Home  >  Tutorials  >   PSP 9 Tutorials  >
Learning PSP 9, Lesson 09:  >
Tools: The Dropper, Crop and Move Tools
E-mail this tutorial to a friend Email to a Friend

Tools: The Dropper, Crop and Move Tools
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 Dropper, Crop and Move Tools

In the previous three tutorials on Selection tools, we overviewed the Tool Options palette for the Selection tool and the Selections menu, the Freehand Selection tool and the Magic Wand. If you have not read these tutorials please use them as a reference for using the Tool Options palette and the Selections menu.

Purpose and Goal of this Tutorial:

In this tutorial we will be reviewing the Dropper, Crop and Move tools. These three tools will also be used often when working with graphics.

  • The Dropper Tool – Selecting Colors
  • The Crop Tool – A Way to Resize a Graphic
  • The Move Tool – Moving Selections and Layers around a Canvas
Dropper Tool

The Dropper Tool

The Dropper tool is used to pick up colors from different sources and is a very simple yet effective tool for setting colors one wants to use in one's graphics. The usual source is from the Materials palette and from one of the color wheels (Frame, Rainbow) or the Color Box when clicking on a Foreground or Background Materials Box. Left-clicking on a color will set it in the Foreground Materials Box and right-clicking on a color will set it to the Background Materials Box.

When just selecting a color from the Materials palette, one does not need to activate the Dropper tool. However, when the tool is not activated, it will only pick up colors from the Materials palette or currently displayed graphics. To pick up colors from other areas on the monitor desktop such as other open windows or icons, etc. the Dropper tool must be selected in the Tools toolbar.

When the Dropper tool is selected, one has a couple of options from which to choose. The default options are a Sample Size of 1 pixel and the "Active layer only" box unchecked.

  • Sample Size: When selecting greater than 1 pixel, the color chosen is an average of those number of pixels based upon the center pixel of the Dropper. One would use these values if a graphic being used to select a color has complex colors and you want a color that will blend better.
  • Active layer only: If the box is unselected, the color chosen will also reflect an average of all colors for that pixel (or group of pixels) from all layers.

Except when needing to be more precise in color selection, the default values work well.


To select colors from other than an opened PSP graphic, such as from another application on the main monitor desktop, use the Ctrl key. To select colors from other areas use the following steps:

  • Have the Materials palette visible.
  • Place your cursor in the Foreground or the Background Materials box depending upon whether you want the color set as foreground or background.
  • Press the Ctrl key and hold it down.
  • Move the cursor to the color wanted on your desktop.
  • Click the mouse button and the color is set.
Crop Tool

Apply current tool settings

The Crop Tool

The Crop tool is used to select a portion of a canvas (graphic, photograph) and reduce the size of the graphic to the crop selection. This tool is useful to eliminate unwanted areas from a graphic or photograph.

  • Select the Crop tool.
  • Draw an outline (always square shaped) around object wanted.
  • In the illustration on the left, the grey area is what will be cropped.
  • The handles on the corners and in the side middles can be used to change the size of the crop area.
  • The handle in the middle can be used to move the crop shape around to position it better.
  • When ready just click on the 'Apply' button.

The area selected will be cropped and the image will now be the size of the crop selection used.


Crop Area = Current Selection

 Apply current tool settings

The Crop tool can also be used to crop to a selection. Even if the selection is not rectangular, the canvas will still crop to a rectangular canvas.

  • In the Tool Options palette, after setting a selection and then wanting to crop to that selection, click on the "Current Selection" button.
  • The crop area will surround the selection.
  • Click on the Apply button to crop.

The area of a non-rectangular selection that has been cropped to the selection will have the same color as the background in the original canvas.

Move Tool

The Move Tool

The Move tool is a very useful intuitive tool. Basically, one uses it to move objects around the canvas to position them where wanted. There are really no specific options other than zoom options.

One very neat aspect of the Move tool is that objects on different layers can be moved by just placing the tool over the object and dragging the object where wanted. Sometimes zooming the canvas makes it easier to grab an object to be moved. Also, one does not necessarily need to have that layer highlighted to move the object.

When clicking on an object where a layer has not been highlighted, the action of clicking on it will also then highlight that layer. This action can be very handy if you have created a multi-layered canvas and have not labeled the layers. You can use this technique to locate that layer as needed.

On some occasions, an object you want to move may require that you turn off upper layers, but most often you will not need to do so.


Closing Remarks

Up to now, we have now covered the Selection tools (Selection tool, Freehand Selection tool which includes the Freehand, Point-to-Point and two Edge options, and the Magic Wand tool), and the Crop, Dropper and Move tools. We also covered a number of related commands in the Selections menu (Select All/Float/Defloat, Modify [Expand/Contract, Feather, Smooth]). You will often use these tools and menu items to manipulate selections in your paintings and while working with photographs.

We will periodically refer to these features in future tutorials.