Hi there, thought I'd write a series of tutorials, dealing with PSP 9's tools. This is the first one.  Using the Materials Palette.

Up at the top of the palette.. there are three tabs.. The first two, frame and rainbow gives you a the choice of two modes of color 'picking' I prefer the frame.. and that's what its set on. The 3rd tab is the Swatches, here you can create and save a certain swatch of color or texture for a certain project your working on.

the top color box below the frame *color picker* box.. is the foreground/ stroke box. If you right click on it.. the sample box will pop up, here is where you can pick the color you want.. either the standard colors.. like black, white, red, blue, bright pink, bright yellow, etc., as you will see below. * these always are the same * It also saves the last 10 samples of the colors, gradients, patterns you have used last. Which is extremely helpful when your working on a project, going back and forth on colors..

The bottom box as seen below is the background/ fill box.. it works the same way as the top foreground box.. as far as right clicking etc.

If your working with text the foreground / stroke box color would be the outline of the text, the background / fill box color would be the text fill color. Makes sense huh :-)

Under the foreground and background color boxes there is  a black circle, which means its set on color... if you leave your cursor on it.. it will drop down with two more choices, the gradient and pattern buttons... If your wanting a solid color you use the black dot, if your wanting a gradient, you would use the striped Gradient circle.. and bottom one is pattern button. Each foreground and background color boxes work the same way.. There are two more buttons to the right of the color button, the middle button is texture and the last one, the circle with a slash through it is the transparent button which TURNS OFF the foreground or background color box all together. Like if you were working with Text.. and you didnt want it outlined with a color.. you would click the transparent button on the foreground color box.

Below shows you.. if you wanted to change the color on your foreground/stroke box, you would right click on it.. the small color choice box pops up... if you have a special color that you have the HTML coding # for then you would go to OTHER. This Materials box below pops up.. where you can fine tune your color...it also has the # HTML to match a color EXACTLY if you want.. There is a tool on your tool bar the dropper tool  where you can click it and touch any thing on your PSP workspace and it will give you the exact color...you want.  Sometimes when your working with colors or other programs.. or tuts.. it will give you the RGB or HSL # values of colors.. you can do that instead of the HTML #.  In this Materials box, I have it set on a pink... If I wanted to I could put a texture on it.. by clicking the Texture up at the top right.. you can click on the texture swatch sample there and it will drop down to show you your choices of textures you have in your texture library.

Below is a sample if your choice was Gradient instead of the color button. PSP comes with some gradients but there are lots out there , either shared in groups or downloads on the net.. for new beautiful gradients... I have 1000's in my library. When your in your Gradient materials Properties box, you will see below.. you have many choices on its settings. Below the EDIT button there are 4 styles of Gradient

Linear, Rectangle, Sunburst and Radial. You can also add a texture to it.. Change the angle or repeats. When you go into the edit mode you can change the colors of the gradient.. or design your own gradients.

Next is if you choose the Pattern button.. Any thing OPEN on your desk top will show in the sample boxes.. if your wanting to fill a text with a certain pattern swatch etc, you would just open it and minimize it and use the pattern fill.. and find it on the drop down samples of patterns.. PSP also comes with some pattern swatches...you can make your own or find them different places on the net or in graphic groups. Patterns and Textures are pretty much the same thing. Can make your own also and add to the collection..

That's pretty much on the Materials palette.. I hope this has clarified it for you..

Till the next tut..