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Spotty Background


Return to list of Examples   Return to Making Fancy Text   Masks Step by Step

Draw a Square

Rectangle tool, hollowSmall hollow squareZoom in to 6x or 4x, click on one of the colours you've chosen, click the Rectangle tool and hold the Shift key while you draw a small hollow square. Mine was 22x22.

(I begin with hollow shapes because in Paint solid circles aren't drawn as evenly as hollow ones. See the difference in the black and red shapes below?)

Solid and hollow circles compared

Copy the Square

transparency optionsNow click on the Rectangular Selection tool Rectangular Selection and turn on transparent cutouts by highlighting the lower of the two icons that appear below the toolbox when you click the Selection button.
Directions for transparency in Paint for Windows 7 are here.

Draw a marquee around the square and press the Ctrl key as you begin to drag a copy just a little to the right.

Draw a Circle in One Square

Two squaresClick on your second colour choice and click the Ellipse tool. Beginning at the top left corner of one square, draw a circle to fill—or almost fill—one square. Keep your eye on it as you draw and make sure you get a nice even circle.

Whether or not the circle exactly fills the square depends on the dimensions of the square—whether the sides are an odd or even number of pixels. In this instance, it doesn't matter either way.   top

Colour the Shapes

Click the Flood Fill tool and colour the circle to match its outline.

Change to the other colour and fill the squares—four clicks for the one with the circle, just one for the plain square.

Join the Two Squares

Filled squaresJoin the two squaresMake sure that Transparency is on and that your background colour is white.

Click the Rectangular Selection tool, draw a marquee around the plain square and drag it across to exactly join the one with the circle. Do this carefully, making sure that there's neither an overlap nor a gap.

Now draw a marquee around the joined squares, press the Ctrl key and drag a copy down below the original.

Flip the Copy

Click away and then draw a fresh marquee around the copy you just made.

Flip/RotateGo to the Image menu and choose Flip/Rotate. Click OK in the next box.

Image menu in 7In Windows 7, just click the Flip button on the Image menu.   top


Join the Two Parts of Your Pattern

Drag the newly flipped image up to exactly join the original.

moving the flipped image   Joining the two images


You should now be able to zoom back to 2x or even normal view—whichever works better for you.

Select, Copy, Join

Doubling the squareSelect the new square you've made—it has two spots—Ctrl drag it to the right and join it.

Double again, downwardsThen select the whole new shape and Ctrl drag it down and join.

From here on it's just a matter of Select, Ctrl drag, join, as many times as necessary to make a background a bit wider and deeper than the text for which you're going to use it.

Mismatch between copy and originalDo watch carefully as you make each join. If this happens (picture on right) it'll throw your whole pattern out of kilter.

You can now use your spotty background to fill a heading, using the directions for Masks Step by Step.


Transparency in Windows 7 —Image Menu—Select

Contracted image menu Usual image menuFull image menu Depending on the size of your window, the Image Menu will look like one of these. When you click the down arrow just below the dotted rectangle, or just below the word Image, a menu will offer you further choices.

Before you can use the buttons on the right of this menu, you select the part of your drawing that you want to work with.

Transparent selection

Add to Quick AccessAt the bottom of the Select menu you'll see Transparent selection. You'll want to use this often, so it's a good idea to add it to your Quick Access toolbar. To do this, right click on Transparent selection and then click on Add to Quick Access toolbar.
On your Quick Access Toolbar, there'll be a checkbox in front of the words Transparent selection. Transparency with checkboxWhile that box has a tick in it, selections will be transparent.

To make your selections opaque, just click the checkbox to remove the tick.

Return to Copy the Square.

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