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Click to
display and

The Tools toolbar is normally sort of magnetized (docked) to the left side of
your Paint Shop Pro window, although you can drag it elsewhere ” to the
top, the right side, or the bottom or even floating free in the middle of the
screen! Drag the toolbar by the faint dotted line at its top to place it to wher-
ever you want. To place it back along the left side, drag first to the center of
the side until it grabs, and then slide it up into its original position.

Click the small down arrow next to the tool group and then select its icon
from the tool group menu that flies out. Your cursor then becomes that tool
(it displays that tool™s icon) whenever the cursor is over your image.

Disappearing toolbars and palettes
The Tools toolbar and other toolbars and title bar. To restore normal behavior, restore the
palettes in Paint Shop Pro have the ability to get toolbar by positioning the cursor over the title
out of your way automatically. They can shrink bar, and then sneak up along the toolbar to the
to nothing more than a title bar when you™re not pushpin and click it.
using them. We find that this behavior drives us
A completely different way that a toolbar or
nuts, but you may like it.
palette may disappear is if you close it by click-
Click the tiny pushpin icon at the top or left end, ing the X next to the pushpin or by pressing a
which turns the icon sideways. (For the Tools function key. You can restore (or turn off) any
toolbar, first drag the toolbar to a floating posi- toolbar by choosing View➪Toolbars, and then
tion.) Now, whenever your cursor leaves the your desired toolbar from the menu that appears.
toolbar, the toolbar shrinks to a title bar (labeled, For palettes, choose View➪Palettes. Each line
for example, Tools for the Tools toolbar). To on the palette menus also lists the function key
restore the toolbar, position your cursor over the that turns the palette on or off.

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152 Part III: Painting Pictures

Brushing, Airbrushing (Spraying),
and Erasing
Using the Paint Brush, Airbrush, and Eraser tools is much like using real
paint, paper, and erasers. Okay ” you would never use an eraser on paint in
real life, but you get the idea.

Like most Paint Shop Pro tools and commands, the Paint Brush, Airbrush,
and Eraser tools do their things on the active layer of your image. If they
don™t seem to be working correctly or are grayed out, you may be on the
wrong layer. See Chapter 11 for more information about layers.

Brushing or spraying
The Paint Brush tool, like a real paint brush, paints a spot of paint when you
click it on your image or a line when you drag it. The Airbrush works simi-
larly, but like a can of spray paint, it puts down a speckly spot or line that
gets denser as you hold the button down.

The Airbrush tool paints speckly and the Paint Brush tool paints solid for a
reason: Jasc initially gives the two tools different density settings on the Tool
Options palette. You could easily change their density settings and make the
Paint Brush tool paint speckly or the Airbrush tool paint solid. The real differ-
ence between the tools is that if you pause the Airbrush tool or move it
slowly while keeping the mouse button pressed, paint continues to fill in the
speckles. As a result, you increase the paint density just as you can with real
spray paint. Not so with the Paint Brush tool: You would have to click repeat-
edly to get that effect.

The two tools work similarly. Here™s how to paint with the Paint Brush or
Airbrush (spray) tools:

1. Click a color from the Materials palette, as shown in Figure 9-2.
Press F6 to turn on the Materials palette if you don™t see it. Click the
middle tab of the three tabs that appear there to see the easy-to-
understand “rainbow” display of colors, and then click your color. To
use more complex paint materials, see Chapter 10.
Your chosen color appears in the foreground color box.
2. Select the Paint Brush or Airbrush tool from the brush tool group.
Refer to the first section in this chapter and Figure 9-1 for help in locat-
ing your tool.

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Chapter 9: Basic Painting, Spraying, and Filling

Click Make sure that texture button
to see is out (off) to apply solid color.
display Your color appears here,
of colors. in the Foreground color box.
Figure 9-2:
a color
from the
Press F6 to
make the
Click and choose the solid black
Color dot to apply solid color.

3. Set the brush size and other options on the Tool Options palette.
Press F4 to turn on Tool Options if it™s not visible, and adjust the Size
value box. If the industry standard Paint Shop Pro brush doesn™t tickle
your fancy, here™s where you get to change the kind of brush you paint
with; you can make it a tiny, crisp square or a ghostly, rocket ship-
shaped brush or a watercolorish schmearer. We go over this technique
in the next section, but feel free to experiment. It™s fun!
4. Drag on your image (or click to make just a single spot).
As you drag or click with the left mouse button, you apply whatever
color (material) you have selected as the foreground in the Materials
If you™re using the Airbrush tool, you can keep the cursor in one place
and hold down the mouse button. The paint density gradually builds up.

