Cutting, Copying, and Pasting from the Windows Clipboard

Cutting, Copying, and Pasting from the Windows Clipboard

To make lots of copies of a selection, use the conventional cut, copy, and paste features that employ the Windows Clipboard. You can use these features for copying selections to or from other Windows applications too because nearly all Windows applications make use of the Clipboard.


If your image has multiple layers, first make sure that you have selected the right layer to cut, copy, or paste the image you want. Click the layer’s name on the Layer palette. (Press F8 if the palette isn’t visible). See Chapter 14 for more help with layers.

Cutting And Copying

In Paint Shop Pro, cut and copy work much the same as they do in any Windows program. First, select an area in your image. Then, do any of these tasks:

  • Cut a selection: Press Ctrl+X, choose Edit→Cut, or click the familiar Windows Cut button (scissors icon) on the Paint Shop Pro toolbar. Paint Shop Pro places a copy of the selected area on the Windows Clipboard. If you’re cutting on the main (Background) layer of the image, Paint Shop Pro fills the cut area with the current background color on the color palette. On other layers, it leaves behind transparency.

  • Copy a selection: Press Ctrl+C, choose Edit→Copy, or click the Copy button (two-documents icon) on the Paint Shop Pro toolbar. Paint Shop Pro puts a copy of the selected area (of the active layer) on the Windows Clipboard. Nothing happens to your image.

  • Copy a selection on a multilayer image: The normal Edit→Copy command copies only from the active layer. If your image is made up of multiple layers, you may want to copy the combined effect of all layers. If so, choose Edit→Copy Merged (or press Ctrl+Shift+C).

  • Cut or copy from other applications: Most Windows applications offer the same Edit→Copy and Edit→Cut commands, so you can place text or graphics on the Windows Clipboard. Paint Shop Pro enables you to paste a wide variety of Clipboard content from other programs, such as text, vector graphics, or raster graphics.


After your selection is on the Windows Clipboard, choose Edit→Paste to paste it into Paint Shop Pro (or nearly any other application). When you choose Edit→Paste in Paint Shop Pro, however, you get several different paste options, which we describe briefly in this list and in more detail in the following sections:

  • As New Image (Ctrl+V): The Clipboard contents become a whole new image, in its own window.

  • As New Layer (Ctrl+L): The Clipboard contents become a new layer for the current image. See Chapter 14 for a discussion of layers.

  • As New Selection (Ctrl+E): Clipboard contents become a floating selection that you can place anywhere on the image (on the active layer.)

  • As Transparent Selection (Ctrl+Shift+E): This is the same thing as the option named As New Selection, except that this time the background color of the current image is subtracted from the selection. We find this option to be kind of limited, and we suggest that you use the Select Color Range to get rid of a color entirely, as shown later in this chapter, in the section “Removing the background or other colors from your selection.”

  • Into Selection (Ctrl+Shift+L): If you have a selected area in your image, this choice fits the Clipboard contents exactly into the selection, scaling the contents up or down as needed.


    If you’re in the habit of using Ctrl+V for editing in other programs, you need to retrain yourself. In Paint Shop Pro, Ctrl+V creates a new image rather than pastes your selection to the existing image, which is what you probably expect to happen.

    Here’s one paste selection we cover elsewhere in this book:

  • As New Vector Selection: This command is used for pasting text and shapes you created using the Paint Shop Pro text and shape tools. For more about vectors, see Chapter 14.

If you copy vector graphics from outside Paint Shop Pro (for instance, objects drawn using computer-aided design software, drawing programs, or Microsoft Word’s draw feature), Paint Shop Pro converts them to raster graphics when you paste. Paint Shop Pro pops up a Meta Picture Import dialog box in which you can enter either height or width in pixels to determine the image’s size. To enter height and width values independently, clear the Maintain Original Aspect Ratio check box.

