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Differences in PSP5 & PSP6
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Differences between
PSP V5 & V6
Created by: Vianne

Differences Between PSP V5 & V6
Tool Palette
Layer Palette
Automatic Roll-up feature
Control/Tool Options palette
Cursor Options

Paint Shop Pro version 6 was brought to the market in September 1999. From use, I have found that there is not too much difference between versions 5 and 6 – version 6 is just more enhanced and has more features. Some of the commands have changed as well, either in their position or in their operation.

In this tutorial we will look at some of the changes that Jasc has provided us when they changed over from Paint Shop Pro 5 to Paint Shop Pro 6.


Tool Palette – PSP 5

Tool Palette – PSP 6

The Tool Palette

First, let's start with the available tools. On the top image we see the tools as they are available in PSP 5. On the bottom image we have the tools available in PSP 6.

As you can see, there is not too much difference between them - the first two rows being identical.

The Line tool has been replaced by the Drawing tool. Besides just Bezier curves and straight lines, we can now also draw Freehand and Point-to-Point lines, and either filled, stroked or both with a variety of other options.

The Shapes tool has been replaced by the Preset Shapes tool. Difference being that there are now more shapes to choose from. PSP 5 had only Circle, Ellipse, Square and Rectangle. PSP 6 has those and many more, including triangles, arrows, pentagons and stars.


You will also notice a new tool. It is the Vector Object Selection tool. With it, you can resize and shape vector objects.


Tool Palette for Raster Layer

Tool Palette for Vector Layer

Vectors are a new addition to Paint Shop Pro. With vectors, you can manipulate the sizes and shapes of objects much more accurately than you could using pixel editing. Unlike Raster (pixel) layers, vectors exist on their own layers, each vector object having its own (sub-)layer.

The vector tool will not work on a raster layer, and many of the general PSP tools will not work on vector layers, as shown by the images on the left.


Layer Palette – PSP 5

Layer Palette – PSP 6

The Layer Palette

The top image shows part of the Layer Palette that we are familiar with in PSP 5, the bottom image shows part of the Layer Palette that we now see in PSP 6.

There are more features now, and the commands are in different places, although there is not much change in the functionality of the Layer Palette – i.e. the way it works.

Besides the addition of the vector layer, there are also a number of adjustment layers, e.g. the color-balance layer in the image on the left.


You create an adjustment layer by either going to Layers || New Adjustment Layer and then choosing one of the layer types, or by right-clicking on a layer in the Layer Palette and in the pop-up menu, choosing New Adjustment Layer and then the layer type you wish to create.

An adjustment layer is similar to a masked raster layer. You edit it with the painting tool in the same way you edit a mask (see the tutorial Using Masks and Layers to Create Collages).

Paint with black to remove the adjustment; paint with white to add it; paint with greys to vary the strength of its effect; use the Flood Fill tool to create a gradient adjustment.


The Automatic Roll-up feature

As well as there being new additions, Jasc has also provided us with new design and functionality. For instance, the Tool and Layer Palettes now automatically minimize when we are not working with them. They still float over the top of our work, but are now much more compact than they used to be in PSP 5.


Now for those that like having the Tool or Layer Palette open all the time, Jasc put in the "Lock Window Open" feature, shown on the left. When you click on the little down arrow with the line underneath (next to the cross) you will notice the arrow pointing up. This keeps the palette open. Whenever you wish to minimize it again, just click on the little up arrow, and it will change back to the minimized state.


The Control / Tool Options Palette

JASC has also put in an added feature so you no longer have to open the Tool palette, or move to find your favorite tool. On the Tool Options palette, we now have a small magnifying glass in the upper-right corner. Click on it, and you can select the tool you'd like to use next – with its rightful name beside it.


Control Palette – PSP 5

Tool Options Palette – PSP 6

Next, we'll look at the functionality of the Controls / Tool Options palette. For this tutorial, we will look at the Paint Brush tool only, and see how it has changed between versions 5 and 6.

On face, there aren't many differences. Just instead of the slider on the left, you now have 3 ways to change the values for your brush. You can use numerical, the arrows or the dropdown slider to change your settings.


As you can see on the screen captures, Jasc changed the tabs on the Tool Options palette. We now have 3 tabs: Paint Brush, Paint Brush Options and Cursor and Tablet Options.

The Paint Brush tab is pretty straightforward – it is the palette shown above, where one enters the settings for the brush size, type, etc.


Paint Brush Options tab is very much like the PSP 5 Tool Controls tab. It does have one added feature though – the ability to check or uncheck "Build up brush".

You can see the difference in the image below. The top line of green was produced by unchecking the "Build up brush" option. The lower line was created with the option checked.


As the name suggests, building up the brush means adding an extra layer of paint when you mouse over a spot already painted.


Cursor Options

The Cursor and Tablet Options tab is new for PSP 6, but the functions are not. They used to be housed under File || Preferences || General Program Preferences on the Cursors and Tablet tab in PSP 5. Having them at closer reach will certainly speed up the creation process.


When all options are unchecked, you will see just the lonely paint brush in your image. The tip of the brush is where your stroke will start.


When the precise cursor option is checked, this target-like image replaces the brush. The dot in the middle is where your brush stroke will start.


Brush outline option shows just that, the entire area that the brush will cover is outlined.


And when you check them both, you see both the outline and the target-like image showing you both the exact center and the range of your brush.