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 Learn MS Paint From A - Z

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Muwahhed
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PostSubject: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:05 pm

PAINT

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 he area and this is what it will copy or move.


The Airbrush works just like a can of spray aint. 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.

Source


Last edited by Muwahhed on Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:12 pm

Below you will find a list and description
of all the buttons and other main
features of Microsoft Paint.





Free-form select tool


This tool allows you to select odd shaped
figures. Simply left click your way around the
shape to select it.



Select Tool


This tool selects a rectangular area. Hold
down the left button on your mouse and drag
open a box around the shape.

Note: Once you have selected the shape you can
then move it around the page by using your
mouse. You can also make a copy using the edit
drop down menu. Select copy, then select paste.



Eraser Tool


This tool allows you to rub out any errors or
work lines. When it is selected it will give you a
choice of eraser sizes as shown below. Simply
click to highlight the desired size.




Eraser thickness choice toolbar

Fill With A Colour Tool


The fill with a colour tool lets the user fill the
inside of a shape with a solid colour. Select the
fill icon from the toolbar, choose a colour from
the colour toolbar (see colour toolbar later)
then click inside the shape to fill it with the
chosen colour.


Colour Picker Tool


The colour picker tool allows the user to
choose a colour from your workpage. You would
do this when you needed to match a colour from
the page, rather than try and guess it's on the
colour toolbar.


Magnify Tool


The magnify tool lets you zoom in to get a more
detailed view of your work. Select it on the
toolbar and then choose the magnification
factor from the toolbar which appears (see
below).




Magnifier factor choice toolbar
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:14 pm


Pencil Tool


This tool lets you draw using the mouse. Start
by selecting it from the toolbar. To draw, hold
down the left button whilst you drag the mouse
over the page.


Brush Tool


The brush tool is similar to the pencil tool. It
lets you draw on the page by holding down the
left button as you drag the mouse. The only
difference is that the brush tool gives the user
a thicker line pattern. When you select it from
the toolbar you can choose the thickness and
appearance of the brush from the toolbar
which appears (see below).




Brush appearance choice toolbar

Air Brush Tool


The air brush tool works like a spray can.
Select it from the toolbar, then choose the
spray effect from the toolbar which appears
(see below). You can then choose a colour and
start spraying using the left mouse button.




Air brush spray effects toolbar

Text Tool


This tool allows text to be added to a page.
Select it from the toolbar and use the left
mouse button to drag open a box where you
intend to add your text. You will then be able to
type in your text as well as choosing its size,
font type and other features.


Line Tool


The line tool lets the user draw a straight line
from one point to another. Select the line tool
from the toolbar. Choose the line thickness
from the toolbar which appears (see below) and
draw the line by left clicking at the starting
point and dragging the line to the finishing
point.




Line thickness toolbar

Curve Tool


The curve tool allows you to draw smooth
curved lines. Start by selecting the curve tool
from the toolbar, choose the line thickness and
drag a line using the mouse. To make the line
curve left click on the workpage near the line.
You should see the line curve. Experiment with
this process to find the best method.


Rectangle Tool


This tool lets the user draw a box. Choose the
rectangle tool from the toolbar. You will see a
fill style toolbar appear on the screen (see
Fill
Style
below) which will give you three options.
Choose one of the options and draw a rectangle
by dragging open a box when pressing the left
button on the mouse.


Note: Holding the shift key whilst dragging
open a rectangle keeps the horizontal and
vertical axes in proportion creating a square.


Polygon Tool


The polygon tool allows you to create two
dimensional figures. Choose the polygon tool
from the toolbar and choose then appropriate
fill style (see
Fill Style below). Draw a line
whilst holding down the left mouse button.
Move to the next vertex of your figure and press
the left button again. Keep doing this to create
the polygon.

Note: Holding down the shift key forces all the
angles in the polygon to be either 45º or 90º,
thus allowing the user to create more regular
figures.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:15 pm


Ellipse Tool


This tool allows the user to draw circles and
ellipses. Choose the ellipse tool from the
toolbar and then choose the appropriate fill
style (see
Fill Style below). To draw an ellipse
hold down the left mouse button while dragging
the mouse across the page.

Note: Holding the shift key whilst dragging
open an ellipse keeps the horizontal and
vertical axes in proportion creating a circle.


Rounded Rectangle


This tool allows the user to draw rectangles
with rounded corners. Choose the rounded
rectangle tool from the toolbar and then
choose the appropriate fill style (see
Fill Style
below). To draw a rounded rectangle hold down
the left mouse button while dragging the mouse
across the page.

Note: Holding the shift key whilst dragging
open an ellipse keeps the horizontal and
vertical axes in proportion creating a rounded
square.



Fill Style Selection Box


When you select the any one of the rectangle,
polygon, ellipse or rounded rectangle tools you
are able to choose the fill style you desire.
There are three options which can be chosen by
simply left clicking in the toolbar which
appears.

Option 1 - A border only, where only the border
is coloured.

Option 2 - A bordered Box, where the border and
the box itself are both coloured. To achieve this
effect you will need to choose both a
foreground and background colour (see
colour
selection box
below).
Option 3 - A coloured box, where only the inside
of the box is coloured.


Colour Selection Box


The colour selection box allows you to choose
an appropriate colour. At its most basic level
simply left click inside the colour of your
choice.

