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Welcome to the world of Paint Shop Pro 8.

First, let me say that I’m not a graphics or digital artist. In fact, I’m not any type of artist. I’m a teacher, and I’ve written this book with the thought in mind that most of us are not graphics artists. We’re simply computer users who want to use our computer to create amazing graphics images. Paint Shop Pro 8 can help you create such graphics.

However, creating terrific graphics is not just a matter of drawing something on your screen. It’s many steps put together. Most images are created out of several different objects—each with its own special effect—and then assembled to create the final image. Sound complicated? I thought so at first, but it’s really not; in fact, the Paint Shop Pro application makes it simple. This book, Paint Shop Pro ® 8 Fast & Easy, takes you through each process one step at a time.

Fast & Easy guides use a step-by-step approach and are written in an easy-to-understand common lingo. Each step is accompanied by a visual representation of your screen so that you can follow along and make sure you are on the right track.

This book is divided into four parts including three appendixes. In Part I, "Getting Started with the Basics," I show you how to control the tools that are used to create the basic objects. Although it's not the most exciting part of the book, it's certainly the most practical. Look out then! Things start to be lots of fun! In Parts II, "Working with Raster Graphics," and III, "Using Vector Graphics & Text," you learn how to assemble the objects and add special effects as well as the basics of creating graphics elements for publication to the Web. Part IV, "Special Photo Projects," includes steps for a couple of particular photographic projects such as removing red eye from photos. Finally, the appendixes show you how to save time with Paint Shop Pro keystroke shortcuts, list Web sites you can go to for cool Paint Shop Pro accessories, and present examples of just a few of the wonderful special effects.

Through this book, you learn how to create images, but what you create is up to you! Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do with the images after that. This book cannot begin to teach you everything you can do with Paint Shop Pro 8, nor will it give you all the different ways to accomplish a task. What I have tried to do is give you the fastest and easiest way to get started with this fun and exciting graphics program.

Who Should Read This Book?

You can use this book as a learning tool or as a step-by-step task reference. The easy-to-follow, highly visual nature of this book makes it the perfect learning tool for a beginning computer user as well as those seasoned computer users who are new to graphics applications. No prerequisites are required from you, the reader, except that you know how to turn your computer on and know how to use your mouse.

By using this Paint Shop Pro 8 Fast & Easy guide, any level of user can quickly look up steps for a task without having to plow through pages of descriptions.

Added Advice to Make You a Pro

You’ll notice that this book focuses on the steps that are necessary for a task and keeps explanations to a minimum. Included in this book are elements that provide some additional information to help you master the program, without encumbering your progress through the steps:

  • Tips offer shortcuts when you’re performing an action, and they describe a feature that can make your work in Paint Shop Pro quicker and easier.

  • Notes give you a bit of background or additional information about a feature; they also give advice about how to use the feature in your day-to-day activities.

  • Cautions are used to warn you of possible disastrous results if you perform a task incorrectly.

This book truly is the fastest and easiest way to learn Paint Shop Pro 8. Enjoy!

—Diane Koers

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