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how to create a reusable shape?

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My apologies if this is a FAQ, I've searched under a bunch of terms (shape, sprite, copy, reusable, etc), but I don't even know what words I should be searching for :(

I've used Paint Shop Pro 8 for many, many years for my very occasional need to create images for our software manuals. One of the tasks I did frequently was take a screenshot of our software and then add some numbers to it that could be referred to in the text of the manual page, like the blue & white numbers here:


I was able to create those number/circle shapes once as vector images and then easily select and copy them from that file (PaintShop's PSP format) into my screenshot files (jpgs or pngs).

I've been able to create my numbered shapes in one file using Paint.NET, but not as vectors - as I understand it, Paint.net doesn't do vector. I can select and copy those, but doing the selection is very finicky to get the exact circle selected. Then when I paste it into another image, the colors are different - I assume this is due to palette differences.

Granted, I could draw the circle and the number individually into each screenshot I need to edit - this seems pretty inefficient compared to the way I've been doing it for years in PaintShop Pro. So I would guess I'm either going about this all wrong or I've selected the wrong tool for the job.

I'd appreciate any suggestions!! If you can suggest the right terminology to be searching on, that would help, too!



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Create your numbered circles on a new (transparent) layer.

Save that layer as a PNG file set to read-only.

Any time you want to use it, import it into your new project:

Layers > Import From File

Make a Rectangle select around the number that you need, leaving transparency all around the object.

Then, copy and paste into a new layer above your working background image.

Non-finicky selection method.



Edited by Sarkut
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WhichSymbol+. See the font in the screenshot? It has predefined encircled numbers that you can use. Just choose your color and then run the effect - increase the size of the character to something suitable and away you go.

Like all text, best if you run the effect on an otherwise blank & transparent layer :AddNewLayer:

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Sarkut and Ego Eram Reputo,

That is great advice! I used the WhichSymbol+ plugin to quickly create my symbols (with a little customization) in a transparent layer in a separate project. I was then able to easily copy/paste them where I need them. Seems pretty obvious, now.

Thanks so much!


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