Freeware Guide
Program of the Month @ (November 2007)

Tux Paint

(open source drawing software for children)

Version: 0.9.18
OS: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Release: November 21, 2007
Download file size: 9.0 MB

Tux Paint


Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12.
It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program.



Works on Mac (Intel and PPC), Windows (Windows95 through Vista), Linux and other systems.

Simple Interface

  • A number of useful drawing tools are made available.
  • 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 640480, and can be displayed full-screen, to hide the computer's underlying 'desktop' interface. (It defaults to 800600 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.

Entertaining Interface

  • 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.

Drawing Tools

  • 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
    • Alternate color palettes can be created and used
  • 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
  • Shape tool
    • Draw various filled and unfilled polygonal shapes
    • Rotate shapes (this feature can be disabled for younger children)
  • Text tool
    • Comes with various fonts
    • Bold, italic and size can be changed
    • Parents/teachers can add more fonts
    • Supports numerous languages
  • 'Magic' (special effects) tool
    • Blocks - turn parts of the picture 'blocky'
    • Blur - blur parts of the picture using the mouse
    • Bricks - paint realistic large or small brick patterns
    • Calligraphy - a smooth brush that changes thickness depending on how quickly you stroke
    • Cartoon - make parts of the picture look like a cartoon
    • Chalk - make parts of the picture look like a chalk drawing
    • Darken - darken the colors of parts of the picture
    • Distortion - slightly alters the position of the picture under the brush
    • Drip - make parts of the picture look like it's dripping away
    • Emboss - gives the image's edges highlights and shadows
    • Fill - 'flood-fill' an area with a particular color
    • Flip - flip the image vertically
    • Flower - draws curvy-stalked flowers
    • Foam - paints foamy bubbles that grow as you
    • Glass Tile - see your drawing through glass tiles
    • Grass - paint realistic clumps of grass on the screen and into the distance
    • Kaleidoscope - four symmetric brushes
    • Light - draw beams of bright light on your picture
    • Lighten - fade the colors of parts of the picture
    • Metal Paint - paints shiny metallic colors
    • Mirror - flip the image horizontally
    • Negative - invert the colors of parts of the picture
    • Rainbow - draw using a brush that paints in all colors in the rainbow
    • Ripples - rippled waves over your image
    • Shift - move the entire picture around
    • Smudge - push the colors around as though smudging wet paint
    • Tint - change the color of parts of the picture
    • Waves - wiggle your picture
    • ... plus, programmers can easily and quickly create new 'Magic' tools using a plug-in interface!
  • Eraser
  • Undo
    • Multiple levels of undo
    • Undo actions can themselves be undone with the 'Redo' button


  • Save
    • 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
    • Open a previous drawing by selecting its thumbnail in a virtual 'picturebook'
    • Delete previously-saved pictures
  • Slides
    • 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
  • Starts
    • Various coloring-book-style images included
    • Photographic scenes included, with foreground and background elements that you draw in between
  • Print
    • Print pictures on a printer

Download Tux Paint

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