Tux Paint is easy to use, includes countless fun effects, and provides many configuration options.
- Simple Interface
- Entertaining Interface
- Drawing Tools
- International Character Input
- Parental and Teacher Controls
Tux Paint works on macOS (10.10 Yosemite and up), Windows (Windows 7 through Windows 11), Linux, Android, and other systems. An unofficial Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad) version is also available.
- A number of useful drawing tools are made available. (See Drawing Tools, below.)
- The drawing canvas is a fixed size, so the user doesn't need to worry about 'pixels' or 'inches' when making a new picture.
- The entire program fits on a screen as small as 640x480, and can be displayed full-screen, to hide the computer's underlying 'desktop' interface. (It defaults to 800x600 mode, but can run at larger sizes and in portrait or landscape mode, as well.)
- Loading and saving of images is done using thumbnails, so no knowledge of the underlying operating system's filesystem structure is needed. Even filenames are unnecessary.
- Images can be exported from Tux Paint (e.g., to your "Pictures" folder).
- Fun sound effects are played when tools are selected and used.
- A cartoon version of Tux, the Linux penguin, appears at the bottom to give tips, hints and information.
- Paint brush
- Various brushes available
- Parents/teachers can add more brushes
- Brushes can be animated
- Brushes can change shape depending on the direction they're drawn
- Brushes can point the direction that's being drawn (New in 0.9.27)
- Alternate color palettes can be created and used
- Color picker, for choosing colors from a drawing
- Rubber stamp
- Hundreds of photographic and cartoon stamps images are available
- Parents/teachers can add more stamps and create categories
- Stamps can have descriptive text and sound samples (names, facts, etc.) and/or sound effects assigned to them
- Stamps can be resized, flipped and mirrored
- Raster bitmaps (Portable Network Graphics ("PNG")) with full-color and alpha transparency (32bpp RGBA) supported
- Vector graphics (Scalable Vector Graphics ("SVG")) supported
- Line tool
- Uses Paint Brush's brushes
- 'Rubberband' shows where the line will be drawn as you move the mouse
- 'Flood-fill' an area with a particular color
- Fill an area with a solid color
- Fill an area with a radial gradient
- Interactively fill an area with a linear gradient
- Interactively fill an area with a solid color using freehand brushstrokes (New in 0.9.27)
- Shape tool
- Draw various filled and unfilled polygonal shapes
- Rotate shapes (this feature can be disabled for younger children)
- Draw shapes from the center, or from a corner (this feature can be disabled for younger children)
- Text and Label tools
- Come with various fonts
- Bold, italic and size can be changed
- Parents/teachers can add more fonts
- Supports numerous languages (See International Character Input, below)
- Labels may be moved or edited later
- 'Magic' (special effects) feature, with over 75 tools!
- Blocks - turn parts of the picture 'blocky'
- Blur - blur parts of the picture using the mouse
- Chalk - make parts of the picture look like a chalk drawing
- Clone - clone parts of the picture; copy by painting
- Distortion - slightly alters the position of the picture under the brush
- Drip - make parts of the picture look like it's dripping away
- Edges - outline the edges of shapes in your picture
- Emboss - gives the image's edges highlights and shadows
- Fisheye - view parts of your picture through a fish-eye lense
- Glass Tile - see your drawing through glass tiles
- Halftone - turn your picture into newsprint
- Mosaic - make your picture into a mosaic of colors
- Hexagon Mosaic - create a pattern of hexagons
- Irregular Mosaic - turn your picture into a mosaic of shards
- Square Mosaic - create a pattern of squares
- Noise - add random noise to your picture
- Puzzle - shift parts of your picture around like it's a sliding puzzle
- Ripples - rippled waves over your image
- Sharpen - sharpen the focus of the picture
- Silhouette - turn parts of your picture into a silhouette
- Smudge - push the colors around as though smudging wet paint
- TV - make your picture look like it's on a television
- Cartoon - make parts of the picture look like a cartoon
- Color & White - turn the picture monotone
- Color Shift - Jumble the colors of the picture
- Darken - darken the colors of parts of the picture
- Lighten - fade the colors of parts of the picture
- Negative - invert the colors of parts of the picture
- Opposite - swap colors in the picture with their complementary colors (New in 0.9.27)
- Tint - change the color of parts of the picture
- Xor colors - colors based on the position drawn on the picture
- Flip - flip the image vertically
- Fold - fold down the corners of your picture
- Mirror - flip the image horizontally
- Panels - divide and duplicate your drawing into a 2x2 grid (New in 0.9.27)
- Perspective - bend your picture to view it from different perspectives
- Reflection - create a reflection of part of your picture (New in 0.9.27)
- Shift - move the entire picture around
- Stretch - stretch and squash parts of the picture (New in 0.9.27)
