Creating a watermark in Corel PaintShop Pro X4

Corel PaintShop Pro has almost as many features as PhotoShop, at a fraction of the price, but it’s not exactly intuitive to use and the documentation is less than stellar. This was drilled home when I attempted to perform what I though would be a simple operation; creating a watermark to identify pictures I post to the web.
You’ve seen them. The photographer’s name in an inobtrusive font or color in a lower corner of photos you see online. I’m not talking about the huge “COPYRIGHT” banners across some pictures designed to prevent their use by anyone else. Just an identifier so that if anybody does like your photo enough to use it there will be some built-in attribution.
You’d have thought this would be easy since PaintShop Pro has a command in its edit menu under Image/Watermarking/Visible Watermark, but in truth this is for applying a watermark rather than creating the file on which it will be based.  And creating the file took me quite a while to figure out.
Here’s one way to do it. The trick is to create an image file that contains nothing but text or graphics, with a transparent (not white!) background.

  1. Create a new image file. For this example I’ll base the size on pixels at 300 dpi, and make the size 1200×300 (you can crop it further later). I’m creating it as a raster image, and I make sure the Transparent option is selected for the background.
  2.  Make sure you have the Materials palette visible. You can find it in the Palettes menu or by hitting the F6 key on your keyboard. The part of the Pallette we care about is on the right-hand side:

    Make sure the top rectangle (foreground) is black, and the bottom rectangle (background) is white (the color that will be our final watermark).
  3. In the icon menu down the left-hand side, click the Text button:
  4. In the confusing array of options that appear in the Tool Options pallette, select a Font (choose one that’s legible in fine print), set a point size (what you need will vary with the font that you choose) and (important…) set the Stroke Width to zero. This will result in solid letter blocks the color of the text background, rather than outlined letters.
  5. Click near the left hand edge of your blank image and type your text. When you are done typing you can high-lite it and adjust the font and point size until it fills most of the canvas.
  6. Next, with the text still high-lited, look for Stroke Width in the tools palette and set it to 0.0. This will give us a block of solid letters.
  7. Got it the way you want it? If so, look for the Check symbol in the tool menu and click it to save your changes and exit text editing mode. You can now make slight adjustments to the spacing by dragging the edges of the text box around.
  8. You now have your text in a layer, which you will need to merge into the primary blank image. In the menu, select Layers/Merge/Merge Visible. Do not choose the default “Merge All”! It will create a white background to your image rather than the transparent one we need.
  9. Click the Crop tool from the left-hand icons and select an area just around the borders of your text.
  10. Save your image as a .pspimage type. Give it a name the identifies it as your watermark.
  11. To apply it to an photo, bring up a picture in edit mode. Click Image/Watermarking/Visible Watermark, and use the options to put your logo wherever you like. I put mine in the lower right-hand corner, set the size to 30, and the opacity and emboss values to 50.