MS Paint Tricks

MSPaint is actually a very powerful image editor. Here's all the things about MSPaint you probably didn't know.

Chapter 1 - Brush Scaling

This is pretty much the most basic thing here. You may think that the standard brush sizes in MSPaint only come in the three sizes, right? Wrong.

Open up a new document in paint, select the paintbrush tool, hold Ctrl and press the + button on the numpad. The brush size will grow as big as you need! Amazing, huh?

[Example 1]

This technique also works with the line tool, the spraypaint tool, and the eraser tool.

[Example 2]

[Example 3]

Chapter 2 - Custom Brushes

This is the one that NOBODY knows - You can make your own custom brushes in paint! Select the pencil tool and draw yourself a small textured brush in X color.

Here's what I did:

[Example 4]

Now, select that little image, turn transparency on, hold shift, and drag it around!

[Example 5]

Cool, huh? You can draw ANYTHING and do this. Here's another one I did.

[Example 6]

Chapter 2 1/2 - The 'Stamp' Tool

This is something I improvised. It's the 'Stamp' tool. I didn't put it in its own chapter because technically it's part of chapter 2, but moreso different.

So, I have this image of an old lady:

[Example 7]

And I want to put these leaves in her hair.

[Example 8]

Now, I could copy and paste all day, but there is an easy way around this.

Select the leaf, turn transparency on, and drag the leaf to wherever you want it.

Whenever it's there, while it's still selected, hold shift, click once, release shift, and drag the image away.

[Example 9]

:O! It stamped! Repeat as necessary ( I rotated too. )

[Example 10]

Chapter 3 - Image Scaling

So say you scanned something and the image is WAY too big and you want it smaller. How do you go about that?

Well, open up paint and paste your image in. I didn't have anything massive to scan so I used this picture of a Dr Pepper.

[Example 11]

Now, say you want it smaller. You probably try to highlight it and scale it, right? It ends up looking compressed and improportioned.

[Example 12]

Well, there's an easier way. All it takes is a single keystroke!

Ctrl+Plus(Numpad) to make it larger or Ctrl+Minus(Numpad) to make it smaller.

[Example 13]

This is especially useful for scaling sprites, as it keeps their pixels proportional.

[Example 14]

Chapter 4 - Color Replacement

Say you have drawn something with an absolutely crazy pixel border, and all of a sudden you don't like the border color.

Like this box I drew.

[Example 15]

Now, I want to re-color the border yellow but I have absolutely 0 time and 0 energy. What do I do?


Select the eraser tool.

In the primary color box, select the color that you don't like that you want to erase. In the secondary color box, select the color you want to replace said exiled color with.

[Example 16]

Then hold right click and sweep with the eraser tool over the ugly color.

If your drawing is large, scale the eraser brush as needed.

[Example 17]


Chapter 5 - The Grid

Say that you're trying to edit a piece of pixel art that you drew, and, even though you're zoomed in all the way, you're having trouble fine tuning - you're having trouble positioning the crusor where you want.

This is where the grid comes in.

MSPaint comes with a built-in grid feature, accessable by hotkeys.

To view the grid, simply zoom in to either 6x or 8x, and hit Ctrl+G.

[Example 18]

[Example 19]

Chapter 6 - Other Things

Another feature of paint that is more commonly known about is the 'quick undo' feature.

It doesn't really have that much use, and, more often than not, is accidentally toggled by the user. This ends up in frustration.

So let's say that you're drawing a smiley face, and you get the eyes down good.

[Example 20]

So then you move onto the mouth, you start drawing, and it's going good.

[Example 21]

But just then, suddenly, you launch into an epileptic seizure.

Your body flails around wildly, and, unfortunately, your hand is not an exception to the flailing.

That seizure just done gone and [messed] up your artwork!

[Example 22]

But, for whatever reason, your finger is still pressed down on the mouse.

This means that you will be saved the effort of having to reach ALL THE WAY UP to Edit -> Undo.

Quite simply, if you mess up, and your mouse is still pressed, you can hit the opposite mouse button to undo what you have drawn so far.

In our case, a simple right click will revert our smiley back to his no-mouth state.

[Example 23]

This feature may not appear to be useful at first, but if you're drawing small lines and squiggles such as fur or something, this tool is a godsend and may save you some medical bills for repetitive strain injury for hitting Ctrl+Z so much.

Another feature, that was brought to my attention by Hazard Rush Studios is one that is nameless in nature and appears to be completely useless, and may possible have no practical function at all.

It does however require a scroll wheel.

Select the paintbrush tool and start drawing something. I chose to draw a chicken.

[Example 24]

Mid-line, scroll your scroll wheel. Look what happens!

[Example 25]

Your line displaced itself, and then reverted back to its original co-ordinates.

I'm not sure about you, but this feature appears to be pretty useless...

...Unless you want to draw an extruded 3D chicken.

[Example 26]

And that's pretty much all I have to teach. Happy MSPainting!

I'd love to see any artwork you do in paint, or hear any comments or suggestions - Messenjah's Profile Page.