Paint Shop Pro 6.02

"Packed With New Features & Enhancements"

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boxPaint 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; toolsbusiness 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:

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: 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.

  • A Vector object and text tools for creating editable shapes, lines, and text;
  • Character-level formatting control over Text tool output, including font, point size, color, leading, and kerning;
  • Text placement on a path for bending text to circles, lines, or any other desired shape;
  • Node-level drawing and editing for powerful, easy creation and manipulation of vector objects;
  • Vector text to shape conversion for applying deformations or editing nodes of character shapes;
  • Adjustment Layers for applying editable color and tonal corrections without affecting the effectscontent of other layers in an image;
  • Several new effects and deformations, including Inner and Outer Bevel, Sculpture, Warp, Kaleidoscope, and many more for creating unique and eye-catching results;
  • Flood Fill tool support for gradients with two or more colors to create complex color gradients, along with full control over variations in gradient opacity;
  • Gradient Editor for creating, editing, and saving custom color gradients;
  • Multiple Image Printing for arranging and printing several images on the same sheet of paper;
  • GIF and JPEG Exporters for easy optimization and output of graphics for the Web;
  • Enhanced direct digital camera support;
  • Multiple-level redo and a Command History for quickly removing or restoring one or more picture framesediting changes to an image before it is saved;
  • Picture Frames for easily adding attractive frame borders to an image;
  • Digimarc digital watermarking for embedding and reading copyright and creator information in an image;
  • Expanded functionality of palette controls for easier access to tool options and layer manipulation, viewing, and management;
  • Automatic palette and Histogram roll-ups to maximize application workspace;
  • Enhanced display quality, drag and drop support, thumbnail selection capabilities, and access to image information in the Paint Shop Pro Browser for viewing and managing supported image files;
  • Folder history and ability to add favorite folders in the Browse for Folder dialog box allows quicker access when selecting a folder for browsing, using the Browser to copy or move files, or selecting plugin and custom brush folders;
  • Enhanced navigation control in image adjustment previews for focusing on how adjustments will effect specific areas of an image;
  • Easier access to application preferences;
  • Enhanced color selection control, including one-click access to a set of common and recently used colors through the Color palette and many image adjustment dialogs;
  • Easier modification of numeric values for brush sizes, effect values, and more using a new "numeric edit control;"
  • Screen captures can now be activated directly from an OLE client application such as Microsoft Word to easily insert a screen capture into a document, spreadsheet, email, presentation, or other document type supported by the client application;
  • Support for eraser functionality with WinTab-compliant pressure sensitive tablets;
  • Enhanced PostScript and Adobe Photoshop PSD format support;
  • Easier management of custom resources such as picture tubes, paper textures, and patterns;
  • Enhanced zoom control allows a zoom in level of 32:1 and a zoom out level of 1:24;
  • A Picture Tube Converter utility for converting custom Paint Shop Pro 5 picture tubes for use in Paint Shop Pro 6;
  • The new Help system includes a convenient "How do I . . ." section to get you started working with the program quickly and a new interface for easier navigation and access to information.

Changes in Animation Shop 2.0.

