  If you need to line things up either horizontally or vertically, or both, use the guides. To use the guides:  Make sure your rulers are turned on.  (The guides are connected to the ruler).   Then click on Guides.  (View > Rulers   then View > Guides)  To use the guide, click on the ruler (down near the numbers) and drag you mouse to the image.  A colored line will move onto your image.   There are guides at the top and also on the left side.  By the way, these guides are not printed or saved as part of your image.

13. The Guides are easier to move if you hover over the little bar on the ruler till your mouse cursor turns into a transparent cross, then right click. It'll let you delete, change the color of the guide and change it's position without having to drag.  It's much easier doing it that way than trying to reposition the guides by dragging the bar and end up dragging the bar off the ruler by mistake and having to create a new one.
14.  If you are going to display your graphics on the web, be sure to optimize them.  To optimize, click on file > Export> then choose the type (jpg or gif) .  Then you change the number (or move the slider) to the amount of compression you want.   Be sure to look at the example to be sure your image is still clear.  You'd be surprised at how high you can set the compression on some images and they are still clear.   And the file size is significantly reduced which make the load time much shorter.
15.   If you select an object and float (Ctrl+F) the selection prior to applying a drop shadow, the selection marquee will resize itself after that drop shadow is applied. This is an excellent technique if you plan to paste that object into another background because no pixels from the underlying layer are included, thus leaving a very clean shadowed area. (found in a tutorial by Linda Nieuwenstein on the JASC SITE.)
16.  When using the Freehand selection tool > Edge Seeker - if you place a point and find you are not happy with it, and want to try again, you can press the Del key on your keyboard to deselect the last point, or continue to tap the Del key to erase earlier points.  (found in a tutorial by Linda Nieuwenstein on the JASC SITE.)
17.  Need a transparent paintbrush?   The Eraser tool is equivalent to a transparent paintbrush.  In fact, all of the paintbrush shapes are available when you click on the eraser tool..  Check it out!
18.  You don't need to install a font to use it.   The font may be in a folder on your hard drive, on a floppy or zip disk or on a CD.  Just open it, then minimize to your toolbar.  The font will be listed for use in PSP.   When you no longer need it just close the file.
19.  If your toolbar icons are hard to see you can make them bigger.  Click on View > Customize > Options.   Under toolbars click in the box for Large Icons...  they will immediately change.   If you don't like them larger, just click on the box again and they will got back to the normal view.
20.  Many of us will create new presets, shapes, brushes, etc.   We might want to store them in a new folder.  To do this, Go to File > Preferences > File Locations > Add.  Now  click on browse.  This will open the existing folder location.  Click on the add folder icon, then give it a name.  Press enter and the new folder will show up on the File Locations screen.
21.  When PSP crashes or freezes for some reason and you haven't saved your work, you can lose everything.  To prevent that,  you can use Autosave.    Go to File > Preferences > Autosave settings.    This will open the Autosave Settings dialogue box.  Click the 'Enable Autosave' box.  Set the time schedule you desire, 5 minutes should be sufficient. Click OK. Autosave is now enabled and your work will automatically be saved to the temp file every 5 minutes. If PSP crashes you can re-open the program and your work will be loaded as before (or at least up to the last time it was autosaved).
22.  Always try out transparent gifs and picture tubes on a colored background to be sure all stays pixels are gone.   (Add another layer, flood fill with a darker color,  then when you are satisfied that all the stray pixels are gone, you can delete that layer.)
23.  If you lose the layer palette somewhere on your screen, toggle the F8 key.  The layer palette will flicker so you can find it.
24. Moving Selections (From JASC Newsletter)
Have you ever been using Paint Shop Pro 8 and want to move a selection but not the content inside the selection?  Simply select the Mover Tool and use the right mouse button to move the selection.
25.  When using the background eraser, it might be better to change the tolerance to a higher number.   By default it is set to auto tolerance.   To change it, after the image is converted to a full layer, uncheck auto tolerance and the tolerance box will be available.   Just change it to a higher number.
26.  If you want to open a new layer without seeing the New Layer Panel, hold the Shift Key while clicking on the New Layer Button in the Layer Palette. You would only do this if you want the layer settings to default. You can always name the layer after it is created.
27.  If you add an Adjustment Layer on top of a group, all layers will be affected by this  adjustment. By placing the Adjustment Layer within the group, only layers confined to the group will receive the adjustment. Grouping layers is the only way to adjust individual layers while leaving other layers unaffected.
28.  It is not necessary to Merge Layers before exporting as a .jpg or .gif. You will now see the entire image in your Optimization preview, minus any layers you might have made invisible.
29.  Once layers are grouped, they are stuck together. This means that if you move one object with the Mover Tool, all objects  within the group will move together. This happens no matter how many layers you have grouped.
30.  When using Groups, your background layer will remain whatever color, texture or pattern you have chosen as long as it remains outside of any Grouped Layers with adjustments.
31.  The Image Arithmetic panel is one of the only panels where you will not be able to save your own Presets at the top. If you get a result that you really like and want to duplicate you will need to keep the record in the Image/Image Information panel in the Creator section. (Or make notes.)
32.  With PSP Version 8, Presets are now written as Scripts. When saving them, make sure you have given them a name that you will remember if you wish to share. Presets will always have a hint in the name given by JASC so that you'll know what Filter, Adjustment, etc that they will be used by.
33.  To Center your Vector Objects use Objects/Align/Center in Canvas.
34.   At times you might lose the ability to see the transparent outline of the object being moved.  If this happens to you, simply complete the exercise.  When you release the node you will be able to see the objects on that layer.
35.   Scripts you create or download from a KNOWN trusted source should be but in your Scripts/Trusted folder.      All others should be put in the Scripts/Restricted folder.
36.  If you click the Interactive Button on the Tool Bar before you run a Script, ALL actions that are editable will produce a Palette in which you can change settings.
37.  Editing Scripts --Never edit text in the first window that comes up. Always go to File/Save As and save in a folder on your hard drive that PSP will not access.   Also, rather than changing the name,  simply put "Temp" at the beginning of the name so that you know which script you have altered. If you do it this way you will not ruin the original script.

