Microsoft Paint The Microsoft Paint program has been with Windows since Windows first version.  It was a very basic graphic viewing/editing program, and only used one format of picture, the bmp format.  If you have the latest Windows XP service pack 2, now you can also edit and save other graphics file formats, so the functionality of Paint is much better than before.  Some functionality and optiopns have changed as Windows has been updated, but it is still a basic image editing program.

I am going to stay away from specifics, but there are many types of formats for pictures, each of which has it's place. Bmp formatted pictures are usually very large size files with good resolutions.  They are OK for using for wallpaper on the desktop but too big to use as email attachments and for web pages. 

In the earlier versions of Windows, you needed to install another graphics program or a picture viewer just to view pictures people would send to you in emails. That's because they were in a format which the Windows Paint program couldn't work with.  Now, with the Paint program in Windows XP, that has finally changed.  You can open other types of graphics files and also save files in other formats.  It took Microsoft a long time, but finally, Paint is a little more versatile.

Still, if you are editing digital pictures, there are other programs which are better and are a little easier to use, but for anyone who doesn't want to go out and buy another program, Paint will work for you now.

For basic picture editing, Paint has all the tools you need. Features it doesn't have which most of the other graphics program offer are things such as red eye removal (the red eyes usually from flash pictures), image editing capabilities for special effects, creating transparent colors, blurring an image, sharpening, and the list of things goes on and on.

One handy thing available in the paint program is the ability to use a picture for your wallpaper.  Let's say you get a family photo attached to an email.  You can open the photo up in Paint, make any changes to it, then go to the File menu and click on Set As Background. Everything else in the program is pretty straight forward, so a little practice, and you'll be a pro.

Windows XP Paint:

Windows Vista & Windows later Update:  Paint has changed a little since the later versions of windows.  One of the best changes is the ability to save files in different formats.  You now have a broad selection of file type options.  The old Paint BMP format made files which were very large and necessary to convert for a lot of applications.

Windows 10 Paint:


Press Ctrl-D to bookmark this page in your browser!

Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.