For more more advanced use, clicking with the
left mouse button gives the foreground colour,
whilst clicking with the right mouse button
gives the background colour. This allows the
effect seen in option 2 above, where the border
has a different colour to the box itself





Shape Opaqueness Choice Box


After you have successfully created your shape
you will need to consider how much of it will be
opaque and how much will be see through. In
most cases you want the shape itself to be
opaque but the background around it to be see
through. For this choose the second option in
the toolbar which appears whenever you select
an object. This feature can also be obtained
through the image menu.

Flipping, Rotating, Stretching and
Skewing



Once you have selected a shape go to the Image
drop down menu. If you click on the headings in
this section you can easily achieve any of the
named effects.



Source
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:38 pm

Video


Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:46 pm

If you want a quick, clear and understandable alternative to Paint’s Help, this link will open an elegant little page in a new window. Bookmark it!
The Paint Window

This is the window that you see when you open Paint.

I like to use a big drawing area, probably because I’m a messy worker! Yours may be just a small square. It makes no difference to the operation of the program.

The dashed rectangle in this picture shows that a selection has been made. When you first open the window it is quite blank.

If, however, your Paint window doesn’t have colours along the bottom and a double line of grey squares (with various small symbols on them) down the left side as this one does, click View on the menu bar at the top of the window and tick the items shown here.

Text Toolbar, which is dimmed in this picture, only becomes available when you’re working with text.
The items Zoom and View Bitmap offer different views of your work. The Zoom tool is dealt with under its own heading. View Bitmap gives you a full-screen view. (On my computer it usually causes Paint to crash, but I suppose every machine has its little ways.) contents

Menus

Four of the Paint menus—File, Edit, View and Help—are common to almost all Windows programs. Some of the commands (The items listed on a menu are known as COMMANDS.
Thus PASTE is a command.
Tool bar buttons access frequently needed commands.)
available, though, are specific to this program.
Menus that are special to Windows Paint are Image and Colors.
The menu of greatest interest is the Image Menu, which I’ll discuss as soon as we’ve looked at the different areas of the Paint window.

The toolbox


All the little grey boxes down the left are called the tools and together they make the toolbox.

The individual tools will each be explained separately further down.
Under the toolbox is a small area where you see different options according to which tool you’re using.

It may show line thickness, spray can density, size and shape of the
paintbrush or whether a shape is to be filled or hollow. Some tools
have no options, and when any of these tools is active (selected or in use) the area below the toolbox remains blank.

Paste Options

In this picture, with the selection tool active, you have a choice between paste opaque and paste transparent (selected, as you can tell by the dark background).
When you have white as your background colour—the colour selected by the right mouse button—and have chosen paste transparent, anything you select from a picture with a white background can be pasted without a rectangle of white surrounding it.
If the item you want to select is sitting on a background of a colour other than white, clicking your right button on that colour will make it possible for you to select the item without its background.

The Colour Palette


Under the main window is the colour palette.
The two squares set apart from the rest at the left end of the palette show the active colours; the colours presently in use.
When you click on a colour in the palette with the left mouse button, that colour will be the primary or foreground colour, here shown as pink.
The colour you click on with the right mouse button will be the secondary or background colour, here shown as white.
These terms are the same in all the graphics (Programs including painting and drawing programs as well as small programs with a single function, such as recolouring.) programs I’ve used.

The Status Bar

Right at the bottom of the Paint window is the Status Bar. It gives information according to what you’re doing.

If it can’t think of anything pertinent to say, it has the “For Help” message, its variation on “Yes, Dear”.
Help can also be invoked by pressing the F1 key at any time. This is true of most Windows programs.

Cursor Position
To the right of the help message is the cursor position (here shown as 131,95). The 131 refers to the distance in pixels away from the left margin and the 95 the distance in pixels down from the top margin. This pair of numbers changes as you move the mouse around the window with no buttons pressed. As soon as you press either button the number “sticks” and remains the same until you release the button.
The last part of the status bar tells you the size in pixels of the thing
you’re drawing or the selection you’ve made (here shown as 121x94). The 121 refers to the width of the shape or selection and the 94 to its
height.


OK. Here’s the image menu.

Flip/Rotate lets you turn things upside down or sideways. You can only turn through 90 degrees, 180 and 270. Fancier programs let you rotate more finely.
Stretch/Skew lets you make things bigger, smaller or pushed sideways. Bitmaps greatly enlarged look pretty rough, so step carefully.
It’s worth drawing a shape, selecting it and then investigating the effects of stretching and skewing.

Invert Colours
attempts to change the colours of a selection to their opposites. Just
how accurately it does this depends on the colours available, as can be
seen here, where the right half of the picture is a copy of the left
but has had its colours inverted.


Last edited by Muwahhed on Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:50 pm

Keystrokes

The letters beside the different items are keys you can press instead of going through the menu. Unless you’re going to use this program every day, it’s not a good idea to bother learning them because they clash with Word keys that you’d use more often, like (in Word) Ctrl + e means “Centre” and Ctrl + r means “Right”.
Furthermore, if a menu is open you'll get no response to these keys beyond a warning “ding”.
The usual Windows keys: Ctrl+s to save, Ctrl+z to undo, Ctrl+c to copy, Ctrl+x to cut and Ctrl+v to paste also work in Paint.

The most important thing on the image menu is Attributes.


If you click on Attributes you can change the size of the drawing area.
You can also click either inches or centimetres as your preferred
measurement. This, however, will only tell you the size of your drawing
area. Cursor position and the dimensions of drawn objects will still be
shown on the status bar in pixels.
There is also an option to work in black and white.
Working in black and white is a thankless task. Many of the tools
become meaningless. Leave black and white for experts or masochists.

Now for the different tools.