Pasting To Create A New Picture: As New Image

The paste As New Image option creates a new image containing the Clipboard contents. The image is just big enough to contain whatever is on the Clipboard. The background of the image is transparent, which means that if your copied selection isn’t rectangular, you see transparent areas; erasing also leaves transparency behind.

Choose Edit→Paste→As New Image or press Ctrl+V (the nearly universal keyboard command for Paste). Your new image appears in a new window.


If you prefer your new image to have a background color or to be slightly larger than the contents of the Clipboard, create the new image first, separately (refer to Chapter 1). Then paste a selection or new layer rather than use the Paste As New Image command.

Pasting On An Existing Image: As New Selection

The Paste As New Selection option pastes the Clipboard contents as a floating selection on your image. This pasting option is the one most people want for editing an image because it is the simplest and most intuitive.


If your image uses multiple layers, make sure to first activate the layer where you want to paste (refer to Chapter 14).

Choose Edit→Paste→As New Selection or press Ctrl+E. A floating selection appears on your image. In the example shown in Figure, the selection on the right had all the black removed from it, but a small, ugly halo of grayness remains; the figure on the left had the black color range subtracted from it and looks much cleaner.

Click To expand
Figure: Close, but not quite.

Because the selection is floating, you drag the selection to move it anywhere in the image. To defloat the selection (paste it down on the underlying layer), press Ctrl+Shift+F. See the earlier section “Floating, Moving, and Deleting Selections,” for details about moving and defloating a floating selection.

Pasting For Maximum Flexibility: As New Layer

Pasting directly on another image is fine, as far as it goes. For maximum flexibility in making future changes, however, paste on a new layer instead. When an image is on a layer, you can modify it to your heart’s content without worrying about surrounding or underlying image areas. (In Chapter 14, we discuss the whys and hows of layers in detail.) Here’s how:

  1. If your image already has more than one layer, activate (choose) the layer above which you want the new layer to appear.

    For instance, click the layer on the Layer palette to activate it. See Chapter 14 for more details on activating layers.

  2. Choose EditPasteAs New Layer (or press Ctrl+L).

    Your pasted image appears on a layer of its own.

If the background of the image you pasted was transparent, the underlying image layer shows through those background areas. Otherwise, the pasted image and its background color fill an opaque rectangle. If you want to delete the background (make it transparent), use the Magic Wand tool, or another selection tool, to select it (refer to Chapter 12) and press the Delete key on your keyboard. Alternatively, see the following section.

Removing The Background Or Other Colors From Your Selection

Sometimes you want to be rid of the background behind a selection you have moved or pasted. Often, for instance, a pasted object has a solid white or other colored background — perhaps because you copied and pasted it from the Web. Often, the background may not be perfectly uniform; a tree you moved may bring along some bluish sky around its edge, or a baby may bring along a white blanket with gray folds. You do not, however, want the sky or blanket in the new location. Perhaps you’re trying to copy the baby to a photo of a hay-filled manger with sheep looking on adoringly — or hungrily, which is easier, given the hay.

One solution is to make the background color transparent, if it’s fairly uniform. (If that color appears elsewhere in the image, however, you may get unwanted transparent holes; you can then use the Remove Specks and Holes command to get rid of them, as outlined in Chapter 12.)

With the area you’re trying to affect selected in your image, follow these steps:

  1. Choose SelectionsModifySelect Color Range.

    This step brings up the Select Color Range dialog box, as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: The Select Color Range dialog box.

  2. Click the Reference Color swatch.

    This step brings the Color dialog box, but you can safely ignore it; instead, click on your image, in the area that has the color you want removed. Click OK.

  3. Select Subtract Color Range.

  4. Set the Tolerance value to something higher than zero.

    We know that this instruction is vague, but only experience or trial-and-error can really guide you in this setting. Try a value of 10 to 20 to begin with, if in doubt.

    What this does is make transparent any pixel of the color you have chosen, or of a similar color. Low tolerance values remove colors that are almost exactly like your chosen color; higher tolerance values begin to wipe wider ranges of color.

