The File menu contains most of Paint Shop Pro's "housekeeping" and setup options. The File menu can be activated by clicking on the Icon on the Menu Bar or by pressing (Alt)-F. To select a particular menu item, either type the underlined letter in the menu, drag the cursor to the appropriate menu choice, or use the arrow keys to move up and down the menu choices and hit Enter when you have the menu choice highlighted.
Shortcut: (Ctrl) N
To create a new image, you can type the shortcut key, click on the New icon on the Standard Toolbar or choose File>New from the menu drop-down list. The New Image dialog box will appear allowing you to set the attributes for the new graphic you will be creating.
- Image Dimensions - Image Dimensions are entered in the Width and Height boxes. The width and height can be set to Pixels, Inches or Centimeters by selecting from the drop down list. The resolution is set in the Resolution box and can be set to Pixels per Inch or Pixels per Centimeter, again from the drop down list.
- Image Characteristics - Image Characteristic choices are Background Color and Image Type. Background color choices are Foreground, Background, White, Black, Red, Green, Blue or Transparent. I recommend you create a new graphic with a White background unless you always wish to start with a transparent background. When you set a background color, the next time you choose File>New, the previous background color you selected will be the default. Since it is relatively easy to flood fill your graphic with a color, creating a new graphic with a specific background color is usually not advisable.
| Always leave the Image type set to 16.7 Million Colors (24 bit). Since most of Paint Shop Pro's effects are not available in a graphic that is less than 16.7 Million colors, there is really no reason to create a new graphic in any other format.
There are several ways to open a graphic. You can use the keyboard shortcut, click on the Open icon on the Standard toolbar, or you can choose File>Open from the file menu. When you have activated Open, you will be presented with the Open dialog box as illustrated below.
- The Open "Look In" file will be set to the last folder you Ire in when you opened a graphic. To charge to a different folder, click on the drop own arrow.
- To open a graphic, double click on the graphic name in the window or type the graphic name in the File name box and either hit the Enter key or click on the Open button.
- If you are searching for a graphic of a particular file type, choose the file type from the drop down list in the "Files of Type" box. This will result in only the graphics with the selected file type being displayed in the selection window.
- To cancel the Open command, either hit the Esc key or click on the Cancel button.
- To access Help for the Open command, click on the Help button.
- Clicking on the Browse button activates Paint Shop Pro's Browse feature and displays thumbnails of all the graphics in the active folder. If you are not sure what graphic you are looking for, this is a good way to find it.
- The Details button will show you all the technical information on the selected graphic.
- The Image Information/Preview section on this dialog box will show you the dimension and color depth of the selected graphic.
- Toggling the Show Preview box will allow you to see a thumbnail preview of the selected graphic.
Shortcut: (Ctrl) B
Paint Shop Pro's Browser feature displays the file names of all graphics in a selected directory and renders thumbnail versions of the graphics as illustrated in the following graphic. The visual effect of the Browser is set in File>Preferences>General Preferences>Browser (see Customizing Paint Shop Pro).
The Browser opens in the Paint Shop Pro workspace and replaces the default Menu with a menu exclusive to the Browser as illustrated below. You can also choose to allow Paint Shop Pro's Browser Toolbar become active when you invoke the browser by toggling the toolbar on.
Most of the menu items on the Browser menu can be ignored since their functions can be accessed directly by right-clicking on the on the Browser window. A right click on the browser window will display a "quick" menu as illustrated below. You can also choose many of the menu functions directly from the Browser Toolbar. The Browse>New Folder menu option is the only option that can't be accessed directly from the Browser desktop, but it is available from the Browser toolbar.
Browse New Folder
The Browse New Folder option from the menu, Shortcut: (Ctrl) B, opens the Browse for Folder dialog box as illustrated below.
The remainder of the File Menu items necessary for the Browser can be accessed by right-clicking on any empty space on the Browser window. This will bring up a "quick" menu of options as illustrated in the graphic below.
- The Recent Folders drop down box contains a list of recently accessed browse folders.
- The Favorites folder contains pre-configured folders (Paint Shop Pro graphics folders, My Documents and Temp Folder).
- The area in the Favorites folder that says "PSP 6 in a Nutshell in the above graphic is the area that will contain any added folders have added to your favorites.
- Add Current allows you to add the currently selected folder to the favorites list. To add a new folder to favorites, browse until you find the folder you want to add and double click on the folder. This will place the folder name in the selection box. Click on the Favorites folder and click on Add Current.
