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PSP V. 8 - Setting up v8
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PSP v.8 -- Set Up
Created by: Prof


In this tutorial we will look at setting up the PSP workspace and how to customize Tool Bars to reflect one's preferences.

Workspace is able to be customized and saved. If one creates different workspaces, for different ways they use PSP all one needs to do is load a particular workspace.

Similarly, one is able to customize Tool Bars to reflect their preferences and make it easier to access commonly used tools.



When opening PSP and having no Toolbars or Palettes showing, one will have the basic Workspace.

When opening up a New Canvas, one will then see the full set of Menu Items as illustrated below.

The view below is about 515 pixels wide with a 100 x 100 pixel transparent canvas displayed.



Organizing the workspace for viewing the various Toolbars and Palettes is a matter of personal preference. The views displayed in this tutorial are the ones that I prefer in order to see both our Chat Channel for On-line classes and the PSP workspace program. I place the PSP workspace at the top right corner of my desktop area.
Setting Toolbars

To activate or show a tool bar, one uses View || Toolbars and then selects the Tool Bar or Tool Bars wanted. One also may 'Right Click' the mouse on a toolbar or menu for a drop down menu that just shows the items for 'Toolbars', 'Palettes', 'Magnifier', 'Docking Options' and 'Customize'. Each of these items are used to customize the workspace.

For now, select just the 'Status' and the 'Tools' toolbar.

The 'Status' Bar will be displayed at the bottom of the Workspace area and displays information about the selected item and the size of an active canvas.

Setting the Tools Tool Bar

I have placed the Tools Tool Bar at the very left of the Workspace area. I find this location best for me as I use a left-handed mouse.

Also, this tool bar is set up currently with the default tools showing and has the organization as indicated in the 'Getting Acquainted Tutorial when discussing the Tool Bars.

One also can see the Status Bar at the bottom of the Workspace. In this instance, the Pan tool has been activated.

Setting the Standard Options

Use View || Toolbars or 'Right Click' with the mouse and select 'Toolbars', then the 'Standard Tool Bar'.

The 'Standard Tool Bar' is able to be customized and is the bar for the frequently used functions and actions. (See below on how to 'Customize' tool bars.)

I have placed the Standard Tool Bar under the menu bar.

Setting the Docking Options

Use View || Docking Options or 'Right Click' with the mouse and select the 'Docking Options'.

(Note: If you use File || Preferences || General Program Preferences, you will get the same Preferences window. Just make sure the 'Palettes' tab is highlighted.)

In the 'Preferences' window, check all or as many of the items wanted listed in the 'Allow Docking of ...' section. I have all but the Histogram Palette checked.

' I have placed the Standard Tool Bar under the menu bar.

Setting the Materials Palette

Use View || Palettes or Right Click with mouse and select 'Palettes'. Then select 'Materials'.

In this basic set up, I have docked the Materials Palette on the Right of the Workspace Area. To Dock, use the mouse and hold down the button when cursor is on the Title Bar (top of the Materials window). Drag the Materials palette all the way to the right and it will then dock below the Standard Tool Bar.

Also, if you Double Click on the Title bar, you will release it from the current position and then you can drag it else where. If you do so, and then Double click on the Title bar, it will return to the docked position.

Also, when it is docked, size the window down as far as it will go by placing the cursor on the left edge, hold down the mouse button and drag toward the right.

(Note: If you look carefully at the illustration to the left, you will notice that the standard tool bar has some additional features displayed. Momentarily, I will show you how to customize Tool Bars.)


The Tools Option Palette

The Tools Option Palette has been redesigned and is a very useful and helpful palette. Whenever you select a tool, the Tools Option Palette will display the full range of options as does the image above which is for the Pen Tool.

The Pen Tool Options Palette above was reduced to fit the page for the tutorial. Full size it is 656 pixels wide. It is the widest of all tools. The Text Tool is also almost as wide.

The usefulness of the Tool Options Palette will become very clear when we start using PSP v8 to create images. Thus, it is useful when setting up this palette to have it set initially full size.


As in v7, one is able to set the palette to open when the mouse cursor runs over the title bar, and to close when the mouse cursor leaves the palette area. This feature is very useful when organizing the palettes as some palettes are able to be better managed this way and therefore save desktop space.

