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Using Paint
In this articleDrawing lines
Drawing different shapes
Adding text
Selecting and editing objects
Resizing a picture or part of it
Moving and copying objects
Working with color
Viewing your picture
Saving and using your picture
Paint is a feature in Windows 7 that you can use to create drawings on a blank d
rawing area or in existing pictures. Many of the tools you use in Paint are foun
d in the Ribbon, which is near the top of the Paint window. The following illust
ration shows the Ribbon and other parts of Paint.
Picture of the Paint windowThe Paint window
Drawing lines
Click to open Paint.
You can use several different tools to draw in Paint. The tool you use and the o
ptions you select determine how the line appears in your drawing. These are the
tools you can use to draw lines in Paint.
Show contentHide content Pencil tool
Use the Pencil tool Picture of the Pencil tool to draw thin, free-form lines or
curves.
On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Pencil tool Picture of the Pencil
tool.
In the Colors group, click Color 1, click a color, and then drag the pointer in
the picture to draw.
To draw using the Color 2 (background) color, right-click while you drag the poi
nter.
Show contentHide content Brushes
Use the Brushes tool Picture of the Brushes tool to draw lines that have a diffe
rent appearance and texture it's like using different artistic brushes. By using d
ifferent brushes, you can draw free-form and curving lines that have different e
ffects.
On the Home tab, click the down arrow under Brushes.
Click the artistic brush that you want to use.
Click Size, and then click a line size, which determines the thickness of the br
ush stroke.
In the Colors group, click Color 1, click a color, and then drag the pointer to
paint.
To paint using the Color 2 (background) color, right-click while you drag the po
inter.
Show contentHide content Line tool

Use the Line tool Picture of the Line tool to draw a straight line. When using t
his tool, you can choose the thickness of the line, as well as the appearance of
it.
On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, click the Line tool Picture of the Line to
ol.
Click Size, and then click a line size, which determines the thickness of the li
ne.
In the Colors group, click Color 1, click a color, and then drag the pointer to
draw the line.
To draw a line that uses the Color 2 (background) color, right-click while you d
rag the pointer.
(Optional) To change the line style, in the Shapes group, click Outline, and the
n click a line style.
Tip
To draw a horizontal line, press and hold the Shift key as you draw from one sid
e to the other.
To draw a vertical line, press and hold the Shift key and draw up or down.
Show contentHide content Curve tool
Use the Curve tool Picture of the Curve tool to draw a smooth, curved line.
On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, click the Curve tool Picture of the Curve
tool.
Click Size, and then click a line size, which determine the thickness of the lin
e.
In the Colors group, click Color 1, click a color, and then drag the pointer to
draw the line.
To draw a line that uses the Color 2 (background) color, right-click while you d
rag the pointer.
After you have created the line, click the area in the picture where you want th
e arc of the curve to be, and then drag the pointer to adjust the curve.
Drawing different shapes
You can use Paint to add different shapes in a picture. The ready-made shapes ra
nge from traditional shapes rectangles, ellipses, triangles, and arrows to fun and u
nusual shapes, such as a heart, lightning bolt, or callouts (to name a few). If
you want to make your own custom shape, you can use to the Polygon tool Picture
of the Polygon tool to do this.
Picture of the Shapes galleryShapes in Paint
Show contentHide content Ready-made shapes
You can use Paint to draw different types of ready-made shapes. Here's a list of
them:
Line
Curve

Oval
Rectangle and Rounded rectangle
Triangle and Right triangle
Diamond
Pentagon
Hexagon
Arrows (Right arrow, Left arrow, Up arrow, Down arrow)
Stars (Four-point star, Five-point star, Six-point star)
Callouts (Rounded rectangular callout, Oval callout, Cloud callout)
Heart
Lightning bolt
On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, click a ready-made shape.
To draw the shape, drag the pointer.
To draw a shape with equal sides, press and hold the Shift key as you drag the m
ouse. For example, to draw a square, click the Rectangle Picture of the Rectangl
e, and then press and hold the Shift key and drag the mouse.
With the shape still selected, you can do one or more of the following to change
its appearance:
To change the line style, in the Shapes group, click Outline, and then click a l
ine style.
If you don't want your shape to have an outline, click Outline, and then click N
o outline.
To change the outline size, click Size, and then click a line size (thickness).
In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click a color for the outline.
In the Colors group, click Color 2, and then click a color to fill the shape.
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 Fill, and then click No fill.
Show contentHide content Polygon tool
Use the Polygon tool Picture of the Polygon tool to make a custom shape with any
number of sides.
On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, click the Polygon tool Picture of the Poly
gon tool .
To draw a polygon, drag the pointer to draw a straight line. Then, click each po
int where you want additional sides to appear.