- Remove allows you to remove a folder you have added to your favorites section. When you click on the Remove button, a list pops up containing your current favorites list. To remove a folder, highlight it and hit the OK button.
All the menu choices described above are also available from the Browser toolbar if it is active. The advantage to using the right-click quick menu as opposed to the Browser toolbar is that the menu does not take up any workspace real-estate and is available whenever you need it. This menu also has direct access to editing the Browser preferences.
- Sort - This selection will present you with a dialog box that allows you to Primary and a Secondary sort by Sort Order (ascending or descending), File Attributes (name, extension, date, file size, and type) and by Image Attributes (width, height, bits per pixel and size).
- Select - This selection will present you with a dialog box that allows you to select images from the current folder based on name, type, file size, date and by various image attributes. This can be a very handy feature if you have numerous images in a folder and you are only looking for certain images.
- Find Name - This selection will present you with a dialog box that allows you to find a graphic by a name. You can use wildcards on your search.
- Update Thumbnails - If you have selected Save Browser Files to Disk under Paint Shop Pro Preferences>General Program Preferences>Browser (See Customizing Paint Shop Pro), the browser writes a file into the folder you are browsing with a list of all the graphics in the folder. If you add or delete graphics to a folder, you may need to Update Thumbnails the next time you browse the folder to see the current contents.
- Refresh Tree - This selection refreshes the view of the folders in the tree and updates the thumbnails.
- Preferences - This selection brings up the File>Preferences>General Program Preferences>Browser dialog box so you can set your browser preferences.
Navigating the Browser
You navigate the browser file tree the same as you navigate Windows Explorer. As soon as you stop on a particular folder, the thumbnails will render in the browser window.
Managing Files with the Browser
Managing graphic files is a snap when you do it through the Browser. Simply right click on any graphic (or a group of selected graphics) and select the action you wish to perform from the list of file management choices.
Before you perform any file management actions, you need to select a graphic or graphics. To select graphics you can Click on a single graphic, select all by pressing Ctrl-A, select contiguous graphics by clicking on the first graphic, then Shift-clicking on the last graphic or hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on specific graphics.
- Copy to - When you select a graphic or a group of graphics and choose "Copy to", the Browse For Folder dialog box pops up. You can then choose the folder you want to copy your graphics to and hit the OK button.
- Delete - To delete selected graphics, choose this option. You will be prompted to confirm your delete request before the graphic is actually deleted.
- Move to - This option works exactly like Copy to except that it actually moves the graphic from the originating folder into the destination folder.
- Rename - This option is only available when a single graphic is selected. When you choose Rename, you will be presented with a dialog box where you enter the new name for the graphic, then hit OK.
- Send to Studio Avenue - When you select this option, if you are currently on-line, the program will take you to Jasc's Studio Avenue. See File>Export>Studio Avenue later in this chapter for a complete explanation of this feature.
- Information - This option will present you with a dialog box that contains complete image information on your graphic including the image format, image characteristics, and file information.
- Open - This option will open the selected graphics on your workspace. You can double click on the graphic or drag a single selected graphic onto the workspace. or Shift-double clicking (or dragging) on more than one selected graphic will open all selected graphics on the workspace.
- Print Multiple Images - This option takes you direct to the File>Print Multiple Images menu option covered later in this chapter.
Drag and Drop
You can drag and drop images from the browser onto the workspace to open them. You can also drag and drop an image from the browser onto a currently open image. The new image will be placed on the open image as a new layer.
Printing Thumbnails from Browser
When you choose File>Print from the Browser menu, you will print all the thumbnail images with their image name under each thumbnail and the folder path as the title. This is a very handy way of creating a catalog of your images.
To close a currently open file, either click on the "X" in the top right corner of your graphic or choose File>Close from the menu. If you have made any changes to your graphic, you will be prompted to save your changes before the program closes the graphic.
When you choose File>Revert, your graphic will be reverted to the state it was in when first opened. This is a handy feature when you have been experimenting with changes to a graphic and you don't like your changes. You could close the graphic without saving and then reopen the graphic, or you can choose Revert to take the graphic back to its original opening state.
Shortcut: (Ctrl) S
When you choose File>Save or use the shortcut, the program will save an existing graphic to the directory in which it resides. If you choose this option after creating a new graphic, the program will prompt you for a directory to save the graphic and ask for a name and format for the graphic. The default directory for saving a new graphic will be the last directory you saved to using File>Save.
