Technical documentation  / MS Paint

Image resize and crop with Paint


All solutions in this article are for Microsoft Paint. This article focuses on questions like:

  • How do I cut a portion of an image?
  • How do I crop an image?
  • How do I resize images?

Audience: It addresses all Windows users that want to resize or crop a digital image for email or publishing on a web site.

Sometimes you only need a portion of an image or want to achive certain image dimensions. While there is tons of software out there (freeware like GIMP, commercial like Photoshop, ...) able to help you out with the task, Windows comes with a simple, yet sufficient for the task image editor: Microsoft Paint (or shortly Paint). You can find Paint under Start / Programs / Accessories / Paint or you can run it by choosing Start / Run / "mspaint" and hit ENTER.

For this article I use the Paint Software coming with Windows XP. There may be small differences on other Windows Platforms.

How to crop images with MSPaint

There are several ways to crop an image in MS Paint. The software doesn't have a prominent 'Crop' command.
Open your picture. You'll see it either entirly or as much of it as can fit on the screen. If the image is bigger than the screen, you'll see the top left corner. Find the part you want to save. Change to the Select tool (it looks like a dotted-line box on the toolbar at the right). Click and hold on a corner of your desired area. Drag the box out and across to the opposite corner. Select only what you want to keep. If the cursor wasn't set right, click once to take away the box, and move and click to start over. Now you have the portion of the image that you need selected. Press Ctrl + C to copy it to the Clipboard.

Goto Menu / Image / Attributes (or Press Ctrl + E) and set them to be smaller than your selection (for example 10x10). Now press Ctrl + V to paste the selected image, MSPaint will enlarge its drawing area automatically to fit your image. Now press File / Save As... and save the image to another file (pay attention not to overwrite your original).

How to resize photos with MSPaint?

Open the image file you wish to edit. Click the Menu / Image / Stretch/Skew Image. Choose a percentage figure to resize the image. To avoid distortion, choose the same percentage for the horizontal and vertical stretch. Click OK. Once you have the desired size, click File / Save As... to prevent overwriting the original image.

Alternatively you can select the whole image (Ctrl + A) and use + and - to resize the image.

Paint is a very basic tool for resizing images. If you are looking for an easy to use tool to resize your images while keeping an aboslute control over the process we recommend to try AZImage.

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