    For example, if you chose a baby blue and use a 1 tolerance, only that precise shade of blue is removed; at a 256 tolerance, Paint Shop Pro begins removing dark purples and light browns in addition to all blue shades within the selection.

  5. Look at your selection to double-check that it has no ugly fringe.

    If you can see the nonselected areas of your image, clicking the Toggle Selection button to hide them makes this step much easier.

  6. Click OK.

    If the process makes too many or too few pixels transparent, repeat these steps to choose a new tolerance in Step 4, or choose a different background color in Step 1. To make more pixels transparent, increase the tolerance value in Step 4; for fewer transparent pixels, decrease the tolerance.

You can repeat this process as often as you want, removing color after color.

Tips For Natural-Looking Pastes

People frequently use the cut-and-paste feature to put objects in other places; for example, in Figure, we have cut the faithful Alex out of Dave’s snow-covered doorstep and placed him next to Amy, William’s daughter, as she kneels next to her fantastic creation: the Snowduck.

Click To expand
Figure: Paint Shop Pro: Bringing people (and animals) together.

This part of the program is a great deal of fun, and Paint Shop Pro aficionados frequently get hours of enjoyment by inserting themselves into movie posters so that they’re costarring with Salma Hayek. In fact, an entire underground Internet movement is devoted to taking pictures from the news and doing as many strange and bizarre things with them as possible. The Web site, for example, holds PG-13-rated contests to see who can “Photoshop” pictures of Alan Greenspan and Ludacris into the funniest places. Some results are quite impressive.

But the problem is that cut-and-paste operations frequently look completely unnatural. Not that you need your photos to hold up to the eye of conspiracy theorists — everyone knows that they’re fake, after all — but plopping a picture of you, jaggies and edge halos and all, into some random image just looks amateurish.

With that in mind, we here at the Paint Shop Pro 8 For Dummies staff offer the following advice to make your images blend seamlessly:

  1. Use the Magic Wand to select.

    Yes, it’s easier to just draw a line around your target — but unless you have a steady hand and a ridiculously exacting eye, the Magic Wand does it better after some fine-tuning. Get used to it.

  2. Get rid of the holes and specks in your selection.

    This task used to be a difficult, but Paint Shop Pro makes it so easy now with its Remove Specks and Holes command that it’s a crime not to do it.

  3. Feather a little.

    Usually, you want to leave off those crisp edges. Feather one or two pixels on the inside to help the selection blend into the background.

  4. Eliminate the background color entirely.

    We show you how to do this step in the section “Removing the background or other colors from your selection,” earlier in this chapter. Figure shows you what happens if you don’t. Learn the lesson!

  5. Resize appropriately.

    When we first put Alex in the picture in Figure, he only came up to Amy’s shoulder, making Amy look freakishly huge. A little upsizing made a large difference.

  6. Match the blur.

    Most photos aren’t perfectly clear, and dropping a crisply focused image into the middle of a slightly blurry pic looks wrong in a way that most people can’t quite put a name to. Sharpening or Gaussian-blurring your selection just a tad helps it to blend in.

  7. Adjust the color.

    Having a sunlit image brought into a fluorescent background makes the image stick out like a throbbing thumb. Adjust the contrast, hue, and brightness to match it as close as you can.

  8. Don’t forget the shadows!

    A touch of low-opacity black paint can serve as a quick-and-dirty fake shadow — as we did in the example shown in Figure. If you want to go all out, you can even paste in another identical selection as a layer, deform it so that it’s twisted sideways and elongated like a real shadow, position it so that it’s spreading out from the bottom of the image, erase the layer so that it’s transparent — and then fill it in with low-opacity paint. But that’s a great deal of work for a quick fake!

 Python   SQL   Java   php   Perl 
 game development   web development   internet   *nix   graphics   hardware 
 telecommunications   C++ 
 Flash   Active Directory   Windows