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The Workspace (2): Customizing, Saving & Loading Workspaces
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The Workspace (2): Customizing, Saving & Loading Workspaces
Created by: Prof

This series of tutorials is oriented toward helping those new users of PSP 9 to learn the basics of this great graphic program. The tutorials are written to introduce the basic features, tools and palettes and build upon one another. Also, the tutorials may be used as a reference for using particular tools, palettes and features of PSP.

The Workspace

"Workspace" refers to all basic features of PSP and how they are organized to enhance one's working with PSP. Often "workspace" is also used to refer to that area of the program where one works with images and photographs. However, with the various toolbars and palettes one has available how we organize them is also part of the workspace.

Purpose and Goal of this Tutorial

In Part 1 we explored setting up an initial workspace and toolbars. In this tutorial (Workspace Part 2) we will explore more on configuring toolbars and palettes and how to organize our workspace.


Our Current Workspace

In our current workspace, our Tools toolbar is on the left, the Materials and Layers palettes are on the right, the Standard toolbar is just below the Menu bar and the Tool Options palette is below it.

Before I start to configure the workspace I want to make one more configuration of the Standard toolbar.

Since I do not use other than the New and the File Locations buttons, I am going to remove the others from the toolbar and leave just those two buttons or shortcuts.

  • Go to View || Customize
  • Place the mouse on the button not wanted and drag it off the toolbar
  • Continue until only 'New' and 'File Locations' are left
  • Click on 'Close'

Moving Toolbars

Now I am ready to start moving toolbars. The techniques used here will also work on palettes. I will use the Tools toolbar to illustrate the techniques.

Illustration 1

Place your mouse cursor near the toolbar end (left end of horizontal toolbars and top of vertical toolbars), and your cursor should change to a double-crossed arrow (move icon). Drag the toolbar to where you want it. The toolbar will then display then as in Illustration 2.

Illustration 2

One can also double-click in that same area, and the toolbar will either move from its default area to another area on the desktop or return to its default area on the workspace.

Illustration 3

When one has moved the toolbar from its default area, one can change its appearance as in Illustration 3. Just place the mouse cursor on an edge of the toolbar and drag it up/down, in/out to get the shape wanted.

Once you have decided where you want the toolbar placed you move it by dragging its title bar to the position on your workspace or desktop. As stated above, one uses the same techniques to move and change the appearance of palettes.


One Possible Arrangement

As stated in lesson one, as you become more familiar with using PSP you will have a better idea of how to organize your workspace for your particular interests. In this first illustration I have made the following changes to my workspace:

  • I moved the Tools toolbar so it will appear to the right of the Standard toolbar. Just grab the title bar of the Tools toolbar and position it to the right of the Standard toolbar.
  • I then moved the Layers palette to the top/left of the PSP window. I modified its appearance (which I refined later) so that it is about two inches wide and about three inches high. I made the two panels about the same size by placing my mouse cursor on the middle bar and dragged it into position.
  • I first moved the Materials palette to the left and below the Layers palette and made it the same width. I wanted the two color boxes (foreground/background) to show to the right of the main color frame.

Another Possible Arrangement

In this arrangement I use the roll-up feature for the palettes. This technique will allow the palettes to be visible when you are using a particular palette and then they roll up and become tabs when not in use. This technique helps to keep the screen a bit less cluttered. However, again you might want to use the palettes such as in the first arrangement until you become more familiar with PSP before using this feature.

  • I first moved the Standard toolbar to be positioned above the Tools toolbar on the left of the workspace.
  • Then, I moved the Tool Options palette which shows the pin (Auto Hide button) pointing down so that the palette always remains visible.
  • This third illustration shows the Tool Options palette tab as a result of clicking on the Auto Hide button so the palette will roll up when not active.
  • I then moved the Materials palette to the upper left and below the Tool Options palette. Then I clicked on the Auto Hide button to make the palette a tab when not being used.
  • I finished up by moving the Layers palette to the upper left as well and also clicked on the Auto Hide button to make it a tab when not active.

The top illustration on the left is the first arrangement of our workspace. This arrangement has the Auto Hide set to Always Show the toolbars and the palettes.

The bottom illustration is the second arrangement and is the one where the Auto Hide buttons hide the palettes when they are not active or in use. To activate them one just places the mouse on that tab.

As stated a couple of times, wait until you have experience with using PSP. You then will know which tools you like to use and how you want to view your palettes. Then create a workspace that reflects your interest.


Saving a Workspace

When you have created a workspace you like, use the following steps to save that workspace. You can create as many workspaces as you wish.

  • Go to File || Workspace || Save
  • Select a workspace name that describes the workspace you created. Use a name that is easy to help you remember how the workspace is designed. As an example, the first workspace you could name Basic1-visible. The second workspace might be named Basic2-tabs. However, use a name you will remember.
  • Click on the 'Save' button.

Loading a Workspace

Now, whenever you want to return to using this workspace or any other one you saved use these steps:

  • Go to File || Workspace || Load
  • You will see a popup window asking if you want to save this current workspace. If so, click on the 'Yes' button and you will first have a 'Save' dialog appear. If not, click on the 'No' button.
  • You then will see a listing of saved Workspaces. Just select the one you want to use and click on the 'Load' button.

Summary on Creating Workspace

A workspace is how one sets up one's toolbars and palettes to make one's work with PSP more efficient. In the two lessons (Part 1 and Part 2) on Workspace, we covered the following:

  • Configuring Toolbars by using File || View || Customize and moving buttons onto or off a toolbar. One can use the default toolbars to customize or one can also create one's own unique toolbar.
  • Moving toolbars by either using the mouse and dragging or by double-clicking on the toolbar. Then one can change the appearance of a toolbar using the mouse. Finally one can move a toolbar to any area of the workspace.
  • Moving palettes is done in the same way as moving a toolbar. One can also set a palette to always display or to roll up or be hidden by clicking on the Auto Hide button.
  • Palettes that have the Auto Hide button activated will become a tab when not in use.
  • Sizing the main PSP workspace, moving toolbars and palettes allows one to customize workspace. One can create any number of workspace designs to reflect one's working interests.
  • Saving a workspace uses File || Workspace || Save and just giving the workspace created a descriptive name.
  • Loading a workspace uses File || Workspace || Load and then selecting the workspace to use.

In the next lesson we will explore the Layers palette and use Layers to create images.


– Prof –