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Octagon with point at topOther Pictures, Problems and Procedures

Octagons with a point at top are really easy to make. Just a four-part square with diagonals and a circle and you're almost done.

If you would like to work in Paint while you follow these instructions, do remember that you can resize your browserA Browser is the program you use to visit sites on the Internet. Internet Explorer (IE) may be the browser that you use, but there are many others, such as Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, K-Meleon and Blackbird.
You can have as many browsers as you like, and run more than one at the same time.
window. If the window is maximised—taking up the whole screen—you'll first need to click the restore button (the middle one of these) restore button, then just hover your cursor over a side edge of the browser window until a double-headed arrow appears, press your left mouse button and drag left or right until the window is a suitable size.

You can then grab the browser window by the title bar and drag it to the position that you want it in. You can do this with almost any window on your computer.

Open workspace.bmp or workspace.gif. If you haven't made that yet, please read Your workspace file. The infomation there is important, and will make all the difference to easy working. You only need to set up the workspace once and you're all set.

Draw one small square

Line tool

RectangleClick the Rectangle tool and choose the top option, outline with no fill.

Have red as your foreground color and white as background. red on left, white on right

small red squareDraw a small red square. Mine is 75 by 75. Anything bigger than that is fine, too, but if you go much below 50 by 50 the shape won't be quite right.

Double the small square

Rectangular Selection iconClick on the Rectangular Selection tool

Click on the Transparency option.transparency option

Draw a rectangular selection marquee just outside of the red square and hold the Ctrl key as you begin to drag a copy to the right.

copy the squareJoin the copy to the original. There should be a single line between the two squares. If it looks thick, move it slightly until it looks like this.

Click away to paste the copy.

Four squares to make a big one

copy againNow draw a marquee around the double red square and hold the Ctrl key as you begin to pull a copy downwards.

Again watching out for double lines, join the copy to the one above it.

Now you have a red square with a cross in the middle.   top


Draw diagonals

Click on the Line tool

Position of cursor for drawing first diagonalDraw first diagonalPut your cursor on the top left corner of the larger red square, hold the Shift key and draw down to bottom right.

The Shift key will keep the line at exactly 45°, and it doesn't matter if you go a bit past the bottom corner.

Draw the other diagonal

Draw the other diagonal in the same way, starting from the top right corner.


Draw a circle

Change your foreground color to black.

ellipse tool, top optionDraw a black circle

Click on the Ellipse tool and choose the top option, outline with no fill.

I zoomed in to 2x to draw my circle. You may not need to.

Position your cursor on the top left-hand corner of the square just as you did when drawing the first diagonal. Draw a circle that touches each side of the square in exactly the same way.

To do this you need to finish slightly below and slightly to the right of the bottom right corner.cursor on bottom right corner   top

Draw guidelines

Line toolClick on the Line tool

Change your foreground color to green.

Wherever the circle crosses a diagonal, it will make a little block similar to one of these. Put your cursor on the red pixel that seems to be just outside the circle.Circle close viewCircle close viewCircle close view

Start first guideline

From that place, drag a green line to the middle of the top red line.

(The reason for starting on the diagonal is that it's very easy to find the place where a vertical meets a horizontal line, but harder to see those intersection points,especially when a new line is following your cursor.)


Draw line to here

Second lineRelease the mouse button, move back to the same starting place and draw a line down to the middle of the side line.

Do this right around the circle, always starting on a diagonal and drawing to the outside of the square, until you can see the outline of your octagon.

guidelines finished

Save this template

At this point, save a copy for later use. Rectangular Selection iconDraw a rectangular selection around the outside of the red square, click Edit on the menu bar and choose Copy To. Type a name in the dialogue box that appears—octagon_template1. Make sure that you're saving as 256 color bmp or gif and click Save.

Having done that, and while the selection is still active—you can see a dashed line around it—press the Ctrl key and drag a copy off to the side somewhere. This can be used as a starting point for both solid and outlined versions.   top

Draw the octagon

You can now choose to finish the shape either right now or to go on and use the Polygon tool.

Make an outlined octagon with the Flood Fill tool

Flood Fill toolClick on the Flood Fill tool

Red foreground, white blackgroundChange your foreground color to red, with white still on the background.

Since you're only going to flood color inside your shape, no extra border is needed.

Flood octagon with redFlood octagon with whiteMove the Flood Fill cursor into the octagon outline and click with your left button, then with your right button, and once more with your left.


