The Drawing Tools and Their Options

Like other tools, the Draw and Preset Shapes tools have options that you can set to change their behavior. All line styles and shapes can be created as either vectors or bitmaps. In this chapter I'll describe the bitmap behavior.

The Draw tool has four styles. You can draw Single lines that are straight and go from one point on your image to another; B zier curves, which can be manipulated as vectors, even with the Create as Vector box unchecked; Freehand curves, which cannot be changed after you've drawn them (unless you create them as vectors); and Drawing lines, which are the most flexible and behave like B zier curves on steroids. In this chapter I'll cover Single lines and Freehand curves and touch on B zier curves.


Even if you're not totally new to digital graphics, you might not recognize terms such as B zier and vector. B zier refers to a type of curve that is drawn on your computer screen using a mathematical formula developed by a French mathematician named B zier (hence the term B zier curve). Vectors refer to lines and curves saved in computer memory as mathematical formulas rather than as bitmaps. A bitmap is simply an array (much like a spreadsheet, except that all the cells are the same size) of pixels, each containing its own color information.

The Preset Shapes tool is near the very bottom of the Tool palette, and the Draw tool is directly above the Preset Shapes tool. The Preset Shapes Tool icon has a small blue rectangle and a red ellipse on it, and the Draw Tool icon has a curve and a small pencil on it.

If you haven't yet opened an image in Paint Shop Pro, all of the icons in the Tool palette will be displayed in shades of gray. With an image open , most of the icons will be displayed in color. Any icons displayed in shades of gray are not available for use. For example, the Object Selector will not be available unless there's an active layer with vector objects on it.

Besides having four styles of line tools to choose from, you also can set the width of the lines and choose aliased or antialiased. You also have the option of setting the tracking for Freehand curves, which determines how closely a curve follows the mouse as you draw it. For all lines you can set the Cap, which determines how the end of the line will be drawn; the Miter, which determines how lines are joined; and the Miter Limit, which determines the length of miter joins.

Starting with version 6 and continuing in version 7, you also can choose whether lines will be Stroked (outlined), Filled, or both. These options can be set in the Color palette.

The Preset Shapes tool has a couple more options than the Draw tool. You can choose from the following shapes:

  • Rectangles

  • Squares

  • Rounded-rectangles

  • Rounded-squares

  • Ellipses

  • Circles

  • Triangles

  • Pentagons

  • Hexagons

  • Octagons

  • Two different star shapes

  • Three different arrow shapes

The shape can be filled in the current background color or simply stroked (outlined). You can choose the thickness of the stroke, and you can choose to have the shapes antialiased or aliased by adding or removing a check mark from the antialias option. In addition, all shapes can be drawn as bitmaps or vectors.

The best way to see how these options work is to roll up your sleeves and do a little drawing. So let's get started.

Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
ISBN: 0672325330
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 350
Authors: Ned Snell © 2008-2017.
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