Paint Basics 2: Edit An Image

Yesterday, we got into the basics of Microsoft Paint. (You can click here to read that article.) Today, we’ll continue exploring Paint and learn how to edit an existing image.

To open an image for editing, click on File at the top right and open the image you wish to edit.


Since this is clearly on its side, I’m going to rotate it by selecting the arrow beside rotate and choosing Rotate left 90 degrees from the drop-down menu. You can choose other angles of rotation or to flip the image horizontally or vertically.


Now the image appears upright. One way to alter the image is to resize it. This can be especially helpful when you import very large images from digital cameras that are too large for e-mails or to insert in printed material.  Choose Resize.


You’ll have the option to change the size by Percentage or by Pixels. If maintain aspect ratio is checked, you’ll be protected from accidentally stretching your image in one direction so that it appears distorted. If you need something to be a specific size and it’s a pattern or solid color that wouldn’t be affected by stretching in one direction or the other, you can choose not to check that option. If you resize and image and it looks like a funhouse mirror, it’s probably because you didn’t check Maintain aspect ratio. You can also make images larger, but you will lose clarity in the picture.


Another option is to adjust the Skew right or left. Here I’ve adjusted with  20 degrees vertical skew. Here’s the resulting image. It’s a useful tool for achieving certain effects.


The Crop tool is one that gets a lot of use. To crop, you first select the shape you want to crop with.  You can pick a rectangle or choose to make your selection freehand. To crop, click the left mouse button and drag it over the area you wish to select. Release the mouse button when you’ve finished the selection.


Select crop again. Your photo will crop to the selection. If you have a steady hand, you can use the freehand crop. From the example below, you can see that I do not.


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