The button representing a selected tool will appear to be depressed.
The Zoom Tool

The little magnifying glass changes your view of a drawing. If you want to change some tiny thing that’s really hard to see, click on the magnifying glass. It can be called the zoom tool or the view tool.
As soon as you click on it, numbers appear under the toolbox. They are 1x, 2x, 6x and 8x.
If you click on one of the magnifications, you’ll get a bigger view, but
you can’t be sure which part of the picture you’ll zoom in on.
Therefore it’s better to click on the picture.
However, when you are zoomed in, two further options become available on the View Menu. These are Show Grid and Thumbnail.

While you are working in a zoomed view, Thumbnail will give you a small window in which you can observe the results of changes as you make them. The Thumbnail window can be placed wherever you find it convenient, and it can be resized by dragging the sides or the corners.
Once you have it sized and positioned to your liking, it will follow as you move tools around the zoomed window.
Unfortunately, once you return to normal view the Thumbnail window
is often lost and will have to be invoked again when next you zoom in.

Show Grid becomes available on the View menu only when you are working in a window zoomed in to 8x. Each pixel (short for “picture cell”) of colour can be seen individually. This is useful if you are trying to make a very precise selection or place one or two pixels of colour in a precise location.
Here a selection is being made, and you can see that both its starting location (40 pixels from the left and 21 pixels from the top) and size (30 pixels wide and 14 pixels high) are reflected in the numbers in the status bar.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:57 pm

Changing the Zoom

If, while you are zoomed in, you click the magnifying glass again and click on the picture you can choose a view of 2x, 6x or 8x.
You can also go into the View menu and choose Custom.
The choice you make here will affect the working of the zoom tool until you visit this option box again. That is, if you choose 800%, the next time you click the zoom tool on part of your picture(while in normal view) the view will change to 8x.

The Paintbrush

This picture shows that I’ve chosen the paintbrush.
The palette says I’ll be painting with black, unless use the right button for drawing, in which case I’ll paint with white, which won’t really do me a lot of good.
I can change either colour by clicking the appropriate button on the colour I want it to use.
Under the tools and above the palette are a lot of different shapes with which I can choose to paint.
The one I’ve chosen (it shows as an oblique white line on a blue oblong) will give a thick line when I drag in one direction and a skinny one in the other direction, so you get a sort of calligraphy pen effect.
It’s also useful for painting right up close to something.

The Curve Tool

This is the curve tool. It’s hard to learn, but you can have a lot of fun with it.
You choose a line thickness from under the toolbox, and you choose a colour to draw with. I’ve used different thicknesses and differentc olours.
Drag a straight line, then click somewhere near it. Move your cursor and click again, or drag and click.
You only get two clicks per curve. If you don’t like what happens you hold Ctrl and tap z and it’ll go away.
The flower petal shapes are made differently. Imagine a triangle and click each of its points. You don’t drag a line first. You have to practice for about a hundred years before you have the faintest idea which way up the shape will be. You might find it easier to get all organised and draw a grid to guide you and then rub it out later.

The Eraser Tool

Here we have the eraser, a clever little gadget.
When you press the left button, it rubs out everything you drag over.

Swapping Colours
When you press the right button it changes anything the colour of the left button to the colour of the right button.
Say you have a blue line and you change your mind and wish it were
green.

  • Select the eraser tool.
  • Go down to the palette and click your right button on green.
  • Click your left button on blue.
  • Now, pressing the right button, drag over the blue line.
  • Magic! You now have a green line.

This is very handy if you need to draw guidelines to help get a picture the way you want it. You draw the guidelines in a colour you don’t like
much and won’t use in the drawing.
When you’ve done your drawing, you put the nasty guideline colour onto your left button and white (assuming that white is the colour of your background) onto your right button and drag over the guidelines.
Your picture remains, but the guidelines disappear.
The squares under the toolbox show you the sizes of eraser from which you can choose.

The Colour Picker

This is the colour picker. If you’re working on a drawing, particularly if you’re “zoomed in”, and you want to use one of the colours that’s nearby in the part you’re working on, instead of going down to choose the colour from the palette you click on the colour picker and then on the colour in the drawing.

The Fill Bucket

This is the fill colour bucket tool. It’s also called the flood tool. You use it to fill a shape with a colour of your choice.
The shape must have absolutely no holes in it, or the colour will leak out and go into places where you don’t want it. If that were to happen, you’d hold down Control and press z.
Then zoom in and find the place where colour leaks through. It can be just one pixel. It’s most likely to happen if you’ve pasted a piece of clip art and are colouring it in.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:12 pm

Erasing A Colour with The Flood Tool



Apart from filling shapes, this can be used as a sort of eraser. Say you’ve been scribbling away and you’ve left bits of blue all over the place. Flood the drawing area with blue, then with white, and all the bits and scraps of blue should vanish.
If you had some blue things that you wanted, though, they’d vanish too. Another job for good old Ctrl+z.

When The Flood Tool Won’t Work
Sometimes you try to use this tool to change a colour in an existing picture and nothing happens.
After you’ve done the virus check, rung the repair man, worried about your brain function, etc, etc, you should zoom in and have a close look at the area you’re trying to colour. What you’ll see is not one colour, but two, several or many colours mixed together. This applies particularly to photographs, but also happens with some clip art. Colours are “smoothed” to make them look more natural; skin tones,for instance.


Dithering
There’s also a process called dithering. This happens when a picture needs more colours than are available to it. For instance, the 16 Windows colours include no soft pink. If you change 256 colours to 16, some programs will try to match pink by mixing red and white pixels. It works well, but it makes the fill bucket impossible to use.
The only way to deal with this situation is to use the colour picker to select one colour at a time and use the colour eraser on each in turn.

