4 Clever MS Paint Tricks For Adding Effects to Images

Ms Paint Thumbnail

MS Paint is one of those

image editors


painting tools

that comes bundled with every version of Windows and is somehow overlooked by the users. People often misunderstand its

minimalist interface

as an inefficient tool and use it only when they have no other option.

As for me, MS Paint is still the first choice. And that’s because the simple interface lets me do many interesting things in no time. Here are four cool tricks that work great for me. I hope they will interest you as well.

Scale Brush Size

Do you have the notion that you have only four choices (left image below) when it comes to selecting the size of brushes, pencil and shapes border? Well, at least that is what the GUI of the tool offers.

Paint Brush Size

If you see the right image (above) you would notice that I have used six different sizes. How is that possible? Simple, just hold the Ctrl key with the + button on the num pad to increase the brush size. It works for pencil, eraser, etc. Ctrl + – (num pad) would work to decrease the size.

Replace Colors Easily

Sometimes we start with an artwork and realize at a later point that a specific color that we have used doesn’t look appealing in the picture. Changing that isn’t usually easy. Not with MS Paint though.

We will replace the black background of the picture to a different one in a simple way.

Replace Color Start

Set Color 1 with the color that you wish to replace. Set Color 2 with the new color. Now select the Eraser tool (you can also increase the size like above) and rub the image while holding the right button of the mouse. Your color will be replaced. ????

Replace Color Result

Make Background Transparent

Most people think there is no way whatsoever to render the background transparent on MS Paint. That’s correct to some extent, but if there is a white background you can always make it transparent.

Let us take an example.

Transparent Example

I want to paste the circle on the rectangle. So, I copy the area around that circle and paste it on the rectangle. Here’s what the result looks like.

Transparent Result 1

So, now I activate Transparent selection and select the same area again.

Enable Paint Transparent

When I paste it on the rectangle I get the desired result.

Transparent Result 2

Cool Tip: With the replace colors tip you can change a differently colored background to white and then apply this tip.

Create Custom Brush

Yes, the choice of brushes is not limited to what appears on the interface. You can create your own. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Select the Pencil tool and draw a shape. A shape that you think your brush should have.

Draw Brush

Step 2: Select the area where you have drawn the shape. Also make sure that Transparent selection is enabled.

Step 3: Hold the Shift key and drag the selected area like you would drag any other brush. See the magic happen.

Custom Brush Example


These are few basic and interesting tricks that may lure you into using this otherwise neglected tool. Of course it cannot do things like Photoshop or an equivalent tool can. But, yes it can perform better than what most of us think of it.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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