June 20, 2014 by phicks2012
Not long ago I posted a BLOG about my frustrating attempts to learn how to use a newer version of the Graphics program I’ve been utilizing for years — and years, and Years, and YEARS. Let me state up front that I’m not opposed to upgrades, but they can (and frequently are) very expensive, and after you’ve missed a few of the things the learning curve tends to become steeper and steeper. Each new version has changes from the last, and those changes do mount up with the gaps between “know how” and “how to” getting wider all the time!
So, when I couldn’t use my old 32-bit graphics program on my newer 64-bit system, I realized that I was finally going to have to step up my game. No choice, really. But, after I took “the step” to Photoshop, I was having problems learning how to deal with vector graphics, and the on-line tutorials were no help at all — largely because they took it for granted that I already understood the newer terminology they used to instruct, and partly because the tutorials were never for the version of the software I owned. Nope, they were always for the more advanced (and more expensive) versions of the software, and as a result were far more confusing than helpful.
I quickly gave up on Photoshop because of those issues . The only version I could afford was Photoshop Elements (a pared-down version), and that coupled with a total lack of familiarity with the way the Photoshop toolbars and pallets functioned left me cursing fluently every time I tried to use it to make simple line drawings. So I finally bought a copy of Paintshop Pro X3, which was the oldest (and cheapest) version of that program still available, figuring it would be the closest to my old Paintshop Pro program — and therefore, hopefully, the least confusing.
Well, it took me a while, given that I had to learn by doing, but I finally, very recently, began accomplishing what I wanted. I was learning how to do what I needed to do — only just as I was feeling my confidence level increase the program started screwing up. The work area would suddenly go haywire, with all of the sections minimizing and the tool bar and pallet vanishing entirely, never to be relocated. Further, there was no way to get it back the way it had been before the scramble, other than by removing and reloading the software. I reloaded the whole thing from scratch four times, and it would work for a while, but then do the same thing again. AAACCCKKK!
So I called Corel, only to be told that they no longer supported Paintshop Pro X3, so I was basically out of luck. That didn’t thrill me, nor did it thrill me that their “solution” was for me to shell out cash for version X6 when I was just finally learning X3.
I did figure out the problem though — more or less. Before it started messing up I could use the browze command and load graphics directly from the pictorial browze bar. I suspect that some sort of recent update on my computer is interferring with that function though, causing the program to go nuts every time I now try to use that option. If I don’t use the browze command, and simply load graphics directly from the menu, the program behaves itself — or at least it’s been doing so thus far. My color-replacer isn’t working right — the wrong icon comes up when you select it, and it does a flood-fill instead of what it’s supposed to do, but I can mostly work around that — for now.
Once I really learned X3 I decided I’d save up for a newer version, figuring that this intermediate step should help me with the transition, and while I was still scratching my head and uttering epithets every now and then, I was getting better at making it work — and could actually do my graphics on my desktop computer, which I very much preferred to use for these projects.
In the end, I found a real deal on x6, so I now have that, but here’s the word. You can still learn how to use newer software by trial and error, even if you can’t find, or can’t make heads or tails of on-line tutorials, and once you learn the basics the tutorials might even turn out to be helpful!! They haven’t yet for me, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility!! 😉