The Line Tool

This tool makes straight lines. You can drag freehand to make a line in any direction, or you can hold down the shift key and the line will be constrained to exactly vertical, exactly horizontal, or exactly 45 degrees.
The line thickness is chosen from the box under the toolbox.

The Pencil Tool


The pencil draws freehand. It’s very, very hard to learn to use. When you can write your name with the pencil you should rush out and buy a lot of balloons and otherwise congratulate yourself.
The pencil is always set at a width of one pixel. In zoom-in view, it’s very useful for changing the colour of single pixels or small groups thereof.

The Shapes Tool

This group of tools is used for drawing shapes. Three of them, the rectangle, ellipse and rounded rectangle, respond similarly to your holding the shift key. This constrains them to drawing either a circle or a square—with or without rounded corners. The polygon tool responds somewhat differently, in that it attempts to keep its lines exactly vertical, exactly horizontal, or exactly at 45 degrees.

Polygons

To draw a polygon, such as a star, a triangle or an odd-shaped quadrilateral, drag to make the first line, then click where you want subsequent lines to end. When you double click, a line will be drawn from the end of the last existing line to the beginning of the line that you dragged to begin.
Below the toolbox there are three representations of how you might like your polygon drawn. The top one is hollow; just an outline. The middle one is filled and has a border. The bottom one is a solid block of colour without any border.
These polygons were drawn with the middle choice, which means “filled shape with a border”.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:17 pm

Border Thickness of Shapes


The thickness of the outline of rectangles, ellipses and polygons is governed by the last choice you made for line thickness. If your border is too thick or too thin, click the line tool, choose the line thickness that you want, then click your shape tool again.
Remember, if the one you started was wrong, Ctrl+z will undo it.

Hollow Shapes

These shapes have been drawn as hollow; they’re just an outline. The background colour is used if you drag with the right button. The foreground colour is used if you drag with the left.

Filled Circles and Squares

These are filled shapes. Which colour is used as the fill and which as the border depends on the button you’re holding as you drag. With the left button the background colour is used as the fill.
If you are using the third choice—a filled shape without a border—the colour used will be that on the left mouse button.

The Spray Paint Tool
The spray can delivers individual pixels of colour in a spray pattern.
Below the toolbox are three choices for width and density.
The dots are much closer together if you choose the small option.
This tool is one of the easiest to use and a good one to start with.
Choose the wide spray, as shown selected here, and just drag all over the drawing area.
Change colours often. You’ll find that it’s much easier to draw some sort of recognisable shape—or even write your name—with this tool than with the pencil or brush. Spray one colour over another, or try building up more colour in one area than in another.

The Selection Tools
Now we have the selection tools. The one on the right is the one you’ll almost always use. It selects a rectangular area. The star shaped one is more tricky.

The Rectangular Selection Tool
You use this tool when you want to move something to a different part of the drawing.
You also use it if you want two or more copies of the same thing.
A third thing you can use it for is to draw or write with a small part of your painting.
Last, you can use it to delete an area. The selection tools in this program work particularly well and without fuss. Don’t tell the program writers, or they’ll think of a way to make them less handy!

Here’s How It Works.
You drag across the thing or area you want to copy. The usual way is to start at the top left and drag to bottom right. This makes a dashed rectangle around the area. Now you can let go and put your cursor anywhere inside the selected area. If you click anywhere else, the selection will be cancelled.
Press with your left button and drag the selection to where you want it. If you press with your right button you’ll get a menu instead. The menu seems to be mostly about doing things in a longer way, so use the left button.
There are two things to think about when you’re moving a selection.
The first is your background colour. This doesn’t mean the colour that’s the background of your picture.
It means the colour that’s on your right mouse button.

If it’s say, a horrible dirty green, the place from which you moved the selection will assume that colour, which is not likely to be what you want. Therefore, make sure that your right button colour is the same colour as the background of your picture.

Transparency
The other consideration is transparency. You may want to move the selection just as it is; a rectangular shape with a fair bit of white in it. On the other hand, you may want only what you’ve drawn, in which case you’ll want the white to be transparent.
This little pair of icons, which appear conveniently when you click on the selection tool, control transparency. With the bottom icon highlighted, as shown here, your selection will be transparent. With the top icon highlighted, the whole rectangular area will come along, no matter what colours are in it.
N.B. “Transparency” here refers only to what happens while you're working in Paint. As far as I know, Paint will not save with a transparent colour. If you need to make a gif where the background shows through, you need to open your finished work in another program, such as IrfanView.
OK. That was about moving your selection. Now we’ll use the same tool to make a copy.

Copying Parts of Your Drawing
Select the area as before, by dragging from top left to bottom right. Let go and place your cursor inside the dashed rectangle.
Check that transparency is set the way you want it. Hold down the control key. Drag the selection to the place where you want the copy.
Click. You can move it to lots of different places. Each time you click you’ll leave a copy.

Drawing with A Cutout



Accidental Splodging.

Drawing with a part of your picture takes some practice. Select an area, move or copy it to where you want to begin, hold down the shift key and start dragging. How it works out depends on speed and direction. If you drag quickly, you get the image repeated randomly but recognisably. If you drag more slowly you get a splodgy result. This may or may not be what you want.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:20 pm

Deliberate splodging.

The word “splodging” has now been added to the dictionary!