Painting or erasing a straight line
Can™t draw a straight line? Paint Shop Pro line to end. This trick works with all the tools from
comes to your rescue. The starting point of the the brush tool group (Paint Brush, Airbrush, Warp
line is the last place you clicked, or wherever Brush) and with the Eraser tool.
your last brush stroke ended.
To create a straight line from that point, hold
down the Shift key and click where you want the

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154 Part III: Painting Pictures

If the spot or stroke doesn™t look right, press Ctrl+Z (or click the Undo button
on the toolbar) to undo it; you may need to use the Tool Options palette to
change the brush features. See the later section “Controlling Strokes, Sizes,
Shapes, and Spatters: Tool Options,” for details on changing appearances.

Picking up colors from an image
You can pick a color to paint with from the Materials palette, as shown in
Figure 9-2, but picking color from the image is sometimes much more conve-
nient. Cohabiting with the Color Replacer in the color selection tool group is
an eyedropper icon. Shown in the margin here, it™s called the Dropper tool,
and is the sixth button from the top of the Tools toolbar.

Click the Dropper, and then click any color in the image to make that your
current working (that is, foreground) color. To pick up a background color
(used by some tools and paint brushes), right-click. Here are a few tips for
picking up color:

If you™re using any brush, painting, or eraser tool, you don™t need the
Dropper to pick up paint. Just Ctrl+click with your current tool to pick
up color.
The Dropper initially is set to pick up color from only a single pixel.
Sometimes, however, apparently continuous color is mottled, and no
single pixel is the right color. In that case, average the color of an area
by choosing a larger sample size on the Tool Options palette. (Press F4 if
it™s not visible.)
The Dropper normally gets its color from all layers combined. To pick up
color from just the current layer, enable the Active Layer Only check box
on the Tool Options palette.

Erasing with the Eraser tool
The eraser tool requires a little caution to get the results you want. Here™s
how to erase:

1. Click the Eraser tool, as shown in the margin.
Alternatively, press the X key rather than click the Eraser. Make sure
that you have chosen the Eraser shown at the left, not the Background
2. Set the Size of the eraser on the Tool Options palette.
Press F4 to turn the Tool Options palette on if it™s not visible. Then,
adjust the Size value box. A higher number is bigger.

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Chapter 9: Basic Painting, Spraying, and Filling

3. Hold down the Ctrl button and right-click your image somewhere that
the background color (typically, white) appears.
You can skip this step if you™re erasing on a layer that is transparent. This
little precautionary trick ensures that when you erase on a background
layer (which is typically nontransparent), the Eraser leaves the correct
color behind. It sets the official background color on the Materials palette,
which is what the Eraser leaves behind on nontransparent layers.
4. Drag on your image to erase, or click to erase a single spot.
The Eraser leaves behind background color on an opaque background.
On transparent backgrounds or other layers, it leaves transparency.

If the size, shape, and density (speckliness) of your eraser aren™t what you
want, press Ctrl+Z (or click the Undo button on the toolbar) to undo. Then,
see the section “Controlling Strokes, Sizes, Shapes, and Spatters: Tool
Options,” a little later in this chapter.

Erasing backdrops with the
Background Eraser tool
A common problem in any Paint Shop Pro project is erasing specific areas;
for example, you want to erase an ugly wallpaper print ” but not Cousin
Charlie, who™s standing in front of it. You could carefully erase that ghastly
wallpaper, pixel by pixel. Not only is that method incredibly time-consuming,
though, but also one slip of the wrist and you accidentally remove his left

The incredibly handy Paint Shop Pro Background Eraser tool makes this
process easy by doing some complex calculations to determine what is Charlie
and what is the background behind Charlie and then automatically erasing that
background. (You can also select around Charlie to make normal erasing easier;
refer to Chapter 3 to read about selection.)

For example, as you can see in Figure 9-3, erasing the background behind
both Dave and Alex is a snap. The Background Eraser recognizes the differ-
ence between Dave and a coniferous tree ” not always an easy task.

Just to confuse you, Paint Shop Pro calls this tool the Background Eraser, even
though it has nothing to do with the Background Material box, discussed in
Chapter 10. Whereas background in every other aspect of Paint Shop Pro means
“the secondary color that™s used to fill the middle of a shape,” here it means
what most people think it does: the stuff behind the interesting things in a pic-
ture. Why they didn™t call it something like the Erase to Edge tool in order to
keep the terminology consistent is beyond us.

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156 Part III: Painting Pictures

Figure 9-3:
Man, dog,
and tree.
The Back-
ates the

Here™s how to erase the background behind Uncle Charlie:

1. Click the Background Eraser tool, as shown in the margin.
2. Set the size of your eraser by adjusting the Size value on the Tool
Options palette. (Press F4 if you don™t see the palette.)
To control other brush-like aspects of the Background Eraser, see the fol-
lowing section.
If the background is the result of multiple layers, enable the Sample
Merged check box. To improve the Background Eraser™s behavior, see
the nearby sidebar “Tweaking the Background Eraser.”
3. Click a section of the area you want erased and hold the mouse button
down briefly before dragging.
In our example, you would want to click that ugly wallpaper. Holding the
button down briefly gives Paint Shop Pro time to do the calculations to
figure out what wallpaper looks like so that it can erase it.
If you™re erasing on a background layer, Paint Shop Pro may pop up an
Auto Actions dialog box which suggests that you let it promote the back-
ground to a full layer. Click OK. Your image background layer is now
transparent, and the former background layer is now a layer.
4. Drag the point of the tool across the background, to allow the outer
radius of the tool to overlap the edge of the area you want isolated

