SLP Curriculum Guide #05 General Preferences #2
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For the general information about using File || Preferences review SLP Curriculum Guide #04.

GUIDE #05: PREFERENCES (Display, Caching, Transparency)

In this Guide we explore the General Preferences of 'Display and Caching', Miscellaneous, and Transparency and Shading. Each of the preference options govern how images will be displayed in the PSP Workspace. The best way to learn about these options is to actually select different values for each and see how they affect the outcome.
Exercise #1: Transparency and Shading
TRANSPARENCY AND SHADING is the feature to highlight what area has been selected by dimming out the area outside of a selection. The selection is for CROPPING or reducing the size of an image to the selection set.
  • a. Create a Selection (such as a rectangular area) within the middle of an image after setting to 'Crop'. Note how the area outside of the selection is presented.
  • b. Change the values and repeat exercise a.
  • c. Set the GRID (Edit || GRID) to view the grid pattern on the image.
  • d. Again, change the values and repeat c. to view how these values appear on the image.
  • e. Comment: Grids are used for more precise drawing and are useful for positioning of the cursor.
  • f. Comment: Colors used can be helpful when used at different contrasts and transparency values. Time used will help set your preferences.
Exercise #2. Display and Caching
DISPLAY AND CACHING sets the options for Presentation: (1) How various things such as last file type saved, display of colors, Using Precise cursors, brush outlines as cursor is used are displayed, (2) Zooming and Rescaling Quality, (3) Thumbnail and preview size, and (4) What information is saved or cached for quicker access when reused.
  • a. When Re-Use last file type (save-as) is checked note that when saving another image again that same file type is preset.
  • b. When Show Brush Outlines is checked note that the cursor takes the shape of the brush particularly if one uses custom brushes.
  • c. When Use Precise Cursors, (it is best not to check Brush Outlines) one gets a cross-hair cursor to more accurately locate a position.
  • d. Vary the options on images created, particularly Precise Cursors and Brush Outlines as well as Thumbnail/Preview Size.
Exercise #3. Miscellaneous
MISCELLANEOUS options include how many saved files will show up (10 is maximum), What transparency tolerance (in percent) is used when pasting transparent selection (use the default), and how one sets how the Clipboard will be managed. Experiment with various values over time to become familiar with these options. If you are not using a Pressure Tablet (a specialized drawing tool) do not worry about such options.

Final Comment: As with all features of PSP, none will necessarily become totally clear in their use except over time. Preferences in particular will evolve as one uses PSP and becomes familiar with one's own preferences and ways they want PSP to function. Thus, preferences evolve over time.


  1. When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
    • a. Name or Screen Name.
    • b. Web Site URL.
    • c. Version of PSP using.
    • d. List of Tutorials completed.
  2. From exploration of using Preferences and its options, post some of your unique results.
    • a. Indicate what you did so others can duplicate.
    • b. Indicate what option values.
    • c. Add comments on your results and findings of interest.
    • d. Share your questions and comments in the SLP Forum and your graphic results in the member Gallery SLP Album as well as in the Forum.


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