Once more with redOnce more with whiteNow you have a red octagon with a one pixel line around it.

If you want a plain white octagon with a fine line around it, click once more with your left button.

If you want it a certain color, click on that color and flood the shape.


Flood octagon with greenIf you simply want a solid octagon with no outline at all, then flood the shape with the same green that you used to make the outline.   top

Remove construction lines

When your octagon is as you want it, remove the construction lines.

Border around pictureRectangle toolThis too, can be done with the Flood Fill tool, but because you'll be flooding outside of the shape, first click the Rectangle tool, change your foreground color to blue, and put a border around the whole picture. This will stop color from flooding over the whole work space.

Then use the left-click right-click method you used to clear the shape, making your first red flood between the blue border and the red square.

Removing construction lines by repeated floodingWhen only your wanted shape remains, you can flood the blue border with white to remove it.

After that you can use the color eraser to change the color of the outline, or you can flood the shape itself with whatever color you choose.

Save the finished octagon

Rectangular Selection toolDraw a rectangular selection around the finished octagon.

Click Edit on the menu bar and choose Copy To.

Type a name, such as octagon_solid or octagon_outline in the dialogue box that appears. Make sure that you're saving as 256 color bmp or gif and click Save.

Once the cutout is saved, you can clear workspace.bmp or workspace.gif and save it ready for your next project.   top

About polygon drawing

When you are drawing a polygon, you need only drag the first line. Thereafter you just click each point and the line will follow your clicks.

An unfortunate thing about the Polygon tool is that if you have to click Undo because one line is wrong, the whole polygon disappears and you have to start again.

However, with this particular shape, a nice thing is that it's made of the three kinds of lines that the Shift key controls, so provided that your starting places are spot on, your octagon will be perfectly shaped.

Oh, another thing: should you click away before the polygon is finished—say to hit File > Save—Paint will presume that that was a click of the polygon and it'll draw another line.

Outlined octagon using Polygon tool

Line thickness 3 pixelsClick the Line tool and set line thickness to 3. 4 or 5 pixels.

Click the Polygon tool.

Filled and outlined polygonTo make an outlined octagon choose the second of the polygon options, which means filled and outlined.

The top option is for outline with no fill, but if you use that the guidelines will show through. With the second option, and with white as your background color, you'll get a white fill, neatly covering the guidelines.   top

background color is whiteChoose a color that you have not used in the template. (You can change the color of the finished octagon later if you want to.)
Make sure that your background color is set to white.

Put your cursor in the same place you used for the first dark green line.First line of polygon

Trace the line to the next intersection.

Continue polygonRelease your mouse button, hover over the next point and click. The line will come to the place where you clicked.

Continue around the shape in the same way, clicking on each intersection in turn.

Double click hereWhen you get to the second-last corner—where the arrow is pointing—double click. (It's fine to go right back to the starting point before you double click. Results will be the same.)

Finished outlineWhen you double click, the polygon outline will jump to your starting point and the octagon will be complete.


All that remains is to remove the construction lines and save your finished octagon.   top

Solid octagon using polygon tool

Solid polygonClick the Polygon tool.

To make an solid octagon without a line around it, choose the third of the polygon options, which means solid shape with no outline.

Line thickness doesn't matter.

The rest of the process is exactly the same as for the outlined octagon using the polygon tool.

Save your work

Rectangular Selection toolClick the Rectangular Selection tool

Transparency optionMake sure that the transparency option is highlighted and draw a marquee around your picture.

Go to the Edit menu and click on Copy To.

Type a name into the dialogue box, check that the Save as type says 256 color bmp if you're working in 98 or XP or gif if you're working in Vista.

Click the Save button.

Clean your workspace

After you've copied and saved the picture, have a quick look around your workspace to make sure there's nothing else you want to copy and save. If there is something, copy and save it now, using the same Copy To procedure.


Make sure that you have white as your background color.

Go to the Edit menu and click Select All.

Hit the Delete key.

Go to the File menu and click Save.

Close Paint—unless you want to go on making other octagons of different sizes.


Other Pictures, Problems and Procedures


Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you, especially if you have helpful suggestions regarding any one of this set of pages. They were begun in response to some reader questions and I've arrived at solutions through trial and error. As I went over the exercises and tried to follow my own instructions, I several times saw a quicker or easier way to do something and it's likely that readers may still see some better solutions.
My email address is here.

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