Carolyn Roberts, Art Teacher


With Paint, you can create pictures and graphics to add into other programs. In addition, Paint can team up with a digital camera or scanner to touch up pictures on your computer. Drawings and pictures can be copied and pasted into just about any other Windows program. With Paint, you can also add text and numbers to your pictures.


Click on Start, Programs, Accessories, Paint.


The symbols on the left side of the Paint screen represent the Paint Tools. Please see table on the following page to see what the tool looks like, what it's called, and what it does. If you hold the mouse pointer over the tool, a box pops up listing the tool's name, and a description of the tool appears along the bottom of the Paint window.

Some of the tools have adjustable tips and if you click on one of these tools, you will see a box pop up beneath the tool bar with the variety of tools shown. Click on one of these to change the size and shape of the tool.


Below the drawing tools panel lies the palette bar. This is where you select the colors you wish to use in your drawing. With Paint, you are always working with two colors, with the block on top representing the color of the foreground and the block underneath represents the background color. When the program is opened, you have the combination of drawing with black on a white background.

To change the color of the foreground or the color you're drawing with, click on one of the colors with the left mouse button. To change the background color, click on the color with the right mouse button. The background color of your screen will change to this color when you start a new drawing.

To use black and white instead of color, go to Image menu, click Attributes. Then click Black and White. Note: Once you have changed a color picture to black and white, you cannot change in back to color. If you change back to color, only new work will be in color.



LINE: To draw a straight line, select the line tool and move the mouse pointer to a starting point in the drawing area. Hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse through the length of the line you want to create. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to draw a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line. Then release the mouse button.

CURVE: To draw a curve, select the curve tool and use the mouse to draw a line across the area where you want the curve to appear. Then hold down the mouse button and drag in a direction perpendicular to the line. When the line forms the curve you want, release the mouse button. Repeat this dragging action to make a second curve in the line. When you release the mouse button again, the curve is complete. If you only want one curve in the line, click again to end the action.

AIRBRUSH: This tool creates a spray paint effect. Select the tool and select a spray width in box of options below the tool bar. Move the mouse pointer to a starting position in the drawing area. Hold down mouse button and drag mouse through the area you want to spray. Use left button to spray in foreground color and right mouse button to spray in background color.

FILL WITH COLOR: Select this tool to completely fill an area with color. Click left mouse button to fill with foreground color and right mouse button to fill with background color.

ERASER: To erase a portion of your drawing, select this tool and then select an eraser width from the options below the toolbox. Hold down the left mouse button, and drag the mouse over the area you want to erase. The eraser tool replaces everything in its path with the background color.

                                                     DRAWING GEOMETRIC SHAPES

Determine the wide of the line you want to use to draw the shape by first choosing the Line tool and changing the width setting from the box below the tool bar. Then select the tool for drawing the geometric shape of your choice. These tools are the Rectangle, the Polygon, Ellipsis, and the Rounded Rectangle. When you draw the shape, holding the left mouse button, the shape will be drawn in the foreground color. When the shape is drawn while holding the right mouse button, the shape will be drawn in the background color.

When you choose the first setting from the box below the tool bar, your shape will be drawn in outline only. If you choose the second setting, the shape will be outlined in one color with the center filled in the opposite color, determined by which mouse button you are holding. If you choose the third setting, your shape will be filled as you draw with the color of the button you are holding.

TO DRAW A SQUARE: Choose the Rectangle button. Hold the Shift key while dragging the mouse to draw a square.

TO DRAW A CIRCLE: Choose the Ellipsis button. Hold the Shift key while dragging the mouse to draw a circle.

POLYGON: This tool is used to draw a multisided figure. Select this tool and begin by drawing a line. Then reposition and click the mouse once to define each corner of the figure you want to create. To complete the shape, double-click the mouse at the final corner.


PICK COLOR: This tool allows you to select foreground and background colors directly from the drawing area. Click the eyedropper tool, then move the mouse pointer into the drawing area, directly over the color you want to select. Then click the left mouse button to change the foreground color, or the right mouse button to change the background color.

MAGNIFIER: This tool enlarges a portion of a picture and allows you to make detailed changes. Click the tool, and then select the portion of your drawing that you want to change. An enlarged view of the picture appears in the drawing area. You can then select another drawing tool to make changes in the enlargement. This tool is excellent to use to refine your drawing.


