Cloanto Web Workbench Document ScreenToBack

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question which is not answered here, or a suggestion on how you would improve this section, please feel free to contact us (see the support information and the specific product sections on this website).


Where can I get pricing information?

Please contact our Distributors directly.

Installation fails with an apparent file system error.

Some AmigaGuide links do not work.

Selecting Retrace in an AmigaGuide document does not work.

Some files cannot be accessed.

The selection of a configuration icon (e.g. "English") always results in a "ShowPath failed returncode 22" message.

The majority of such reports are caused by problems of the CD-ROM file system being used. We recommend that another file system be tried, such as the excellent and freely distributable AmiCDROM (it is included in most Aminet and Fred Fish collections). AmiCDROM also solves certain problems specific to the original software of the CDTV, CD³² and A570 CD-ROM drive. In case of difficulties with AmiCDROM up to version 1.15, it is recommended to try a newer version of AmiCDROM itself (at least v. 2.x, available under the new name "AmiCDFS"), or the CD-ROM file system included from version 3.1 of the Amiga operating system. Users of Asim CDFS prior to version 3.5 may want to contact Asimware Innovations Inc. for an upgrade to the latest version of the Asim CDFS.

ARexx programs do not run, and an error message such as "RexxMast: Unknown command" or "ARexx server not active" appears.

The system does not have ARexx, or the RexxMast software was not started. RexxMast is a program normally stored in the "System" drawer of the Workbench (System) disk. It is usually launched automatically from the Startup-Sequence, or when executing ARexx scripts with the "RX" command, but it can also be started manually by double-clicking on the RexxMast icon. On older operating systems such as 1.3, ARexx must be installed separately.

When a documentation file is opened with a double-click, the corresponding manual appears and everything works fine, but if the file is opened using "drag and drop" with ToolManager and MultiView, only a page with AmigaDOS commands appears.

AmigaDOS command scripts are used to make sure that the AmigaGuide documents are loaded in the correct language and with the correct viewing software depending on the computer's configuration. If these scripts appear on the screen as a text page instead of being executed, it means that the system lacks the DataType which recognizes and executes AmigaDOS files instead of displaying them as text. Such a DataType (the Script DataType) is included in most Cloanto products, and is also available in the Download section.

After manual hard disk installation, a few links in certain manuals appear to be "broken".

The manuals were designed to be used from the original medium or a full installation, where all files are available at the same time. In order to preserve the complex hypertext cross-references which link together hundreds of different text and graphics files, it is necessary to install the entire CD-ROM.

Some items installed to the hard disk do not work properly if the original product's CD-ROM is in the drive while the system boots.

Under certain versions of the operating system, the presence of a specific storage volume interferes with an Assign command trying to assign or reassign the same name as the storage volume (e.g. "PPaintCD"). Remove the CD-ROM while the system boots.

After double-clicking on a configuration icon (e.g. English, Deutsch, etc.) to configure a program to run without installation, some programs which normally run from the hard drive begin to interact with the medium from which the configuration was run. While this is normally acceptable, there may be reasons for preferring otherwise.

The floppy disk and CD-ROM configuration procedures are designed in a way that they do not interfere with existing installed programs. However, the simple fact that the configuration scripts add some references to the CD-ROM in order for the software to be able to run from there may be undesired in some cases. All programs on the CD-ROM also run properly without a prior configuration of the CD-ROM (i.e. a double-click on one of the language icons), although in that case it is not possible to guarantee a consistent environment (e.g. the operating system may not know where to find some viewers). With this in mind, the (uninstalled) software can be used without selecting any of the configuration icons.

When the medium used to run a non-installed program is removed from the drive, the icon remains displayed on the Workbench screen. Using other programs, a system requester may appear asking the user to insert the medium again.

Before removing the medium (CD-ROM, floppy, etc.) from the drive, double-click on the Reset icon which appears on the bottom right of the medium's Workbench window. This cancels any references (such as an AmigaDOS Assign to ColorFonts on the CD-ROM) that may have been associated to the medium during its use.

