Creating Painter Custom Palettes for Cinco


If you're not familiar with Corel Cinco for Painter, I invite you to visit the product website to learn about its features:

Let me provide you with a bit of history on Cinco. Well over a year ago, one of the Painter developers brought his iPad to work. He was very keen to show us that, in his free time, he had succeeded in creating an iOS application that could “talk to Painter”. Over the course of the year, a few additional developers got involved to update and tweak the early prototype, and then (finally, and thankfully) designers came on board to shape it into what is now called Cinco. So, to conclude this brief history, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge all of the members of the Painter team, both past and present, who contributed directly, or indirectly, to the creation of Cinco.


Now, without further ado… the gory details!!! First of all, I won’t repeat what was already covered in this blog on the subject of Painter custom palettes. If you've never created a custom palette in Painter and have never added a command to a custom palette, then I would suggest that you begin by reading Dan’s post on the subject: palettes.aspx

Did you read it? Pretty cool, eh? So, now that you are a pro at finding your favourite commands in Painter and collecting them in custom palettes, here are my Top Five Tips for creating custom palettes in Painter that are optimized for Cinco.


Tip #1 - Cinco is all about grouping commands under your hand... in groups of 5 of course... emoticon

Once you've created a custom palette, you should reorder the commands or content (e.g. brushes, papers) in groups of 5 and in order of priority. By doing this, the first row of 5 commands appears on the first page in Cinco, the second row of 5 commands appears on the second page, and so on...

An example of a Painter custom palette layout...


Cinco is also clever about handedness. You can calibrate Cinco to work with your left or right hand. This means that the grid layout that you specify in Painter translates into two configurations in Cinco.

Cinco left handed layout...



Cinco right handed layout...



Tip #2 - Check out the context menu on your custom palette commands in Painter.

Go ahead, right-click any command in any custom palette in Painter to customize the commands. For example, you can rename a command or change the icon that's associated with it. This brings me to an important Cinco optimization tip that involves icons.

Tip #3 - Keep those icons a reasonable size!

If your icons are too large, it will take a long time for Cinco to get your custom palette from Painter. This is why I recommend using icons that are no larger than 64x64 pixels. It's also important to keep in mind that if you're running on a busy wireless network connection, or are running a bunch of apps on your iPad 1, this could also bog Cinco down.

Tip #4 - Give your palettes unique and meaningful names.

When you create a custom palette, Painter automatically names it "Custom 1", "Custom 2", "Custom 3" and so on... Because palette visibility in Cinco is name-based, be sure to choose names that are unique and meaningful. In Painter, you can rename your custom palettes from Window menu > Custom Palette > Organizer.

Tip #5 - Keep custom palette clutter under control.

Once you start to create custom palettes, you’ll discover that it’s pretty easy to create them by mistake... oh, I do it all the time... and I know better! If you close a palette in Painter (by clicking on the red circle in the top left hand corner for instance), you're only "hiding" the palette. If it is your intention to delete the palette, then you must return to the palette organizer in Painter to make this change. You can delete a palette in Painter from Window menu > Custom Palette > Organizer, then select the unwanted palettes and delete them.

I hope that those of you who take opportunity to use Cinco with Painter will approach it with the same curiosity that I did on that first day... one year ago. I hope these tips are helpful. Looking forward to your feedback... emoticon

In peace,




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