The Freehand Selection Tool

You’ll only need to use this tool if you want to copy something that’s in an awkward position. If two things are close together, so that you can’t draw a straight line between them, you use this tool. You use it to make a freehand selection around the thing you’re selecting. Drag as though you were drawing around the shape with a pencil, until you have the whole thing outlined. As soon as you release the mouse button the selection will have been made, so if you let go too soon you’ll need to start again.
When the selection appears, it looks as though a rectangular area has been selected. When you move or copy the selection, though, you’ll find that only the part you outlined has been selected.
To delete something with a selection tool, select it and press the delete key.
You can also delete things by drawing white squares or circles over them, or, if they’re in solid blocks of colour, by clicking the fill tool on them when it’s loaded with white.

Text
Now text. Text is tricky. Always save before you start adding text, so that if you run out of undo levels you can exit without saving and have your picture as it was before you started the text.
When you click the large A that represents the text tool and click on our page, a little font bar should pop up. If it doesn’t, click the View menu and click Text Toolbar.
You use this toolbar just as you would in a word processor, choosing font, size, and special things like Bold or Italic. There’s an icon at the right hand end that I don’t understand. It doesn’t have a tool tip and it isn’t mentioned in help. Perhaps it’s an emergency exit; a “break glass in case of fire” sort of thing.
To make your initial text box, you can click or drag; it doesn’t matter. If, while you’re typing text, you realise that the box is too small, you can put your cursor over one of the “handles” (black blocks) and drag it wider or taller or both. When you have all of your text in the box, adjust the size of the box, because it doesn’t contract to fit the text when you paste. Be very careful that you do have the double-ended size adjustment arrow before you press a mouse button, or you may paste the text before you mean to. Sometimes the text box refuses to have its size reduced. I haven’t worked out what causes this to happen.
It is possible to move a text box before pasting. You have to hover your cursor exactly over the dashed line until a normal-looking arrow appears. Press the left mouse button and drag the text box to a new
position.
If you want some padding in front of the text you have to use spaces.
Before you click outside the text box—thus pasting the text into the picture—check your transparency icons. You may want the text pasted on a rectangular background so that it stands out from the rest of the
picture. If so, have the top icon highlighted. If you want the text without a background, choose the lower icon.
If I were adding text to a picture in Paint, I’d have spare space on my drawing area, and I’d type my text there, make a block of colour to fit it nicely if I wanted a coloured background, paste the text onto the background and then paste the whole thing where I wanted it in the picture. It’s too awkward doing it straight into position; too many things can go wrong.
By the way, if I wanted it on a white background, I’d make the background some other colour until I had the box in position, and then
I’d use the fill tool and/or the colour eraser to make it white.

Well, that’s it, as far as I can think. Just for fun, here’s a template and directions for drawing a flower. Copy the picture, paste it into Paint, and see how you go. (If it appeals to you.)

Drawing a Collection of Flowers


These directions will put you on the road to making something like this—or, probably, something much more interesting and creative. The results may not have the smooth finish you’d achieve in a top flight graphics program, but hey! Paint is free, you can produce something of your own in jig time, and you’ll become familiar with many of the tools along the way.


To do this exercise without hassles, you’ll need a really big drawing window.

You’ll also be wise to save often. Once you’ve saved your workspace—perhaps naming it workspace.gif—you only need to hold down the Ctrl key and tap “s” to save as you work.

If you find that Paint doesn't have GIF on its drop down list, there are some possible remedies here.
Ctrl+s will save in just about any Windows program. Using it often is a good habit to get into.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:22 pm


Getting Started


Copy The Template from Here


There are other ways to save pictures from the web—but not if Paint
is your only graphics program. Other programs will save the picture at
its true size; if Paint happens to have a large drawing area set, it
will save all of the unused area as part of the picture. This is not an economical way to save pictures.
You can use this method to copy any picture from any web page.
However, some pictures are protected and can’t be copied. That’s
because the artist doesn’t want their work freely distributed. Such
pictures may have taken great skill and hours of work to produce.
If a web site has a notice requesting that you don’t copy images, always heed it.

  1. Right click on the picture.
  2. Choose Save Picture As.
  3. Make sure that the picture is being saved in a place of your choice,
    then either accept the offered name or type in a new one.
    The offered name is sometimes a string of numbers. Use a name that makes sense.
    The default name for this picture is flower_template.gif.

Bring a Copy of the Template into Paint



  1. Later, when you’re ready, open Paint and make or open workspace.gif.
  2. Check that you have white as your background (right button) colour.
  3. Click Edit on the menu bar, choose Paste From and navigate to the place where you've saved flower_template.gif. Make sure that you drop down the Files of Type list and choose either All Picture Files or Graphics Interchange Format, otherwise the saved gif won't be shown.
  4. Double click flower_template.gif.
  5. When you’re returned to the Paint window, there will be a dashed selection rectangle around flower_template.gif. If you'd like to move it to a different position, position your cursor anywhere inside the dashed rectangle and drag the picture.
  6. Click anywhere outside the picture to paste it.
  7. Save your work.


N.B. It's important that you work on a
copy of the template, pasted in this way. If you try to work on the
template directly, colours will not be available.

First Steps

Working over The Template


  1. Choose a strong colour—but not red or black.
  2. Click the curved line tool.
  3. Set line width to the second thickness.
  4. Click the centre of the circle.
  5. Click where line 1 crosses the circle.
  6. Click where line 2 crosses the circle. The first petal should appear.
  7. Click the curved line tool to paste the petal.
  8. Click the centre of the circle.
  9. Click where line 2 crosses the circle.
  10. Click where line 3 crosses the circle. The second petal should appear.
  11. Click the curved line tool to paste the second petal.
  12. Continue around the circle, following the pattern of centre,
    1,2, paste, centre, 2, 3, paste, centre, 3, 4, paste, until you are
    back to line 1 and have an eight petalled flower.