To create sides with 45- or 90-degree angles, press and hold the Shift key as yo
u create each sides.
Connect the last line to the first line to finish drawing the polygon and to clo
se the shape.
With the shape still selected, you can do one or more of the following if you wa
nt to change the appearance of it:
To change the line style, in the Shapes group, click Outline, and then click a l
ine style.
If you don't want your shape to have an outline, click Outline, and then click N
o outline.
To change the outline size, click Size, and then click a line size (thickness).
In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click a color for the outline.
In the Colors group, click Color 2, and then click a color to fill the shape.
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 Fill, and then click No fill.
Adding text
In Paint, you can also add your own text or message in your picture.
Show contentHide content Text tool
Use the Text tool Picture of the Text tool to enter text in the picture.
On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Text tool Picture of the Text too
l .
Drag the pointer in the drawing area where you want to add text.
Under Text Tools, on the Text tab, click the font face, size, and style in the F
ont group.
Picture of the Font groupThe Font group
In the Colors group, click Color 1, and then click a color for the text.
Type the text that you want to add.
(Optional) If you want the background of the text area to be filled, in the Back
ground group, click Opaque. In the Colors group, click Color 2, and then click a
background color for the text area.
Work faster in Paint
There's a fast way to put the commands you use most often in Paint in easy reac
h put them on the Quick Access Toolbar above the Ribbon.
To add a Paint command to the Quick Access Toolbar, right-click a button or comm
and, and then click Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
Selecting and editing objects
In Paint, you might want to make a change to part of a picture or an object. To

do this, you need to select the part of the picture that you want to change, and
then make the edit. Some changes you can make include the following: resizing a
n object, moving or copying an object, rotating it, or cropping the picture to o
nly show the selected item.
Show contentHide content Select tool
Use the Select tool Picture of the Select tool to select part of the picture tha
t you want to change.
On the Home tab, in the Image group, click the down arrow under Select.
Do one of the following, depending on what you want to select.
To select any square or rectangular part of the picture, click Rectangular selec
tion, and then drag the pointer to select the part of the picture you want to wo
rk with.
To select any irregularly shaped part of the picture, click Free-form selection,
and then drag the pointer to select the part of the picture you want to work wi
th.
To select the whole picture, click Select all.
To select everything in the picture except for the currently selected area, clic
k Invert selection.
To delete the selected object, click Delete.
Determine if the Color 2 (background) color is included in your selection by doi
ng the following:
To include the background color with your selection, clear Transparent selection
. When you paste the selection, the background color is included and will appear
in the pasted item.
To make the selection transparent so no background color is in the selection, cl
ick Transparent selection. When you paste the selection, any areas using the cur
rent background color will be transparent, which will allow the rest of the pict
ure to appear in its place.
Show contentHide content Crop
Use Crop Picture of the Crop tool to crop a picture so only the part you selecte
d appears in your picture. Cropping lets you change the picture so only the sele
cted object or person is visible.
On the Home tab, in the Image group, click the arrow under Select, and then clic
k the kind of selection you want to make.
Drag the pointer to select the part of the picture you want to show.
In the Image group, click Crop.
To save the cropped picture as a new file, click the Paint button Picture of the
Paint button, point to Save as, and then click the file type for the current pi
cture.
In the File name box, type a new file name, and then click Save.
Saving the cropped image as a new picture file prevents overwriting the original
picture file.