The online documentation is great, and I am happy to preserve the forests, but can I purchase the paper manuals separately?

We ourselves would like to see professional, up-to-date paper manuals for all our Amiga products. Considering the minimum manufacturing and selling quantities, the average prices of the final products and the fragmentation of the markets, this is unfortunately not possible any more. Considering that our CD-ROMs contain thousands of pages in different languages, we would not be able to offer them at current prices if we had to also print and keep on inventory dozens of separate printed manuals. If we did this and increased the price accordingly, this would effectively kill the product. Therefore, we regret that this was not an option, and we appreciate your understanding.

Personal Paint

User Interface

The "Pull-Down" and "Pop-up" options are shadowed. Why?

These user interface features were introduced with Personal Paint 7, and are implemented in the "personal_req.library", which is used by Personal Paint, as well as by other Cloanto programs. Personal Paint 7 contains and installs the new library (in the local "libs" directory). If, however, an older version of the library is in use when Personal Paint 7 is run, then the menu items associated to the new features remain shadowed. To correct this, terminate the other programs using the old library, force a "FlushLibs" (type "Avail FLUSH" in the Shell) and restart Personal Paint. You can safely replace the libraries used by other programs with the newer one, which is compatible with previous versions.

I want to use NewIcons for my image icons, but the NewIcons menu item is shadowed. What can I do?

This feature requires the "newicon.library", which is available online as well as from other free distribution sources such as Aminet CD-ROMs.

Why do some user interface add-ons have no effect on Personal Paint?

In Personal Paint, there are different contexts in which the available palette colors can change, at which parts of the user interface have to be redrawn in consideration of the new environment. Because the system functions that handle the drawing of certain user interface details like gadgets and borders do not support dynamic change of palette colors and drawing pens, Personal Paint has to use its own code to render many user interface objects. This means that, for example, if you have a tool like "CycleToMenu", it has no effect on Personal Paint (which, by the way, provides equivalent functionality through a specific option).

Why doesn't Personal Paint use the system Locale library for the localization of the user interface?

Personal Paint was already multilingual before this component was added to the operating system, so this was not an option. By using plain ASCII files, we give users full access to the user interface strings and shortcuts. Being able to make small or big changes with a standard text editor is in general very appreciated. Personal Paint uses the locale.library for other things, such as detecting the system default language when the program starts.

Speed and Memory

Does Personal Paint use the FPU? Do you have custom versions of Personal Paint for the different 680x0 and PowerPC microprocessors?

Yes, Personal Paint detects and uses the FPU (floating point unit, part of optional mathematical processor hardware), if present, to do things like rotating objects. However, most calculations in a graphics package like this are done using integer mathematics rather than floating point functions. Therefore, a FPU has no impact on overall performance. Personal Paint, which ships in a single executable version, is also already optimized for different microprocessors. Critical parts are optimized for execution within the cache of a 68020+. Regarding other microprocessors, such as the 68040/60, it should be kept in mind that the major performance boost comes from the improved speed and efficiency of the newer microprocessors, and not from new instructions. We recompiled Personal Paint for these microprocessors, but noticed that there was no perceivable speed improvement. Indeed, it appears that having different versions of Personal Paint optimized for the various CPUs would in part increase user satisfaction. However, this mainly psychological advantage is challenged by a reality in which we have to do considerable maintenance, support and testing for each version which we ship, and which we want to be as reliable as possible. On the other hand, as you probably know, in Personal Paint 7 some of the most performance-critical code is now in external libraries, which can easily be replaced with versions compiled for different CPU and blitter architectures. Recompilation of code for a PowerPC processor rather than a 68K CPU which would otherwise have to be emulated does indeed provide significant speed advantages. While our default Amiga reference CPU remains the 68000, we are working with various emerging Amiga architectures, and have included different 68K and PowerPC versions of the main program and its libraries on the Personal Paint 7.1 CD-ROM. Some of these are also available in the Download section.

On my Amiga, Personal Paint 7 is slower than the previous version. Is this right?

