Corel Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Current Paint Shop Pro 7, 8 , 9, X, X1, X2 and Studio Tutorials



Beginning Text Tool Part 1 - Corel Paint Shop Pro Tutorial

Vikki Olds

1 I've had some emails asking how to use the Text tool in Paint Shop Pro. It's not a hard tool to use but, you need to know what you are doing when you use it.

Locate the text tool on the tool palette and select it. If you don't see the tool palette go to View>Toolbars and check the box next to Tool Palette. If you don't have the Tool Options palette open also check the box next to that. If you don't have the Layers palette open check the box next to that and then click ok.

You should have open the Tool Palette, the Tool Options Palette and the Layers Palette.


2 After selecting the text tool from the tool palette you should see a dialog similar to the one below. There are lots of important things in this dialog so we'll go through them one at a time.

3 The first thing to notice is the drop down box that will allow you to choose system fonts.

TIP: You can also use fonts that are not installed on your system. I have a font folder where I put fonts I pick up on the web. If I want to use one of those fonts for images I don't install the font. Instead I open the font file by double clicking on it in explorer. That will open the font and also make it available to Paint Shop Pro for text operations. This has worked for me on Windows 98, Windows 2000 and now on Windows XP.

The advantage to not installing every font you find on your system is that when your system boots, it loads all the fonts in the system folder. If you have say 1,000 fonts installed it uses quite of bit of memory even though you may not be using all those fonts. I try to keep my system font folder at under 500 fonts. The rest I keep in a folder on my hard drive and I open and use them as necessary in Paint Shop Pro.

4 The next drop down you'll notice is for the font size. The largest font size represented in the drop down is 72.

TIP: You can put larger font sizes in. I've been known to enter as much as 150 for a font size. Doesn't seem to bother anything. I don't know if I'm getting a 150 point font but I am getting the size I need.

5 The Styles options allow you to choose whether you'd like your text solid, gradient or texture filled as well as whether or not you'd like an outline around your text.

6 Clicking on the paint brush will bring up the color dialog so that you can choose a solid color for your outline and/or your text.

Solid outline (stroke) and solid text (fill) above.

7 You can choose to use a pattern for the outline and the fill.

8 You can choose to use a gradient for the stroke and fill.

9 You can add texture to your text for the outline and the stroke.


10 A very, very important part of the Text tool dialog is the Create as section. You have three options for creation along with an option to anti-alias the text. Anti-alias means to smooth the edges so they are not jagged around curves and such.

If you create your text as vector, you can resize it, shape it, point edit it and generally have a lot of fun with it without losing quality after you've added it to the image. If you create your text as a Selection or as Floating and you try to manipulate it's size you will generally end up with distortion.

If you have Selection checked when you click ok, you'll be surprised not to see any text even if you chosen colors for stroke and fill and even texture. When you choose selection, you are creating a selection from you original image in the shape of the text.

Above is from a text selection with a drop shadow added three times.

11 To make it easier to see what is happening, even though there is a text preview in the Text tool dialog, you'll see some icons like below. Be sure to have both of those selected. Then you can watch your canvas as you work to see how your text is going to look. If you try it with Create as Selection, you won't see a thing until  you move the text by dragging it. You'll have to mouse over your image until your cursor changes to a mover cross, left click and drag. You'll see where the text selection is cut out of your background.

12 When you create as Floating you'll see a new layer added. You can deselect the text to put in on the layer below the floating selection layer by going to Selections>Select None.


13 When you create as a Selection you may see some dashed lines to indicate a selection depending on the color you're working in. If you take your paint brush with a contrasting color you'll see where the selection is.


14 If you create as vector you'll see a new vector layer. You can then play with sizing and shaping your text. You can also convert that layer to a raster layer. You will find that most effects are not available for vector objects so in some cases it is required that you convert the vector layer to raster. You can do that from the Layers menu. Layers>Convert to Raster.


Once you get the hang of it, it's not so hard to create all kinds of terrific text with Paint Shop Pro. Remember, if you run into trouble, get that Text dialog open and see what settings you used to create the text. More often than not, that will lead you to a solution.


Copyright 2002, Vikki Olds, All Rights Reserved

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