Paint is a simple to use drawing program that allows you to draw simple pictures. I have utilized Paint in creating most of the pictures in this book. To get a picture of the computer screen, I simply push the print screen key on the keyboard. This copies a picture of the computer screen into the clipboard (a place in memory). I simply then go into Paint and choose Edit Paste and this will put a copy of the screen in Paint so that I can edit it. You will be asked if you want to resize the image. Choose Yes as you can make the image smaller later.
When you first paste something in Paint it is still selected. You can then click and drag the picture to the position that you want. Then modify the picture the way that you want by adding color, text or even another Clip-art picture. To add another Clip-art picture, minimize Paint and start another Paint. Hit print screen again while looking at the clip-art and then paste the new clip-art picture into this work area. Modify the picture, then copy the picture. Restore your minimized Paint and then paste the second clip-art picture that you just copied.
Paint is located in the Programs, Accessories, Paint from the Start button. As you can see it is not that much different than other packages we have been using. The toolbar is located on the left instead of the top. There are of course different tools for drawing than for writing text. You also have a color Palette at the bottom of the screen. If you do not see either one of these choose View from the Menu Bar and turn the option on. Unfortunately there is no tutorial on how to use Paint but there is still a lot of help available on-line.
Let me explain the toolbar to you and then I will give you some helpful hints on using Paint. To use an option on the toolbar, click the option with the left mouse button. You then move to the work area and click again. Looking at the toolbar the Free Form Select button defines an area for you to cut, copy, or change. With the free form select you click and drag the mouse around the area you are interested in. An off blue line will follow the mouse cursor as you drag the mouse around the computer screen. When you let go it will form a dotted rectangle but it will only copy what you had enclosed in the off blue line. The Select button works the same way only it defines a rectangular shape around the area and this is what it will copy or move.
The Airbrush works just like a can of spray paint. It will spray the foreground color when you click and drag the mouse pointer across the work area. As you can see in the drawing the mouse cursor turns to a paint can. When you click and start dragging, it sprays the color on the work area. If you hold the brush long in one spot it puts a lot of paint on the work area. If you drag quickly the paint is more sparse. The size of the spray area is dependent on the spray size that you have chosen just below the toolbar.
The Brush will paint a solid line with the foreground color as you click and drag the mouse across the work area. The mouse cursor changes to a small cross. The thickness of the line is dependent on the line size that you have chosen as well as shape.
The Fill with color works a little different. When you use the Fill with color you click on the area that you want to change the color for. When you do this the Fill with color causes the area to be filled with the foreground color. If you filled more than you wanted to, simply choose Edit Undo. Here I had three circles. I clicked on blue and did the middle circle. I then clicked on yellow and I just did the third circle. This filled the 3rd circle with yellow color. Now you can only fill SOLID colors. Some of the colors on the Palate are called DITHERED colors. You can fill a solid color with a dithered colored. You can not fill a dithered color. This example shows what is meant by a dithered color. If you zoom in on the area a dithered color will have more than one color as a shading effect.
Now you can get rid of a dithered color by using the Eraser/Color Eraser. Your mouse pointer will change to a square shape. You then drag the mouse over the area you want to change. The eraser (click with the left mouse button), erases all the colors and replaces it with the background color. The Color (click with the right mouse button) erases the foreground color and replaces it with the background color. The Color Eraser allows you to change the color. To choose the foreground color you click the color with the left mouse button. To choose the background color you click the color with the right mouse button.
The Curve tool is pretty neat. This tool allows you to draw a line, Click at the starting point and drag to the ending point. Click at the ending point. Place the cursor over the line where you want the curve to be, then click and drag the line to curve it. When you are ready release the mouse button, place the cursor over the line and click. Neat a curved line. The line will be drawn with the foreground color.
The Line tool is used to draw a line. It can be straight or slanted. Click at the starting point and drag to the ending point. The line will be drawn in the foreground color. You can choose several different thickness.
When you choose the Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon or the Rounded Rectangle you will get Figure A-8 on the toolbar. Depending on which one you choose depends on how your shape is drawn. I find it handy to erase items by using the rectangle and only the background color as I can see what is being changed.
The Box, Round Box, and Circle all work in a similar fashion. Click and drag till you have the size shape you want and release the mouse button. The line will be drawn as described in Figure A-8
The Polygon tool allows you to draw several connecting lines and then make the last point connect at the beginning. You click on drawing and drag to the next point, click. Continue drawing your lines in this manner. When you want to connect the line from where you are at, to the beginning, double click. The line will be drawn with the foreground color.
Using the Magnifier you can Zoom in on your picture to see the picture in a larger mode as shown in Figure A-9. You click on the magnifier and then click on the area that you want to zoom in on. You can edit your image using most of the tools. You can not add text in a magnified mode. Click on the magnifier again and click on the image to go back to normal size. This is very handy for putting those fine touches onto a picture. You can also specify how you want to magnify by choosing View, Zoom.
There is another option in View that is handy and it is the status bar. When you have the status bar showing you can see your Cursor Position. This will show you the X and Y coordinates of your cursors location in relation to your drawing. This is handy for aligning things up.
The Text tool allows you to add text to your image. You click the text tool and then click and drag to outline where you want the text to go. You can resize the area as your typing. The Font dialog box will show up on your screen when you choose this tool. Once you are finished typing text, you would have to erase it and do it over again if you wanted to change it.
The Pencil tool allows you to paint the foreground color in little dots. You can drag the pencil across the screen to try your skill at free hand drawing.
The Pick color tool allows you to click on any color in your drawing and it will place that color on the color palette as the foreground color. You can then fill, or draw using that color.
The image menu option has some handy features as shown in Figure A-10. The flip/rotate option allows you to flip or rotate the area that you have selected with the Free form select or select buttons. The stretch and skew option allows you to do just that to the selected image. Attributes is how you can specify the exact size of your image work area. You can always grab the resize handles around the work area to size your drawing but sometimes it is handy to specify the size of the image before you start. You should try and pick the exact size. Your image file will take up a lot of space on your disk. Even if you have nothing in the image, it still stores each dot as a color (white is a color). It is however, easier to create your image on the largest area possible. Once I have the image created I simply resize it to the smallest possible size. I often have to highlight the whole image and drag it to the upper left corner. Then I resize the picture so it just fits. The images that you create are bitmap images. These can all be inserted into a document by choosing Insert, Picture as described in inserting clip-art in the Word Processor.
Play around with Paint, it can be a handy little tool. Utilize help when you get stuck. Remember that you can always modify a clip-art picture by inserting the clip-art into your document, hitting print screen. Then paste the screen image into a new Paint file. You can then erase the rest of the screen and modify the clip-art picture dot by dot.