Now Remove the Template

  1. Make sure that you have white as your background colour.
    That is, click your right mouse button on white in the colour palette.
  2. Click your left mouse button on black.
  3. Click on the eraser tool.
  4. Pressing your right mouse button, drag over every black line or curve.
  5. Now click your left button on red in the colour palette.
  6. Pressing your right mouse button, drag over every red number.

Colour the Flower

  1. Click your left mouse button on the colour you’d like your flower to be.
    It can be the colour that you used to make the outline, or it can be a different colour.
  2. Click on the fill bucket tool.
  3. Click inside one of the petals.
  4. Click inside each petal until all are filled.

Make A Centre for The Flower


  1. Click on the line tool and then on the third thickness in the box below the tools.
  2. Choose foreground and background colours that are different from the colours already in the picture.
  3. Click on the circle/ellipse tool.
  4. Click on the filled shape below the tools.
  5. In an empty part of your drawing window, hold the shift key while you draw a filled circle.
    Make several of these circles until you’re happy with the size.
  6. With your right mouse button, click on white in the colour palette.
  7. Click on the rectangular selection tool.
  8. Click on the transparent selection icon.
  9. Draw a selection rectangle around the circle you want to use as the centre of your flower.
  10. Drag the circle onto the centre of your flower.
    When you’re satisfied with the position, click an empty part of your drawing window.

Make Copies of the Flower.

  1. With white as your background colour, and with the transparency icon selected,
    draw a selection rectangle around your flower.
  2. Press and hold the Ctrl key.
  3. Drag a copy of you flower to an empty part of the drawing window.
  4. Click to paste, then continue dragging until you have another copy.
  5. Click each time you want to paste a copy.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:24 pm

Change The Size of The Flower.



  1. Draw a selection rectangle around one copy of the flower.
  2. On the View menu, choose Stretch and Skew.
  3. In the dialogue box that appears, change 100 to 50 in both the horizontal and vertical slots.
  4. Click OK.
The resultant size change here is rather dramatic.
Select another copy of your flower, go through the same procedure,
using different numbers. Try the effects of the Skew dialogue as well.
You can, of course, change the Stretch numbers to something greater than 100, although the resulting picture may look rather rough. It’s always a good idea to experiment so that you know what can and can’t be done.

Change The Colours of The Flower.
When you have several copies in different sizes, click on the fill bucket tool, choose a colour and click on parts of one of your flowers.

Saving Your Work.

You’ll eventually want to save some of the finished flowers without the huge work area you’ve been using.

You’ll need to do this in two stages, using the Copy To procedure and then resaving the cut-outs.

  1. Draw a selection rectangle around a part that you want to save. It may be one flower or a group.
  2. Click on the Edit menu.
  3. Click on Copy To
  4. In the dialogue box, type a name and use the drop-down to choose 256 colour.
    Usually, no formats other than bmp are offered for cutouts. Even if they are offered, they will not be saved correctly, so stick with bmp at this stage. A table illustrating this problem is on the Screenshots page under the heading The Incorrect Gif and Jpg Save in Paint. Click OK.
  5. Select further parts of your picture and save them in the same way, varying the names.
    It’s quite useful to save a set of pictures as flower01, flower02 and so on.
  6. When you’ve finished cutting and saving, go to the file menu and choose Open.
    Find the first of your cutouts and double click its name.
    Windows will now ask whether you want to save changes to workspace.gif.
    It doesn’t matter whether you do or not.
    Next time you use the workspace you’ll need to start by clearing away previous drawing anyway.
  7. With the cutout open, again click the File menu and choose Save As.
  8. .The dialogue box that comes up this time offers more formats than the previous one.
    Click the drop down and choose the gif format.
    This format saves quite accurately any colours you’ve used, and the colours won’t bleed,
    as they do in the jpg format—but see note below
  9. After you click Save, Windows will warn that you may lose colour information.
    With this sort of picture, that’s nonsense.

These instructions refer to pictures made in Paint.
Pasted photographs are quite different and would be spoiled by being saved in 256 colour format. return



Formats for Saving Graphics
Once you’ve saved all of your pictures in the gif format, go to the folder in which they and the original cutouts have been saved. Go up to the View menu and click on Details.
Now look down the Size column and compare the file size of the gifs with those of the original bmp files.
If Paint Offers Only BMP Format

If you find that you have no option to save a file as gif, there are two suggestions. As I haven’t had this problem, I’m just passing on what others have told me.
First, open Paint, click File > Open, browse to a gif file and open it.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:27 pm

Here are the steps you'll need to take for this to work for you.

In order to have Paint see a gif file, you'll need to change the settings in the bottom slot of the Open dialogue. The default is Bitmap Files, so (although gifs and jpgs are in fact bitmap files) Paint may only search for those with the suffix bmp.
Click the drop-down arrow beside Bitmap Files and choose All Picture Files or just All Files.

You will also notice that the directory about to be searched is Windows. I shouldn't think that anyone would want to store their pictures there, so click the drop-down arrow beside the Look in slot and choose a more likely directory.
For instance, if your own pictures are stored in a subdirectory of “My Documents”, click My Documents on the drop-down and then double click the subdirectory when it appears in the next dialogue window.


This window shows files in alphabetic order of format, so if your chosen
directory contains a mixture of images in different formats, you'll have to scroll past bmp files. Now you should be able to see some existing gif files and choose one to open.Either double click the file, or click once to select it and then click Open.

