Getting to Knout your Neu Workspace

Provided you've installed your program (and if you haven't yet, you probably should), you're now staring at your brand new workspace (shown in Figure 1-1), with no idea where to start.

Figure 1-1:

Time to get acquainted with your new workspace.

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This is as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with the basic tools, functions, and palettes that you'll be using in Manga Studio. You're going to be using them a lot, so it's best to get to know them.

This section is intended to be a general overview; I explore the functions in much more detail in later chapters. Remember, this is your cheat sheet; I can't give you all the information right off the bat!

Recognizing the Main toolbar

Much like many other programs (both drawing and nondrawing) you may have used, the Main toolbar (shown in Figure 1-2) contains your basic file and clipboard buttons. You can save, print, cut, paste, undo, and redo pretty easily from here. As you can guess, this toolbar is pretty straightforward.

Figure 1-2:

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The Main toolbar also has buttons you can use to hide and show the various palettes available. Because things can get pretty cluttered on your workspace when you have too many palettes open at once, having the ability to quickly turn them on and off is handy.

Table 1-1 lists all the functions on the Main toolbar.

Table 1-1 The Main Toolbar Buttons





New Page

Creates a new page file.


New Story

Creates a new story file,


□pens an existing Manga Studio file.


Save File

Saves your page or story file.

Table 1-1 (continued)

Icon Name Description


Save All Saves all of your open Manga Studio files.


Cut Cuts a selection from the page to the computer's clipboard.


Copy Copies a selection from the page to the computer's clipboard.


Paste Pastes a selection from the computer's clipboard to the page.


Clear Deletes a selection from the page.

Undo Reverses the preceding action.


Redo Replaces an Undo action,


Print Sends the page to your printer.


Tools Opens/hides the Tools palette, palette


Tool Options Opens/hides the Tool Options palette, palette

Layers Opens/hides the Layers palette, palette


Navigator Opens/hides the Navigator palette, palette


Tones Opens/hides the Tones palette, palette


Properties Opens/hides the Properties palette, palette


History Opens/hides the History palette, palette

Icon Name


Gray Opens/hides the Gray palette, palette *

Materials Opens/hides the Materials palette, palette *

Custom Opens/hides the Custom Tools palette.

Tools palette *

Actions palette *

Opens/hides the Actions palette.

* Available in Manga Studio EX only.

Adjusting your View With the Page toolbar

The Page toolbar, shown in Figure 1-3, contains general page-viewing and manipulation tools. These allow you to adjust on-the-fly without the need to constantly switch to different tools or palettes to do the same thing. Table 1-2 breaks the functions down for you.

Figure 1-3:

The Page toolbar.

Figure 1-3:

The Page toolbar.

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Table 1-2

The Page Toolbar





Zoom In

Increases the size of the page's viewing area.


Zoom Out

Decreases the size of the viewing area.

Table 1-2 (continued)

Icon Name Description


Custom Zoom Allows you to manually enter the size of the viewing area by percentage.

Fit to Window Resizes the viewing area to fit within the page window.

Actual Pixels Resizes the viewing area to its actual size in pixels.


Print Size Resizes the viewing area to fit within the user-defined print size.


Rotate Rotates the viewing area 90 degrees clockwise.

Angle Allows you to enter a manual viewing angle for the page.


Normal View Adjusts the viewing area to its default setting,


Flip Image Horizontally inverts the viewing area. Horizontally


Flip Image Vertically inverts the viewing area. Vertically

Show/Hide Sets the visibility of any rulers on the page. Page Rulers


Show/Hide Allows you to see the transparent (non-inked)

Transparent areas of the page.



Show/Hide Used to adjust any rulers on the page. Ruler



Snap Mode Sets ability for a drawing tool to automatically snap On/Off to any ruler or guide.


Snap to Snaps drawing tool to any rulers on the page. Rulers


Snap to Snaps drawing tool to any perspective rulers Perspective on the page. Rulers *




Snap to

Snaps drawing tool to any focus line rulers


Focus Line

on the page.

Rulers *

Snap to Snaps drawing tool to any parallel line rulers

Parallel on the page.


