Paint Shop Pro 9 for Dummies


  • Published in conjunction with the next version of Paint Shop Pro software, this easy-to-use reference shows how to edit photos and create high-quality, professional-looking graphics
  • Covers how to capture images from a variety of different media-paper, camera, and screen
  • More advanced topics include retouching, adjusting colors, creating artistic effects, adding layers of text and shapes, masking layers, and ...
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  • Published in conjunction with the next version of Paint Shop Pro software, this easy-to-use reference shows how to edit photos and create high-quality, professional-looking graphics
  • Covers how to capture images from a variety of different media-paper, camera, and screen
  • More advanced topics include retouching, adjusting colors, creating artistic effects, adding layers of text and shapes, masking layers, and creating Web images
  • A sixteen-page color insert features before-and-after image edits and graphics highlighting the visual effects that people can achieve
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764579356
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 7.32 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Kay is a writer, an engineer, an artist, and a naturalist who has written or cowritten more than a dozen computer books. William "The Ferrett" Steinmetz is a freelance Webmaster and editor.
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Read an Excerpt

Paint Shop Pro 9 For Dummies

By David C. Kay

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-7935-5

Chapter One

Opening, Viewing, Managing, and Saving Image Files

In This Chapter

* Opening and browsing image files

* Zooming in and out

* Reading image information

* Saving image files

* Saving your workspace

* Working with different image types

* Using vector file types

* Converting or renaming batches of files

* Responding to file type messages and Auto Actions

* Getting image files from the Web

Most of the time, images exist as files. Those files may be on a disk, on a digital camera connected to your computer, or on a storage device that looks and acts just like a disk in Windows. This chapter makes you Lord of the Files. It tells you how to open image files, organize those files, and save images as various kinds of files. It also helps you view them in whatever size is convenient for you.

(If you want to open an image that does not appear to be stored as a file, see Chapter 5. For example, you may want a picture that appears on your computer screen in a document or a snapshot that needs to be downloaded from your digital camera.)

Images are easy to deal with in small quantities. In large quantities, however, they're challenging to manage. (They're sort of like kids, in that regard.) This chapter tells you about the clever Paint Shop Pro features for keeping an eye on all your graphical progeny, including browsing, previewing, andorganizing files in different orders and in different folders.


Image files come in an amazing variety of file types because many software geeks over the years have each decided that they know a much better way of storing an image as a file (a file type). Image files of different types have different multiletter extensions at the end, like .jpg, .png, or .tif. People refer to them by those extensions, saying "jay-peg" or "jay pee gee" for .jpg or "ping file" for .png. These file types sometimes behave differently in Paint Shop Pro, so see the section "Using native and foreign file types," later in this chapter, if someone gives you a file that behaves oddly. Fortunately, although you need to be aware that images come in a variety of file types, most of the time you don't have to give a hoot. Paint Shop Pro can crack open most popular types of image file.

Three Ways to Open Image Files

Paint Shop Pro gives you three ways to open a file:

  • Browsing ("I'll know it when I see it"): Choose File[right arrow]Browse or press Ctrl+B. The browser window opens, as shown in the following section, in Figure 1-1. You open folders in the left panel and double-click tiny pictures in the right panel to open them.
  • Opening ("I know its name and where it lives"): Choose File[right arrow]Open; or, click the Open button on the toolbar or press Ctrl+O. The Open dialog box appears, as shown a couple of sections from here, in Figure 1-2.
  • Double-clicking ("There it is - open it"): If you see a file listed and it displays a Paint Shop Pro icon (a tiny artist's palette), double-click that puppy and Paint Shop Pro should start up and display the image.

That's all you need to know - well, at least most of the time, that's all. The following sections give you some additional tricks and tips for opening files in those three ways.


If you can see the image on your screen, but aren't sure where the image file is, see the section in Chapter 5 about capturing images from your PC screen. Images that appear in a document (a Web page, a Microsoft Word document, or an Adobe Acrobat document, for example) may not be stored as files on your computer. (Or, if they are, they may be very hard to find.) You may need to capture the image off your screen.

