~ Create and Save a Vector Shape ~

I will show you how to make a floppy disk from the preset vector shapes, then export it so you can reuse it without having to redo it from scratch. It is easy and fun. My goal is always to demonstrate the various tools that are available in PSP and show you how to use them.

Open PSP, create a new file, 640 X 480, 24 Bit, 16 million colors. This will give us some room to create the floppy. Since it will be a vector shape, it can be resized larger or smaller and will not lose detail.

Activate the Preset Shape Tool. (Keyboard command: P) Notice that the Tools Palette changes so the shapes can be customized.

We will not use "Retain Style" because we are going to use our own colors. However we will use Anti-alias, Create as vector and solid for Line style. Set the line width to 1.00. Click on the Shape List box and select the rounded rectangle shape.

Next we will set the colors we want to use for this floppy. (We could draw a boring gray or black floppy disk but we will make a colorful disk because for the next tutorial, I will show you how to make a tube file with our floppy disk shape.)

Click on the Materials Palette foreground color block to open the Material Style menu. I chose dark blue. R: 48, G:72, B: 109



For the background color we will use a lighter hue in the same family. Click on the background color box and type in the settings or use the sliderbars below RGB values.

Now we can begin to draw our floppy disk. It might be helpful to turn on the rulers. Use Keyboard Command: Control+Alt+R or go to View and click on Rulers.

Notice that when you place your cursor in the image you can see the coordinates on the top and side ruler. Starting at about 100 on the side and 100 on the top draw a rectangle so that it goes from 100 to 350, left side and top.

This will make a floppy disk shape, filled with a light blue color.

Next we will draw the top part of a floppy disk. We need to change the background color to a lighter, softer blue for the label.

I used: R: 235, G: 243, B: 255.

Using your Preset Vector tool, the rounded rectangle, draw a label on the top portion of the disk. (You can use the little disk icon on the top Taskbar as a guide if you wish.) Don't be too concerned if it is off just a little bit one way or the other, we will adjust the shapes shortly.

As you can see, my label is a bit off, but we will fix that. Select the Object Selection Tool, Keyboard Command: O.
Draw a marquee around the floppy shape, so it includes both we will use the Object Position tool to make them both centered horizontally.

Now the label is perfectly centered.


We are almost finished. :) Two more shapes to add then we can begin to export our floppy disk. Let's add the metal portion of a floppy disk. Click on the Background color box to open it, select the gradient option, choose the Metal steel gradient from the drop-down list box. Use Linear as the style.


Using the Preset Shape tool, as we did before, draw another little rectangle using the rounded rectangle. (Tip: You can nudge vector objects with your arrow keys if need be. Hold the Shift key and use the arrows on your keyboard to move it up/down if necessary.)

Once again, let's use our position tool to center this. Keyboard Command: O or click on the tool.

All nicely centered.

Change the background color to black and activate the Preset Shape tool choosing the rectangle this time, draw another shape to resemble the notch at right-side top of the floppy. No need to make it large.

Whew! We are finished with the creation part, just a few more steps and we can export our vector shape for use anytime we want to use it.


In order to export the floppy disk shape and avoid naming conflicts, I found it best to rename the vector shapes. Click on the + sign beside the Vector 1 layer in the Layer Palette..

This will allow us to see the individual shapes contained in this layer.

Notice all the shapes have the same name, Rounded Rectangle.


Using the Object Select tool, again draw a marquee around the disk shape.

Use the option now visible on the toolbar to group the shapes.

The layer has a new name: Group1. This is the first name we will change.

( If we use these names, i.e. Group 1 and the Rounded Rectangle layer names, the shape will export just fine. BUT if we then try to use them again with another shape, this will cause an naming error message for the second shape when exported. It is better to rename the shapes now and avoid a conflict.)

Double click on the name in the Layer Palette, and the properties box opens.

Type in a new name. I named mine: Blue Floppy.

One after another, click on each of the Rounded Rectangle shape names in the Layer Palette and rename them. I named mine: BF_1, BF_2, and so on.

One more step and we are finished!

Using the Object Selector Tool, click on the disk shape in the image. Right mouse click and select Export > Shape.

Give the Shape a name and you have a new shape to use! (Be sure to check mark the Retain Style when using your new shape.)


That wasn't hard was it! I hope you give this tutorial a try, I would love to see what you do. The next tutorial will use the floppy disk shape to change the floppy disk's color and make a tube file from the result. If you would like to have this tutorial in PDF Format, click here: 110304.pdf

If you have a question or comment, you can send me an E-mail.

Jinny Davis, Copyright ©2003, all rights reserved.

Copyright Statement: My tutorial is for personal use to help others learn to use Paint Shop Pro and may not be uploaded to any electronic system for redistribution nor included in any compact disk (CD-ROM) or collection of any type without my written permission.

Paint Shop Pro is the property of and trademarked by JASC Software Inc.