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Chapter 9: Basic Painting, Spraying, and Filling

Don™t drag the point of the tool across Charlie, or else he is taken as
background. Dragging quickly may go too fast for Paint Shop Pro to keep
up, and as a result it may start erasing bits you want to keep. Drag at a
slow, sure pace along the edge.

Using the Background Eraser is great for removing the bits around edges,
but it™s very slow (and not efficient) at removing large areas. If you™re trying
to erase everything except Cousin Charlie, we suggest that you use the
Background Eraser to clear a “moat” of transparent space around Charlie
and then switch to the regular Eraser tool to mop up the rest of the image.

Tweaking the Background Eraser
Mostly, the settings that Paint Shop Pro picks Limits:
for special options (like Sampling) work pretty
Contiguous: Paint Shop Pro erases only
darned well. (You may have to click the tiny right
background pixels that are contiguous. This
arrow at the right end of the Tool Options palette
option is often good for removing up to the
to see all options. ) If they don™t work well for
edge of Cousin Charlie.
you, you may need to tweak them. Here™s what
you need to know to tweak: Discontiguous: The tool erases pixels that
match the background even if they™re iso-
Sampling: The Background Eraser works by
lated from each other. If a little bit of the
looking at (sampling) the pixels directly under its
wallpaper™s color is on Charlie™s shirt, it may
black tip and calling that the background. It then
well erase that too when the eraser over-
erases matching pixels that it finds under the
laps the shirt.
full radius of the tool.
Find Edge: The tool erases pixels starting at
Continuous: As you drag, the Background
the tool tip outward until the tool finds an
Eraser continually checks the image to dis-
edge within its radius. This setting is also
cern a difference between the foreground
good for isolating Charlie.
and the background. This setting generally
provides the best results. Sharpness:
Once: The eraser looks only at the place Low values produce a fuzzy line between
where you first clicked to determine back- the background and Cousin Charlie; high
ground. Generally, this setting does very values create a crisp, sharp line. (Low
little erasing. values in the 40s look more natural.)
Foreswatch and Backswatch: The Back- Auto Tolerance:
ground Eraser attempts to erase colors that
You can clear this check box to set your tol-
are similar to what is in the Foreground or
erance manually in the Tolerance setting.
Background boxes, respectively, of the
Lower tolerance values mean that a pixel
Materials palette. Use this setting if what
must be a pretty close match to the sampled
you want to erase is one color and the
pixels to be erased.
Continuous setting isn™t getting it right.

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158 Part III: Painting Pictures

Controlling Strokes, Sizes, Shapes,
and Spatters: Tool Options
The Painting and Eraser tools can do much more than just create a plain,
boring spot or line. The Tool Options palette, as shown in Figure 9-4, is your
key to variety, artistic success, fame and fortune, and probably good dental
health. It™s the key to making your paint tool work the way you want. The
palette works the same ” or nearly the same ” for all painting and erasing
tools, except for the Warp Brush.

Click for more brush shapes.
Preview brush
with your
settings. Drag line sideways to expose or hide controls.

Figure 9-4:
The Tool

Drag edge to make wider and display all controls.

One key role of the Tool Options palette is to show you what your brush
looks like. As Figure 9-4 indicates, a preview area in the upper-left corner
shows you the size, fuzziness (hardness), and speckliness (density) of the
spot you make if you clicked your image. The Tool Options palette is so
incredibly useful that it should almost always be open so that you can check
your brush before you paint.

The Tool Options palette (or its title bar, labeled Tool Options) is probably
already floating around somewhere on your PC screen. If you can™t find the
Tool Options palette, follow these steps:

1. Press the F4 key on your keyboard a few times.
The palette appears and disappears. Leave it visible.
2. If Tool Options appears as a floating window and you don™t want it
hovering over your painting, double-click its title bar to dock it.
3. If the Tool Options palette isn™t where you want it (we prefer along the
top), click the dark shaded bar at the far left and drag the palette to
wherever you want.
4. If you don™t see all the options on the Tool Options palette, you may
need to slide the palette open to see everything.

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Chapter 9: Basic Painting, Spraying, and Filling

The Tool Options palette has three sections: the brush shape section,
the opacity/blend section, and the shape/size/hardness section. Drag
the small vertical row of faint dots shown in Figure 9-4 left and right (or
up and down) until you can see all options clearly. Alternatively, you can
drag the bottom edge of the palette down, as Figure 9-4 suggests, to
widen the palette to display all sections.

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