When the gif image is open in the Paint window, click File > Save As and the gif format may appear in the drop-down list. If it does, make up a new name and save the picture.
After that you should be able to save in gif format at any time. If that succeeds, use the same procedure to “introduce” Paint to the jpg
format.

If that doesn’t work, it may be that you have the newer, and less functional, edition of Paint. The earlier version is available. Search for Paint95.zip at pcnineoneone.com. The link is about half-way down the page. You’ll also find step by step instructions for installing the better version.

Pictures in Emails
If you ever include pictures in emails, make sure that they are in either gif or jpg format. Obliging a friend to download huge bmp files isn’t a good idea; it will cost them time and probably money.

Generally, jpgs will be smaller than gifs, but if the picture has hard, clean lines the jpg format will spoil it. This topic is discussed at some length in the articles Sometimes JPG is the Wrong Choice and Screenshots. For tips about preparing a picture to send by email, see Sending Photos in Email

Delete Working Files
Having looked at the file sizes, hold the Ctrl key while you click on each of the bmp files. Let go of Ctrl and hit Delete. Then click yes in the confirmation box.

Go back to the View menu and turn off Details by clicking on the display of your choice—Large Icons, Small Icons or List.
You now have a collection from which you can assemble a picture at any time.

To preserve the flowers for repeated uses, you don’t use File > Open.

You open a workspace and then retrieve the picture or pictures that you want to use by clicking the Edit menu and choosing Paste From.

Make an arrangement that pleases you, then use the Copy To procedure to save it.

Remember that if you’ve put a picture at the back and suddenly wish it were at the front, you have only to use Paste From to get a fresh copy to paste on top.
Be certain that you have white on your right button before you do this, of course.
With further experimentation you’ll make various kinds and colours of
leaves, berries, twigs and vines. Always cut out and save things that
particularly please you. Soon you’ll be making bright corners for
emails or printed letters—and they’ll be your own unique work, rather
than “Everybody’s seen it ” clip art.








http://fay.iniminimo.com
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:19 pm

Sometimes JPG is the Wrong Choice


Most computer users are familiar with three “everyday” graphics formats. They are bmp, gif and jpg. The 24 bit bmp format is very big on disk, so if a picture is to be made as small as possible, one of the other two formats, both of which compress the picture and thus make it smaller, must be chosen.

The jpg format is useful and popular because it can compress hotographs very efficiently. Unmanageably large photos can be made small enough to use on a web page without any degradation that can be picked up by the human eye. A small jpg can be saved as a 256 colour gif and the only change noticeable is a huge leap in size. This little jpg is 13kb in size. A visually identical gif weighs in at almost 50kb! So jpg is always the way to go. Right?
Well, the best way to make icecream is to put the mixture into the freezer—but the freezer won't do much for a tinful of cake batter! Horses for courses. Photographs have subtle shading, so the jpg format
tries to include subtle shading into every picture—but some pictures just don't have subtle shading. They have a small number of distinct olours that aren't meant to shade into each other. Such pictures are brighter and clearer—and very much smaller—when saved in the gif format. (OK. We know that there's png, but not all browsers will display png. The chosen format has to be universally acceptable.)
When you reduce the colour depth of a picture, some programs offer a choice between Optimised colours and Windows colours. Others ask you to choose whether to have dithering or not.
What choices you make are beyond the scope of this article. I have shown one example of a screen shot saved with both optimised colours
and Windows colours, but as the choices aren't always there, it's better for you to see what your particular program offers and experiment.
I saved my gifs with PSP4 and my jpgs with Irfan View.
Either program will save in both formats.

Screen Shots

When you take a picture of your screen, or of a window, you probably call it a screen shot, a screen capture, or just a screen cap. Its purpose is to convey information. You want the person who looks at the picture to see what you see, and you probably want them to be able to read any included text.
The following examples try to demonstrate that the readability of screen hots is at its best when the gif format is used.

Screen Shot of a Box of Files



Actual appearance
Close-up view
This 16 colour gif image of a box of files is 5,291 bytes.



Actual appearance
Close-up view
A jpg saved from the same shot is 19,561 bytes. The close-up view explains why the white background looks greyish. More disk size, less quality! With the softly rounded icons and boxes that come with newer operating systems, this slight blurriness can make things very hard to see.SUMMARIES

Screen Shot of a Toolbar


Actual appearance

Close-up view
This 16 colour gif was saved using Windows colours. It's 3,901 bytes or about 4kb.
Close-up shows clean lines and clear colours. White is white.

Actual appearance

Close-up view
This 16 colour gif was saved using optimised colours. It's 4,191 bytes or about 5kb. Close-up shows clean lines and clear colours, although the white areas are not quite white.

Actual appearance

Close-up view
A jpg from the same shot is 13,755 bytes or 14kb.
Close-up shows the format's attempt to blend colours where blending is a backward step. Colours bleed and look muddy.

Actual appearance

Close-up view

Here the colours were reduced to 16 before the picturewas saved as a jpg. The picture looks even worse, and the size isn't much less—13,425 bytes—still about 14kb.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:23 pm

Pictures from Painting Programs

A Map Drawn in a Painting Program

Actual appearance

Close-up view
A simple map, made with a 16 colour palette. The picture uses only 7 colours and 1,897 bytes—about 2kb.

Actual appearance

Close-up view

Saved as a jpg, the map becomes 9,135 bytes and the colours have changed markedly.

