Wouldn’t it be great if you could group all of your favorite brushes together in one handy place? Well, Corel Painter has just such a handy gizmo, and it’s called a Custom Palette. I know, you’re thinking “But a palette is where you mix your paints, isn’t it?” True, but in Painter all panels are “palettes.” The terminology is odd, and the Custom Palette interface is even odder. So today we’ll demystify Custom Palettes, I hope, and show you how useful they really are.
To create a new Custom Palette, just click and drag the brush you are using. Once you release the mouse button, a new custom palette appears.
As you can see here, a new, tiny palette has been created, and it’s called “Custom 12″. We’re going to give it a more useful name in a minute. I can add more brushes to this palette by dragging them onto the palette. To arrange them on the palette, hold down the Shift key while dragging. To remove a brush, hold the Shift key and drag it off the palette.
So that’s how you create a Custom Palette. To rename it, or to add command buttons to it, go to the Windows submenu. Way towards the bottom, you’ll see “Custom Palette”. Click on the triangle next to it, and a fly-out menu appears. Click on “Organizer…”
and a new panel appears. Here you can rename your custom palette to something useful, like “Portrait brushes” or “Landscape.” You can also Export this palette, and later Import it. Once you’ve got a palette set up with useful brushes and commands, you should export it as a way to back it up. If you upgrade or re-install Painter, just import your palette and you’re back in business.
To add menu commands, click on “Add command”, under “Organizer…”, back at the flyout menu. (It would make a lot more sense, to me, to have all these options in one place, but that’s just my opinion.) Now this part is little strange, so stay with me.
Let’s say you would like to have a “Save” button in your Custom Palette. Very handy, since it will save you from having to dig through the File menu. One click, you’ve saved your work. Just click the Add Command item, and the following panel appears:
I told you it was strange. If you add a command right now, Painter will create a new Custom Palette and add the command to it, which is NOT what you want to do. So, first, click on the arrows next to the word “New” in the Add Command panel. Choose your the Custom Palette you created just a moment ago. Now you’re ready to add a command. To add the Save command, click on File, and then click on Save from the drop-down menu. Click OK. The panel goes away, and now you have a Save button on your Custom Palette.
As with brushes, you move command buttons around by clicking and dragging while holding down the Shift key. I like to add the following helpful menu commands to palettes: Undo, Zoom to Fit, Screen Mode Toggle, and Show Rulers.
Setting up a Custom Palette is definitely worth the time and effort. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.