When doing the Save As in the Save as type: use "All Files" that way it will save as the PspScript, and give the new file a new name.

38.  When it is time to save YOUR New Script,  go to File/Save As and Navigate to the PSP8 Files/Scripts/Scripts-Trusted (and the folder you keep your new Scripts in if you have created one).  Choose All Files from the Save as type: section and name your new file.
39. When using any tool, check all options in the Tool Ribbons that are available to you. You may find new settings and combinations of settings that were just what you were looking for
40. You can choose colors in the Materials Palette after the Font Tool is active. You can also use the Pick a color from the image with the Font Tool active. Click on the Color Palette and after the color wheel is open go to your image. You will see the mouse turn into a dropper and you can then choose a color from the image for your new font color.
41.  The Preferences that you set can be a time saver if you use the Palette to it's fullest use. An example is having several sub-folders under the Picture Tube folder. You can categorize the Picture tubes (i.e. Christmas, Flowers, Animals, etc.) and turn the ones off in the Preferences that you won't be using. This will save a lot of time and memory when loading your Picture Tubes.
42.  You can use the Browse feature of PSP to move, copy or delete images in a folder. Right click on an image you see while browsing and you will get a menu of options. You can even use this to organize Picture Tubes or other items since if you want to move some to a new folder you will get the option to make a new folder and name it.
43. If you are going to select several parts of an image with a selection tool, it might be easier to change the mode to Add.   This works the same as holding the shift key while making multiple selections (and you don't have to hold the shift key.)    
44.  When you select a tube, check that the ribbon displays the parameters you want to use.   You may have changed a parameter the last time you used the tool and it might produce unwanted results.
45.  When using the grid, if you notice that the brush placement is off a couple of pixels, restore your workspace to get it back to normal.
46.  When using the paint behind mode, you must have a transparent canvas.  You can always add a background color on another layer, then merge it.
47.   When you want to create a tube from an image that is too dark, apply the adjustment layer  levels, changing the adjustment until the image is light enough to see the edges.  Then make the original layer active and erase that background.  When you are done you can delete the adjustment layer.  This tip from Eyvette...
48.  It's a good idea to open your new image, and then immediately save it.  Select File>Save>Save as, and give it a name. Then, whenever you're ready to save, all you have to do is Click on the disk icon on the toolbar, or press Ctrl S or go to File>Save.
49.  One way to smooth the "jaggies" after you have cleaned an image to make a tube is to use your MAGIC WAND with its FEATHER (on the Tool Options) set at something between 1-3. Touch the background (not your image portion) with that wand, and then hit CUT a couple of times to soften that edge. 
50.  When you create any image be sure to put everything on a separate layer. That way if you decide to make changes, you can change just that part. You can also Use parts of the image and add new parts to change it. [Duplicate the image (shift D) and work on the new image to preserve the original.]
51.  While the image that you are applying a drop shadow to is surrounded by the selection go to Selections > Modify > Contract and contract by 1 pixel.   This  prevents a ragged white appearance around the graphic after shadow has been applied.
52.  Here's a tip about creating black images.    If you want a black rose for example, open a dark rose tube in PSP.   Select the part you want black.   Click on Adjust>Hue and Saturation >Hue/Saturation/Lightness.   Now set all settings to 0.    This works also when you want to change the color of a lighter image.  The shading is there so all you have to do afterward is to colorize the image.  

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