Many of you know that Paint is a drawing tool that can be used for simple drawings and basic image editing. Paint has been included in every version of Microsoft Windows, starting with Windows 1.0 which was released in 1985. Now, the application is almost the same both Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. But, compared to earlier versions of Windows, Paint has been changed and improved dramatically, after almost 20 years of stagnation. It now feels like a basic image editing tool worth taking into consideration.
Where To Find Paint In Windows
You can open the application using several methods:
In Windows 7, look for its Start Menu shortcut in the Accessories folder or use the search box to type paint.
In Windows 8.1, the app is found in the apps view, in the Windows Accesories section. You can also simply start writing paint on the Start screen to get search results.
In Windows 10, things are a little different. Go to the Start Menu and press All apps.
Now, scroll down to the Windows Accesories folder and open it. There you will find the Paint app.
However, the fastest way to launch Paint in Windows 10 is to ask Cortana launch it by saying Open Paint.
Another way to launch it is to type Paint in Cortana's search box.
For those of you who prefer using the command line, you can launch it by running this command: C:\Windows\System32\mspaint.exe.
Regardless of the method you choose to open Paint, once it's launched you should see something similar to the screenshot below.
An Overview Of The Paint Interface
After you open Paint you will see that the interface is completely modified compared to older versions. Now all the options are on the top side of a conveniently tabbed window. The new design uses the same concepts as Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016 use, called Ribbon. Therefore, some users should be familiar with this type of interface and find it really easy to use. For those of you who are not familiar with it, we will explain the main elements.
The version of Paint present in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 is almost identical with the version present in Windows 7. The only difference is the fact that the interface looks flat and doesn't have any transparency effects. All the options, features and menus are the same though.
Another important addition to the new versions is the Quick Access Toolbar. It is located at the top of the Paint window and contains a few important buttons: Save, Undo and Redo.
You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar by adding buttons like New, Open, Print or removing any of the existing ones. Just press the arrow placed at the right of toolbar and a drop-down menu will open. The buttons which are already found on the toolbar appear as checked.
Another way to add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar is to right-click or press and hold any option in the ribbon and click or tap on Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
The main toolbar is located under the title bar. The first button on the left side opens up the main menu of Paint, called the File menu.
This menu allows you to Open new or existing files, Save or Print your work, acquire images From scanner or camera, or you can Send in email your work. Also, you can Set as desktop background or view the Properties of your image.
Just like Microsoft Office, some menu items have extended options. For example, if you hover you mouse over the Save as option, you will view the most used formats for saving your images: Bitmap, JPEG, GIF, and PNG.
The Home tab contains the tools for editing and creating images, such as brushes, shapes, colors and many others.
The View tab is placed next to the Home tab. Here you can Zoom In/Out or see an image in Full Screen mode. Also, you can select to show Rulers and Gridlines on an image which can help you align elements in an image.
Finally, under the tabbed menu, there is the Drawing area and below it the Status bar where you can see general information about the current image.
The Home Tab - Options & Features
Let's get back to the Home tab. Here you will find most of the options and features that are essential in creating and editing images.
The first section of the Home tab contains the Clipboard tools: Paste, Copy and Cut. Of course, you can use the keyboard shortcuts to perform the same operations.
The Image section contains the Crop, Resize, Rotate or flip and Select tools. The Select tool has new options. When selecting parts of an image, you can decide if you want the background color to be included in the selection or not. Simply check or uncheck the Transparent selection option. If you want the background included, uncheck the option and vice-versa.
The resizing tool has also been improved with two new options: now you can resize the picture by percentage or by pixels.
Finally, there are the Brushes and Shapes tools which also gained new options, improving the way you can edit image files.
Because a video can be sometimes more comprehensive than a written guide, we decided to share with you this short video tutorial from Youtube, where most of the tools in Paint are presented.
As you can see from this guide, Paint still remains one of the most reliable image editing app, containing enough tools for the basic user. Compared to the previous versions, the new version has some improved usability thanks to the redesigned interface and new features. Now every tool can be easily reached in used. We think that this tool is less probably to be replaced any soon by other basic image editing tool. If you have other questions about Paint don't hesitate to share them with us in the comments below.