To set the palette to open/close upon the mouse cursors position, just click on the Up Arrow that is left of the Close Icon (White X in a Red box). The arrow will point left to indicate the palette will open/close. If you just want the palette to show all the time have the arrow pointing up.

I placed this palette to the far right and on the Top of the PSP Desktop Window (in the Title Bar).


The Layer Palette

My Layer Palette also is set so it will open/close dependent upon the mouse cursor. The illustration is sized for the tutorial but the actual size I use is 417 pixels wide. This full size will display all the necessary options for managing layers.

The Basic Workspace

  • Top Title Bar: Includes
    • Layer Palette
    • Tool Options Palette
  • The Menu Bar
  • The Standard Tool Bar
  • Main Workspace:
    • At left, the Tools Tool Bar
    • At right, the Materials Palette
  • Bottom: Status Bar

Saving the Workspace

Saving, loading and deleting workspaces is very easy. Thus, any custom workspace created should be saved so that one can return to it whenever wanted by 'loading' it if necessary.

Closing PSP without saving it and then opening PSP again will display the last displayed workspace. However, if one does not save a workspace, they will not be able to return to it after changing a workspace. When getting the Workspace window, for a new workspace just enter a workspace name. To Load or Delete a workspace, just highlight the workspace name wanted.

  • To 'Save' use: File || Workspace || Save
  • To 'Load' use: File || Workspace || Load
  • To 'Delete' use: File || Workspace || Delete

Customizing Toolbars

Customizing Toolbars is relatively easy. Once first opens up the Customizing Window using View || Customize or Right Clicking on a Tool Bar and selecting Customize from the Drop Down Menu Window. (Click on the Image to see a full size illustration.)

Using the Customize Feature:

  • Select a tab:
    • Commands will display the categories (left section) and Commands: (right section)
    • Toolbars will display just the Tool Bar Window to check or uncheck which Toolbars to be displayed in PSP.
    • Keyboard displays the available keyboard options and their short cut keys dependent upon the Category.
    • Menu will display the Context Menu items for the Context Menus which are selected by scrolling in the 'Select context Menu' area.
    • Options allows one to configure what gets displayed with regard to Tips and how Icons are displayed.
Categories:      Commands:
  • Select a Category
  • In the Commands Section, those feature or items will be displayed.
In the illustration, the File category has been selected and the its Commands are displayed.

To 'Add' a new item, click on the icon in the Commands Section, hold down the mouse button and drag item to the Bar you are customizing. In the illustration, since 'File' has been selected, you would customize the 'Standard Tool Bar'. Where ever you place the mouse cursor is where the new item will be displayed. Just release the mouse button.

To Delete or Remove an item, in the Tool Bar click on the item to remove, hold down the mouse button and drag off the tool bar, then release the mouse button and it will be removed from the bar.

When Customizing the Tools Tool Bar, if you want to add a new item to the main bar, in the Categories section, select Tools. From the Commands section find the Tool wanted and drag it to the main bar.

To customize a section when a Main Tool bar item has multiple items, drag the new item wanted over the arrow and when the context menu appears drag to the place you want the new item to be seen.


Summary: Customizing Tool Bars

  • Use View || Customize or Right Click mouse on a bar for the context menu and select Customize.
  • In the Customize window to add a new Command:
    • Select the Commands Tab
      • Select a Category
      • In Commands section select Command
      • Drag Command to Tool Bar
      • Release mouse button to set the new Command.
  • To Remove an item, click on it in the Tool bar and drag it off of the tool bar or context menu of a tool bar.

As you work with PSP you will find you want certain commands to be displayed on the Standard Tool Bar and you may well want to customize the Tools Tool Bar. Once you have some ideas, just customize your Bars as you wish.


Final Remarks

Customizing the Workspace and Tool Bars will make your own personal preferences in how your PSP workspace will appear and will provide you with easy access to the various items you use.

There are other features available for customizing but the ones described in this tutorial will get you going with a basic workspace. Just remember, when you finish customizing your workspace and your toolbars, save the workspace so you have saved the custom look you want.

Should you wish to return to another look, just load that workspace. You can create as many different workspaces as you wish and have difference preferences for different ways you may work your images.

Enjoy -- Prof --