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Learning PSP 9, Lesson 13:  >
Tools: The Straighten Tool
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The Straighten Tool
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 Deform Tools

The Deform tools (Deform, Straighten, Perspective Correction, and Mesh Warp tools) are tools that one can use to create and fix various shapes. Though most often the tools are used on photographs, one can use them on any graphics. The tools can create or fix perspective in pictures.

Purpose and Goal of this Tutorial:

Each tool is relatively easy to learn and use. However, there are some techniques that one can learn that can make using these tools to create some very interesting and unique effects and end results for pictures and graphics.

  • Explore the Deform Tool and its options with examples (first lesson of this series)
  • Explore the Straighten Tool (this lesson)
  • Explore the Perspective Correction Tool (next lesson)
  • Explore the Mesh Warp Tool with examples (last lesson of the Deform Tools series)

Download File Download File

The download file contains a picture from the 'Sample Images' folder in PSP 9 called '/tutorial/html/tut9eff/straighten.jpg'. You may use either for this lesson, they're the same.

When you unzip and then open the file in your PSP program, first duplicate it twice as we are using it twice in the lesson (Window || Duplicate or Shift+D).


Straighten Tool

The Straighten Tool

The Straighten tool is a very straight-forward and useful tool to use on photographs that have a perspective to them and you want to create a straight-on appearance to the photograph. There are four options one can use:

  1. Mode (Auto, Make vertical, Make horizontal): Although you can set any one of these three modes after you fix the handles of the tool, most often you will use the Auto Mode setting.
  2. Crop image: If checked the picture will automatically be cropped. If unchecked you will need to crop the picture.
  3. Rotate all layers: If you have a picture that has more than one layer and you decide you need to straighten the final product, use the layer to straighten and check this box.
  4. Angle: You can usually leave this option alone. When you manually set the straighten handles the angle will be seen in this box. If you know the angle you want for the final product you can set this box.

Straighten Handles

The Straighten Handles

When activating the Straighten tool, you will see a horizontal line with two handles (on the left and on the right of the line). In this illustration, I grabbed the left handle.

Straighten Handles

In this first illustration, I am using the default settings for the Straighten tool (Crop is not checked and I set Red as the background color in the Materials palette). Looking at the picture one sees that there is a left slant to the Capitol Building.

When activating the Straighten tool it appears horizontal in the center of the picture. I located a line on the Capitol Building that I want to set to horizontal and grabbed each handle respectively placing it on that line.

Picture Straightened

When finished setting the Straighten tool I then clicked on the check mark in the Tool Options palette to apply the Straighten. Since I did not check Crop the red behind the picture shows how the picture was rotated to get a straightened picture.

Picture Cropped The final step then is to just crop the picture and you now have a straightened picture of the Capitol.
Crop Option Checked

In this illustration I set the Crop option so that the picture would be automatically cropped. I then set the straighten handles to line up with the line in the picture I wanted to be horizontal and then applied it.

As you see the two pictures are almost identical. The auto-cropped picture has the top of the Capitol cut off some and the picture is a bit wider.

Thus, when you use the Straighten tool, try it both ways to see which of the two produce a better-looking picture for you. The Straighten tool is quite easy to use and makes pictures that are distorted some better appearing.

– Enjoy –