Paint Shop Pro 6.02
"Packed With New Features & Enhancements"
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Paint Shop Pro 6.02, from Jasc Software, is the newest release of their graphics program for creating, editing, and retouching your images. You can use the software to: capture photos from cameras and scanners; create great Web graphics; enhance photos and images; and print and share photos. Paint Shop Pro is designed for home users who want to retouch and edit photos (turn your photos into button images and your animals into cartoon figures) that can then be used in cards, calendars, or even sent electronically to friends; business users who need to create images for fliers, brochures, and newsletters; Web designers who want to create images that will make their Web site stand out; and digital photographers who have need of a professional package that provides photography and retouching tools to manipulate exposure levels, retouch, enhance, contrast, crop, or resize any image. It is designed for users who want control, power, and flexibility in a program but desire an alternative to other high-priced image-editing applications. See our previous review of Paint Shop Pro 5.01. Paint Shop Pro has many of the same features of Adobe's Photoshop and even has file and plug-in compatibility with Photoshop. The program is easy to use but has enhanced features for professionals. Jasc Software listened to user suggestions and requests and implemented many of them in this new version: editable text; vector-based graphics; more special effects and filters; multiple-image printing; and expanded digital camera support. Animation Shop 2, an animated GIF building-and-editing application, is now shipped free with Paint Shop Pro 6. Animation Shop is a powerful yet easy-to-use program that creates animations from one or more graphic images and offers a wide variety of effects and transitions for enhancing animations. Some new and enhanced features are: a new crop tool that lets you quickly reduce overall animation frame size; a cull animation feature for reducing frame count; flip and mirror options for adjusting the animation's horizontal and vertical appearance; multiple undo and redo for greater editing control; and a new line and shape tools for creating basic shape animations or editing large sections of a frame. Paint Shop Pro Version 6.01 and 6.02 are upgrades with some additional features and enhancements from 6.0, but the major changes are from from Version 5 to 6. It is available for Windows and Macintosh users. The price is $99.00. Upgrades are $39.00. Jasc Web site is: http://www.jasc.com
|Serious beginners, intermediate, and advanced computer users. This program is great for beginners as it provides them with all the painting and image-editing features they need, yet it is easy to use, intuitive, and fun. There are any number of options for help learning the software. The User's Guide that comes with the package is very complete and includes tutorials, and Jasc Software has additional tutorials on their Web site. Also, this is a very popular program that has a wide variety of users who want to share their information. For those of you who really want to delve into Paint Shop Pro, there are many, many third-party tutorial sites on the Web that explain, step-by-step how to use the program, and these tutorials range from teaching you how to use the basic features of the program to more advanced techniques of using vector layers. They can be read on-line and/or printed for later use. Jasc Software conveniently provides links to these third-party sites for you: http://www.jasc.com/tutorials/tsites.asp. The numerous users groups are also helpful for solving problems. Intermediate and advanced computer users will welcome the new advanced features.|
New Features 6.01 and 6.02
The major changes in Paint Shop Pro were made from Version 5 to 6. Click this link for a brief description of the updates from 6.0 to 6.01 and 6.01 to 6.02. Below, I will fully discuss the more significant changes made in Version 6.0.
|New Features 6.0|
Below is a list of some of the new features and enhancements in Paint Shop Pro from Version 5 to Version 6 and in Animation from Version 1 to Version 2.
Changes in Paint Shop Pro 6.0.
Changes in Animation Shop 2.0.
Installation--The installation is quick and easy. Both Paint Shop Pro and Animation Shop are included on a single CD-ROM that also contains a number of other related components. When you run the installation program, you can choose which components to install.
Getting Help--The program includes a Product Tour, an extensive Help menu, context-sensitive help, and a Readme.doc with the latest information.
Vector Tools and Layers for Using Paint Shop
Pro as a Drawing Program--This new version includes tools
and layers for creating and editing vector based objects, as well as
bitmap images. Bitmap
and vector images differ in the way they define objects. In bitmap images,
an object is defined by the pixels; for example, a line is represented
by every pixel along it. Vector format objects are not defined by pixels.
Instead, they contain commands to draw particular shapes, and they include
information about where to draw the shape and what its characteristics
are. In a vector image, a line is usually represented by a starting
point, an ending point, and information about thickness, pattern and
color. The Drawing, Preset Shapes, and Text tools can create both vector
and raster objects. You can use these tools to generate vector lines,
shapes, and text which can then be scaled and edited without any loss
of quality. A vector layer for an object is then automatically created
by the program, unless one already exists and is active. The properties
of any vector object can then be edited at any time by double clicking
on the object in the Layer palette. Color, line width, anti-alising,
line caps, nodes and much more can all be edited. You can add vector
layers to images of color depths that are too low to support raster
layers. While only greyscale and 24-bit color images can contain multiple
raster layers, images of any color depth can contain multiple vector
layers. When you reduce the color depth of an image, Paint Shop Pro
merges both raster and vector layers. You can then create new vector
layers in this image, even if it does not support raster layers.
Roll-up Palettes--The Histogram
and the Tool Options and Layer palettes have a roll-up feature that,
when active, can minimize the window and palettes to their title bars
when they are not being used. When you move the cursor back over the
palettes, they expand. This lets you keep them accessible without blocking
the workspace. When the roll-up feature is active, the title bar displays
one of its buttons. The Roll-Up mode button indicates that the palette
will minimize. You can temporarily turn off the feature so that the
entire palette remains visible.
Digital Watermarking for Embedding Copyright Information--Paint Shop Pro 6 supports Digimarc digital watermarking technology. A digital watermark is a permanent proof of authenticity for an image. While a computer can detect it, it is imperceptible to the viewer. A watermark contains information about the creator, the copyright, and the image. When a viewer chooses to see this information, the program opens a dialog box that also contains a link to the Digimarc Web page, which displays contact information. Before you can use digital watermarking, you have to obtain an identification number through Digimarc. You can get one for free.
