Edited Drawings Saved As JPEG





Introduction: Edited Drawings Saved As JPEG

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

I have an old, inexpensive CAD program that does some nice things, but it cannot save in a format I can load with my Instructables. This Instructable will tell how to convert drawings from any drawing program to the JPEG format.

In the photo you see a simple cylinder I made in my CAD program. The CAD program does not allow me to erase unwanted lines. (If it does, I have not discovered how.) Perhaps I could have drawn or painted over the unwanted lines with a color identical to my chosen background color. But, I will show you an easier way later.

Step 1: Move the Drawing to Microsoft Paint

Press the PrtScrn/SysRq button on your keyboard. This saves your current screen to the computer's clipboard.

Open Microsoft Paint. The photo below shows the trail to Paint through All Programs.

Step 2: Paste Into Paint

Pull down Edit on the Paint menu and select Paste. The screen image containing your drawing can now be edited further in Paint. But, do all edits possible in the draw program before beginning to edit in Paint.

Step 3: Erase Unwanted Lines

Click on the yellow eraser from the tool menu. Select the width of the eraser's coverage (blue square at the bottom of the vertical toolbar) and begin erasing unwanted lines.

Step 4: Crop

Use Paint's Crop tool to outline the portion of the image you wish to use. The image should be as large as possible on the screen. You can enlarge the view by pulling down Paint's View menu. Go to Zoom and select Custom. A larger image will produce better final results.

To make the actual crop, pull down Paint's Edit menu and select Cut. Then Pull down Paint's File menu and select New. When asked if you want to save your changes, click on "No."

Step 5: Paste and Save As a JPEG When Finished.

Pull down the Edit menu in Paint and select Paste. Then pull down the File menu in Paint and select Save as... Open the Save as type... window in the Save dialog box. Select JPEG and save to your hard drive.

Step 6: Finished

You now have your edited drawing ready to upload with your Instructable, or to use in some other way. You have combined the best features of your favorite drawing program with those of Paint, and saved the final product in JPEG format.



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    Thanks Phil, this will be really useful.

    I use both AutoCad LT and TurboCad for engineering drawings, both are more complex than we need for Instructable projects. TurboCad is a much better value than the overpriced AutCad. Home Plan Pro is a very user friendly and inexpensive CAD software.

    Phil, you often add annotation and arrows to your photos. Do you do this on Photoshop, or a different program?

    2 replies


    I apologize that i did not see this until three years after you posted it. I usually add arrows and notations in plain old, no frills MS Paint.

    Gee, that was so long ago - I forgot about it. Yes I also use MS Paint.

    I do not believe it does.

    Great idea for beginners who are learning to use graphics. If I'm not mistaken you can use cut and paste with any graphics program. altho, I have not used anything but photoshop for years, I tried this using gimp and paint (microsoft)it worked very well. Also you can use whatever color that is a background and paint over unwanted lines..

    3 replies

    I just tried to copy an image from my CAD program and paste it into MS Paint, but the image did not appear in Paint.

    Get Gimp and try that, I do it all the time in photoshop and have no problems

    That is because when you Copy from a program, it usually keeps it in the same format that the program is working with (in your case, the CAD software's format) This format does not readily translate into a format the paint can understand... thus the non-working-ness... Using Print-Screen takes an image-file of your desktop AS Shown. Because it's an image file, paint can understand it and manipulate it, etc.


    Only a general recommendation to everyone out here. Try to use Paint.NET. It look like paint, but its ADVANCED. Plus, it's free. By getting used to it, you will be able to use pro tool later, gimp or photoshop, as paint.NET will show you the basic of the more "pro" program.


    Side note: Paint saves JPEGs with a huge amount of compression, which gives you lovely small file sizes but horrible compression artifacts (those crunchy lines around areas of high detail). To avoid these you can either a) save as PNG which uses lossless compression, smaller file than a BMP but keeps all your detail b) use a different program such as Paint.NET that lets you choose the level of JPEG compression and move it up to 90 quality or higher. I stopped using Paint to save JPEGs once I realised that it didn't have to be this way, now I am obsessive about JPEG artifacts. Pay your money, make your choice...