No, and it can easily be corrected by changing some settings. Personal Paint 7 introduces for the first time support for different CPUs (68K, PowerPC, emulators, etc.) and blitter logic through external libraries. The program itself is more refined than the previous version, and is therefore faster. If you notice a performance degradation, you are most likely using a library which is causing some functionality to be emulated. For example, blitting on a 68020 Amiga is at least 50% slower if the 68K blitting libraries are used instead of the Agnus blitter library. Obviously, this setting is not recommended, although it may be automatically selected by the program if, for example, it detects that the host graphics system does not store bitmaps in a type of RAM accessible by the Amiga blitter. Please check the instructions included with the software, and the newest libraries available in the Download section.

Why is image processing with some true color programs faster than with Personal Paint's palette-based image processing?

One aspect that many graphics enthusiasts do not immediately appreciate is that palette-based graphics is much more difficult, in complexity and computation, than true color graphics. It comes natural to think that "It uses less memory, so it must be simpler and faster..." The palette-based algorithms of Personal Paint are very advanced, but still, whenever for example the programs does some processing on a pixel, it must first look up the value of that pixel in the palette, then modify the value, and then, for that new color, either search the palette for the most similar color entry available, or apply some type of dithering. This must be done for each pixel. In true color graphics, instead, all a program needs to do is to directly access and modify the pixel color value. If you consider that Personal Paint allows for real time editing of palette-based graphics on a plain 68000 computer, you can better understand what an achievement this is. Image processing in Personal Paint has another difference, compared to some other programs. All image processing effects in Personal Paint can be edited by the user and are interpreted on the fly during execution. Other programs have most effects hard-coded, maybe even in optimized machine language code. While Personal Paint's effects are faster than those of some other programs, they could indeed be even faster if we added some hard-coded effects.

I have 20 Mbytes of Fast RAM, 1 Mbyte of Chip RAM and a graphics board: Why does Personal Paint still use some of my precious Chip RAM?

Only Amiga makes it possible... Two crucial parts of the Amiga system require bitmap data to be stored in Chip RAM: the original (Agnus) blitter chip, and the Graphics library. Personal Paint uses both. By using its own virtual memory functions, Personal Paint limits the use of Chip RAM to the objects currently being processed (for example, graphics environments, brushes and animation frames other than the current one can be stored in Fast RAM, or even on disk). If you look at the documentation included with the program and with the blitter libraries available in the Download section, you will see that Personal Paint 7 can work without using Chip RAM for its bitmaps. This is done in two steps: first, a blitting library not using the Agnus blitter must be selected (turn off "Settings/Graphics/Amiga Blitter" in Personal Paint); second, all functions of the Graphics library which require Chip RAM must be replaced with compatible functions which can work on Fast RAM. The original Amiga graphics.library does not support this, but some of the newer third-party replacement libraries (e.g. original CyberGraphX from version 40.100 upwards, with NOCHIPSCREEN and PLANES2FAST active) do. Click here for additional information.

I disabled the Amiga Blitter option, but Personal Paint still seems to store some bitmaps in Chip RAM.

Your graphics system probably does not provide for full graphics.library functionality in Fast RAM. Personal Paint would normally detect such an environment automatically. The use of Fast RAM for all bitmaps can however also be forced by setting the PBlit_ChipMem environment variable to No. Manually setting this variable to No can be dangerous: if the graphics system does not provide full functionality for bitmaps in Fast RAM, then the system may crash, or Personal Paint functions like the Rectangle and pixel Freehand tools, among others, may not work properly. In general, make sure that you have the latest Personal Paint program file and blitting libraries (available in the Download section), and that your graphics system replaces the original Amiga graphics.library in a way that all bitmap operations can be performed in Fast RAM. If you are using CyberGraphX, make sure that the NOCHIPSCREEN and PLANES2FAST CyberGraphX settings are active (=1), and that you are using at least CyberGraphX version 40.100. Please note that some CyberGraphX "compatible" systems may have higher version numbers but still not provide a fully Fast RAM-compatible graphics.library replacement. As an additional step, useful with certain RTG drivers, you may want to completely remove all original Amiga monitor files from the system (they are stored in "Devs/Monitors", from where they can be moved to "Storage/Monitors"), leaving only the modes associated to the drivers providing support for bitmaps in Fast RAM, and also disable the Amiga ROM video modes by switching off "Settings/Graphics/15 kHz Video" in Personal Paint.

