How To Edit & Enhance Screenshots In MS Paint

intro3   How To Edit & Enhance Screenshots In MS PaintThere’s a thousand and one screen capture utilities around the web, including quite a few commercial applications. Windows’ built-in Microsoft Paint can actually be used as a decent screenshot utility that you can start using without having to download extra software or spend money, particularly if you know a few tricks.

This MS Paint tutorial includes old tricks (some of which you may not be aware of because they’re so hidden!) adapted for use to make MS Paint a good station for your post-screencapture needs.

Basics

  1. Press Print Screen to capture a screenshot of the full desktop (i.e. in a dual-monitor setup, both windows) or ALT + Print Screen for just the active window.
  2. Open MS Paint and press Ctrl + V to paste the image in.

Adjusting The Canvas: Cropping & Expanding

To crop further, press the Select tool again and create a rectangle around the desired area. Instead of creating a new image and pasting the selection in, go to Image in the menu bar and select Crop.

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If you’re looking to do the opposite and increase the work canvas area in white, instead of using the resizers to expand a few times manually, press Ctrl + E. Alternatively, you can go up to Image in the menu bar and head to Attributes.

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You’ll get a dialog box that you can use to expand the work area and select whether you want it to be black and white or in color.

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Adding Arrows

33   How To Edit & Enhance Screenshots In MS PaintTo create arrows, you could draw one yourself, but you could also use some pre-made ones from the Wingdings 3 font.

Select the Text tool and start the text where you want the arrow to be. Make sure it’s on the foreground (click the bottom icon), which would be also what you need to do to insert images with transparent parts.

Next, if you don’t see the Text Toolbar, you can select it by going to ViewText Toolbar.

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In the toolbar, select Wingdings 3, adjust the font size.

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You can use the following guide to display your preferred arrows.

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You can also find out by typing Character Map in the Start search box and pasting special characters from there.

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Bonus: You can find extra characters to paste if you use Wingdings or the other symbol-based fonts.

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Adding A ‘Blur Effect’

There are two ways (which aren’t quite as sophisticated as blurring tools in GIMP) to give a sort of blurring effect to a part of an image for censoring purposes.

Select the part of the image you want to blur with the rectangular Select tool. Now hit Control and - on the number pad (laptop users might need to press the function key) twice (or more for bigger to-be-blurred portions), then hit Control and + in the same manner (i.e. twice or thrice on the number pad until you get the image in the original resolution).

Here’s how you go about doing it.

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The result is a pretty blurred, unrecognizable image of the original.

Note:  This is also used to increase or decrease the size of the selected portion pretty much proportionally. If you do it the other way around (i.e. Control and +, then Control and -), the image isn’t blurred. It pretty much stays the same if you go back to the original resolution.

Going back to blurring stuff up, blurring technique number 2 involves taking the same rectangular Select tool and pick a portion of the part to blur, e.g. a letter in the word (not the whole word yet) to censor. Now press and hold Shift while you drag the rectangle across the rest of the portion to blur.

Here’s how to do it.

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MS Paint isn’t only a good imaging app that you can use to create amazing pieces of art, but it can also help you beautify screenshots and create PDF newsletters.

Do you use MS Paint or another screencapture program? Give your favorite app a shout out in the comments!

Image credit: Wendell Fernandes

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19 Comments -

0 votes

Saikat Basu

So often, we disregard what we already have and go searching for ‘third party’ tools. It’s true about life, and it’s true about software. Thanks for the reminder, Jessica.

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Thanks for reading, Saikat!

0 votes

Marcus

nice tutorial, thank you.

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

You’re very welcome!

0 votes

TerNovosti

I’ve been using Paint.NET for this, it does what Paint does and so much more.

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

I do like Paint.NET, but I’m still learning. I’ve been trying to put pictures on top of pictures, but the different layers confuse the heck out of me. In MS Paint, I only had to paste it from the original file, which saves me tons of time. I guess I’m more familiar with MS Paint right now so this tutorial serves those who are in the same position as me. =]

0 votes

TerNovosti

Hi Jessica,
I hear you, about thous layers, been struggling with them myself. You dont have to use them for a screen-shot though. the rest is pretty similar to MS Paint. I think Paint.NET is also a MS child – so they must be similar :)
And thank you for your useful article!

0 votes

mzeggie

Using ScreenPresso, and based on the looks of your arrows and text boxes I think you are using it too! :-)

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Yes, I love Screenpresso‘s styled arrows. That’s sort of the only reason I’m keeping it, actually. For other things, I have pretty much fallen in love with FastStone Capture, version 5.3. It lets you paste pictures, add watermarks, etc. (features which Screenpresso doesn’t currently have).

0 votes

Dream0dulat0r

omg, very informative!!!! thanks.

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

I’m glad to help!

0 votes

TerNovosti

Hi Jessica,
I hear you, about thous layers, been struggling with them myself. You dont have to use them for a screen-shot though. the rest is pretty similar to MS Paint. I think Paint.NET is also a MS child – so they must be similar :)
And thank you for your useful article!

0 votes

Nick

good tutorial about editing in the paint option.it wasn’t so easy but regular practice makes editing easy.I like it very much thanks for sharing…

0 votes

Nick

good tutorial about editing in the paint option.it wasn’t so easy but regular practice makes editing easy.I like it very much thanks for sharing…

0 votes

Black Friday Deals

MS Paint has been with me ever since. Now that i have a new laptop and havent installed Adobe photoshop yet, i’m relying some of my editing on MS Paint.

0 votes

Kc Shanmugavel

Ms paint is the tool i use .. and i use them for screenshots often.. I used to select the area needed for me and then open a new one and paste it.. Not aware of Crop option..
I also develop arrow marks by using the rectangle and line and then mark.. This windings3 is really helpful.. Good Job..

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Glad the article helped!

0 votes

Kc Shanmugavel

Ms paint is the tool i use .. and i use them for screenshots often.. I used to select the area needed for me and then open a new one and paste it.. Not aware of Crop option..
I also develop arrow marks by using the rectangle and line and then mark.. This windings3 is really helpful.. Good Job..

0 votes

Editor in Chief

use xnView .. documentation is poor to non-existent .. but it’s awesome .. it has screen capture .. just configure it first (sometimes it’s balky). There are other options for capturing data – you’ve covered a few. Let’s say you got a 640×480 image .. go to image –> canvas resize (drop down whatever you want) .. select color (eyedropper option is there – look closely). Apply. Now your picture is on a huge canvas which you can drop (cntr-V) stuff onto – into the drawn rectangle. Say it’s a class photo .. enlarge canvas .. copy student face … draw suitable rectangle next to photo on canvas and cntrl-V .. voila! Cntrl-z to fix boo-boos. Cut small area of white to paste over way bigger rectangle – for major ‘blanking out’ – be brave .. cntrl-Z is your friend :) xnView without all the plug-ins offered is just fine. Bare bones. All free. Happy Happy Day. Super powerful.