Accessories Paint

Paint is a simple picture-editing program which usually comes with Windows. It does not have any advanced features but it is probably all you will need.

Pictures that are drawn or edited by Paint are called bitmaps. This means they are stored as a grid of small dots, called pixels. Most pictures contain tens of thousands of pixels, and Paint needs to store the colour of all of them. This means that pictures take up a lot of disk space - this is mainly relevant if you want to transport pictures on floppy disks.

Run Paint and you will see a mainly white window with some buttons along the left, looking like this: Buttons in Paint

Brush toolPencil toolSpray can tool Paint tools

The paint tool looks like a paintbrush, and is the fourth icon on the right. Click on it and you will see a variety of shapes appear underneath the tools. Choose one of them and a colour from the palette at the bottom. Now click and drag on the main white area.

A few other tools work in a similar way. Next to the paintbrush there is a pencil, and you use this to draw a thin line instead of a thick one.

Underneath the pencil there is a spray can. This allows you to paint a spray of dots onto the picture. Try it and see what it does.

Text tool Text tool

This allows you to write on your picture. Click on the text tool (the "A") and drag out a large area on the picture. Type some writing. You can of course change the font, size and attributes of the writing using the new window that has appeared. If no new window appears, right click on the text area and click on "Text toolbar".

Irregular selection toolRegular selection tool Selection tools

These are the two buttons at the top, one being star shaped and the other rectangular. These allow you to select areas of the picture.

Click on one of the two tools and drag out an area, over some of the existing drawing. You will see that a dotted rectangle appears. This rectangle represents the selected area of the picture. Try pressing delete - it will disappear. If you like, you can undo this using "Edit", "Undo". You can do the following things to a selected area of picture:

Fill tool Fill tool

This is the paint can under the rectangular select tool. Use this to fill an area of colour a different colour. Be careful - if you draw an outline of a shape and try to fill it, any gap in the outline will cause the fill to "leak" and cover the entire picture. Also, if an area has text on, the holes in the text (e.g. in the "O") will not be filled. You have to fill them all individually.

Pipette tool Pipette tool

This has the simple purpose of choosing a colour from an image. Click on this tool and then click somewhere on the picture. The tool will change to the tool you were using last, and the colour will change to the one you were pointing to.

Changing picture size

Click on "Image", then on "Stretch/Skew..." and a new window will appear, into which you can type the new width and height, as a percentage of the current size. You can also skew the image using this window.

If you want to start a new picture which is a different size to the current one, click on "Image" then on "Attributes...". You can change the width and height here, and do not have to work it out as a percentage.

Other tools

You will probably be able to work out how most of the other tools work. If you click on a picture with the magnifying glass tool, it will zoom, usually to 4 times the original size. Click on "View", "Zoom" then "Custom..." to change to a different magnification.

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