FREE-FORM SELECT: Makes an irregular cutout.

SELECT: Makes a rectangular cutout.

A cutout is a portion of a drawing that you select for special actions or because you want to do something with it. To make a cutout, move the mouse pointer to a starting position in the drawing area. Hold down the left mouse button and drag around the area you want to define. When you release the mouse button, a border of dotted lines marks the cutout.

You can move a cutout, copy it, or sweep it to reproduce it many times along a path. A cutout is also the means of copying all or part of your drawing to the Clipboard. From the Clipboard, the drawing can be pasted to another application. The two tools in the first row of your tool box will allow you to make a freehand or rectangular cutout. In either case, the cutout will be marked by dotted lies around the perimeter of the selection. Once you've defined a cutout, use the mouse to move, copy, or sweep the picture it contains.

TO MOVE A CUTOUT: Once you have used to tool to draw the dotted line around the selected portion, position the mouse pointer inside the selected area, hold down the left mouse button and drag the cutout to its new position. To eliminate the dotted lines, move the mouse pointer elsewhere in the drawing outside the selected area and click the left mouse button.

TO COPY ALL OR PART OF A DRAWING: Define a cutout for the area you want to copy. Then hold down the Ctrl key and drag the selection to a new position in the drawing area. Release the mouse button and click elsewhere in the drawing to deselect the cutout.

TO SWEEP A DRAWING: Define the cutout, then hold down the Shift key while you drag the selection through a sweep path. Release the mouse button and click elsewhere in the drawing area to deselect the cutout.

TO COPY A SELECTION TO USE IN ANOTHER APPLICATION: Define a cutout and press Ctrl+C or under Edit, choose Copy. This will send the selection to the Clipboard. Then start the other application and press Ctrl+V or under Edit, choose Paste, to paste the selection from the Clipboard.

TO CHANGE THE SIZE OF A CUTOUT: Position the mouse pointer over one of the size handles shown along the dotted outline and click and drag the mouse to increase or decrease the size of the picture contained in the cutout.


The IMAGE menu provides special commands for changing the picture in a defined cutout. You can FLIP, ROTATE, STRETCH, and TILT the cutout. You can also INVERT the colors to their complementary colors.

Another way to select the different options for using a cutout is to click inside a cutout with the right mouse button. A menu will pop up showing a variety of commands related to the cutout and its contents.


Under Image, click Attributes to change the size of the drawing screen or to change from using colors to black and white only.

Default will change your screen back to the standard setting.


Under Options, click Edit Colors. Define Custom Colors will give you a full range of colors to choose from. Also, double clicking on a color in Color Palette will pull up Edit Colors menu.


Once you have completed a drawing in Paint, you can see what it will look like as

Wallpaper by clicking on View, View Bitmap. If you like it, save your file in the Windows folder. Then under File, click on Set as Wallpaper (Tiled) or Set as Wallpaper (Centered) option from the File menu. Tiled will cover your screen, Centered will place the drawing right in the center. Use Tiled for small drawings and Centered for large drawings. To change this, use the Control Panel's Display area.


Click A in the tool box. Create a text frame by dragging the mouse point diagonally, and then click the font, size, and style you want.

Click inside the text frame, and then type the text. Move or enlarge the text frame as needed. To change the color of the text, click a color in the color box. To insert the text into the picture, click outside the text frame.

You can only paste text when the text tool is selected. You cannot paste graphics when the text tool is selected. If the text toolbar obscures part of the Paint menu, you can drag it anywhere on the window.


To undo a change, click Edit and then click Undo. You can undo up to three changes.


To copy an image, position your mouse on the image and right click, then click on "Copy".  If this function is not available, you can copy an image by using the PrintScreen key.  Some computers show this as the PrtSc key. This will send the image of the currently active window to the Clipboard. Then open the Paint program, and Paste. The full screen image will appear. At this point, you can alter the image by using Select to make a cutout of just the desired portion to copy and paste to a New screen or another Windows program.


To print a picture, go to the File menu, click Print. Then go to Print Range, click Pages From 1 to 1.

To see how the printed picture will look before you print, click the File menu, and then click Print Preview.

To set margins or change orientation, click the File menu, ad then click Page Setup. If you are using a different paper, click on Options and change paper selection accordingly. Remember to change back when you change paper options again.