For some files, Paint Shop Pro has to translate the image file into a form it can use. Translation may especially be necessary for vector image files, such as DXF and WPG. To translate, Paint Shop Pro needs additional information from you: specifically, how many pixels wide and high you want the image to be. See the section "Using Vector File Types (Drawing Files)," later in this chapter, for more information.

Opening, Managing, and Sorting Files with the Browser

We like the Paint Shop Pro browser best for opening files because it also lets you manage them visually. Do one of the following to open the browser:

  • Press Ctrl+B.
  • Click the Browse icon, as shown in the margin. (It's on the Standard toolbar, which runs along the top of the Paint Shop Pro window.)
  • Choose File[right arrow]Browse.
  • If the Open dialog box is open already, click the Browse button.

Figure 1-1 shows you the Browse window. To close the window when you're done, choose File[right arrow]Close or press Ctrl+F4.

The left side of the Browse window looks and works like Windows Explorer. The right side displays, and helps you manage, image files.

The following list shows you the details for using the folders on the left side (if the Find tab shown in Figure 1-1 isn't displayed, click that tab):

  • To see what images a folder holds, click the folder. Thumbnail (small) images appear on the right.
  • If the folder contains more folders (or subfolders), a + sign appears to its left. To see those subfolders, click the + sign.
  • To hide those subfolders again, click the - sign that now appears where the + sign did.

Here's how to open and manage files by using the thumbnails on the right side:

  • Open: Double-click the image.
  • Get image information: Pause your cursor over any thumbnail, as we did in Figure 1-1. Paint Shop Pro displays basic information near your cursor. For more detail, click the Info tab in the browser's left pane.
  • Rearrange the order that's displayed: Drag thumbnails where you want them. You can also sort files by name, date, or other criteria. Follow the numbered steps that appear after this list.
  • Move to a different folder: Drag the thumbnail from the right pane to your destination folder in the left pane.
  • Copy to a different folder: Drag the thumbnail to another folder while holding the Ctrl key down.
  • Create a new folder: In the left panel, click the folder in which you want to create a new folder. Choose File[right arrow]Create New Folder, and in the Create New Folder dialog box that appears, type your new folder's name.
  • Delete: Right-click the file's thumbnail and choose Delete from the menu that appears.
  • Rename: Right-click the file's thumbnail, choose Rename from the dropdown menu, and enter a new name in the Rename File dialog box that appears.
  • Select several files for opening, moving, copying, or deleting: Hold down the Ctrl key and click their thumbnail images. To select a series, left-click the first (or last) image; then hold down the Shift key and click the last (or first) image. Follow the instructions in the preceding bullets for opening, moving, copying, or deleting files.

To sort your thumbnails in different ways, follow these steps:

1. Right-click the blank area to the right of the pictures and choose Sort from the context menu that appears.

The Sorting dialog box appears.

2. Choose Ascending or Descending sort order in the Primary sort order area of the dialog box.

3. Choose what to sort by in the Sort Condition selection box: file attributes, such as date, or image attributes, such as dimensions (size). 4. To sort within a sort (such as sorting filenames alphabetically within each file date), choose your secondary sort criterion by using the Secondary sort order area of the dialog box. (It works just like the Primary sort order area.)

5. Click OK to sort.


Files from some cameras now contain EXIF data: detailed and technical information for professional photographers about how and when that photograph was taken. The Paint Shop Pro 9 browser now lets you choose to sort on that information in the Sort Conditions selection boxes.

Opening the right file with File[right arrow]Open

If you know the folder where your file lives, the fastest route to opening the file is to use the familiar old File[right arrow]Open command. (Every program has one.) As with most programs, you can alternatively press Ctrl+O or click the File Open button on the toolbar (as shown in the margin of this paragraph).

Figure 1-2 shows you the Open dialog box that appears. As in any program, you click a filename listed in the Open dialog box and then click Open to open a file. Paint Shop Pro, however, adds a few special features for working with images.


