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Introduction to PSP 8
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Introduction to PSP 8
Created by: Zonia

This lesson will cover the PSP 8 workspace. It will introduce you to the different areas of the workspace, show you how to turn workspace items such as palettes and bars on and off, and show you how you can rearrange the workspace. We also cover loading and saving workspaces and preferences.

When you first open PSP 8 you will see a window similar to the above. This is your PSP 8 workspace. I have labeled some of the areas in Red. (Note: The screen shot has been greatly reduced.)

The bar across the very top (blue in the screen shot) is the Title Bar. The title bar text will say "Jasc Paint Shop Pro". If you have an image open it will add "– Current image name", for example "Jasc Paint Shop Pro – Image 2". This is very important to remember if you have more than one image open at a time because the title bar will display the name of the currently selected (active) image.

The next row after that is your menu bar. Without any images open you will only have a File, Edit, View, and Help menu. When you open an image the menu bar will expand and add more menus.

When you click on one of these words in the menu bar you will see a menu with several options. This is a screen shot of the Edit menu without any images open. When there is a image open the menus will have more options.

Also note that sometimes menu options may be grayed out (text is gray instead of black). That is because that option is currently unavailable. For example, the "Paste As New Image" option may be grayed out because there is not an image in the windows clipboard to paste.


The next row is the button bar. The button bar consists of icons which are shortcuts to options (commands) much like the icons on the Windows desktop. You click on the icon and the action is performed. If an icon is grayed out it just means it is currently unavailable.

PSP 8 has several premade button bars and you can make your own. The premade button bars include Browse, Effects, Photo, Script, Standard and Web.

To turn button bars on and off click on the View menu, then click on Customize. Click on the Toolbars tab and you will see them listed there. There is a little box in front of each one. If there is a check in the box the toolbar is on. To turn them on and off just click into the little box.

The next row is Tool Options. This is really a palette. The options will change depending on which tool is selected. We will cover the options for each tool when we cover the tools. The screen shot shows the options for the Dropper tool.

Along the left hand side you will see the "Tools" toolbar. Beside some of the tools you will see a black triangle (arrow). This means there is more than one tool at that location. Click on the arrow to see the other tools. The icon will change depending on the tool you select.

In previous versions of PSP there was only one tool in each location. Therefore tutorials written for earlier versions of PSP 8 will say something like "... select the Lasso (Freehand) tool" which was on the PSP 7 Toolbar. It is still on the PSP 8 Tools toolbar but you have to click the 3rd arrow from the top in order to find it.

Basically if you need a tool that you don't see on the Tools toolbar click the little black arrows until you find it.


Along the right side of your workspace you will see some docked palettes. In the screen shot of my workspace you see the Materials palette and the Layer palette. In your workspace there will probably be more.

We will cover the palettes in later lessons but for now let's just go over how to turn the palettes on and off. Click on the View menu and put your mouse over the Palettes option to display a menu of the different palettes. Simply click on the palette name to turn them on/off.

You will also notice some F keys listed beside the options in the menu. You can hit the corresponding F key to turn the palette on/off. For example you can hit the F8 key to turn the Layer palette on/off.


If you are using the PSP 8 default workspace the palettes are currently docked (stationary). You can resize the palettes if you want. Move your mouse pointer to the edge of the palette and the cursor will change to a line with arrows on each side. Hold down the left mouse button and drag it to the size you desire.

You can move the palettes by clicking on the name of the palette and, while holding down the left mouse button, drag it to where you want it.

Another option is to undock (float) the palettes. Click on the View menu and select Docking Options. You will find the palettes that can be docked listed on the right. Remove the check mark in front of any palettes you don't want docked by clicking on the little box in front of that palette.

Note: You can also go to the docking options by clicking on the File menu, highlighting Preferences, and clicking on General Program Preferences. Then click on the Palettes tab.


While you have the General Program Preferences dialog open click on the other tabs and check them out. This is where you go if you want to change your general program preferences.

On the Preferences submenu you will also see other options such as Autosave Settings, File Locations, Reset Preferences, and more.

The Autosave preferences lets you choose your autosave interval. The File Locations lets you tell PSP 8 where you want it to look for certain files such as Tubes, Patterns, and so on. The Reset preferences will reset all the PSP preferences back to factory default (how it was when you first ran it).


You now have enough information to be able to set up your workspace how you want it. When you get it how you want it then you can save it by clicking on the File menu, highlighting Workspace and clicking on Save.

To load a workspace you click on File, highlight Workspace and click on Load. Select the workspace you want to load and click on OK.

Note: Besides the default workspace PSP 8 also has a PSP 7 workspace that you can load to make PSP 8 look more like PSP 7.

Now that you know how to customize your workspace go have fun setting it up the way you want. Don't forget to explore the Preferences, too.