Chrismas is a good time to send your love to family and friends, but generic Christmas cards are often bland and frequently impersonal, even if you write a personalised message inside. Instead of spending hours scouring the shops for cards, create a unique one using your Corel PaintShop Pro software to show your loved ones you were truly thinking of them this holiday season. Once the card is finished, you can print it out and send it off the traditional way or simply attach it to an email message.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Pick out a picture or photo to use for the card. A Christmas or winter-themed family photo can work quite well. If you have access to a digital camera, consider shooting a brand-new photo just for the purpose of making your Christmas card with it.
Launch PaintShop Pro, open your chosen image and select the "Adjust" workspace.
Select "Smart Photo Fix" in the Adjust palette and click "Suggest Settings" to automatically improve your image's brightness and contrast. Alternatively, you can adjust each setting manually using the sliders -- unless you have done this before, however, letting PaintShop Pro select settings for you is likely to be faster and produce better results.
Apply any other necessary adjustments to the image. For example, you may want to use the "Crop" tool to remove extraneous parts of the image and make its subject more prominent, or use the "Red Eye" tool to remove the red-eye effect from people in the image.
Select the "All" option from the drop-down menu in the Instant Effects palette to display all available effects you can apply to your image. Scroll through the list until you find an effect you like and double-click it to apply it.
Click "Help," select "Corel Guide" and click "Do More." Select the "Picture Frames" tab and click the "Download" button under the "Picture Frame 01" header to download additional picture frames you can apply to your card, if you haven't already. Select the "Picture Tubes" tab and click the "Download" button under the "Picture Tube 01" header to do the same with additional picture tubes you can use to decorate your card.
Select the "Edit" workspace. Click "Image" and select "Picture Frame" to open the Picture Frame dialog box.
Choose a frame for your image using the drop-down menu in the Picture Frame dialog box. Available frames include winter-themed ones, but you don't necessarily have to use those -- choose whichever frame you feel looks best with your image. Once you've selected a frame you like, click "OK" to apply it to the image.
Select the "Picture Tube" tool from the Tools palette. Using the drop-down menu in the Tool Options bar, select an appropriate picture tube, such as "Christmas" or "Winter." Click on your image to paint with the picture tube you selected, in essence adding decorations to it.
Select the "Text" tool from the Tools palette. Using the drop-down menus in the Tool Options bar, select an appropriate font and size. Choose a fill and stroke colour in the Materials palette, click on the image and then type out a message such as "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas." If necessary, adjust the position of the message using the "Move" tool.
Save the finished card as a PaintShop Pro image, in case you want to make any further changes to it, and then save it again as a JPEG or PNG image so you can send it to your loved ones.
Tips and warnings
- If you don't like the result of a step, press "Ctrl-Z" to undo.
- Information in this article applies to Corel PaintShop Pro X5. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.
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