Did you know that your computer’s operating system has a simple-yet-powerful photo manipulation tool called “Paint”? Since its introduction in 1992 as part of the then-new Windows 3.1, Paint has evolved into its modern-day version, allowing you to do quite a few actions that once required you to buy photo manipulating software. This guide will teach you how to make the best of Paint, turning you from a novice to a pro.
Where is Paint?
Windows 7 users – Click on the start button and in the search bar type in paint, then select the Paint icon.
Alternatively, you can click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint.
Windows 8/8.1 – In the main menu, scroll until you see the Paint icon and click on it.
Windows 10 – Type paint in the search box on taskbar, and click Paint in the result.
Getting to know Paint
This is the main screen.
The side buttons to the right of the selection menu are the basic tools, top-down from left to right:
Next is the size menu, which lets you choose the thickness of your brush/pencil stroke.
To the right of the size menu, you have Color1 and Color2. Color1 relates to the outline and the default brush color while Color2 is the fill of a shape, or can be used by holding the right-mouse-button, rather than the left.
You now have the quick color pallet, as well as the extended color pallet, which lets you choose whatever color you want.
If you've performed an action that you’re not happy with, you can undo it by using the keyboard combination Ctrl+Z.
If you’ve mastered the use of paint, you can try a couple of free, more complex photo manipulation and editing programs:
Pixlr – a browser-based photo editing software. It only requires that you have an internet connection and a modern browser (such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome).
Adobe Photoshop Express – Another free alternative that is browser-based. It is similar to the famous Photoshop software, but not as powerful.