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Paint Shop Pro is a powerful yet easy-to-use graphics editor that is also surprisingly affordable. Whether you’re creating your own images from scratch, editing clip art, or retouching digital photos, Paint Shop Pro has the tools you need. Paint Shop Pro 8 Power! helps you explore these tools and provides examples of advanced techniques that illustrate the power of Paint Shop Pro.

Who This Book Is For

This book is for intermediate and advanced users of Paint Shop Pro. It can also be useful for experienced users of other image editors who are new to Paint Shop Pro.

For this book to be most useful to you, you should either be somewhat familiar with Paint Shop Pro’s interface and tools or be ready and willing to use the Paint Shop Pro documentation to look up any of the basics that you’re not clear on. Some basic information is provided in the early chapters of this book, but the book’s central purpose is to examine techniques that go beyond the basics.


As just mentioned, this book assumes that you are already somewhat familiar with Paint Shop Pro’s interface or that you are ready to consult Paint Shop Pro’s documentation if you come across something basic that you’re unclear about.

This book also assumes that you have Paint Shop Pro version 8 and an interest in using advanced techniques in creating and editing digital images. Following are a few other assumptions made in the book:

  • You’re running Windows 98, NT 4 SP6a, 2000, Me, or XP. Paint Shop Pro is available only for the PC platform. You should also be familiar with how to install and run programs on your PC.

  • You’re familiar with the peripherals used with your computer. This book will help you use Paint Shop Pro to edit scanned images and digital photos and to print your images. But you will need to be familiar with how to install and use your particular peripherals (your scanner, digital camera, and printer).

  • You want to learn and explore. This book has been written to show you what can be done with Paint Shop Pro. You’ll find many specific techniques that you can employ in your own work, but what is presented here should be seen as a springboard, inspiring you to explore Paint Shop Pro even more on your own.

How This Book Is Organized

Paint Shop Pro 8 Power! is divided into 12 chapters and 5 appendixes, and also has a section of color plates:

  • Chapter 1, “Basic Drawing and Painting Tools.” This chapter focuses on the Paint Brush, Airbrush, Eraser, and Preset Shapes tools. You’ll also take a first look at the Pen tool and the Text tool.

  • Chapter 2, “More Painting Tools.” In this chapter, you’ll take a look at some of the other painting tools, including the Eye Dropper and Color Replacer tools, the Picture Tube tool (which enables you to paint with ready-made pictures), and the Flood Fill tool. You’ll also take a first look at the Clone Brush, Warp Brush, and Mesh Warp tools.

  • Chapter 3, “Being Selective.” Being able to isolate parts of an image and modify only those parts makes many image editing tasks easier. This chapter shows you how to do just that, using Paint Shop Pro’s selection tools.

  • Chapter 4, “Mastering Layers and Blend Modes.” In this chapter, you’ll learn about the power of layers. Layers let you manipulate part of a complex image while leaving the rest untouched. Layers enable you to easily blend one image into another and to produce many effects that would be difficult or close to impossible to do without layers.

  • Chapter 5, “Mastering Selections, Masks, and Channels.” Masks enable you to modify transparency on other layers without actually affecting the data on those layers. In this chapter, you’ll discover the power of masks, and you’ll also explore some advanced selection techniques.

  • Chapter 6, “Working with Vectors.” Drawing with vectors allows you to deform a shape or change its attributes again and again, all without degrading image quality in the least. Discover how vectors can help you create great drawings that you can change easily whenever you like.

  • Chapter 7, “Paint Shop Pro 8 Effects.” Paint Shop Pro 8 has many built-in special effects. This chapter catalogs them all and gives an in-depth look at some of the most useful and powerful effects.

  • Chapter 8, “Photo Editing and Enhancement.” Now that scanners and digital cameras are becoming more affordable, the number of people needing the digital equivalent of a darkroom is on the rise. Paint Shop Pro fits the bill by providing you with a wide range of photo editing tools and filters. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to edit and enhance your photos.

  • Chapter 9, “Web Tools.” Paint Shop Pro has lots of tools for the Web graphics designer, including built-in Web optimizers, an image slicer, and an image map utility. In this chapter, you’ll learn about these and more.

  • Chapter 10, “Tricks and Techniques.” This chapter features a potpourri of advanced techniques. Create dynamic Web graphics, striking text effects, digital drawings and paintings, and more.

  • Chapter 11, “Adding to Your Toolkit.” Paint Shop Pro comes with a large collection of textures, patterns, Picture Tubes, gradients, brushes, and other resource files. But why be limited to what’s there already? In this chapter, you’ll learn how to create your own resource files.

  • Chapter 12, “Scripting.” One of the most powerful new additions in Paint Shop Pro 8 is its scripting engine. Scripts enable you to record a series of operations and play them again whenever you need to. You can also write scripts that do much more than just replay a set of operations. In this chapter, you’ll begin to explore the power of scripts.

  • Appendix A, “Paint Shop Pro 8 Menus, Toolbars, and Palettes.” This appendix includes illustrations of Paint Shop Pro’s basic interface elements.

  • Appendix B, “Configuring Paint Shop Pro 8.” This appendix outlines the various ways in which you can make Paint Shop Pro work the way you want it to.

  • Appendix C, “Adjusting Color Depth.” In this appendix, the issue of color depth and the fine points of adjusting an image’s color depth are examined.

  • Appendix D, “Printing.” This appendix gives a brief discussion of printing your images.

  • Appendix E, “Resources.” This appendix lists a few online resources for Paint Shop Pro.

Conventions Used in This Book

The following conventions are used in this book:

  • All Web page Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) mentioned appear in boldface, such as http://www.jasc.com.

  • Hot keys in commands and menu options are shown in boldface, such as Edit > Copy.

  • Labels for controls in a dialog box or palette are shown in boldface, such as Match mode.

  • In the running text, all Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) tags and attributes appear in full monospace capital letters so that the HTML code stands out from the rest of the text. In expanded examples, HTML code is presented in lowercase. (Today’s Web browsers don’t pay attention to case in HTML code. Keep in mind, though, that specifications for HTML coding are being considered that include a preference, if not a requirement, that HTML tags and attributes appear only in lowercase.)

In addition to these typographical conventions, this book features the following special displays for different types of important text:



Text formatted like this offers a helpful tip relevant to the topic discussed in the main text.



Text formatted like this highlights other interesting or useful information that relates to the topic discussed in the main text.



Cautions highlight actions or commands that can make irreversible changes to your files or that can cause other serious problems. Read cautions carefully; they can help you avoid confusion or loss of work.

Keeping the Book’s Content Current

Everyone involved with this book has worked hard to make it complete and accurate. But as we all know, mistakes sometimes find a way of creeping in. If you discover any errors or want to make suggestions for future editions, please contact Muska & Lipman Publishing at http://www.courseptr.com/. You might also find updates, corrections, and other information related to this book on the Muska & Lipman site.

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