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  Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks For Deneba Canvas™ 6

Tip No. 1: Setting Up The Default Page

When you click File > New or startup Canvas, it loads the default "Blank" illustration template. The dimensions for this page is 8.138 x 10.562 inches and is based on the "Custom" illustration size. For printing convenience many prefer to work with US letter size (8.5 x 11 inches) and the document setup must be changed each time a new illustration is created. To avoid this, open a new blank illustration document as usual, but before doing anything else click Layout > Document Setup, then change the illustration size from "Custom" to "US Letter". Then click File > Save As and choose Canvas Template (*.tpl) from the "Save as type" pulldown. Give it a name (e.g. US_Letter.tpl) and save it in the folder where Canvas stores its templates (on Windows® systems, C:\Program Files\Canvas 6\Templates, or on Macintosh® systems, Macintosh HD:Canvas 6™:Templates). Quit and restart Canvas, then close the default document without saving. Next click File > New and choose your new template from the list of new illustration templates. Canvas will continue to present you with the last template used to create a new document and this new template will become the default document each time you start Canvas until you create a new document using a different template.

Tip No. 2: How To "Flatten" An Image

If you create images using layers or a stack of paint objects on a single layer or a combination of both and you wish to flatten (merge) the paint objects into a single paint object there is no specific command for this purpose. In order to do this, select all the paint objects you wish to merge and click Image > Area > Render to render them into a new, single paint object. This will not destroy your original paint objects, rather it will create a brand new paint object from them and the originals will remain unharmed. Make sure the preferences allow selection of objects across visible layers (more help here).

Tip No. 3: Transferring A Selection From One Image To Another

Sometimes you will copy a paint object then create a selection on one of the copies and realize you need to use the same selection on the other copy. There is no command or provision for loading a selection from one paint object to another but there is a provision for attaching and detaching a channel mask. Rather than create a new selection from scratch and risk a mismatch, simply save the selection as a new channel. Then open the Channels palette and drag the new channel downwards into the channel mask slot (visuals here). Next click Object > Transparency > Detach Mask. Select the other paint object and click Object > Transparency > Attach Mask. In the Channels palette, drag the mask from the channel mask slot upwards into the alpha channels area (visuals here). You can now place the paint object into edit mode and click Image > Select > Load, and the selection will be available to load.

Tip No. 4: Applying Global Color Changes To Spot Colors

Sometimes you will want to change a spot color after it appears in many places throughout the document. Canvas does not maintain links to the objects using inks, so changing them will not affect the objects to which they are applied. Instead of changing each object individually, use the "Find" command for this purpose (more help here). First edit or create the new color you wish to use. Then click Edit > Find and choose either the fill or pen attribute. A list of all the colors used throughout the document will appear. Choose the color you wish to replace from the list and click "Select". Canvas will select all the objects having the fill or pen ink chosen. Once the objects have been selected, simply click the ink you wish to replace it with in the Inks palette.

Tip No. 5: Store Image Layers In Default Order

The default order in which layers are added and numbered are from bottom to top. Layer 1 will be on the bottom followed by layer 2, then layer 3 on the top, etc. Images and their layers can be saved as individual Canvas files which themselves can be reused and placed into other Canvas documents. When this is done, Canvas will place the layers in the default order whether they were saved that way or not. For example, if you create an image with the layers numbered 1, 2 and 3 from the top down rather than from the bottom up, Canvas will rearrange the layers into the default order when the image is placed into another Canvas document. To prevent this from happening, always store layered images using the default numbers and order.

Tip No. 6: Moving The Selection Marquee In a Paint Object

In Canvas there is no tool to move a selection marquee as such. But you can float a selection and make it transparent. Here's how. Make your initial selection then click Image > Select > Float (that floats a copy of what's under it without disturbing the original pixels). Then here's the trick...Pull up the Channels palette and set the Floating Opacity value down to zero if you want. Now you can see what's under it while you move it around. You can even use the arrow keys to nudge the marquee a pixel at a time.

Tip No. 7: Identifying Object Stroke And Fill Attributes

In Canvas the Object Specs palette can be used to identify some of an object's attributes, however you won't be able to identify stroke and fill attributes with this palette. To do this, bring up the configuration manager of the appropriate palette and select the object having the attributes you wish to identify. The attributes will appear in the configuration manager.

For Example: Select an object having a stroke width you wish to identify. Bring up the Strokes palette, click the Pen tab and expose the Strokes manager. The stroke width will appear in the manager.

For Example: Select an object having an ink color you wish to identify. Bring up the Inks palette, click the Color tab and expose the Inks manager. If the ink color you wish to identify is used as a fill, Click the Fill ink button and the specs for the ink color will appear in the Inks manager.

Tip No. 8: Displaying the Text Ruler in The Default Document

The text ruler is a handy tool bar that appears at the top of the document window when you click Layout > Display > Show Text Ruler. It has controls for text alignment, font selection, point size, text attributes (bold, italic, underlining, etc.), leading, tracking, text color and text box properties (stoke, fill and line attributes). The Text Ruler is part of the document window. If you would like the Text Ruler to appear when you start a new document, then you have to display the Text Ruler on a blank document then save it as a template (see Tip No. 1 above).

That's all for now...more later

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