Windows 7 – Paint – 1

In my recent posts I have chatted about some of the new things in Windows 7. Now I have come to Paint. Paint has been given a major rework. There was a challenge recently in the Clubhouse* to tell about “must-have” software. Well, looking back, I find that I use Paint again and again to process screen captures when working on textbook manuscripts, classroom presentations, and most of my recent This ‘n That posts. There are other tools to do this, but on my computers they seem to all have fallen into disuse.

Paint is of course a simple, unsophisticated drawing program and does a fine job for that. I can get some of the simple tasks done in Paint in less time than it takes for some of my fancy “image processing” programs to spin up. But, back to what’s new with Paint.

The Paint program in Windows 7 now sports a Ribbon and has the “new family” look introduced in Office 2007. There are a few more tools, the status bar gives better information, many of the customary tools have been improved in subtle ways.


There is much to like in the new Paint. In my next post I will show off a couple of the neat new features. Unfortunately there are a couple things that were not carried over from the previous versions of Paint: “Copy to” and transparent “Paste from”.

As I said, I like to use it for screen capture processing. For example: In illustrating how to copy pictures  to another folder, I might want a picture like this:

drag to copy demo S1

This involves a screen capture (“Print Screen” key) then cutting out the desired portion. The “print screen” operation will capture the image of the pointer only under some conditions, which don’t ever seem to be when I want it. So I just paste a pointer image in. Takes just a few seconds using the old XP or Vista Paint, and it requires “Paste from” in transparent mode and then “Copy to” to save the cutout picture.

In the new Paint the workaround is a bit more complex. And goes like this:

1) Set up the condition you want to illustrate then press “Print Screen” (on some machines this may be a key combination like “Function”+”Print Screen”). You will capture everything but the pointer (some situations excepted when you actually can get it all). Now paste it into Paint.

2) Open Paint and click Paste (or do Ctrl+V).

2) In another instance of Paint, Open a picture of pointer images. Here is one of mine: image

3) Click the little down arrow under Select and click Transparent selectionimage image

4) Now select the pointer image and click Copy (or use Ctrl+C).

5) Bring to the front the instance of Paint with the captured screen image.

6) Click Paste, and here also select transparent mode (like in step 3). image

7) Now move the pointer image into place.

8) Select the portion of the image you want. Click Copy and paste your image into the application where you want it. It is really faster than reading about it here.

9) If you want to save the image, in Paint click Crop. image The selection will now become the image in the Paint window and you can save it.

OK, how many people are out there that need this kind of operation? Maybe seventeen others besides me? No wonder Microsoft dropped transparent “Paste from”. But notice transparent pasting works just fine from one Paint instance to another. And “Copy to” can be accomplished with crop and save.

So why do I describe this elaborate process? Well, the technique might come in handy for you. Have fun with Paint!

* For my readers who are not “club members”: The Clubhouse:  It’s where everyday Windows users like you share their stories and tips and learn cool stuff. Find it at










About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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2 Responses to Windows 7 – Paint – 1

  1. Isabella says:

    Thanks alot, I would have spent another hour finding that “transparent selection” for my transparent paste 🙂

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