Exposing "hidden" features through Custom Palettes

Alright, let's get this blog rolling with a quick post... 

Custom palettes are one of my favourite features in Painter and we've really beefed them up in version 12. One of the coolest changes made was to the Add Command dialog. Add Command has been in Painter for many years, but now it offers a little more functionality. In Painter 12, if you fire up the Add Command dialog, you’ll find three new options: Other, Panel Menus, and Tools at the top of the application, in the main menu bar. If you drill down in to these menus, you’ll expose all kinds of great things that you can add to your custom palettes. I’m particularly fond of the Other menu as this contains many “hidden” commands.

Here’s an easy way to create a custom toolbox:
  1. Go to the Window menu, open the Custom Palette submenu and select Add Command...
  2. The Add Command dialog should now be displayed
  3. The main menu bar should now contain three new options: Other, Panel Menus, and Tools 
  4. From the Tools menu, select Brush 
  5. Click OK to add the Brush command to a new custom palette 
Bonus Tip: Right-click on the command item from your custom palette and select View as Icon
  1. Repeat steps 1 through 5, but select a different tool each time. This time, make sure the Add To: option is set to your pre-existing custom palette (ex. “Custom 1"). 
When you’re done, you should have something like this:

Why not take a few minutes and browse through the menu options exposed by the Add Command dialog? There’s a lot to experiment with in there.

Have fun & please let me know if you have any feedback on this post.


  • Excellent post! I didn't notice those extra menus before.

    One question - I want to add the "Reset Tool" button from the Property Bar to a custom palette, but I can't find that command in the menus, and Shift-dragging the button doesn't work. Is there a way to do that?

  • Sorry, there isn't currently a way to add "Reset Tool" to a custom palette. It's a good idea, though. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

  • You can have 'Restore Default Variant' on a custom palette if that's what you're after though. It's found under the Brush menu. Another handy one to add if you're making up a lot of custom palettes is the actual command: Windows>Custom Palette>Add Command...

    I'm still messing around with my custom palettes, but I love being able to add each thing twice and have both the icon and the text version side-by-side - as here---> johnmalcolm1970.co.uk/custom.jpg

    These insights are great Dan... keep them coming.

  • I've been trying to work out what use the "Add Command" thing was all about so many thanks for this nice clear explanation!

    I now have a neat custom, labelled toolbox with my chosen icons.

    How do I change the custom boxes to display vertically? I've seen screen captures where they are set that way so it must be possible. Have tried in Edit/Prefs but that doesn't seem to work with custom toolboxes (?)

    Thanks for any help.


  • You should be able to grab an edge of your custom palette and resize it look the way you want. You'll have to manually rearrange the icons, though. SHIFT+CLICK+DRAG to rearrange the icons on the custom palette.

  • >>"You should be able to grab an edge of your custom palette and resize it look the way you want. ..."

    Of course. Simple. Thanks


  • Hey Dan,

    Thanks a bunch for this tip. Of all the times I have customized my palettes, I never saw those extra commands.

    Your tip opened up a huge vista of new possibilities for me.



  • Yes this is a great feature of Painter.  Thanks for this excellent explanation.

    In the future I would like to be able to add any command from the Property Bar to a Custom Palette.   For example when using the Layer Adjuster, I toggle the "Auto Select Layer on/off" button constantly and use this command a lot.

    Thanks for reading.

  • I just played with the new Menus "Other" "Panel Menus" "Tools" menus - wow I never even noticed those before!

    This is great!!  Please add like a billion commands to the "Other" menu like all the Property Bar commands in future versions of Painter!

    The customization of Painter is what makes it so great!