- Waves - wiggle your picture side to side
- Wavelets - wiggle your picture up and down
- Zoom - zoom your entire picture in or out
- Bricks - paint realistic large or small brick patterns
- Calligraphy - a smooth brush that changes thickness depending on how quickly you stroke
- Confetti - Throw confetti over your picture
- Foam - paints foamy bubbles that grow as you move the mouse
- Fretwork - draw an interlaced decorative design that looks like wooden fretwork
- Grass - paint realistic clumps of grass on the screen and into the distance
- Light - draw beams of bright light on your picture
- Metal Paint - paints shiny metallic colors
- Pixels - draw 'pixel art' with Tux Paint
- Rails - draw connecting train tracks
- Rain - add raindrops to your picture
- Rainbow - draw using a brush that paints in all colors in the rainbow
- Smooth Rainbow - draw using a brush that smoothly paints in all colors in the rainbow (New in 0.9.27)
- Toothpaste - paint with colorful gel
- Wet Paint - draw with wet, smudgy paint
- Kaleidoscope - four symmetric brushes
- Pattern - draws a tiled pattern around the picture
- Picasso - a triplet of brushes that paint in unison
- Rosette - three brushes that draw in a rosette pattern
- Symmetry Left/Right - paint with reflective symmetry across the horizontal center of the image
- Symmetry Up/Down - paint with reflective symmetry across the vertical center of the image
- Tiles - Draws a symettric pattern around the picture
- Blind - pull window blinds down, or across, the picture
- Checkerboard - fill the picture with a checkerboard pattern
- Snow Ball - cover your picture in snowballs
- Snow Flake - cover your picture in snowflakes
- Flower - draws curvy-stalked flowers
- Lightning - draw lightning bolts on your picture (New in 0.9.27)
- Real Rainbow - draw a colorful arc based on a real photo of a rainbow
- ROYGBIV Rainbow - draw a rainbow arc of seven solid colors
- String V - draw V-shaped string art
- String corner - draw string art
- String edges - draw string art around the edges of your picture
- Tornado - add a tornado funnel to your picture
- ... plus, programmers can easily and quickly create new 'Magic' tools using a plug-in interface!
- Multiple levels of undo
- Undo actions can themselves be undone with the 'Redo' button
- Create a new drawing with a blank canvas, a pre-drawn backdrop, or a coloring-book-style outline
- Save a picture to the virtual 'picturebook'
- One-click save: No file browser dialogs or filename prompts are used
- If saving an opened picture, choose to save over it (like 'Save' in desktop programs), or save a new picture (like 'Save As')
- Open a previous drawing by selecting its thumbnail in a virtual 'picturebook'
- Delete previously-saved pictures
- View a slideshow of multiple saved drawings
- Control the speed of playback; create class presentations or simple looping animations
- Go forward or back using the arrow keys or mouse
- Slideshows can be exported from Tux Paint as animated GIFs, for sharing on the Internet
- Various coloring-book-style images included
- Photographic scenes included, with foreground and background elements that you draw in between
- Vector graphics (Scalable Vector Graphics ("SVG")) supported
- Kid Pix templates ("KPX" files) supported
- Print pictures on a printer
Parts of Tux Paint have currently been translated into the following languages: (129)
(You can even help translate it to your favorite language.)
International Character Input
Enter text in different languages using the Text tool:
- Latin languages - Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc.
- Japanese - Romanized Hiragana and Romanized Katakana
- Korean - Hangul Bul-2
- Traditional Chinese
Tux Paint provides a number of optional accessibiltiy enhancements, to help make the program more suitable in some circumstances.
- On-screen keyboard
- Keyboard-driven mouse pointer control
- Joystick-driven mouse pointer control
- Disable stereo sound effects (mono-only mode)
- Interface button size is adjustable
Parental and Teacher Controls
- Run Tux Paint in full-screen mode, or have it 'grab' the mouse pointer, to prevent children from accidentally accessing other programs or files on the desktop.
- Sound effects can be disabled.
- The Print and Quit options can be disabled.
- Alternatively, the Print option can be limited to allow only one print every n minutes.
- Tux Paint cannot be launched more than once every 30 seconds, to prevent multiple copies from being run accidentally, due to over-eager mouse clicking.
- The directory/folder where Tux Paint saves files may be changed. This can be used to save pictures in a student's home directory on a network drive or shared drive, rather than locally on one particular workstation.
- Stamps, starters and brushes are stored using popular open formats (PNG, SVG, Ogg Vorbis, etc.) allowing parents and teachers to create their own content for use at home or in the classroom - even using completely free tools.
- The 'Tux Paint Config.' program allows parents, teachers, and school technicians to alter Tux Paint's behaviour using a simple, easy-to-use graphical interface. (It's separate from Tux Paint, to prevent children from changing things.)
- ... and much more!