About Me

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am Vivienne, living in the UK and married with a son who now lives in Perth, Australia and a daughter who has given me two gorgeous grandsons! Paint Shop has been my hobby for more years than I can remember and I love making tags. I have always loved doing tutorials written by others and a couple of years ago started writing them myself. As well as tag tutorials, I also have a Tips and Tricks page where you will find tutorials on basic Paint Shop techniques. I hope you enjoy my blog and have fun with my tutorials. Please be sure also to check out the Tag Gallery and see some of the awesome results to the tutorials!

My blinkie

My Weather

My Licenses

Alicia Mujica - LDS1095


AMI - AMI5350

Arthur Crowe - AC495

Artistic Dreams Imaging - ADI-01632

Barbara Jensen - BJ0784


Celinart - C1841P

Creative Design Outlet - CDO-1951

CILM - CI-1360LM

Digital Chaos - DC-113

Dreaming with Bella - DWB1607

Dreamscape Imaging - DSI582

Elias Chatzoudis - EAS10253

Garv - KG2307


My Tubed Art - MTA_F133


My PSP Tubes - MPT1875

Myka Jelina - MK1328

Scraps and the City - SATC1209

Scraps & Co. - S&CO209

Suzanne Woolcott - SW169

Pics For Design - PFD_Dragonfly

PSP Project - TPP01390

Psp Tubes Emporium - PTE1351

Stickerchick – SC1875

TooshToosh - Toosh2548

Up Your Art - UYA0859

Verymany - VMT_Dragonfly

Zindy - ZZT439

Zlata_M - zlatam_dragonfly

Dees’Sign Depot – DD_CTVG

TinyTurtle Designs - TTD02490

Popular Posts

Some basic Paintshop tips and tricks



Putting a drop shadow on an element or tube gives your tag a 3-D effect.
Different tags look better with different shadows, for instance a pretty light
coloured tag looks better with a light more diffused shadow and a dark gothic type tag
looks better with heavy dark shadow.
I always suggest a shadow to use on my tutorials but they are easy to use and you can play around and get your own favourite.

To put a shadow on an element go to Effects - 3-D effects - drop shadow.

Using Masks

There are two types of masks, a jpeg image mask
and a png image mask (often referred to as a clipping mask).
I usually prefer to use the png image mask where possible as it
gives a much sharper image.

First we will look at the jpeg mask and how to use it.
This mask is usually white on a black background and is used on a paper or coloured layer
so first you have to fill your canvas with the paper or colour.
To use a paper, make a new layer, go to Selections - Select all, open the paper and copy it, right click on your canvas on the blank layer you have and choose "Paste into selection" then go to Selections - deselect.  If you are using a colour, just make a new layer and fill it with your chosen colour.

Now open the mask in Paint shop and minimise it, go back to your canvas and go to Layers - New Mask Layer - From image.  Scroll down until you can see the minimised mask in the menu that opens, open it and click ok.  This will apply the mask to the paper or colour.

As said above, this type of mask is usually white on a black background
but occasionally you may come across a black mask on a white background.
You would use this mask in exactly the same way but when you get apply the mask layer you must check the box "Invert mask data" to reverse it.

The png mask or clipping mask is black and its on a transparent background.
To use this mask, you need to paste it directly on your canvas and resize it.
Now go to "Selections - Select All - back to Selections - Select Float - back again to Selections - Selection - Defloat.
This will form a selection around the mask.
Now open the paper you want to use and copy it,
go back to your canvas, right click and choose "Paste into Selection".
Now the paper will paste into the mask shape.
If you are using a colour, just fill the selection with the colour on the new layer.
Back to Selections - deselect.
Delete the original black mask as you are done with that.

File Management

Listary is a fantastic programme to organize your files.
Just enter the path for the folders you want to access quickly,
I have all my paint shop files listed,
then double left mouse click to bring up the list and go straight to the folder.
Listary is free for personal use.
It also has a search facility that is much better than the regular Windows search.


Using additional fonts in Paint Shop

It is never a good idea to install additional fonts in your Windows fonts folder as this will seriously slow down your computer and can cause real issues;
instead you should use a font viewer.

There are several font viewers, my favourite is
Font Base.
Font Base is free, although there is a pay to use version which
is really for designers, for our purposes the free version is fine.
When you get the occasional nag screen asking for $3 just click on the x to get rid.

