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[Photo of the Author]
by Katja Socher

About the author:

Katja is the German editor of LinuxFocus. She likes Tux, computer graphics, film & photography, travelling and the sea. Her homepage can be found here.



Tuxpaint: A paint program for kids

[tux painting]


Tuxpaint is a paint program (not only) for children that is absolutely great and fun!

_________________ _________________ _________________

A few weeks ago I was looking for software for kids in the internet and so by chance I found Tuxpaint which looked interesting. When you install it you can choose between several languages so that there is also a big chance that your and your kid' mother tongue is among the available languages which is important for software for children. The installation went quick and without problems. So soon I was ready to play around and once started I found I could hardly stop again. :)
Even though it is rather simple when you compare it with graphical programs like The Gimp it is full of interesting and easy to grasp features!
Simply click on the Paint button and start drawing. You can choose between many different brushes and colours. If you want to draw a line you press the lines button and a click on the shapes button lets you choose between many different shapes. You can even rotate and scale your shapes before they appear on your drawing board.
For text you click the ABC text button, choose your colour and font and here you go. The text appears in a box and can be moved with the mouse until you confirm it with "enter".
"Print" let's you print out the picture.

[tux painting]

In case you didn't like what you painted you have several undo steps and redoing something also is possible. You can erase part or all of your drawing or if you want to start with a clean sheet you simply press the "new" button.
To save your picture click the "save" button and to open an existing picture you click "open" and Tuxpaint shows you thumbnail images of your saved pictures.
The pictures are saved as png files in the directory .tuxpaint/saved so you can copy them to another directory before your daughter or son changes her/his great painting of an elephant into dracula again.
All this already sounds great, doesn't it? But the real cool features are the stamp and the magic buttons!
A click on the magic button and you can paint in rainbow colours, you can add sparkles to your pictures, give your picture a special note with the chalk option, you can blur your picture and more!
Stamps are what in other drawing programs is called cliparts and there really are a lot of images! Changing the colour let them appear in this new colour and you can also change the size as well as flip them! I really was impressed by the variety of stamps that come with Tuxpaint!
To add your own stamps with (or without) sound you need a small png file and add it in one of the subdirectories under
whereyourtuxpaintisinstalled/share/tuxpaint/stamps/, e.g.
Optionally you can save
to get some text displayed, e.g. This is my picture stamp. And if you want sound for your stamp you also need a wav. file:

Most button clicks are accompanied by sound that make the painting even more fun! So far my favourites are the sound of the rainbow button and the car racing sound of the checkered flag. But decide for yourself!

[tux painting]

I think that kids would love this program. At least I love it as painting with it really is such a big fun! And I can not only just mess around but even create nice looking greeting or invitation cards!

It's time now to let you go so that you can explore Tuxpaint on your own!

Thanks to the Newbreeds Software people who developed this wonderful tool!!!
And to the rest of you I just want to say:
Happy Tuxpainting! :)



You can find and download Tuxpaint at http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
From there you can also get the "Rubber Stamps Collection".  

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