If your file isn't listed

If the file you want isn't listed in the File Open dialog box, make sure that the wrong file type isn't chosen in the Files of Type selection box. File type choices are "sticky." That is, if you chose last time to display only GIF files, this time the Open dialog box still displays only GIF files. If you're looking for a JPG file now, you don't see it! Choose All Files in the Files of Type selection box to see all files again.

  • To open more than one file at a time: Hold down the Ctrl button while clicking filenames, and then click the Open button. Or, to open a bunch of image files listed sequentially in the Open dialog box, click the first file, hold down the Shift button, click the last file, and then click the Open button.
  • To trim down the list of files to show just one type (if you're looking for a GIF file, for example): Click the Files of Type selection box and choose that type from the many file types Paint Shop Pro can read.
  • To see information on the image width, height, and color depth: Click your file and then read the Image Information area of the Open dialog box.
  • To see more information about an image you have clicked, such as date or file size: Click the Details button.

Secrets of opening a file by double-clicking

If you see an image file listed on your computer - in a My Computer or Windows Explorer window, for example - and it displays the Paint Shop Pro palette icon, you can open it in Paint Shop Pro by double-clicking that icon. If you have several images you want to open, double-click each of them separately, and they all get a separate window in Paint Shop Pro. You don't end up with multiple copies of Paint Shop Pro running.

If you have an image file that Paint Shop Pro doesn't open when you double-click it, three things could be responsible:

  • The file doesn't have an extension, like .jpg or .gif. This problem often happens when someone sends you a file from a Macintosh computer. Use the browsing or File[right arrow]Open technique described in the preceding sections. Or, if you know what kind of file it is (JPEG, for example), right-click the file and choose Rename from the context menu that appears. Then type the correct file extension (.jpg for JPEG, for example).
  • Paint Shop Pro can't open the file. Paint Shop Pro can open many different types of file, but not all of them.
  • Paint Shop Pro may not be configured to open that file type. See the nearby sidebar, "Making Paint Shop Pro open the right file types when you double-click."


Making Paint Shop Pro open the right file types when you double-click

Two problems can occur with double-clicking as a way of opening image files:

  • Paint Shop Pro may open files that you would prefer to be opened by some other program. For example, if you're running AutoCAD or another AutoDesk program, you may prefer that the AutoDesk program open DXF files because they're one of AutoDesk's own file types.
  • Paint Shop Pro may fail to open image files that you want it to open. For example, you may install new software for a new digital camera, and, suddenly, when you double-click JPG files, some program other than Paint Shop Pro opens the file.

These problems usually occur when you have more than one graphics program. The latest one installed may grab all the file types for itself. Both problems can be solved the same way. Follow these steps to specify which files are to be opened (or not) by Paint Shop Pro:

1. Choose File[right arrow]Preferences[right arrow]File Format Associations.

The File Format Associations dialog box appears. This box directs Windows to open certain file types by using Paint Shop Pro.

2. Click the check boxes to enable or disable the file types you want opened by Paint Shop Pro.

To disable all check boxes, click Remove All. To enable all check boxes, click Select All. (After that, you can enable or disable check boxes manually, if you like.) To have Paint Shop Pro open only the file types that aren't opened by any other program, click Select Unused.

3. Click OK.

At this point, Paint Shop Pro is properly set up to open just the file types you want it to and leave the others alone. The other program you use, however, may still not be properly set up to open the files you want it to open. We can't give you much help with that, but we can tell you one place to get help: Choose Start[right arrow]Help from the Windows taskbar. In the Help window that appears, click the Index tab at the top of the Help window and then, in the text box in the upper-left corner of the window, type associating file. Below that text box, a line appears that reads Associating file extensions (or types) with programs. Double-click that line to get help with associating file extensions with your other program.

Viewing and Zooming an Image

Working with images involves a great deal of zooming, or changing the magnification of your view. Sometimes you need to work close up, to take that nasty gleam out of Uncle Charley's eye, for example (something Aunt Mabel has been trying to do for years). At other times, you really need to see the whole picture, but Uncle Charley's gleaming eye rather scarily fills the whole window.