Adjustment Layers for Applying Color Corrections to Multiple Layers--An adjustment layer is a special kind of raster layer that you can use to make color corrections to a multi-layered image without affecting the other layers. The adjustment layer, not the underlying layers, contains the information on the changes made to the image. The pixels in the underlying layers are not affected. You can edit an adjustment layer as many times as you like without permanently altering the pixel values. You can make the adjustment permanent by flattening the image.
A Print Multiple Images Function for Printing Several Images on One Page--You can choose the Print Multiple Images command to print more than one image on a single sheet of paper. The file menu of both the main and the Browser windows contain this command. The command opens a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) window that displays a blank page and thumbnails of all images open or minimized in the main window and any selected thumbnails (if you open the window from the Browser). After you move the images to the page, you can arrange and resize them or use the Auto Arrange feature and let the program do it.
Screen Capture--The Screen Capture function takes a picture of all or part of the screen and opens it in Paint Shop Pro. These pictures, called screen captures, can be of an area you outline, of the entire screen, of an active window, of the contents of an active window, or of the controls of a program, such as a toolbar. The Screen Capture function now can be used with any application that supports Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). After you select your preferences, you can make screen captures while working in another program without opening Paint Shop Pro.
Several New Special Effects and Deformations--There are several new effects and deformations in this version. Some of the new effects include: Glowing edges, Inner and Outer Bevel, Neon Glow, Texture, Tiles, and Wave. Deformations create an effect by moving data from one area of the image to another. As the name implies, the result is a deformed version of the original image. New deformations include Ripple, Twirl, Warp, and Wave. Several of the new effects allow you to create and save a particular set of settings which can then be re-used at a later time, or shared between other users. Also, the Bevels, Sculpture, Texture, and Tiles effects dialog boxes contain preset effects that you can apply to your images. These preset effects, which are included with Paint Shop Pro, are saved in the Presets folder within the program folder.
A More Powerful Browser for Viewing and Managing Images--The Paint Shop Pro browser is a visual method for finding, previewing, and opening files that is similar to the Windows Explorer. Because it is a visual file system it makes working with image files easier and more intuitive. The left pane of the browser shows the file system of your computer. When you select a folder, the right pane displays thumbnails, which are preview buttons, of the images Paint Shop Pro supports. You can use these thumbnails to select, open, and manage your image files. Several enhancements have been made to this internal image browser. Thumbnails can now be displayed in any width and height, and the mouse can be used to move or copy the source files of any thumbnail to a different location on your hard drive using the Explorer tree. When a mouse is hovered over an image, a pop-up appears presenting basic information about an image. All of these enhancements make it easier than ever to organize your graphics gallery.
Direct Support for Over 120 Digital Cameras--You can use Paint Shop Pro to access and manage your images while they are in the digital camera, and you can load the images directly into the program. When you install Paint Shop Pro, you have the option of loading drivers for most brands of digital cameras. If you want to install the drivers at another time, you have that option also. There is a Digital Camera dialog box for settings.
Graphic Optimization--In Version 6, GIF and JPEG Export functions have been added that allow you to optimize the graphics before saving them as a GIF or JPEG file. The Export Transparent GIF feature assists you in creating transparent GIFs. There is a before and after preview so you can view the image as you select the transparency, color reduction, and other format options. You can configure the settings in the tabbed pages or click the Use Wizard button and let Paint Shop Pro guide you through the process. The Export JPEG feature assists you in creating JPEG files. It also has a before and after preview so you can view the image as you select settings. As with the GIF feature, you can configure the settings in the tabbed pages or click the Use Wizard button and let Paint Shop Pro guide you.
Multi-level Redo--Paint Shop Pro 5 added the multilevel undo feature. Version 6 adds support for multilevel redos. The Redo command re-applies the actions or commands on which you have used the Undo command. Paint Shop Pro's support of Multiple Redos is particularly useful if you have removed more edits and commands than you had intended. If this occurs, and you want to re-apply them, you can either choose the Redo command as many times as is necessary or use the Command History dialog box. The "Undo History" has been replaced with a "Command History" which allows you to undo or redo any operation. The Command History dialog box contains a list of the recent actions and commands you have made to an image, starting with the most recent. It displays the tool or action that was used and time that has passed since the event occurred. You can use it to undo several actions at once. The actions you have applied are preceded by Undo, and the actions you have undone are preceded by Redo.
Animation Shop--Animation Shop is a solid animation program. It has some great wizards, including a Banner Wizard which basically makes banners for you. It has some good graphic optimization features and it integrates well with Paint Shop Pro.
|Paint Shop Pro 6.02 is an excellent upgrape at an extremely affordable price. The program is ideal for anyone who works with graphics on a regular or semi-regular basis. It is user-friendly enough for the amateur, yet powerful enough for most professionals. The program is fairly solid, pretty much bug free, and doesn't crash on you, and there is a small learning curve because the interface and layout are intuitive. I especially like the internal browswer and the capture feature. And for users who want to beef up the program, there are a variety of filters--some free and some for a price--that can be used to enhance your work.|
|Processor: Pentium (200 MHZ recommended)
Operating System: Windows 95, 98, or NT 4.0 (Windows 98 or NT 4.0 recommended)
Memory: 32 MB (64 MB recommended)
Hard Disk Space: 75 MB for full installation (200 MB recommended)
256 color display adapter at 800x600 (24-bit color display adapter at 1024x768 recommended)
Mouse or Pressure-sensitive tablet recommended
Paint Shop Pro 6.02