Use Microsoft Paint to resize images, and sample colours

 This article is suitable for a Library Administrator
Ref: 201106150929 AW
Last Edited: September 29th, 2011

What is Paint?

Microsoft Paint is a bitmap (or raster) graphics editor program.  Microsoft have simple instructions on how to use paint here and for Windows 7 here but they don't cover all of the areas which are required for making the changes required by our solution.

What is a Bitmap?

A Bitmap is a method for storing images.  It's method is based on using a grid of colours, which when shown at the right size will appear to be like a perfectly painted image, as shown below:
If we zoom in on this image then you can see how it is actually lots of coloured squares that make up the image.
A Bitmap file format is an ideal medium for photographs, logos, backgrounds, and comes in many different file formats, BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG and TIFF, other file formats exist but are often associated with a single graphics editor.  I would recommend using PNG wherever possible.  Although the other file formats have their benefits PNG is the best of all of these formats when imported into Microsoft Visio and is very good quality even at a low file size.
This article is aimed at helping you make changes to bitmap images, such as company logos, backgrounds or menu page images, using Microsoft Paint to allow them to function in the best possible way with your Triaster Solution.

Reducing the size of an image

There are two main reasons you may want to reduce the size of an image, to decrease the file size or to fit it into a web page that requires a specific size of picture.  The following steps will take you through the required steps:
  1. Press Start>All programs>Accessories>Paint.
  2. Press File (or click the blue menu button in Windows 7)>Open.
  3. Open the image you wish to re-size.
  4. Save a new copy of the image as "[image name] small.png (or whichever file format you want to use, earlier versions of paint may not save as PNG).
  5. Select (in Windows 7) Home>Resize, or (in Pre Windows 7 operating systems) Image>Stretch/Skew.
  6. Choose a percentage to resize to, for example 70%, or in Windows 7 you can enter the exact Pixel count you would like to use.
  7. Press OK.
  8. Save the file
  9. Close Paint
You now have a new smaller version of the image you started with.

Enlarging and enhancing an image

When enlarging a bitmap image you will find that the quality of the image deteriorates There is a general rule with Bitmap graphics, "you cannot make something out of nothing", this means that despite what you may have seen on the television about "image enhancement", that if the image was not saved with all the information you need then you are very unlikely to get any more even with the best of modern technology. For this reason it is best to start with an image that is too big than to start with an image that is too small. Although you can enhance simple images such as the one above, they will never be the same as if the image started big and you are likely to get unwanted "artifacts" in the image as shown in this image below, upon which an attempt at enhancement has been made using an advanced graphics editor called GIMP:
As you can see, this image still has the grid like appearance despite obvious efforts to enhance it, so if you are in need of a better quality image we would always advise finding a better copy of the image from someone or recreating the image from scratch than asking someone to "enhance" a smaller one that you have been given.

Finding the RGB value of a colour on the screen.

  1. Take a screen shot using the Prt Scr (Print Screen) button, or Alt+Print Screen to screen shot the active window only.
  2. Press Start>All Programs>Accessories>Paint.
  3. Press Ctrl+V or Edit (or Home in Windows 7)>Paste
  4. Select the Colour Picker tool (it looks like an eye dropper)
  5. Zoom right in to the picture using View>Zoom, or View>Zoom in (in Windows 7)
  6. Select the colour in the most central location of the colour range (it will not be constant), for example what if you wanted to find the colour of the line around the palate part of the Paint icon below, you will notice that the most vivid area of its colour is half way along one of the lines, this is the colour you will be looking for:

  7. Press Colors>Edit colors or Home>Edit colors in Windows 7
  8. You will see the Red, Green and Blue values in this dialogue.  This is the RGB value, however to write is as an RGB value you should write it in brackets separated by commas, for example:
    Red = 79, Green = 158, Blue = 202
    Would be written:
  9. Close Paint

Need further help? Contact the Triaster Support team by e-mailing or by calling us on 0870 402 1234.
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