I am running Personal Paint on an Amiga with very little RAM. Are there any tricks to minimize the use of RAM? How can I know exactly how much free RAM is available for use?

If you are installing the floppy disk edition of Personal Paint to a hard disk, make sure that you activate the "Decompress installed program files" installation option. On the floppy disk version, Personal Paint is compressed, and because of this it temporarily uses more RAM during load. To get the maximum possible amount of RAM for Personal Paint, boot from a default Workbench, with no utilities or commodities. Disable, or reduce to a minimum, the buffers and cache RAM assigned to floppy disks, hard disk partitions and other devices. Set the Workbench screen to the smallest possible size, using only two colors. The memory indication on the Workbench title bar is not very useful, as it does not account for memory fragmentation. If you need to know how much memory is available for bitmaps, for example, type "Avail" in the Shell, and see the "Largest" fields. Personal Paint's Memory Information requester provides both accurate memory information, and options to flush certain types of buffers. Section 11.1 of the User Guide lists several other suggestions.


Does animation require double-buffering, and what exactly is double-buffering?

All native Amiga screen modes support double-buffering, which is a combination of hardware features and software functionality. Officially, on the Amiga, animation without double-buffering is not supported, but Personal Paint can do it nevertheless. This is especially useful, for example, to work with 256-color animations on older Amigas that do not support these screen depths, and using a display card that does not support double-buffering. Personal Paint can create and play animations even in screen modes which do not support double-buffering, although more complex animations might run more smoothly in double-buffering screen modes. We have determined that most third-party display cards would support some form of double-buffering in hardware. Unfortunately, in most cases the graphics drivers supplied with these cards do not provide double-buffering functionality. When creating animations in non-double-buffered modes, please keep in mind that in the IFF ANIM format, information on the default screen mode for the animation must be stored with the file. Personal Paint stores the Display ID of the current screen mode. If this is a non-double-buffering mode, some older players may fail to play the animation, especially if no other screen modes with the required number of colors are available on the target machine. Personal Paint displays a warning message to remind you of this, but the message does not indicate an error. For additional information on associating screen modes with your artwork, please refer to the document "Personal Paint for Authors".

Once I have an animation, how do I copy or cut part of it to create an anim-brush?

Click three times on the Define Brush tool (until a "+" sign appears). Sections 3.1.6 and 6.9 of the User Guide.

Is there a way to automatically paste all frames of an anim-brush to consecutive animation frames?

Yes, it works that way if <Caps Lock> on the keyboard is on when you paste. Make sure that there are at least as many frames in the animation as there are frames in the anim-brush. Section 6.8 of the User Guide.

I experimented with fade-in, fade-out and multiple palettes, but the resulting animations tend to "flicker" whenever there is a palette change. Any suggestions?

This usually happens in screen modes that do not support double-buffering, as well as in some particular combinations of hardware and software. Yes, we do have a few suggestions to correct this. The problem which you describe happens because for a brief moment the old frame is displayed with a new palette. In these cases, try to split the change in two frames. For example, let's assume that you wish your animation to start with a black frame, and slowly fade-in. We always recommend not to use an "all black" palette for the first frame, as this can make editing difficult. For the first frame, use a standard palette, having for example black as the first entry. Leave the frame completely black. Beginning with the second frame, you can already put the image as you want it to appear after the fade-in sequence, only that this time the palette would be completely black. Use the Storyboard to create intermediate frames, progressively revealing the fully colored frames starting from the third frame.

Is there a way to remap all frames of a multi-palette animation to a single palette?