  • A Banner Wizard for quickly generating text banner animations;
  • Several new effects and transitions, including Pinwheel, Star Wipe, Sliding Boxes, and many more for creating unique and eye-catching results;
  • Options to insert or apply effects to an animation allow you to generate new frames or simply apply the effect or transition to one or more selected frames without adding new frames;
  • Line and Shape tools allow you to add normal lines, Bezier curves, and outlined or filled rectangles, squares, circles, or ellipses to animation frames;
  • The Registration Mark tool allows you to place a cross hair at the same location in every animation frame for ensuring precise placement when performing operations such as dragging and dropping frames or using one of the frame editing tools;
  • The Crop tool allows you to easily remove all undesired content, such as empty canvas area, from all frames in an animation to reduce the file size and download time. Cropping operations can also be set to retain only the opaque or animated areas of the animation frames;
  • The Cull feature allows you to remove one frame for every user-defined number of frames in an animation to reduce file size and download time;
  • Video for Windows (AVI) and Autodesk FLI and FLC animation files can now be opened and saved within Animation Shop for greater output compatibility with other applications;
  • Multiple-level redo allows you to quickly restore one or more editing changes to an animation before saving it;
  • The Optimization Wizard now provides the ability to optimize AVI, FLC and FLI formats, as well as convenient new options for handling partially transparent pixels when optimizing an animation for output in GIF format;
  • Enhanced integration with Paint Shop Pro 6 allows one or more frames to be exported to Paint Shop Pro for editing and updated directly back to Animation Shop;
  • Frames can be dragged and dropped into Paint Shop Pro 6 or from the Paint Shop Pro 6 Browser to Animation Shop;
  • Individual or multiple animation frames can be saved with several file naming options for easier file management;
  • Enhanced color selection control, including one-click access to a set of common and recently used colors through the Color palette and effect dialogs;
  • Additional options are available when opening supported files with multiple layers;
  • Frames can be selected even if they are not in consecutive order, allowing greater control over manipulation of multiple animation frames;
  • Enhanced zoom control allows a zoom in level of 32:1 and a zoom out level of 1:24;
  • Paste As New Animation provides a quick method of creating a new animation from one or more frames of an existing animation or from a Paint Shop Pro Image;
  • HTML source code for inserting an animation into a Web page can be quickly accessed and copied to the clipboard using the View HTML Code feature;
  • Enhanced PostScript format support;
  • The new Help system includes a convenient "How do I . . ." section to get you started working with the program quickly and a new interface for easier navigation and access to information.

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. vector objectsBitmap 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.

Multicolor Color Gradients Tool--There is a Gradient Editor dialog box to create, edit, and manage multi-color gradients, which you can apply to an image using the Flood Fill tool. You can open the dialog box whenever this tool is active. In the Fill style box of the Tool Options palette, gradient editoryou choose one of the four gradients: linear, rectangular, sunburst, and radial. Then you can click the appropriate tab and then click the Edit button to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box. The Types panel of the dialog box displays the available gradients and the buttons for creating and managing them. The list contains the gradients installed by Paint Shop Pro and those you have created and imported. You use the Gradient bar to set the gradient's color placement, the color buttons and color box to set the colors, the Transparency bar to set the transparencies, and the Result bar to preview the resulting gradient.

Recent Colors Picker--The Recent Colors dialog box is a time-saving feature which opens when you right-click either the Foreground or Background Color box on the Color palette or the color box in a dialog box or tabbed page. This dialog box permits you to select 10 commonly used recent colorscolors, in addition to presenting a list of the 10 last colors used. Whether colors or grey values are displayed depends on the image. With color images, colors are displayed. With greyscale images, grey values are displayed. The upper half of this dialog box always displays the same ten colors or shades of grey. The lower half displays the ten colors or grey values you have used most recently that are not contained in the upper half. After you have selected more than ten colors or greys, each new color replaces the earliest color selected. The current foreground and background colors are displayed at the lower left of the dialog box.

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.

Improved Text Tool and Editable Text That You Can Place on Paths--In Paint Shop Pro 6, text on paththe text tool has been completely revised, and there is a new entry dialog box that supports all the new features. Text can now be created as a vector object, which allows for the editing of properties like content and color. The new dialog box now includes options for leading and kerning which provides additional formatting control for the user. Also, there is a text on path feature which allows you to place text on a path corresponding to an object. Once it is created, the path can be edited at any time and the text will be automatically redrawn to follow the new path.

Digital Watermarking for Embedding Copyright Information--Paint Shop Pro 6 supports watermark infoDigimarc 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 adjustment layerswithout 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 print multiple imageschoose 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 multiple print toolbarWhat 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 sculpture effectkaleidoscope effecteffects 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 browser 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 camera

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 gif exportyou 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 jpeg exporttransparency, 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 command history boxhave 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

Graphics: Paint Shop Pro 6.02
Scanner: Hewlett Packard ScanJet 6250C Professional Series
Web Page Editor: Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0