Actual appearance
Close-up view
An attempt to then save the jpg back to a 16 colour gif does reduce the muddiness and the disk size, 1,744 bytes, but the original colours have been lost.

Black and White Outline Drawing


Actual appearance
Close-up view
Actual appearanceClose-up view
A simple border using just black and white. The original is 922 bytes or .9 of a kilobyte. Saved as a jpg, the same drawing is 4,844 bytes, or 4.7kb, nearly five times the disk size—saving with the jpg format has added 68 shades of grey!
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:26 pm

Outlined Text

Actual appearance

Close-up view

Actual appearance

Close-up view
The original GIF “Hello” has three colours—yellow, red and white. It is aggy, yes, but it's fine for its purpose—to be part of a simple greeting card. Its ize on disk is 1,277 bytes. The jpg version isn't as bright, and the jagginess asn't really been reduced—but the disk size is 5764 bytes!

Repeated JPG Saving—More Text



Actual appearance

Close-up view
This is a real life example. I had a photograph, in the middle of which was a notice similar to this picture. Everything else in the photo—trees, grass and water— looked as it should. The notice, however, was blurred and blotchy. I had to open the jpg and clean up the notice—and of course, part of the blothchiness was put back in by the jpg format! Some high-end graphics programs have a special jpg format to deal with such problems, but with ordinary programs that isn't an option.

Actual appearance

Close-up view
Here's the same picture as a jpg. 10,632 bytes

Actual appearance

Close-up view
Now here's where things can get really mucky. Having saved the picture as 1.jpg, I opened 1.jpg and saved it as 2.jpg. I opened 2.jpg and saved it as 3.jpg and so on. What you see here is 5.jpg.

In this case I shouldn't have been saving in that format anyway, but when the jpg format is appropriate, always go back to the original picture if you want to save a new copy, because the quality of the picture deteriorates with each repeated save. In my experience, that isn't true of gif images. A “Save as” yields exactly the same picture with the same byte size.

Paintings in 16 Colours

Masses of Flowers


Actual appearance

Close-up view


Original 16 colour painting, 7,148 bytes.
The close-up shows that it's jaggy, but it's that sort of picture.

Actual appearance


Close-up view
The same painting saved as a jpg, 17,572 bytes. The size has zoomed up, but what about the colours? They've been "smoothed". Edges aren't as jaggy, but the colours aren't as clean, either.

Tiny Images on a Background

More Colours Should Make a Better Picture—Shouldn’t They?


Actual appearance

Close-up view
Original. How many colours? 13. Disk size? 12,185 bytes


Actual appearance

Close-up view
First jpg save. How many colours? 38,261. Disk size? 25,765 bytes

Actual appearance

Close-up view
After repeated jpg saving. How many colours? 43,464. Disk size? 22,749 bytes.
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PostSubject: Re: Learn MS Paint From A - Z   Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:30 pm

Complex Drawings from Special Programs

When you've made a drawing or painting in a proprietory format, things become more difficult. You can't publish it on the web, because the format won't be understood by browsers—and it's usually far too big in disk size anyway. You have to choose one or other format—gif or jpg—and you can't make a rule that will work for every picture. To begin with, 16 colours is almost certainly out. Brightness and contrast is sometimes reduced by jpgs. You often get very nice results with 256 colour gifs, but often you pay for it in disk size. The best idea is to experiment: save one copy of the picture as a jpg and another as a gif.
Be sure to get each copy from the original. Compare the results. You have to weigh size against appearance.

With Thousands of Colours, JPG is a Better Choice


This jpg is 26,036 bytes.
It looked slightly sharper as a 256 colour gif, but the size was 68,175 ytes.

With Few Colours, Go for Gif


GIF

JPG


Saved as a 256 colour gif, this is very close to the original vector drawing, and its size is 9,456 bytes. Saved as a jpg it loses the clear lines. Its size as a jpg is 8,502 bytes.

GIF

JPG

GIF

Reduced to 16 colours, it loses some colour but still saves reasonably well as a gif, and the size goes down to 3,909 bytes. When copied and saved as a jpg, however, the size becomes 8,538 bytes and the result is messy.
The missing colour can easily be restored or even changed using the flood
tool in a painting program, and the finished gif is just 3,894 bytes.

Special Cases

There are two cases where gif is the only choice, no matter how much smaller the jpg version of your picture might be.

Transparency


The gif format allows you to nominate one colour as transparent. You usually choose whichever colour makes up the background. It's wise to flood the background with a couple of different colours before doing the final save. That way you can see and eliminate any odd pixels of some other colour. Also, take care to choose a colour that is not in the picture. Black and white can both be dangerous, because we tend not to notice very small areas of either colour, and a poor choice can mean that your picture has unwanted holes.

Animations—Moving Images



There are programs—some free—and modules within bigger programs, that will help you join several small pictures consecutively to make an animated
image. Both the original frames and the finished animation must be in gif format.

Bytes, Kilobytes, Megabytes ?
Counting from the right, as one would to say “units, tens, hundreds, thousands” and so on, the fourth number is kilobytes. If we continued left until there were seven numbers, the seventh from the right would be megabytes.

In all of the “bytes” numbers on this page, any numbers to the left of the comma can be understood as kilobytes or kb.
You get about a thousand characters, or around 150 words, to the kilobyte. Pictures use up more space than words, and sounds take more than pictures. Sounds that are electronically produced (mid, midi) are lots smaller than recorded sounds (wav, au).

For sending electronically to someone on dial-up, 40-50kb is about as far as you should go unless you've discussed it with them beforehand. You can
write a very long letter in that much space—unless it has pictures and sounds!



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