Centering Text or Graphics

Created as a Quick Guide in 2003 Copyright SuzShook
Made a "Version-Independent" Tutorial March 2009
Property of SuzShook

This tutorial is my own creation;
however, most of the techniques used in this tutorial, I have learned from others!
Therefore, if you recognize any contribution you have made, I thank you!
And I thank you as well for respecting this as my work by not posting it,
in whole or in part,
in any other location without written permission from me!

Individuals and PSP graphics groups are invited to share my tutorials with others with TEXT LINKS ONLY.
You can e-mail me to let me know you are adding one or more of my tutorials to your list if you like -
it's always fun to know who is doing them!

This tutorial was originally published as a Quick Guide in 2003. With the demise of the Quick Guide capability in PSP, this Quick Guide is being re-published as a mini-tutorial!

This tutorial will show you how to center text or graphics in PSP.

I make my tutorials as brief as possible, without the customary paths, details, and how-to's. For those veterans among you, this will be welcome! But for those less familiar with PSP, I included a "Glossary" that contains all the details omitted in the tutorial. If you need a little extra help, check the Glossary section. Just click on the button below - the Glossary will open in a new window.

PSP glossary button

This tutorial assumes you have a working knowledge of Paint Shop Pro at the intermediate level (or advanced beginner level with the Glossary). It was originally written in and for PSP Version 7, then revised for PSP 8, and now made "version-independent". Screen shots for this tutorial can come from any version of PSP - where there are significant differences from version to version, a green "Version Note" will be included, along with multiple screen shots if necessary.

Where a note/tip refers to a version of PSP and all higher versions, a + sign will be used to indicate this. For example, if a note/tip applies to PSP X and higher versions, I will use the convention "PSP X+".

If you try this tutorial, and find something is inaccurate for your version of PSP, please EMAIL ME to let me know so I can fix it!

Screen shots in this tutorial are resized - your work will be larger than this!

Supplies - For this tutorial, you will need the following:
  • Paint Shop Pro - any version. The latest version of PSP can be found at the Corel site HERE.

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Ok, now we're ready to begin! Grab your mouse and let's get started!

Remember to save often!

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Create a new image with the following settings:
  • 200x250 pixels
  • Vector background

Choose the Preset Shapes tool preset shapes tool (P), select the Ellipse shape from the drop-list, and use the following settings:

Retain style (UNchecked)
Create as vector (CHECKED)
Anti-alias (CHECKED)
Line style (#1 Solid)
Line width (1)

In the Materials palette, choose black (#000000) as the Foreground/Stroke color, and red (#FF0000) as the Background/Fill color.

Holding down the SHIFT key, draw a small circle in the upper left corner of the image. Your image should look something like this:

circle in left corner


One way to center any image, vector or raster, is to cut the image (CTRL + X), and then paste the image as a new layer (CTRL + L). The image will be centered, horizontally and vertically, on the new layer.

circle in left corner <---- This image        


       this image ---->
centering by cutting and pasting


So you can try other centering options, move the circle out of the center of the image. The Preset Shapes tool should still be active. When you move the cursor over the center of the image, it changes to a four-headed arrow and you can move the image.

For vector objects, PSP provides additional options. To ensure the selected circle is horizontally and vertically centered in the canvas, do one of the following:

  • Choose Objects...Align...Center in Canvas.
  • Choose the Pick tool pick tool (K), right-click on the circle, and choose Align Objects...Center in Canvas from the context menu.
    Version Note: The Pick tool was new in PSP X - in prior versions, use the Object Selection tool object selection tool (O). Note that the Object Selection tool is still available in higher levels of PSP - it's not on the default Tool toolbar, but it still exists, can be accessed by its former Shortcut key, O, and can even be moved back to the Tools toolbar if desired using PSP's Customize facility.
  • Choose the Pick tool and click the Center in Canvas icon center in canvas icon from the Tool Options palette.

Be sure to try each of the above options, moving the circle out of the center of the canvas after each trial.

Note: The Align command also allows you to horizontally center the object, centering it between the right and left borders of the image while maintaining its current distance from the top and bottom borders. To do this, choose Objects...Align...Horz. Center in Canvas. A third alternative is to vertically center the object, centering it between the top and bottom borders of the image while maintaining its current distance from the left and right borders. This is done by choosing Objects...Align...Vert. Center in Canvas.


Move the circle out of the center of the image again so you can try this last option.

With the advent of scripting, PSP provides a new way to center layers that works for both vector and raster layers. The production version of PSP contains several scripts, one of which is called CenterLayer. If it is not already active, activate the Script toolbar. Choose the CenterLayer script from the drop-list. When you click the Run Selected Script button run selected script button, the layer is centered.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did creating it!

If you have any problems, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to Email me.


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All graphics and content 2002-present by SuzShook