Yes, but it requires two steps. A "single palette" remap mode is activated by pressing <Shift> when requesting a color-reduction. In order to color-reduce an animation, the number of colors must first be increased ("Project/Image Format/Colors"), and then reduced again. Section 6.9 of the User Guide.

Tips & Tricks

I only have 64 levels of color accuracy on my graphics board. Is there any way of achieving a proper 24-bit palette?

Yes: set REDBITS, GREENBITS and BLUEBITS to 8 in the "Startup_1.set" settings file. Section C.3 of the User Guide.

Is it possible to change the Default Tool for the file that gets saved to something else, a picture viewer for instance?

Of course: Personal Paint takes this data from a reference icon stored in the local "PPaint_Icons" drawer. Just change that icon. There is one for pictures, one for animations, etc. Alternatively, you can leave the preset "PPView" Default Tool, and reprogram PPView to use a viewer of your choice by using SetPPView ("Utilities" drawer).

The Edit Palette requester contains only a row of colors. Instead of scrolling this row, can I see and access all colors at once?

It was not possible to fit an extended color palette and the palette requester in the smaller screen resolutions. However, even when the Edit Palette requester is displayed, you can still select and pick colors both from the image and, most importantly, from the palette which is displayed under the tool bar.

I get unpredictable results when setting the transparency for GIFs

Please note that "Brush/Color/Flood Transparency" and "Settings/Transparency/Backfill" work on regions which are defined by a special transparency bitplane, rather than by areas in a specific color. This is supported when saving brushes using file formats such as IFF-ILBM, but not by GIF. GIF only supports one transparent color. Also remember to define and save the data as a brush, not as an image, as transparency is only supported for brushes.

To apply transparency information to GIF files, make sure that the "Settings/Transparency" option is selected. This means that one color will be made transparent, which is the color which is the background color at the time in which the brush is defined. To pick the background color, click on the outer side of the rectangle indicating the current color, and then click on the desired color. If you change the background color after the brush is already defined, you need to apply the change to the brush, if so desired. This is done with "Brush/Color/New Transparency".


Personal Paint sometimes opens a screen in a mode which my monitor cannot display. Can this be changed?

Yes. Personal Paint queries the system Display Database to determine the best available screen mode when it starts, when the display settings are changed, and when an image is loaded. In theory, the system should neither contain information on screen modes that cannot be displayed, nor allow the use of such screen modes. Such a condition, if present, should be corrected by removing any inappropriate Monitor files. In general, even if you have a third-party display card which is fully supported by your monitor, and unless you explicitly remove the original Amiga Monitor entries, Personal Paint may still prefer some original Amiga screen modes because they provide a better color resolution, for example (the AGA chip set supports 24-bit palettes, whereas some display cards do not). Look at the monitor files in "Devs/Monitors": if there are any screen modes that are not supported by your hardware, move them to "Storage/Monitors". Some Amiga systems incorporate support for some 15 kHz screen modes in ROM (an not in a Monitor file). If this is the case, and your monitor cannot display these frequencies, disable the "Settings/Graphics/15 kHz Video" option in Personal Paint. If the problem affects the initial screen of Personal Paint, so that you cannot access this menu, edit the "Startup_1.set" settings file with a text editor. Personal Paint also has a "Lock Display Mode" option ("Project/Image Format") which is very useful if you prefer to always use the same screen mode, regardless of the format and screen mode information which may be best when loading a new image.

The brushes and drawing tools are not aligned with the mouse pointer.

This is a known bug of some third-party Amiga graphics libraries. In general it affects mouse pointers (of any program, not just Personal Paint) having a "hot spot" other than 0:0 (top left of the pointer), mostly on AGA systems. The result is that the drawing pen is not aligned with the center of the cross-hair pointer, for example. If you experience this problem, try and boot in ECS mode, or upgrade your graphics drivers.

I get unpredictable results loading or playing an animation with RTG screen modes.

Short answer: if you have Personal Paint 7.0 or 7.1, get the free upgrade to version 7.1b or higher from the Download section.