To save an image:
Typing a letter to find the file type is not a particularly useful feature in Paint Shop Pro since the letter you type refers to the name of the file type not the extension. Thus, if you want to jump to a "bmp" extension, you have to type a "W" 5 times to get to the "bmp" extension. But it is very useful when you want to jump to "jpg" or "psp" since the letter you type will jump you directly to the correct extension.
- Choose the folder you want to save to from the Save In dialog box (see Figure 8-8).
- Give your graphic a name by typing in the File Name dialog box.
- Choose a file type from the Save as type dialog box. When you hit the down arrow on the Save as type box, you can skip to a file type by typing the first letter of the name type.
- If the file type you chose has further options, the Options box will be active.
Saving Graphics for the Web
Paint Shop Pro is frequently used to create graphics for display on the Internet. Therefore a brief explanation of web graphic formats is in order.
Most web browsers recognize GIF and JPG images. Therefore, these two formats are used most often for saving web images. newer versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape can now recognize the PNG format. But, since this is true only for the most recent issues of the web browsers, I don't recommend you save graphics for posting on the web in PNG format at this time.
Some computers with older graphics cards are only capable of displaying up to 256 colors. If an image on a web page contains more colors, the web browser uses a dithering method to display the image. This can result in color distortion of your graphic. If you use a web safe palette and reduce the color depth of the image to 8 bits (256 colors) before placing it on your web page, the appearance of your graphic will be more consistent. But the trade-off is a severe limitation on the colors you can use in a graphic. Since there are many more computers on the web today with the more modern graphic cards than there are with older graphic cards, you will need to decide for yourself if the trade-off is worth it in the quality of your graphics.
File size affects the users accessing a web page. The larger the file size, the longer it takes to download. I recommend saving graphics with a large number of colors as a JPG and graphics with a small number of colors as a GIF. Generally this will result in the smallest possible file size for your graphic. Paint Shop Pro's Export function for both GIF's and JPGs has an option for viewing the file size of the graphic and gives an estimate of download time based on modem speeds. This is a very handy feature and I recommend you use it if you are in doubt as to the file size of a particular graphic.
Internet File Types
As stated earlier, the two most common file types for posting graphics on the Internet are GIF and JPG.
- GIF - Use this format for line art and images that consist of very few colors. The GIF format supports 8-bit (256) color. There are currently two versions of GIF: 87a and GIF 89a, which can save transparency and animation information. Both are recognized by most browsers and use lossless compression. Lossless compression means that the graphic will retain all of the original image data and file size will be reduced by storing patterns of pixels in the image.
- JPG (or JPEG) - I recommend you save a graphic as a JPG when the graphic contains many colors. Always save a photographic image as a JPG. The JPG format supports 24-bit (16.7 million) colors and uses a lossy compression method. Lossy Compression eliminates data to reduce the file size. But, keep in mind that each time you save the graphic as a JPG, the quality of the graphic will deteriorate through the further reduction in the data in the graphic. For this reason, if you think you will be frequently editing a colorful graphic, I recommend you keep a "master" of the graphic saved in a lossless format such as a "psp" or a "png" format and only save as a JPG for posting the graphic to the Internet.
- PNG - This format compresses most images efficiently. It supports up to 24-bit (16.7 million) colors and uses lossless compression, but it is currently only recognized by a few browsers. For that reason I don't recommend you save graphics for the web in a PNG format.
- PSP Format - Paint Shop Pro has a native PSP format that supports layers, alpha channels, and other features you can use to create images. You will find it convenient to save an image in this format while you are working on it and then convert it after you have finished.
If you want to save an existing graphic with a new name, choose File>Save As. This save defaults to a .psp file format unless you set File>Preferences>General Program Preferences>Dialogs and Palettes to Remember Last File Type with Save As.
Save a Copy As
Shortcut: (Ctrl) F12
File>Save a Copy As is the handiest of all the saves. It allows you to save a graphic using the last image format you used and it saves into the last folder you saved a graphic to. This is another icon you should probably add to your customized toolbar.
This menu item allows you to Load, Save or Delete a Workspace. Please see Workspace tutorial for a complete explanation of a Workspace.
Shortcut: (Ctrl) (Delete)
You can delete a currently open graphic on the desktop by choosing File>Delete or using the keyboard shortcut.
If you have Outlook configured as your mail client, you can choose File>Send and send the current image you are working on through e-mail.