Paint Shop Pro Tutorial: Selection Using Pen Tool

In this Paint Shop Pro tutorial, the pen tool will be covered with regards to making selections. This is one of the more complicated tools available in Paint Shop Pro, but for those that can learn it, it offers a wide number of options for different types of selections and other work.

Step 1: Choose The Pen Tool

You can either select the pen tool from the list of tool icons to the left, or just click the V key (assuming you haven't changed your shortcuts). Make sure that your fill color is set to none, which is signified by a circle with a diagonal line in the center (similar to a no-smoking sign).

Step 2: The Basics ff Working with Nodes

Each point that you select is known as a node. Every time you click in a new location, a straight line will appear from the last node to your new node. If you click for a new node and drag off to the side, the line between the two nodes will curve. The degree of the curve will change based on how far out you drag, and the angle of the drag from your last point. This curve is known as a Bezier curve, and you should play with it a bit to really get the hang of how the curves work.

Step 3: Different Types of Nodes

When you right click on a node and scroll down to "Node Type," you will get a pop-out list of different types of nodes that you can turn that node into. A cusp node is the most common. This type of node will let you add a new node to this one at a sharp angle. This is signified by the right angel design to the left of the word "Cusp" in the menu.

Step 4: Closing Your Selection

Once you have made it all the way around and back to your starting point, you are ready to close your selection off. Make sure that the last node you created is close to the first node that you want to connect it to. Then, simply click on one and drag it on top of the other, and let go. This should seal up your line of nodes into a closed selection.

Step 5: Further Adjustments

At any time, you can right or left click on a single node and make changes to its properties (and position it to better suit the selection, even after you have closed your selection). To add more nodes, simply hold the Control key (or the Command key, if you are using a Mac) and click on the line between any two nodes (and a new node will be added). Current nodes can be moved better into place by clicking on them and dragging.

Step 6: Finishing Your Selection

With a closed selection, click the "Swap Selection" option for the pen tool, which will fill your selection with whatever your background color is. Press the S key to get an actual selection of the fill you just made. From here, you can go back to your original picture (or any other picture), and use that selection on any layer that you'd like.

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