Traditionally, on the Amiga, double-buffering screen modes are planar by definition. This is, for example, hard-coded in the IFF-ANIM file format specification, which is designed for direct, real time file-to-planar-screen-buffer data transfers. Personal Paint up to version 7.1, like many other programs, which include the system MultiView viewer, does not support double-buffering operations on chunky screens, and assumes that if a screen mode supports double-buffering, it has a planar bitmap structure. This, unfortunately, does not work with some newer RTG drivers which have successfully introduced double-buffering to the world of Amiga graphic cards. When these drivers make available a screen mode with double-buffering support that has a chunky pixel structure, and Personal Paint (or MultiView, or many other very common Amiga programs) tries to play a full screen animation on it, the system is likely to crash. We propose three solutions to solve this issue with current versions of Personal Paint. Any solution, alone, should work and solve this problem:

When I clear the screen, it doesn't get cleared behind the tool bar and the screen bar. Certain drawing tools also seem to have no effect in those regions.

It looks like you have "Settings/Graphics/Clip" active. Turn it off.

GIF animations using transparency created with Personal Paint leave a "trail" when viewed with certain browsers.

There are two possible reasons for this, and both are related to the use of transparency. The first involves the Amiga IBrowse software prior to version 1.11, and the second appears with some PC browsers displaying some very specific animation sequences generated by the original release of Personal Paint 7.0. In general, it can be said that not all aspects of GIF animation, especially when transparency is used, are covered by the GIF89a specification. The standards in this field are set and extended by companies like Netscape and Microsoft, which do not always fully implement the specifications. If you have Personal Paint 7.0, please refer to the update available in the Download section ("AnimGIF_Update.lha"). Along with other enhancements to the GIF animation modules originally released with Personal Paint, the update offers increased compatibility with some aspects of GIF animation which are interpreted in different ways by different browsers. The Amiga IBrowse software up to version 1.1 incorrectly displays some types of GIF animation with transparency (to be precise: those in which the frame size is not constant). This can be solved by upgrading the IBrowse software. In general, we make one recommendation: if transparency is not necessary in an animated GIF, it should be disabled ("Settings/Transparency/None") before creating the anim-brush, or removed on existing anim-brushes ("Settings/Transparency/None", then "Brush/Color/New Transparency"). This prevents ambiguities, and can also considerably reduce the file size.

The Storyboard window sometimes "freezes", especially when the scroll bar is moved very quickly.

The Storyboard, like other parts of Personal Paint and of the Amiga operating system, relies on a carefully designed balance of tasks having different priorities, and which run in parallel to each other. Third-party utilities like "Executive" change this balance. We have seen that while this can improve the responsiveness of some applications, it can also create problems with multi-tasked programs like Personal Paint. The Storyboard problem described here is a typical symptom of this, but functions like loading an animation and changing screen environment may also be affected. If you are using a program like Executive, make sure that it does not modify in any way the task priorities of Personal Paint and its child tasks. The task name of Personal Paint is "PPaint".

After a time-consuming task is completed, the mouse pointer remains in "busy" mode.

This may happen if the "SleepingPointers" utility is installed without the associated "PatchPointer" program. When both tools are installed, the animated pointers work just fine.

Some Rexx scripts give an "Error 37" (Not enough memory).

This can easily happen with scripts like "Image Catalog", which need a lot of memory, if the "Work Directory" is set to a device using RAM (even indirectly, e.g. "T:", which is usually assigned to "RAM:T"). To use the hard drive instead of RAM, set the path accordingly (e.g. "Work:T" or "PPaint:T" instead of "T:") in the initial script settings.

Certain Rexx scripts do not seem to produce any action or result, or even produce an error.

So-called "tool" scripts can only be run from within Personal Paint, because they need some specific interaction which is only possible from the program screen. If they are launched from the Workbench, they are not be executed. Also, some tool scripts require an entry in the "Startup_1.set" file (as provided by default with the software), whereas for non-tool scripts this entry is in general optional. Make sure that the script is run from the program tool bar, and that it has a matching entry in the program startup file.

