Getting started with Paint

Paint is a feature in Windows that you can use to draw, color, and edit pictures. You can use Paint like a digital sketchpad to make simple pictures, creative projects, or to add text and designs to other pictures, such as those taken with your digital camera.

The parts of Paint

  • Open Paint by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint.

When you start Paint, you'll see an empty window; drawing and painting tools are located in the ribbon at the top of the window. The following illustration shows the different parts of the Paint window:

Picture of the Paint window
The Paint window

Working with tools

The ribbon in Paint includes a handy collection of drawing tools. You can use these tools to create freehand drawings and add a variety of shapes to your pictures.

This section describes some common tasks. For more detailed information on how to use the different tools in Paint, see Using Paint.

Draw a line

Some tools and shapes, such as the Pencil, Brush, Line, and Curve, let you make a variety of straight, curved, and squiggly lines. What you draw is determined by how you move the mouse as you draw. You can use the Line to draw a straight line, for example.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, click the Line   Picture of the Line .
  2. In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click the color you want to use.

  3. To draw, drag the pointer across the drawing area.

Draw a squiggly line

Your drawings don't have to be composed of only straight lines. The Pencil and Brushes can be used to make completely random, free-form shapes.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Pencil tool Picture of the Pencil tool.
  2. In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click the color you want to use.

  3. To draw, drag the pointer across the drawing area and make a squiggly line.

Note

  • If you want to make a line that has a different appearance, use one of the Brushes, instead.

Draw a shape

Paint lets you draw many different shapes. For example, you can draw ready-made, defined shapes such as rectangles, circles, squares, triangles, and arrows (to name a few). You can also make your own custom shape by using the Polygon shape Picture of the Polygon shape to draw a polygon, which is a shape that can have any number of sides.
  1. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, click a ready-made shape, such as the RectanglePicture of the Rectangle.
  2. To add a ready-made shape, drag the pointer across the drawing area to make the shape.

  3. To change the outline style, in the Shapes group, click Outline, and then click an outline style.

    If you don't want your shape to have an outline, click No outline.

  4. In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click a color for the outline.

  5. In the Colors group, click Color 2, and then click a color to use to fill the shape.

  6. To change the fill style, in the Shapes group, click Fill, and then click a fill style.

    If you don't want your shape to be filled, click No fill.

Add text

You can also add text to your picture. The Text tool lets you add a simple message or title.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Text tool Picture of the Text tool .
  2. Drag the pointer in the drawing area where you want to add text.

  3. Under Text Tools, on the Text tab, click the font face, size, and style in the Font group.

    Picture of the Font group
    The Font group
  4. In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click a color. This is the text color.

  5. Type the text that you want to add.

Erase part of your picture

If you make a mistake or need to change part of a picture, use the eraser. By default, the eraser changes any area you erase to white, but you can change the eraser color. For example, if you set the background color to yellow, anything you erase turns to yellow.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Eraser tool Picture of the Eraser tool.
  2. In the Colors group, click Color 2, and then click the color that you want to erase with. If you want to erase with white, you don't have to select a color.

  3. Drag the pointer over the area you want to erase.

Saving a picture

Save your picture frequently so you don't accidentally lose your work. To save, click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Save. This saves all of the changes made to the picture since the last time you saved.

The very first time that you save a new picture, you will need to give your picture a file name. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Save.
  2. In the Save as type box, select the file format you want.

  3. In the File name box, type a name, and then click Save.