How Do I Use Microsoft Paint?

By Nick Peers

Although its tools and features are limited compared to those in Adobe Photoshop, GIMP or Fresh Paint, Microsoft Paint still has its uses in Windows 7 and 8.1. You can use it to **resize, rotate or crop your images**, as well as to **add various new elements such as text boxes or shapes**. Paint can also convert images between popular image formats such as GIF, JPEG, BMP and PNG. **Paint cannot work with layers**.

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Paint and open an image by clicking **File** and selecting **Open** from the menu. Select an image and click **Open**. To create a new image in Paint, click **New** instead of **Open**.

Step 2

Click the **Resize and Skew** button in the Image group on the Home tab to display the Resize and Skew dialog.Enter different values into the **Horizontal** and **Vertical** fields in the appropriate sections. To maintain the aspect ratio and avoid distorting the image when you resize it, check the **Maintain Aspect Ratio** box. You can enter the new values in pixels, or as percentages.Click **OK** to close the dialog and transform the image .

Step 3

Rotate or flip the image by clicking the **Rotate or Flip** button in the Image group and then selecting one of the available options.

Step 4

Select a part of the image by clicking the **Select** button, selecting one of the options and then clicking and dragging on the image. The **Rectangular Selection** option enables you to create rectangular selections. The **Free-form Selection** option enables you to create custom selections.Click the **Cut** button in the Clipboard group to cut the selection, removing it from the picture and moving it to the clipboard. To copy the selection without removing it from the image, click the **Copy** button in the same group. You can paste the selection somewhere else by pressing **Ctrl-V**.

Step 5

Add a text box to the image by clicking the **Text** button in the Tools group and then dragging with the mouse over the image to define the size of the box. You can change the text attributes -- such as font, style and color -- from the **Text** tab.

Step 6

Draw free-form lines using the **Pencil** tool. Select the type of line you wish to use to draw on the image by clicking the **Brushes** button and selecting one of the options. Change the color of the brush by selecting a different color from the **Colors** section. To change the size of the brush, select a different option from the **Size** box.To select a custom color, click the **Edit Colors** button. You can input values for RGB colors into the **Red**, **Green** and **Blue** fields.

Step 7

Use the **Fill With Color** tool in the Tools group to fill a part of the image with color. You can erase parts of the image using the **Eraser** tool. Use specific colors from the image by selecting the **Color Picker** tool and clicking on the color you wish to use. The **Magnifier** tool changes the magnification of a part of the image.

Step 8

Place a shape on the canvas by selecting it from the **Shapes** box and then clicking and dragging on the canvas to define its size and position. You can resize the shape after you insert it by clicking and dragging any of the six sizing handles -- small white rectangles -- on the dotted blue line around it. To reposition the shape, mouse over it -- the cursor changes to a four-headed arrow -- and then click and drag it on the canvas.Change the color of the shape by choosing from the **Colors** group. Select other shape options from the **Fill** or **Outline** drop-down boxes. Select a different line thickness from the **Size** drop-down box.

Step 9

Switch to the **View** tab to view gridlines or rulers in Paint. Increase or decrease the magnification by clicking the **Zoom In** or **Zoom Out** buttons in the Zoom group, or reset by clicking the **100%** button. To view the image in full screen mode, click **Full Screen** in the Display group.

Step 10

Click **File** and then click the **Save As**. Choose a **File Name** and select a file format for the **Save As Type** drop-down menu at the bottom of the Save As dialog.

Step 11

To use the image as a desktop background, click **File**, hover over **Set As Desktop Background** and then select one of the background settings in the right-side pane.To view the properties of the image -- last saved time, size on disk, resolution and size -- select **Properties** from the File menu.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Fresh Paint app is free from the Windows 8 app store and provides more tools than Microsoft Paint. It enables you to be more creative and its brushes and palettes are better than Paint's. However, Fresh Paint is best suited for touchscreen devices.
  • To change the type of an image file -- for example to convert a PNG file to a JPEG file -- open the image, click **File** and select a different file format from the Save As menu.