Due to a bug in certain versions of the Amiga operating system, Rexx scripts executed with a path name longer than about 70 characters may not be executed (a "The file does not exist" error occurs). If this is the case, it is necessary to either shorten some of the directory names which make up the path leading to the scripts, or move the Rexx scripts to a higher level in the directory structure.

Personal Paint 7.0 has a small bug in the Rexx interface which does not impair the functionality of any known scripts, but might confuse developers of new scripts. It only affects "tool" scripts which require the user to define a rectangular area on the image as part of the usage of that tool ("%w" and/or "%h" parameters). For these tools, unlike other script tools, the mouse button ("%b") parameter is passed to the script in the 0-2 range, instead of the standard (and documented) 1-3 range. This can be corrected by inserting the following piece of code in the part of the script which processes the "button" variable (initialized with "PARSE ARG ..."):

Version 'PROGRAM'
PARSE VAR RESULT pver'.'prev
IF pver < 7 | (pver = 7 & prev < 1) THEN
button = button + 1

Do you recommend a particular procedure for debugging Rexx scripts?

Yes, and we advise to also use it before contacting us for support issues related to possible problems with the macros included with Personal Paint:

  1. Load the script in a text editor, insert a "TRACE R" instruction (without quotes) on a new line immediately after the first comments ("/* ... */") and save the script
  2. Type "TCO" in a Shell window to open the Rexx Tracing Console
  3. Execute the script
  4. When the problem occurs, go back to the Tracing Console, open it in full screen mode, select all the trace output with the mouse, and copy it to the clipboard (with <Amiga-c>)
  5. Paste the trace output in your favorite text editor or E-mail software.

The PPC blitting library of Personal Paint 7.1 crashes on certain PowerPC expansion systems.

This PPC blitting library for 68K Amiga systems was originally tested both by Cloanto and by the manufacturers of the PowerPC boards, who supported our work, and worked well as of May 1997. After the release of the library on the Personal Paint 7.1 CD-ROM, the PowerPC expansion systems evolved in a way that complete support for existing PowerPC software on 68K operating systems could not be guaranteed. Striving for continued support, we updated the code twice, releasing it on Aminet and also sharing the source code with the developers of the expansion systems. Since then, both the Amiga OS and Personal Paint have become available in native PowerPC versions, and that remains the recommended combination for optimal use of the PowerPC hardware and optimized code.

On 68K operating systems, we recommend to use the standard 68K blitting libraries, which are used by default by the program. In our tests with Amiga systems having both a PowerPC and a 68060 CPU, the 68060 blitting library was only 10% slower than the PowerPC library. On emulated 68K systems (as in Amiga Forever), the 68K library can achieve a performance superior to that of native code running on either a 68060 or a PowerPC CPU, at a lower price.

I experience a system crash or Software Failure during the use of Personal Paint. What can I do?

Please try if this also happens booting from an original Workbench floppy disk. If you do not have a "clean" Workbench disk to boot from, check the "S:startup-sequence" and the "S:user-startup" scripts and the "SYS:Wbstartup" directory to see what programs are launched from there. Try to remove as many programs as possible, especially commodities, screen promotion utilities and programs using DataTypes. Disable all system backdrop images. Set the printer driver to a standard system printer driver. Check the system with a good antivirus program. If you have the "personal _sview_io.library" in "PPaint/libs", but you have doubts about the functionality of your version of the SuperView software (older versions are known to cause problems), also remove that library from "PPaint/libs". Then reboot your system and start Personal Paint as the first program. If you use a third-party display card, manually activate the "Project/Image Format/RTG" option in Personal Paint. If you have Enforcer, run it with the "ShowPC" option. Does the problem persist? If not, try to restore, one after the other, the features that had been disabled, and see what was causing the problem. Neither Personal Paint 6.4 nor Personal Paint 7 have any bugs known to be able to cause a crash, but it remains our goal to be compatible with all configurations around, so whatever happens, we would like to know about it. Of course, if there is something unexpected in our own software, we would like to fix it immediately. If the software error can be traced with Enforcer, please send us the first few "PC*" fields which are output by Enforcer. Please note that the 68060 CPU is supported only by Enforcer version 37.70 or higher.

