How to Combine Pictures On Your Computer for Free

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With all the expense that goes into purchasing and setting up a computer, adding additional software programs to perform functions such as image editing can really eat into a budget. With the Windows operating system, you've got an on-board graphic design tool ready to do tasks such as combining pictures. Windows' graphic program, Paint, may be limited compared to expensive image editing software, but it provides you a quick and free way to combine pictures for diptychs and collages.


Step 1

Start Paint, which may be found under your computer's "Start" button or orb in the "Accessories" folder.

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Step 2

Click the "Paint" button, and select "Open." Browse to the first picture of the two to combine, and double-click the name of the file.


Step 3

Click the "Select" button on the ribbon, and choose "Select all." When blue dotted lines surround your picture, press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys together on the keyboard.

Step 4

Click the "Paint" button, and select "Open" again. Browse to the other of the two pictures to combine. If Paint asks whether to save the first image, click "No." Double-click the second image, which appears on the Paint canvas.


Step 5

Click the "Paint" button, and select "Properties." Increase the canvas so both pictures will be seen by typing larger dimensions into the "Width" and "Height" boxes. Click the "Inches" radio button if it is not selected by default, and click the "OK" button. White space appears around the picture on the canvas.



Step 6

Press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys to paste in the first picture. When the picture pastes in, a border surrounds it. Drag the picture into place overlapping or next to the first, combining them on the canvas.

Step 7

Click the "Paint" button one last time. Select "Save As." Enter a name for the combined pictures, and click the "Save" button.


Resizing the Paint canvas to allow for white space is optional. It’s simply a way to get more room to show off your two photos. If you eliminate this step, when you paste in the second photograph, it may completely obscure the first, such as if you placed a printed photo over the top of another.


Do not click off the pasted picture when you paste it in, or Paint will think you’ve “anchored” it into place. Unlike other software programs, Paint has no sense of layers. As soon as you click off the picture, such as onto Paint’s blue background, Paint merges the two images together and you won’t be able to move them individually.



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