How To Sign Your Photos With Microsoft Paint

So you’re tired of people downloading your photos from social media and turning them into hilarious memes – without giving you any credit whatsoever. You tried un-checking the box that says, “Allow viewers to download my photos and videos” and, much like the pedestrian “Cross Now” button at a traffic light, found that it does nothing (these things are installed because the squirrel-like population is less likely to dart into traffic when a button is present, even if it’s not hooked up to anything).

The best solution, apart from avoiding social media altogether, is to embed your name and/or website directly into your photos. This can easily be accomplished with a free program called Microsoft Paint, which is included with Windows.

First, locate and open Paint. In Windows XP it can be found in ‘Accessories’. In later versions of Windows it was hidden, along with all the other great features we liked in XP. Thank you, Microsoft. Click ‘Start’ (or tap the Windows logo button), and in the search box type mspaint. When it pops up, right-click on it and send it to the Desktop to create a shortcut.

BlankpaintopenDouble-click on your new shortcut and click the Paint Menu button, then click ‘Open’. Locate and import your photo.

scrollIf the bottom of the photo is out-of-frame, drag the vertical scrollbar downward.

scroll2Now click on the large capital “A”, bring your mouse pointer down to the vicinity of where you want your text. While holding down the left mouse button, drag it downward and to the right in order to create a textbox. Don’t worry about positioning at this point, just make sure it is large enough to hold your text.

scroll3Type your message, then hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to the beginning of the line in order to highlight your text. Now go back to the top left of the screen, click “Transparent” for the background, choose a font and a text size in the “Font” box, and click on “Bold” for more visibility. Choose a color by clicking “Color 1”, and select the color of choice from the ones offered, or click on “Edit Colors” for more. Pick something that is clearly visible, yet unobtrusive. Clicking somewhere inside the textbox will un-highlight the text so you can see the result (Clicking outside the box will make your changes permanent. If this happens, click the left pointing curly arrow at the top left of the screen and start over!). Re-highlight and recolor until you like it.

Now it is time to move your text to its final destination. Position your pointer over one of the little square boxes attached to the textbox, and while holding down the left mouse button, you can drag the text left, right, up, or down, until it is positioned just where you want it.

Click on the Paint Menu button, and hover your mouse over “Save As”. A window will pop up, pick JPEG (or PNG for higher quality), and give the picture a new name. This preserves the original. Just in case.


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