Using ImageForge

Cursor Arts ImageForge is a shareware image manipulation program that is readily available on the Internet. Cursor Arts also sell another version of ImageForge that is much more capable, this is much cheaper than most image manipulation programs. These notes are basic instructions on the use of this software. Naturally, the basic principles, knowledge and skills in this course can be applied to any other image manipulation software as they all have similar capabilities and menu layouts.

Opening ImageForge

To open ImageForge you will need to have your computer turned on, the operating system running, and open at the Desktop. Double click the mouse on the ImageForge icon.

Or you may open it by clicking on ‘Start’, then click on ‘Programs’, then click on the Cursor Arts directory, then click on the ‘ImageForge’ program name or icon.

You may need to wait a moment whilst your computer opens the software, waiting time will depend upon the system capabilities.

A small window with information about the software will be displayed. Just click on ‘OK’ or wait a moment for it to go away.

ImageForge Menus

Use the mouse to select a menu item and click on it once to display the sub-menu items. The toolbar icons will also give access to the menu items that they represent. On the following pages are pictures of these sub menus and short descriptions of what some of them do.

File Menu

New Opens a window to create a blank canvas for a new image file.
Open Opens a window to locate and open an existing file.
Open Image from Internet Opens a window to locate and open an Internet image.
Save Saves an open file over its previous version.
Save As Used to save files with a different name or format.
Close Closes the current selected image file.
Close All Closes all open image files.
Select TWAIN device Allows you to identify which scanner/camera to use.
Acquire from TWAIN device Imports a new image direct from the scanner/camera.
Print Opens the print window to allow you to print the image.
Exit Closes all images and the program.

Then there is a list of the last files opened or saved.


Edit Menu

Undo Returns the image to its condition just prior to the last change.
Redo Re-applies the last change made.
Cut Cuts out the image for pasting elsewhere via the clipboard.
Copy Makes a copy of the image to be pasted elsewhere.
Paste Pastes the image currently in the clipboard into the existing image.
Delete Deletes the image that is selected.
Show Clipboard Displays the contents of the system clipboard.


Options Menu

These are where you set various aspects of the appearance and operation of the software. Most are self explanatory, and some toggle on or off as you click on them. Some, like the ‘Set Preferences’ option, open a window where you can select or adjust settings.

You should try different settings for the options until you find one that you like best.


Picture Menu

Crop Works with the scissors tolls area to crop, cut down to, an area.
Enlarge Canvas Increases the area of the background canvas to expand the image on.
Resize Opens a window where you can set new image dimensions.
Resample Opens a window where you can set the image sample type and size.
Change Color Depth Opens a window where you choose the colour options; 16/32 bit etc.
Flip Horizontal Turns the image over in the horizontal axis, i.e. upside down.
Flip Vertical Turns the image over in the vertical axis, i.e. left for right.
Rotate Turns the image 90 degrees counter clockwise in the current plane.
Rotate by Degree The same as Rotate except you have a window to set the degree in.
Invert Inverts the colours, makes it like a colour negative.
Skew/Shear Changes the side or top/bottom angle by the degrees stated.
Info Properties information of the image selected.


Effects Menu

This has only two choices with sub-menus, ‘color’ (allow you to adjust the colour definitions and brightness) and ‘outline’ (allows you to sharpen or blur the pixel outlines).

The ‘color’ sub-menu also includes some effects options to ‘posterize’ and ‘line engrave’.


Window Menu

The choices for displaying the open images in the window. Tile divides the window equally between the open images (horizontally or vertically, depending upon choice), whilst Cascade opens the up on top of each other off but slightly offset. It then has a list of the open images to assist with selection between images.

Then it is followed by a list of currently open images.


Help Menu

This has the menu item for the inbuilt help program, a menu item that displays the details of the version of ImageForge that you are using (with licensing information if fully licensed), and a hotlink to the Cursor Arts Home Page on the Internet.



The toolbar immediately below the menus has a number of icons that allow for fast selection of the most commonly used menu items. However, these icons select the effect for use as per the standard setting that comes with the program.

Most of the functions on the toolbar are from the File, edit, or Tool menus. The most useful are the Save and the Open icons.

If you place the mouse cursor on an icon and leave it there for a moment without clicking a button, a little window will pop-up telling you what that icon is used for.


Image Manipulation Toolbars

There is another toolbar on the right that includes the colour palette and the image manipulation tool’s icons. These tools cannot be accessed via the Menus, and are self-explanatory.

When an image is opened another toolbar is visible beside the image. This includes the magnification tool and the current colour selected in the colour tools. As does an extra toolbar under the menu toolbar; this is used to adjust the pen/brush size and other settings relating to the pen tool.



General Note:

There are many image manipulation programs available and most have a much wider selection of manipulation choices available and provide for much finer control and detailed levels of changes. The basic principles and techniques used are the same; just the number of change choices is larger.

Most of the specialist programs are designed for graphics artists and include facilities that are not used by most people. ImageForge is usually sufficient for most people who do basic image manipulations, especially the retail ImageForge program.

Copyright by Ernest E Bywater