Show contentHide content Rotate


Use Rotate Picture of Rotate to rotate the whole picture or a selected part of i
t.
Depending on what you want to rotate, do one of the following:
To rotate the whole picture, on the Home tab, in the Image group, click Rotate,
and then click the rotation direction.
To rotate an object or part of a picture, on the Home tab, in the Image group, c
lick Select. Drag the pointer to select the area or object, click Rotate, and th
en click the rotation direction.
Show contentHide content Erasing part of a picture
Use the Eraser tool Picture of the Eraser tool to erase areas of your picture.
On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Eraser Picture of the Eraser tool
.
Click Size, click an eraser size, and then drag the eraser over the area of the
picture that you want to erase. Any areas that you erase will reveal the backgro
und color (Color 2).
Resizing a picture or part of it
Use Resize? Picture of the Resize button to resize the whole image or to resize
an object or part of a picture. You can also skew an object in the picture so th
at it appears slanted.
Show contentHide content Resize the whole picture
On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize.
In the Resize and Skew dialog box, select the Maintain aspect ratio check box so
that the resized picture will have the same aspect ratio as the original.
In the Resize area, click Pixels, and then enter a new width in the Horizontal b
ox or new height in the Vertical box. Click OK.
If the Maintain aspect ratio check box is selected, you only need to enter the h
orizontal value (width) or vertical value (height). The other box in the Resize
area is updated automatically.
For example, if a picture is 320 x 240 pixels and you want to make it half that
size with the same aspect ratio, in the Resize area, with the Maintain aspect ra
tio check box selected, enter 160 in the Horizontal box. The new picture size wi
ll be half the original size at 160 x 120 pixels.
Show contentHide content Resize part of the picture
On the Home tab, click Select, and then drag the pointer to select the area or o
bject.
On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Resize.
In the Resize and Skew dialog box, select the Maintain aspect ratio check box so
that the resized part will have the same aspect ratio as the original.
In the Resize area, click Pixels, and then enter a new width in the Horizontal b
ox or new height in the Vertical box. Click OK.
If the Maintain aspect ratio check box is selected, you only need to enter the h

orizontal value (width) or vertical value (height). The other box in the Resize
area is updated automatically.
For example, if the part you selected is 320 x 240 pixels and you want to make i
t half that size with the same aspect ratio, in the Resize area, with the Mainta
in aspect ratio check box selected, enter 160 in the Horizontal box. The part wi
ll be half the original size at 160 x 120 pixels.
Show contentHide content Change the drawing area size
Do one of the following, depending on how you want to resize the drawing area:
To resize the drawing area and make it larger, drag one of the small white boxes
on the edge of the drawing area to the desired size.
To resize the drawing area by entering a specific size, click the Paint button P
icture of the Paint button, and then click Properties. In the Width and Height b
oxes, enter the new width and height, and then click OK.
Show contentHide content Skew an object
On the Home tab, click Select, and then drag the pointer to select the area or o
bject.
Click Resize.
In the Resize and Skew dialog box, type the amount to skew the selected area (in
degrees) in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes in the Skew (Degrees) area, and t
hen click OK.
Moving and copying objects
After you select an object, you can cut or copy the selected item. This lets you
use one object many times in your picture if you want, or move an object (when
it's selected) to a new part of your picture.
Show contentHide content Cut and paste
Use Cut Picture of the Cut button to cut a selected object and paste it in anoth
er part of your picture. When you cut a selected area, the area that is cut is r
eplaced with the background color. Therefore, if your picture has a solid backgr
ound color, you might want to change the Color 2 color to match the background c
olor before cutting the object.
On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Select, and then drag the pointer to
select the area or object you want to cut.
In the Clipboard group, click Cut.
In the Clipboard group, click Paste.
With the object still selected, move it to a new place in your picture where you
want it to appear.
Show contentHide content Copy and paste
Use Copy Picture of the Copy button to copy a selected object in Paint. This is
useful if you have lines, shapes, or text that you want to appear multiple times
in your picture.
On the Home tab, in the Image group, click Select, and then drag the pointer to
select the area or object you want to copy.
In the Clipboard group, click Copy.

In the Clipboard group, click Paste.


With the object still selected, move it to a new place in your picture where you
want the copy to appear.
Show contentHide content Paste a picture into Paint
Use Paste from to paste an existing picture file into Paint. After you paste the
picture file, you can edit it without changing the original (as long as you sav
e the edited picture with a different file name than the original).
In the Clipboard group, click the arrow under Paste, and then click Paste from.
Find the picture file that you want to paste into Paint, click it, and then clic
k Open.
Working with color
There are a number of tools to help you work specifically with color in Paint. T
hey let you use the colors you want when you're drawing and editing in Paint.
Show contentHide content Color boxes
The Color boxes indicate the current Color 1 (foreground color) and Color 2 (bac
kground color) colors. How they're used depends on what you're doing in Paint.
Picture of the Color boxesThe Color boxes
When using the color boxes, you can do one or more of the following:
To change the selected foreground color, on the Home tab, in the Colors group, c
lick Color 1, and then click a color square.
To change the selected background color, on the Home tab, in the Colors group, c
lick Color 2, and then click a color square.
To paint with the selected foreground color, drag the pointer.
To paint with the selected background color, right-click while you drag the poin
ter.
Show contentHide content Color picker
Use the Color picker tool Picture of the Color picker tool to set the current fo
reground or background color. By picking a color from the picture, you can make
sure that you're using the color you want when drawing in Paint, so your colors
match.
On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click Color picker Picture of the Color pic
ker tool.
Click the color in your picture that you want to set as the foreground color, or
right-click the color in your picture that you want to set as the background co
lor.
Show contentHide content Fill with color
Use the Fill with color tool Picture of the Fill with color tool to fill the ent
ire picture or an enclosed shape with color.
On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click Fill with color Picture of the Fill w
ith color tool.
In the Colors group, click Color 1, click a color, and then click inside the are
a to fill it.

