How to Remove the White Border on Screen Shots in Windows Vista Paint - dummies

How to Remove the White Border on Screen Shots in Windows Vista Paint

By Woody Leonhard

Whether you’re using a keyboard shortcut (such as Alt+PrtScr) or the Snipping Tool that Vista added to the Windows Clipboard to take a picture of the screen, Windows Paint may come in handy. If you open a screen shot in Paint, you might notice that Paint put your screen shot in the middle of a large white background. Fortunately, you can easily get rid of the annoying white border on screen shots in Vista’s Paint program.

If you’ve spent time trying to work with screen shots in Paint, you’ve no doubt come across this problem. This bad habit is caused because when you start Paint, it assumes that you want to create a picture that’s 640 pixels wide by 512 pixels high. Why? There’s no telling. But if you have a screen capture smaller than 640 x 512 pixels, and you paste it into Paint, you get a big white margin filling the picture out to 640 x 512. Blech.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround, which doesn’t appear to be documented anywhere but here:

  1. Choose Start→All Programs→Accessories→Paint.

    Windows Paint appears on the screen.

  2. Choose Image→Attributes.


    You see the Attributes dialog box.

  3. Type 1 in both the Width and Height boxes and click OK.

    Paint shows you a 1-x-1-pixel image.

  4. “X” out of Paint. When Paint asks if you want to save changes to Untitled, click Don’t Save.

    The next time you start Paint, it appears with a 1-x-1-pixel image.

Having an initial 1-pixel “picture” makes it slam-dunk easy to use Paint to save screen shots. Now, whenever you paste a screen shot into Paint, it will automatically adjust to fit the size of the screen shot. Using Paint’s a snap after you get it to avoid sticking in those big white margins.