Snap to Snaps drawing tool to any guides on the page. Guides

Snap to Grid Snaps drawing tool to any grids on the page.

* Available in Manga Studio EX only.

Accessing your core set of toots

Out of all the various functions, actions, and palettes that come with Manga Studio, there is one that I'm sure you'll use more than any other — the Tools palette, which you can see in Figure 1-4.

This is your toolbox. Or more specifically, this is your art box. This palette contains all the drawing tools you need to rough out your page, cut out unnecessary sections, ink it up, and erase any mistakes you made along the way. In Table 1-3,1 compile a list of the tools in the palette, along with short descriptions of what they do. I discuss most of these tools in later chapters.

Figure 1-4:

The Tools palette.

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You can access any of the tools from your keyboard by pressing the shortcut key noted in Table 1-3. As you go through the table, you'll notice that some tools share the same shortcut. That allows you to cycle quickly through these similar tools by pressing the shortcut key multiple times. For example, you would press the P to select the Pen tool, press P again to select the Pencil tool, and P once more to select the Marker tool. To go back to the Pen tool simply press P again.

Table 1-3

The Tools Palette



Shortcut Description


H Moves the page around the workspace.


Enlarges or reduces the page viewing area.


Rotates the page in the workspace.


Rotates the page in the workspace.


Rectangle/ M Creates a rectangular or circular Ellipse Marquee selection.

Lasso/Polygonal L Creates a custom selection. Lasso

Wand W Creates a selection within an enclosed area of a drawing.


Move Layer K Moves the highlighted layer around the page.

Object Selector 0 Selects and moves an endpoint of a ruler.

-¡r-| Layer Selection D Highlights the layerofthe line H work, screentone, or any other object on the page you selected.


Line/Curve/Polyline U Creates a straight line, curved line, or custom shape.


Rectangle/Ellipse/ U Creates a rectangular, elliptical, or Polygon polygonal shape.


Pen P Used for inking/finishing a drawing.

Pencil P Used for roughing out a drawing.







Used for inking a drawing.



Used to erase a drawing.




Fills an enclosed area of a drawing with foreground or background color.




Used to add spattering/noise to a drawing.


Gradation *


Adds a color gradient to the page.


Pattern Brush


Paints a design pattern onto the page.

Panel Maker


Creates a new panel layer on the page.


Panel Ruler Cutter


Divides a panel Into two (used on a Panel Ruleronly).




Adds text to a page.

Join Line


Joins two lines.




Samples a screentone for use elsewhere.

Smooth *


Smooths/blurs an image.


Dust Cleaner*


Removes excess particles from a scanned image.


Width Correction*


Adjusts the width of a vector line.


Line Lever*


Adjusts the position of a vector line.


Line Smoother*

Smoothes out a shaky vector line.

* Available in Manga Studio EX only.

* Available in Manga Studio EX only.

Exploring Various palettes

While the Tools palette is probably the one you'll use the most in Manga Studio, it isn't the only one available. When you opened the program for the first time, you were bombarded with palettes and windows, as shown in Figure 1-5. It's a lot to weed through at first, but as you get to understand each of the palettes in the program, you may find them as indispensable as the Tools palette.

If at any time you'd like to remove some of the clutter from too many palettes open at once, press the Tab key on your keyboard to hide them all at once. Press the Tab key again to make them all visible again.

Tool Options

Each tool in Manga Studio is customizable in one way or another. The Tool Options palette shows you all the options available with the currently selected tool. This allows you to tweak the tools to your heart's content, until they're set in such a way that they feel as comfortable to use as their real-world counterparts.

Figure 1-5:

That's a lot of palettes on the screen.

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Looking at the Layers palette, you can see a whole slew of layer types that you can (and probably will) use as you create your pages. The Layers palette helps to keep all the various layer types organized. This way, you not only know what layer you're currently working on, but also keep track of the other layers and layer types you create. 1 go over layers in much more detail in Chapter 6.


The Navigator palette works much like the functions available on the Page toolbar; you can zoom in and out, as well as rotate the page (or enter manual values for each).

