In more recent versions of Corel Painter, exported brush libraries, categories and variants take the form of zipped archives with brushlibrary, brushcategory and brushvariant files extensions respectively. These brush archives can then be imported into Painter by either double clicking the brush archive icon or using one of the Brushes Import commands from either the Brushes menu or the Brush Selector dropdown flyout menu.
Having several Painter versions installed on my Mac can lead to problems when automatically installing a brush archive by double clicking the file icon. This is because the Painter version associated with the archive type may not be the Painter version you wanted to install the brushes in. If Painter is actually closed when the double-click is performed, then the brushes may not install in your library, category or workspace of choice. My preference is to always use one of the Import commands from the open Painter application.
A Quick Look with BetterZip
I don’t know if you feel the same, but with so much malware and viruses around, I feel much more comfortable if I can take a sneak peek at the contents of an archive before I actually install anything, especially with files downloaded from the web. To this end, there is now good news for Mac Painter users. BetterZip version 3.0.2 now supports viewing Painter brush archives in BetterZip’s built-in QL generator. This means that with BetterZip installed, highlighting a Painter brush archive icon with a brushlibrary, brushcategory or brushvariant file extension will allow the contents of the archive to be viewed simply by pressing the keyboard Space Bar. I’ve included a screenshot below showing a Painter brush archive open in BetterZip’s Quick Look dialogue (click image for larger view).
Although in this case, clicking the ‘Open with Corel Painter 2016’ button in this dialog would actually install the brush category in Corel Painter 2016, I have chosen to associate Painter brush archives with the BetterZip application so that they open in BetterZip’s main window rather than Painter. Changing the file association also disables the double click auto-install for the brush archives.
When the brush archive contents are displayed in the BetterZip application window, because I had previously associated xml files with my ‘ID Painter Version from Variant xml’ application (see previous post), I can then double click any variant xml file displayed in BetterZip’s main window to determine the native Painter version the variant was saved in. Note that you don’t want to actually unzip the brush archive, as you would then be unable to use Painter’s Import command. The procedures outlined above are strictly for archive content previewing.
Many thanks to Robert Rezabek, the developer, for generously allowing Corel Painter brush archives to be previewed using BetterZip’s QL generator.