To remove the color and replace it with the background color instead, click Colo
r 2, click a color, and then right-click the area to fill it.
Show contentHide content Editing colors
Use Edit colors Picture of the Edit colors to pick a new color. Mixing colors in
Paint lets you choose the exact color that you want to use.
On the Home tab, in the Colors group, click Edit colors.
In the Edit Colors dialog box, click a color in the color pallette, and then cli
ck OK.
The color will appear in one of the color boxes, so you can use that color in Pa
int.
Viewing your picture
Changing the view in Paint lets you choose how you want to work with the picture
. You can zoom in on a certain part of the picture or the whole picture if you w
ant. Conversely, you can zoom out if the picture is too large. In addition, you
can show rulers and gridlines as you work in Paint, which can help you work bett
er in Paint.
Show contentHide content Magnifier
Use the Magnifier tool Picture of the Magnifier tool to zoom in on a part of you
r picture.
On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Magnifier Picture of the Magnifie
r tool, move the magnifier, and then click to zoom in on the part of the image s
hown in the square.
Drag the horizontal and vertical scroll bars on the bottom and right side of the
window to move around the picture.
To reduce the zoom level, right-click the Magnifier again.
Show contentHide content Zoom in and out
Use Zoom in and Zoom out to see a larger or smaller view of your image. For exam
ple, you might be editing a small part of it and need to zoom in to see it. Or t
he opposite might be true; your picture might be too large to fit on the screen,
so you need to zoom out to view all of it.
In Paint, there are few different ways to zoom in or out, depending on what you
want to do.
To increase the zoom level, on the View tab, in the Zoom group, click Zoom in.
To reduce the zoom level, on the View tab, in the Zoom group, click Zoom out.
To view the picture in the Paint window at its actual size, on the View tab, in
the Zoom group, click 100%.
Tip
To zoom in and out on a picture, you can also click the Zoom in Picture of the Z
oom in button or Zoom out Picture of the Zoom out button buttons on the Zoom sli
der at the bottom of the Paint window to increase or decrease the zoom level.
Picture of the Zoom sliderThe Zoom slider
Show contentHide content Rulers

Use the Rulers to view a horizontal ruler at the top of the drawing area and a v
ertical ruler on the left side of the drawing area. The rulers let you view the
dimensions of your picture, which can be helpful when resizing pictures.
To show rulers, on the View tab, in the Show or hide group, select the Rulers ch
eck box.
To hide rulers, clear the Rulers check box.
Show contentHide content Gridlines
Use the Gridlines to align shapes and lines when you're drawing in Paint. Gridli
nes are useful because they can help provide a visual reference for the sizes of
objects as you draw, and they can help you align objects.
To show gridlines, on the View tab, in the Show or hide group, select the Gridli
nes check box.
To hide gridlines, clear the Gridlines check box.
Show contentHide content Full screen
Use Full screen Picture of the Full screen button to view your picture full scre
en.
To view the picture on the entire screen, on the View tab, in the Display group,
click Full screen.
To exit full screen and go back to the Paint window, click the picture.
Saving and using your picture
When editing in Paint, you should save your work frequently so you don't acciden
tally lose it. After you save your picture, you can use it on your computer or s
hare it with others in e-mail.
Show contentHide content Save a picture for the first time
When you save a new picture for the first time, you'll need to give it a file na
me.
Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Save.
In the Save as type box, select the file format you want.
In the File name box, type a name, and then click Save.
Show contentHide content Open a picture
Instead of starting with a new picture, you might want to open an existing pictu
re and edit in Paint.
Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Open.
Find the picture you want to open in Paint, click it, and then click Open.
Show contentHide content Set your picture as your desktop background
You can also set the picture, so it's used as the desktop background on your com
puter.
Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Save.
Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, point to Set as desktop back
ground, and then click one of the desktop background settings.

Show contentHide content Send your picture by e-mail


If you have an e-mail program installed and configured on your computer, you can
attach your picture to an e-mail message, and then share it with others through
e-mail.
Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Save.
Click the Paint button Picture of the Paint button, and then click Send in e-mai
l.
In the e-mail message, enter the person's e-mail address, type a short message,
and then send the e-mail message that has the picture attached.