Keep all those fonts you collect in folders somewhere safe,
open Font Base and intially your Windows installed fonts will show,
just drag the folders where you  have your saved fonts into Font Base.
Font Base is lightening fast because it doesn't actually load the fonts, it just previews them.
You can easily change the size of the font with the slider at the top
and the text at the bottom.
When you have decided on your font, just check the circle to the left of it
and it will then show in Paint Shop ready to use.

Saving your tag on a transparent background (png

When you have finished your tag, close off any background layer you have used
(in my tutorials I always say to make a white background layer).

Next go to File - Export - Png Optimizer

Under the "Colors" tab use these settings

Kntbe "Transparency" tab use these settings

Ignore the rest of the tabs, leave them on the default settings, just click on OK and save your tag.

Downloading from 4Shared

I know some people have problems downloading from 4Shared and 
end up installing their Installer which you don't want!
These are the buttons to press for a straight download.

Click the download button

Click off the pop up if you get it

Click on the free download 

Now sign in with one of your media accounts or
make an account with 4Shared.

Thumbnail images of tubes and Paint Shop images.

There are two programmes you need installed to view thumbnails and Paint Shop Images.
Mystic Thumbs will work quietly in the background allowing you to 
see thumbnails of many image types not supported by Windows.
This is now a pay for programme but you can 
get the last freebie version 

Thumbnail Handler is a free programme that allows you to 
see thumbnails of Paint Shop images by
Bot Productions.

PSP closes when you use a plugin in
Vista, Windows 7 & 8.

A lot of older 8bf plugins won't work with the newer versions of Windows and
 your PSP will close down when the plugins are used but
Filtermeister have designed a patch to make them compatible.
 You can get the patch from their site herehttp://www.filtermeister.com/, the links is on the left hand side under
"FM Patcher".
You may need to run the FM Patcher as Administrator 
(right click and run as administrator)


White edge on resizing

That white edge you get on resizing large elements is so infuriating!  Especially as it never seemed to happen in older Jasc versions of Paint Shop. I have a couple of tricks for this. Firstly, if its a pretty solid element, you can try selecting it, floating and defloating and then contracting by one pixel, inverting the selection and hitting delete. This wont work on fine elements though.  Putting the drop shadow on a separate layer always helps. Another thing which works very well is to use your soften brush; have the size very small so it just goes on the very edge and the opacity around 10, just rub the brush over that white edge and it will soften it out.

Importing filters into Filters Unlimited

If you have Filters Unlimited installed, you will need to import some filters into it before they will work.  If you try and use a filter and you get this message in my screenshot below, it means they need importing.


To  import the filter, just open Filters Unlimited, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Import", 
a new page will open, browse to the filter and click on "Open".  The filter will now be available for use in Filters Unlimited without the need for restarting the programme.  You will find Filters Unlimited at the top of your list  of plugins under <I.C.NET Software.


Using Photoshop brushes in PSP.

Photoshop brushes can easily be converted for use in PSP with the help of ABR Viewer, which is a free programme you can get here The idea is to convert the brushes into a png file which can then be exported in PSP.

Open the ABR viewer, go to file - open brush sets.  Browse for your brushes and open them in the viewer. This can take a little while if there are a lot of brushes. When the brushes are open, go to export and then click on thumbnails, you will then get an option on where to save the brushes, I usually make a new folder on my desktop.

Open the folder in which you saved the brushes and you will see them all in there as pngs, open one of them in PSP.  The pngs are usually very large so you will need to resize them as PSP has a size limit for exporting brushes, they have to be less than 999 pixels in both height and width.  I usually resize to around 600 on the longest side.

When you have resized the brush, go to file - export - custom brush.  The brush will have lost its name so you need to rename it with the original name used by the creator, click on OK.  The brush will then be available in your brushes menu.

Saving an animated tag in Animation Shop
to add text later.

You can of course save your tag in Paintshop to add text and export as a jpeg or png later but did you know you can do the same thing in animation shop?  Just put your tag together in animation shop as normal and before you put it through the optimization wizard, just go to "save as" and save as a "mng" file.  Then you can open it again in animation shop and put your text on without having to put the tag together again. 



When you resize or rotate elements or use the warp brush, you will notice that things become a little blurry and need to be sharpened. If you want a nice looking tag, its very important to sharpen these elements to counteract this blurriness. The best way to sharpen elements is to go to adjust - sharpness - unsharp mask.  I usually have the radius and clipping set to 5 and the strength set to anything between 30 and 50. Play around with the strength setting to see what looks best, being careful not to over sharpen. Sometimes you may have an element that has, for example, diamonds in it and the diamonds need sharpening more than the entire element.  In that case, use the unsharp mask feature and then use the sharpen tool (see my screenshot below) directly on the part you want sharpened more.  When you click on the sharpen brush, the tool bar will come up along the top, there you can change the opacity and size.  Alter the size to the size of the part you want to sharpen and just click on that part with the brush.

