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on 1 May 2004
I had browsed a number of PSP8 books before settling on this one. It provides a good mix between basic, intermediate and advanced. I primarily wanted to work with photos, digital and scanned in and this book really goes to town on addressing this aspect. I found it an easy enough book to dip into and yet read whole chunks at a time.
Part 1 of the book has 6 chapters dealing with the fundamentals, ranging from getting images into PSP, basic and not so basic adjustments, saving images etc. Lots of useful tips and notes in the margins. In all running to some 197 pages.
Part 2 has another 6 chapters and goes into more detail than the fundamentals did, pitched at what I took to be an intermediate to advanced level. Good step by step description of how to do some quite complex tasks. It would have been nice if some of the images in the book were available on CD or a web site to undertake the same tasks but that is a relatively minor gripe. What there is part way through this section is a colour gallery showing before and after pictures, around 16 pages worth. Part 2 is around 163 pages long with a similar format to Part 1, plenty of tips and notes in the margins to help break up the chapters.
Part 3 has 4 chapters and is entitled Advanced Skills. This is about 94 pages in total and lives up to its title, addressing in some detail managing multiple layers, creating and using masks, creating visual effects and creating artistic photos.
Last but by no means least is a 19 page index that enables you to find most things fairly quickly. There is also extensive cross-referencing throughout the book by way of "Before You Begin" notes in the margins and "See Also" references. These link you to the basics that the current technique relies on just in case you've skipped ahead or forgotten.
After reading this book you'll never look at a photo in the same way again. Overall this takes you from beginner to advanced in nice easy stages with lots of detailed explanations along the way. Did all I hoped of it and more.
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on 19 February 2004
Paint Shop Pro is an excellent programme and Sams Teach Yourself books are usually equally good. Unfortunately this one is not. It deals only with the photographic content of the programme. Paint Shop Pro is also about graphics and the book misses this point completely. Choose something else.
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