Taking screenshots is a basic but important computer skill that all users should have. Even if you have your favorite tools for taking and editing screenshots, sometimes you get stuck in trouble and wonder how to edit screenshots in Microsoft Paint.
While not ideal, we will show you how to do basic screenshot editing in MS Paint. It’s good to know if you’re on a friend’s computer or where you can’t install anything because this app is built-in from Microsoft.
Basics of Taking Screenshots on Windows
Before we look at how to edit screenshots on your PC, you should know how to get screenshots in the first place. The most basic method involves Microsoft Paint.
First, press the button Print Screen (which may be shortened to PrtScr or similar on your keyboard) to copy everything on your desktop to the clipboard. If you have multiple monitors and want to screenshot only the current view, press Alt + PrtScr As a replacement.
Next, open Microsoft Paint. You can do this easily by opening the Start menu and typing Paint to look for it.
Once Paint is opened, just press Ctrl + V (universal shortcut for Paste) to place the screenshot into Paint. If you don’t need to edit the print screen output, you can simply press Ctrl + S (or open File>Save as) to open the Save dialog and give your image a name.
If you want a slightly more powerful, but still built-in, way to capture screenshots, try the Snipping Tool. Type snipping to the Start menu to find it. Instead of capturing your entire display with PrtScr, this lets you select an area or window on the screen to capture. Doing so reduces the screenshot editing you do later.
In future versions of Windows 10, the functionality of the Snipping Tool will move to the new Snip & Sketch app. You can access this by shortcut Win + Shift + S.
How to Edit Screenshots in Microsoft Paint
Now, let’s take a look at some common forms of editing screenshots that you should know how to do in Paint. It shows how to edit screenshots on Windows 10, but this method also works in earlier versions.
How to Crop a Screenshot
Chances are if you capture the entire window in the screenshot, you don’t want to show them all. Pruning is an easy solution to this.
To crop a screenshot, simply select the Select tool from the top Ribbon. If you don’t see it, double click the tab Home to pin it.
The default is a rectangular selection; click the arrow below to change it. Drag your mouse over the area you want to keep, then click the button Crop on the top bar to crop the image down to just that selection.
If you prefer to cut from the edges, grab one of the white squares at the bottom, right, or bottom right corner of the canvas in Paint. You can drag these to easily trim unwanted bits from the edges. If you drag the edges out, you will make the canvas bigger.
Highlight Elements Using Squares
An easy, unobtrusive way to highlight a specific part of your screenshot using a grid. Paint has this built-in in section Shapes Ribbon.
First, select the rounded rectangle or rectangle option. Next, below Outline, choose color Solid and set Fill to No fill. choose Size for the thickness of the outline, and select a color to the right of it. Red is generally a great color to attract attention.
From there, it’s as easy as drawing a box wherever you like. Stand Shift as you draw to make the perfect square. Once you’ve placed it, you can use the white squares on each side to resize the shape. Press Ctrl + Z to cancel and try again if you misplace it.
Adding Arrows to Screenshots
If a box doesn’t match, the arrows can help you pinpoint something in the screenshot. Because they are also on the menu Shapes, they work in exactly the same way.
Choose one of the four arrows based on the direction you need, then choose the line size and color for them. With arrows, you may want color Solid under Fill to make the arrow easier to see. Paint will use Color 2 as the fill color, so set it to be the same as Color 1 for uniform arrows.
Like a box, just use your mouse to draw an arrow shape. Stand Shift to stay symmetrical.
How to Blur Screenshot Using Paint
Often, screenshots contain sensitive information, such as a friend’s serial number or photo, that you want to delete before sharing. Paint doesn’t have a one-click solution for blurring or pixelating, but you can do it manually.
The easiest way to do it neatly is to use a tool Select to highlight the area you want to blur. Grab one of the little handles in the corner of the image, shrink the selection, and let go. Then, using the same handles, resize the selection to its original size.
After you do this, the text or image should be pixelated beyond recognition. The smaller you make it, the blurrier it will become. If you are not satisfied, either press Ctrl + Z and repeat the process completely, or simply repeat on slightly blurred text to further distort it.
If you don’t like this method, you can use a square or something else from the Shapes tool and simply draw the sensitive parts to block them. For best results, you should use the Eyedropper tool to create squares of the same color as the background.
How to Add Text to Screenshot
Sometimes you may need to drop some text on the screenshot for additional instructions. Paint makes it easy with the Text tool, represented by A on the Ribbon. Select it, then click on your image where you want to place some text.
After clicking, you will see a text box and you can type right away. By default, it’s set to a small font size that you probably won’t be able to see, so you’ll want to use tabs Text that appears on the ribbon to make changes.
Here you can adjust the font and size, choose whether the background is transparent or opaque, and change the color of the text. To change the properties of an existing text, press Ctrl + A to select all of them first, then make your adjustments. Click and drag the box around your text to move it, or use the handles to resize if necessary.
Be careful during this process, because once you click the text box, Paint will place it permanently. You can’t move it after this, so you have to press Ctrl + Z and try again if you don’t have it in the right place.
How to Resize and Rotate Your Screen
Need to make more space for your screenshot or want to fit the entire image? You can use the button Resize and Rotate in the Image section for this.
with box maintain aspect ratio, tool Resize allows you to reduce the image size without significant loss of quality. You can choose to resize as a percentage or by absolute pixels.
Tool Rotate and Skew useless for editing screenshots, but available if you need it.
Saving Your Screenshot
Once you’re done editing, the final step is to save your screenshot. Like most image editors, Paint gives you several options for file formats.
In general, you can stick with PNG or JPEG. PNG images are higher quality, but take up more space. JPEG images are more space efficient but often suffer from distortion.
Unless you need the smallest possible file size, we recommend saving the screenshot as PNG for best quality. You can always make a JPEG copy to share later.
We’ve covered the basics of how to edit screenshots on a PC using MS Paint. While it’s serviceable when you don’t have any other options, we recommend turning to a better tool for taking and editing screenshots if you use it often.
Superior screenshot tools give you more methods to capture your screen and make common edits, like blurring, much simpler.