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2,001 Tips
Desktop Publishing/Graphics

Fractal Painter 4.0

Follow the Pointing Finger

If you have trouble selecting a path you want to move, click and hold on the Adjuster tool located on the Tools Palette. Two choices will appear. One is the Floater Adjuster and the other is the Path Adjuster, which looks like a pointing finger with a dotted rectangle. Select the Path Adjuster. You can now manipulate the path.

Lose the Blues

If your Windows system is set to display 16-bit color, your Painter palettes may be hard to see and could display funny green and purple colors. Open Edit/Preferences/Windows and check "No device dependent bitmaps." Reload Painter and the problem should disappear.

Specify Clickable Regions

To specify a floater as a clickable region on a Web image map, open the image and select the region you want to click on. Float the selection, open the F.List Palette and trim the floater. Next, choose File/Get Info/Floater Attributes. Enable the WWW URL option. In the Notes field, enter the hypertext reference and URL. When you save the file in GIF or JPEG format, Painter will write out a text-based map file that defines the hotlink areas.

Clipboard Gymnastics

Fractal Painter can copy to the Windows Clipboard but is unable to paste information created in other applications. To work around this problem, press Alt+Print Screen to copy the active window containing the information you need. Paste the window into Painter. The window borders can now be cut out using the rectangle selection tool.

Be Independent

Groups that contain both bitmap floaters and shapes cannot be scaled, rotated, flipped or distorted. Make sure you manipulate the two types of objects independently before you group them.

Don't Erase Paper Texture

If you apply a paper texture to your image when first created, the texture is erasable. When you erase brush strokes, you will also erase the paper texture. To avoid having this problem, add the paper texture as a last step.

Customize Brushes

Use the Brush Look Designer for interactive feedback when customizing brushes. Choose Brushes Palette/Brush Look Designer. The Brush Look Designer window appears with a sample brush stroke on the scratch pad. Any changes you make to the brush will be reflected in the scratch-pad window.

Put Swap File in Its Place

Painter creates its own memory management swap file named PAINTER.SWP. You can designate which drive or partition the file resides on by selecting Edit/Preferences/Temp Volume. Select the drive with the most free space and defragment the drive.

Undo the Undo Feature

Multiple undo levels is a great feature, but it hogs memory. If your system pauses between brush strokes while Painter writes an undo record, reduce the number of undo levels. Select Edit/Preferences/Undo and set a lower number of undo steps.

It's Only Fitting

To determine if your image will fit on one page, click and hold the i icon in the lower left corner of the image window. A pop-up preview box will appear. The white box is the printable area and the gray border is the non-printable area. Your image is represented by a rectangle with an X in it.

Different Strokes

Painter will border a selected region with a brush stroke automatically. Set the paths you want to stroke as the active selection. Choose the brush variant, color and paper texture for the stroke. Then pick Stroke Selection from the P.List menu found on the Objects Palette.

Brush Up on Textures

Make the most of Painter's paper textures. Many of the brushes, such as Chalk and Charcoal, interact with the paper grain. Combine brushes and paper textures to create unusual effects.

Select Multiple Floaters

If your image contains numerous floaters, you can select them all at once. With the Floater Adjuster tool active, choose Edit/Select All, and all floaters in the image will be selected.

Rearrange Your Drawers

Normally, Painter arranges the most recently used items first in a drawer. To lock certain items in place, drag them out of the drawer to the drawer front. Click on each icon and hold the mouse button until a green light appears under it.

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