An Introduction to Paint & KolourPaint

Paint & KolourPaint LogosTwo of the most basic image-manipulation/editing programs are Microsoft Paint — or just Paint — and KolourPaint

Paint is included with each version of Windows. We’ll be discussing the Window 7 version.

KolourPaint is a part of the KDE package. I’m currently using version 16.08.2.

There are many similarities between the two programs — many features and functionalities that work the same.

Let’s explore some of those features.

Painting

As evidenced by the names Paint and KolourPaint, these programs are centered around allowing you to paint.

By default, both a tool box and a color box are shown.

The tool box contains a number of tools such as Selection, Zoom, Text, Color Picker, Pen, Brush, Eraser, Fill, and the ability to create a number of shapes.

The color box allows you to select a pre-defined color, create a custom color (by double-clicking any color), set transparency, and change the background color.

With these basic tools, it is easy to create simple raster images — assuming that you have any degree of artistic talent at all (which I seemingly don’t!)

Simply select a color, select a tool, and hop to it.

Image Editing

The term “Photoshopped” is one that we should all be familiar with, in that it is a common term to describe images (usually photos) that have been edited (usually with the Photoshop program) to fix/remove/add/improve/ruin and otherwise change the look to one degree or another.

Notice that no-one calls it “Painted” or “KolourPainted”…

These basic editors allow for some quick-and-choppy (but entirely serviceable, ok!) editing jobs, but are very limiting.

Images can be cropped, have parts cut out, be rotated, flipped, mirrored and skewed.

Paint’s “View” tab offers some helpful options such as Rulers, Gridlines, Status bar and full screen options.

KolourPaint provides similar options, including thumbnails, in the “View” menu.

Image Resizing

Paint/KolourPaint is quite useful when you want to quickly resize a large file into something smaller. Although some quality will be lost, it is rarely noticeable; if the quality concerns you that much, you probably wouldn’t consider using Paint/KolourPaint in the first place!!!

Open the file in Paint/KolourPaint (Right Click > Open With, etc.) and then go to:

Paint: Edit > Resize or Ctrl + W

KolourPaint: Image > Resize / Scale… or Ctrl + E

You will have the option of resizing to a specific size in pixels, or to a percentage of the original size.

Note that in many cases, keeping the “aspect ratio” checkbox checked is essential, so that you don’t end up with a distorted image.

Apply your changes, and if you don’t like them, go to Edit > Undo (Ctrl + Z) and start over.

Conclusion

Paint and KolourPaint are a good starting point for image-creation and manipulation, at least for those of us without serious editing aspirations!

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