Colwich Computer Club. 

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You have been using SERIF programs to alter pictures, but unless you have bought the program it won't be installed on your own computer. Virtually all computers will have a simple picture handling program called PAINT which can be accessesed from the START menu PROGRAMS, ACCESSORIES, PAINT.

Paint is not really designed for use on complex Photographs, but is great fun with cartoon type pictures in various formats. It will happily handle BMP, GIF, WMF, TIFF and PNG files with varying degrees of success. When saving your work you have the option of saving the finished picture in any of these file types regardless of what the picture was to start with, but the computer may say that there will be some loss of information as you try to save it. All this means is that the colours may alter as with the loss of a colour gradient, (Shading etc.) Also when the picture is used elsewhere afterwards it may lose it's sharpness when enlarged and become fuzzy at the edges etc.

To obtain a picture that you can work on you can select FILE and open a picture file on your computer or you can select EDIT and PASTE one in from another source/program. Before you do anything else you can then change the background from OPAQUE (Default Setting) by selecting IMAGE and De-Selecting the arrow next to DRAW OPAQUE. This will often make it easier to use the image as it will have a transparent background instead of a fixed white one. This can be important when adding bits of another picture over the top. If these added bits have a transparent background they will go over the top of the rest of the image as if they were another layer. After deselecting opaque click somewhere on the picture to fix the size. If you need to alter this it can be done as for any other program/picture handling but it should be done before actually releasing the click as this will fix the image. The white page area can be altered by hovering over the edge and dragging as if it were a box as in any other program.

To change the colour of part of the picture select the Pippette and a colour from the chart at the bottom. (Pale Blue) Then select the FILL (Paint Pot) and click on the owls head to turn it blue. Select black and change his left foot and red to change his eye. (NOTE when changing a coloured area the whole of the patch of colour will change unless broken by say a black line marking the edge of a shape. For instance if a white area is selected and there is no clear boundary separating the selected area and the background of the page, then the background will change colour as well.) Next select the Eraser (Rubber shape) and a small box will open with different sizes. Select one and then erase his right foot and ear. Then select PIPETTE, blue and BRUSH to paint out the white parts in his head making it all blue. Select black and re-paint the outline where you cut off his ear by clicking on the LINE, selecting a thickness and then drawing it in.

As with other picture programs shapes can be added, as can text in text boxes. Again the text box can be moved about until you CLICK to fix it and the little dashed blue box outline disappears.

There is also an airbrush that operates in a similar way to the brush and a magnifier to enlarge the picture for fine work. A box will appear over the image to enable easy selection of part of the image to enlarge and centre on, or else select the multiplication from the small tool box and move about the image using the movement bars down the right hand side and across the bottom as you would in any other program. After enlarging the image (X1, X2, X6, X8) re-select the magnifier and select X1 from the small box to revert back to the original size.

To save your finished work simply select FILE, SAVE AS and then the destination, etc. You can save pictures in various file types, as previously mentioned, as well.

 Nearly all of the darts players that feature on my web-sites have been created from cartoon pictures of people that did not hold darts in the first place. Here is a before and after;-