Tools for Art

Paint

The built-in Paint (pbrush.exe) program is a very simple image and graphic editor that's included in Windows. You can use it for resizing screen captures, but it's difficult to use for originating graphics.

Paint.net

Paint.net is a program similar to the Paint program that comes with Windows. Paint.net includes more editing features, in addtion to the standard resizing capabilities. You can download the program from http://download.cnet.com/Paint-NET/3000-2192_4-10338146.html. See the procedure below for resizing art with Paint.net.

Resizing an image with Paint.net

  1. Install paint.net to the desired location.
  2. Open your image file with it.
  3. Go to "resize image".

  4. Make sure "maintain aspect ratio" is checked.

  5. Type the new size into the width box. The height will follow.

  6. Choose OK.

  7. Choose File | Save to replace the older image, or use Save As if you want to save to a new name and preserve the older one.

    • You can Save As to save the larger one off to a backup location on my machine. You can't make it bigger after shrinking it so it's better to have the larger one hanging around just in case.

PowerPoint

In addition to creating slide decks, many writers like using PowerPoint to create simple conceptual art for use in documentation, white papers, and so on. Slides can be saved as PNG files and cropped as needed.

Visio

Visio is a more sophisticated authoring tool for diagrams and conceptual art, but it's worth learning. Typically you create artwork in Visio and transfer it to PowerPoint or Word, or save the artwork as a PNG file for use in HTML and other documentation containers.

Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is used by our graphic designers for originating graphics, posters, etc. and for recreating screen captures for localization. You can use the link below to learn more about Illustrator.

Instructions on using Illustrator (PowerPoint Slides)