Zooming doesn't change the size of an image (in pixels or in inches). It only changes how big Paint Shop Pro displays the image onscreen.

Zooming and moving an image in the window

The basic way to zoom in (enlarge the view) or zoom out (see more of the picture) is to use the Zoom tool. The Zoom tool and its sidekick, the Pan tool, live in the same position (which we call a tool group) at the top of the Tools toolbar.

Follow these steps to zoom:

1. Click the tiny down-arrow on the top tool group on the Tools toolbar.

Two tools spring out to the right of this button: the Pan tool (the hand) and the Zoom tool (the magnifying glass).

2. Click the Zoom tool, as shown in the margin.

Your cursor changes to a magnifying glass icon.

3. Click with the zoom tool on the image in this way:

Click (left-click) to zoom in.

Right-click to zoom out.


You can choose the Zoom or Pan tool quickly by pressing a single key. Press the Z key for Zoom. Press the A key for Pan.

If the image gets bigger than the window, use the Pan tool to move the image around (pan it) in the window. Click the top button on the Tools toolbar, as you did in Step 1, but this time choose the Pan tool (the hand icon) - or just press the A key. Drag the cursor (it's now displaying a hand icon) on the image to move the image.

To see the image at its actual size (100 percent), choose View[right arrow]Zoom[right arrow] Zoom to 100% or click the button labeled Actual Size on the Tool Options palette. (The Tool Options palette runs horizontally near the top of the Paint Shop Pro window and changes depending on the tool you choose. See the following sidebar about the Tool Options palette.)


Paint Shop Pro also lets you magnify a portion of the image rather than have to enlarge the whole thing to see a detail. With either the Pan or Zoom tool selected, choose View[right arrow]Magnifier or press Ctrl+Alt+M. Move your cursor over an area of the image, and a special 5x Zoom window shows you a close-up view of that area. Repeat the command to remove the magnifier.

Working on several images at a time

You can open several images at a time in Paint Shop Pro. Each one gets its own window. Having several images open is useful for tasks such as cutting and pasting between images. To help manage those windows, use the commands on the Paint Shop Pro Window menu. That menu contains the usual suspects of nearly all Windows programs: Cascade, Tile (Horizontally or Vertically), or Close All to close all image files.


Remember that Paint Shop Pro tools and commands apply to only the image window that's active (the one with the colored title bar). Click an image window's title bar to make that window active and bring it to the front. Alternatively, you can choose a window by the name of the file it's displaying, as listed on the Window menu.

Getting Information about an Image

Simply looking at an image doesn't tell you the whole story. You may be asking yourself, "What exactly am I looking at, here? I mean, how big is this image, really? How many colors? What folder is it from? Is this really Uncle Fred in Cancun?"


Excerpted from Paint Shop Pro 9 For Dummies by David C. Kay Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Part I: The Basics.

Chapter 1: Opening, Viewing, Managing, and Saving Image Files.

Chapter 2: Getting Bigger, Smaller, and Turned Around.

Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image.

Chapter 4: Moving, Copying, and Reshaping Parts of Your Image.

Part II: Prettying Up Photographs.

Chapter 5: Capturing Pictures from Paper, Camera, or Screen.

Chapter 6: Fixing Broken Pictures: Removing Scratches, Blurry Parts, and Red Eye.

Chapter 7: Adjusting Your Picture’s Brightness, Contrast, and Color.

Chapter 8: Heavy-Duty Photo Alterations: Adding People and Removing Zits.

Part III: Painting Pictures.

Chapter 9: Basic Painting, Spraying, and Filling.

Chapter 10: Advanced Painting for the Artiste.

Chapter 11: Layering Images.

Chapter 12: Adding Layers of Text or Shapes.

Chapter 13: Adding Artsy Effects.

Part IV: Taking It to the Street.

Chapter 14: Printing.

Chapter 15: Creating Web-Friendly Images.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 16: Ten Perplexing Problems.

Chapter 17: Ten Fast Fixes for Photo Failures.

Chapter 18: Ten Topics a Little Too Advanced for the Rest of This Book.


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