Re-colouring elements

You will find that you often need to change the colour of elements in scrap kits to complement better the tube you are using.  

If you want to change the colour of the entire element, use your dropper tool to take a sample of the new colour which will then show in your materials palette,  open the materials palette (see my screenshot below) and take a note of the H and S numbers (hue and saturation).  

Note: the materials palette in the newer versions has been completely changed, the HSL is now a slider and the values no longer match up with the colorizing adjustment.

Then go to adjust - hue and saturation - colorize and change those numbers.  You can adjust the slider on the saturation to change the depth of the colour.

 Of course there will be times when you will just want to change the colour of part of an element, say for instance you want to change the colour of a flower but leave the stalk and leaves green.   In this case you will need to use the "change to target tool".  Again use your dropper to pick the new colour and put it in the materials palette, activate the change to target tool and carefully paint the area you want to change the colour on. You can alter the opacity of this tool depending on how deep you want the new colour and of course the size.

 Another way to re-colour small parts of an element is to duplicate the element, change the colour on the copy using the H and S numbers and then carefully erase the parts you dont want coloured letting the original colour show through.  When you are done, just merge the two layers together!

Finally, there is the Color Changer Tool.

To use this tool, you first need select the original colour using your eye dropper tool
and set it as your background colour.

Now set your foreground colour to the new colour.

Open the Color Replacement tool and click on the area of colour you want to
change and it will be replaced with the new colour.
You may need to play around with the tolerance to get the best effect.

 Here I changed the colour of the star from blue to red. 



  1. Hi Hun. Would really love to know what settings you use for AS? I have so many problems with fuzzy results. Would be great to see all your different settings as your work turns out fantastic! Thanks!

  2. Hi Iron Grace,

    I dont have any settings for AS, I use the default ones on the optimization wizard. I have spent many hours playing around with the settings in there and always the default ones come out best. Its to do with the colours and shading not the settings. Red, green and purple are always the worst. I try to use tubes without a lot of skin shading as that never looks good. I would animate a lot, lot more if it wasnt for the poor quality of a gif. If you have Photoshop the quality is a little better than AS.


  3. thrilled you told me about this page! thank you so much!

  4. You are very welcome Pam! I am glad you found it :)

  5. Hi Viv i do a lot of your tuts and i was wondering if you could do a tut on how to save the finished tag as a png with the transparent background please.

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  7. Is doing a little happy dance. Thank you so much hun for this. I have now saved the tip so i don't forget ❤

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  10. You are very welcome Tony :)

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  14. thank you for the tips of importing plugins

  15. You are very welcome catherine, glad it was of help

  16. hi my psp x6 just wont work anymore i downloaded the new version they have and its all different cant use it which one do you have thank you

  17. Hi Catherine, I have 2018. The newer versions are very different. Have you tried clearing out the cache on yours, that is usually why they stop working, it just gets bogged down with trying to remember things. Google how to clear the cache for your version.

  18. thank you so much for your reply and also you do some really great tutorials love them

  19. Thank you so much for all these amazing tips!!!

  20. Thank you so much Princesa! You are very welcome and I hope they are helpful

  21. Hi Vivienne I am only new to the PSP world and doing tutorials. I was wondering if you could do a tutorial on how to do the 2 colours you use for the names on your tags please. I was also wondering how you get the names to looked raised up. Thank you for any help.

  22. Hi Lee, to do the two colours on the text I just write the text in one colour then recolour part of it using the "change to target" tool, there is a tutorial about using that other recolouring methods on this tips and tricks page. To raise the text I put an inner bevel on it, this is a feature thats in psp, there are several samples or you can make your own adjustments, its under Effects - 3D effects inner bevel. I also have a plug in programme called Super Blade Pro which I use to put nice effects on text.

  23. Hi Vivienne thank you for this. Not sure how to use all that yet as I am still learning the basics, but I will get there :-)

  24. Thank you Viv for the tips and tricks as my computer is old (2007) hope to get a new one in the new year..These tips and tricks will help me out alot until then..Hugs!



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The tutorials are, unless otherwise stated, my idea and written by me, any similarity to any other tutorial is entirely coincidental. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on this blog, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vivienne and Vivienne's Paintbox with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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