You'll also notice a miniature representation of your page, as well as a red rectangle. This allows you to move around the page, much like using the Grab tool from the Tools palette. All you need to do is click within the rectangle with your mouse or stylus and drag it around the preview pane. As you can see, manipulating the preview pane also moves the main page as well. This is a good way to maneuver around the page without having to switch to the Grab tool every time you need to adjust its placement.


The Tones palette is your repository for all the tones that come installed with your program, as well as any customized tones you create. Each type of tone available is filed into its own folder. All you need to do is dig into those folders and find the tone you need! For more information on using tones on your page, be sure to check out Chapter 11.

Layer Properties

Each layer type in Manga Studio has its own set of properties to go along with it. The Layer Properties palette shows you all the options available for that particular type. (Options you can't adjust are grayed out.) Adjusting the properties can range from simply renaming the layer, to setting the layer-specific ruler properties. Chapter 6 covers the various layer properties available to you, depending on the layer type.


The Undo function in Manga Studio is a great way to quickly erase a mistake you may have just made. But what happens if you need to go back several steps? You could always undo a few extra times — or if you happen to own Manga Studio EX, you can take advantage of the History palette.

The History palette keeps track of a set number of previous actions (which you can set in the System Preferences of the program) in a list. You just look through the list to the action you'd like to go back to and click it with your mouse or stylus. Instantly, you travel back in time to the point you want to start over from. And you don't even need a DeLorean to do it!

(Just a quick note to you Manga Studio Debut users out there — the rest of the palettes are exclusive to the EX version of the program.)

The Gray palette gives you a bit more fine-tuning for the color of your ink as you're working on a layer. Much like the opacity setting determines how opaque or transparent a layer can be, the Gray palette adjusts how dark or light a shade of gray you'd like to work in.

This is useful for those who like to work loosely and lightly with their pencils and then go back and refine the work with a darker pencil. If you don't want to create a brand-new layer for the tight pencils, you can just adjust the grays as you go along. You can try setting the gray color to a lighter shade for your loose roughs. Then, when you're ready to tighten the pencils up, darken the grays and start refining! It's a great alternative to those who feel some "life" from their work is lost when traced on a separate layer.

Materials (EXonly)

The Materials palette is your repository for all the various tools and samples that you can use in your drawing. These include:

I* Two-dimensional images that you can use with the 2DLT importing function (which I explain in Bonus Chapter 2 on the CD).

v* Three-dimensional objects that you can use with the 3DLT importing function (which I explain in Bonus Chapter 2 on the CD).

V Custom Ruler shapes, such as French Curves, Elliptical and Circular rulers, and others.

f Preset Layer Types, such as a Black Only Raster pen layer.

v* Word balloons.

You can place each of these materials on the page by clicking and dragging it using your mouse or stylus. In addition, you can save your own custom images, rulers, and layer types in the User folder. I discuss the Materials palette in a bit more detail in Chapter 15.

Custom Toots (EX only)

While the Tools palette provides all your important drawing tools, EX users can take that idea a bit further. The Custom Tools palette allows you to customize exactly which tools you want to have at the ready. Don't want to have to hold down the Pencil tool in order to switch them? Add all the pencils you want right onto the palette. Want to quickly access functions without having to go through a series of nested menus? You can add those as well. There's no limit to what you can add!

To help you organize things a bit further, you can switch between custom sets. If you'd like to have a custom palette of rough work tools and one with nothing but vector tools, it's easy to set up and switch. This palette is yet one more way you can streamline the way you work digitally by quickly accessing to the tools and functions you use most frequently.

Actions (EX onty )

Have you ever run into instances where you find yourself repeating the same series of functions over and over? It can prove to be quite tedious and boring if you have to export a series of pages one at a time, for example. If you're an EX user, you may find the Actions palette can help relieve you of these doldrums.

Actions (or macros, as they're often called in other programs) are a series of recorded commands and functions. What's special about these actions is that instead of repeatedly going through a series of steps manually, you can use actions to quickly perform those steps automatically.

The preinstalled actions can range from automatically setting up the properties of an imported image to adding an outline to exporting your page for the Internet. What's more, you can always record your own actions to use at a later time. When using the preinstalled actions — or creating your own — you may find these to be another way to shave a few seconds or minutes off of your production — time you can then use to focus on more creative things.

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