Other Information

I read that there is a scanner plug-in for Personal Paint. I am very interested: where can I get it, and what does it do?

It is available from RBM Computertechnik as part of the ScanQuix package. This component allows you to treat scans as direct loads in Personal Paint, without intermediate steps (scan, save, load). Parameters can be set through an interface provided by ScanQuix.

Personal Suite

How do I install a specific program or manual to the hard disk?

In general, the software and manuals were designed to be used from the CD. As explained in the documentation, a "drag and drop" of the program drawer to the hard disk location is normally sufficient to install a specific piece of software. A more selective and space-efficient installation is possible for certain programs: the "SBase", "PWrite" and "PFM" drawers contain hidden directories (use "Show All" to access them) named after the language of the software: "ENG" for English, "DEU" for German, etc. To install these programs, we recommend to manually create a directory in the target location (e.g. named "SBase", "PWrite" or "PFM"), and copy to it only the contents of the subdirectory containing the files for the desired language (e.g.: copy the contents of "PSuite:SBase/ENG" to "Work:PSuite"). To install Personal Paint, we recommend to consider manually removing some artwork files (inside "Pictures" and "Animations") after dragging and dropping the entire drawer, as they occupy a lot of space. In order to preserve the intricate hyperlinks between all the online manuals, installation of the documentation is not so immediate. Due to the high demand for this, we are considering to create an installation script, which would be made available in the Download section.

The Kara Collection

Can I use AnimFonts with other programs such as Scala MM400?

Yes. AnimFonts use standard Amiga IFF anim-brushes. Even if your favorite software does not support direct text editing with AnimFonts, you can render the animated text with Personal Paint, and export the resulting animation as an IFF animation, an IFF anim-brush or a GIF animation.

When using the AnimText script to automatically create animated text, how do I place the rendered text exactly where I want it to appear?

AnimText has the option to either create an animation, in which case the text is rendered at the top left of the current animation, or an anim-brush. Just select the anim-brush option, and then position and paste the resulting anim-brush wherever you like.

ColorFonts appear in the wrong colors.

The software is using the palette associated to the current environment, and the first 8 colors (or 5 colors, for some fonts) are not suitable to render the selected ColorFont. To correct this, the palette must be changed. In Personal Paint, select the "Color/Palette/From Font" menu item (or simply press <Alt-f>) to use the default palette associated to the ColorFont. Alternate palettes can be loaded with the "Color/Palette/Load" command. It is also possible that the current screen mode has fewer colors than the number required to render the ColorFont, in which case more colors must be added (in Personal Paint this is done through the "Project/Image Format" menu item).

When a ColorFont is selected and text is typed, only empty boxes appear.

The selected ColorFont does not have the characters that were typed. Most likely, it is a font which has only capital letters. Press <Caps Lock>, and try again. When using fonts that have only capital letters, initials can be rendered by combining different font sizes.

Under Workbench 1.3 ColorFonts do not seem to work.

Double-click on the ColorText program which is stored in the "Utilities" drawer of the CD-ROM. This adds the appropriate ColorFont extensions to the operating system. ColorText is not required under version 2.0 or higher of the Amiga operating system (where support for ColorFonts is already incorporated).

When text is typed using ColorFonts, occasionally some "garbage" appears over certain characters.

This is caused by a bug in the text handling routines of certain versions of the Amiga operating system. It appears more frequently when using larger fonts. Loading the font again usually solves the problem. If this doesn't help, try to free some memory by closing other programs, and type "Avail FLUSH" in a Shell window before reloading the font. From within a paint program, the "garbage" can also be removed manually. Some programs (e.g. ColorType) process ColorFonts using their own procedures, and therefore are not affected by this bug.

After reassigning "FONTS:" with AssignFonts, certain programs do not run any more, or they use an unsuitable font to render menus and gadgets.

Some programs need a custom font for their user interface, and they only look for it in "FONTS:". Such programs should be launched before running AssignFonts.