Documentation/FAQ

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[edit] Frequently Asked Questions

Info: This is not a support forum

This page is intended as a summary of questions users ask a lot, with a focus on giving concrete answers to well-known problems. If you have general support questions, you'll get a far better response if you ask through other channels: see Development#Getting in touch. Asking on IRC or in the forums is best.

image:Info icon 002.48.png


However, if you know lots of users are experiencing a distinct, well-defined problem and there's likely to be a neat, easy fix for it, feel free to ask about it on the talk page. All the better if you have an answer to hand! - just dive right in and add a heading below. Active help is greatly appreciated.


[edit] Do I need a tablet to use Mypaint?

No. You can use the mouse, but a graphics tablet is very highly recommended for drawing. Graphics tablets have much higher resolution than simpler input devices no matter that the make.

The practical result of this is that you might get somewhat blocker lines if you use a mouse when zoomed out a lot. Try turning up the "slow position tracking" brush setting to compensate for this if you see lots of straight lines at multiples of 45° and 90°.

[edit] How do I know how large my image is?

MyPaint 1.1.0 features a frame tool which allows you to control how big your document is, and this has a "Crop to Document" command. The image size can be adjusted in pixels, mm, or other units. The canvas is still infinite, however.

[edit] Why does MyPaint not implement resizing, selection manipulating, color adjustments etc.?

We are not planning to implement these features in the forseeable future, simply because we think there are a lot of things that makes more sense to focus on. If you consider such features to be absolutely essential to your workflow, consider using Krita or GIMP instead.

If you only use them for part of the workflow, you can change applications for these actions, see question 8.

[edit] Can I get OpenRaster image previews in my file browser?

As of February 2010 this is possible for most GNU/Linux desktop environments with some work. We are hoping to make this "just work" on all platforms with time. For more information see OpenRaster Desktop Integration @ fd.o.

[edit] Is there no MyPaint for Mac OS X?

MyPaint can be used on Mac OS X! See Development/Packaging#OSX

[edit] The Mac OS version does not work!

Please check the forum thread and/or report your problem there. The MacOSX port is still experimental.

[edit] How do I reset all settings to the installation defaults?

This can be done easily by removing MyPaint's setting folder. Either delete the entire folder (this will also remove any custom brushes etc.), or just the relevant file found in the folder (windowpos.conf or settings.conf or brushes/order*.conf for instance).

On GNU/Linux this folder is called ".mypaint" in older versions of MyPaint and is found in your home directory (~). Please note that on such systems folders that start with "." are hidden. In newer versions of MyPaint - currently just development ones - look in "~/.config/mypaint" for configuration files and "~/.local/share/mypaint" for data files like brushes and backgrounds.

On Windows it should be "C:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSERNAME\.mypaint" or "C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\.mypaint".

[edit] How do I customize shortcuts?

Hover the cursor over the menu entry and click the shortcut you want to assign. This is also documented under the "Help" menu in the application itself.

[edit] How do I configure my tablet?

MyPaint is designed to work out of the box with many tablets, however some desktop environments require some special setup to work with especially fancy tablets. See for details.

Since 1.1, you can rebind tablet buttons 2 and above to certain functions within MyPaint, provided they act as ordinary numeric "mouse" buttons. These bindings can use the shift, ctrl, and alt keys.

Advanced users may wish to try [easystroke http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/easystroke/wiki], which supports "mouse" gestures in a generic way which can be tailored to suit individual applications.

[edit] When I use my tablet, the cursor is trailed by a line when it's not pressed down: can I fix this?

Sometimes a tablet might be sending false pressure data from the stylus: maybe the sensor is constantly pressed a tiny amount, or there is a configuration glitch. Sometimes it helps to replace the nib of the pen with a spare one. If this doesn't work, you can fix this by adjusting the Global Pressure Mapping setting in Edit > Settings.

  • Adjust Global Pressure Mapping in Edit > Settings.
    • Click on the line to create a new node.
    • Move the node to the bottom of the coordinate system.
    • Move the node on the left-right (horizontal) axis while alternatively testing your tablet on the canvas.

Tip: If you find it hard to find the right setting, you can get the pressure values MyPaint (in version 0.9.0 and newer) sees by going to Help > Debug > Test Input Devices... In older versions of MyPaint you can run it from a commandline, and enable Help > Debug > Print Brush Input values to stdout. The value of press= shows how much pressure MyPaint is registering from your stylus, which you can use to

[edit] How do I exchange my work with other applications?

There are two main ways of exchanging your work with other applications.

  1. Exchange the working document, preserving all attributes like layers, etc. For this we support the OpenRaster file format, which you can use with several other applications.
  2. Exchange a pre-rendered image. For this we support JPG and PNG like most other applications. Using PNG is recommended as it is lossless, and very fast.

[edit] How do I print the work I created using MyPaint?

As of February 2012, there is no "Print" functionality in MyPaint, so you will have to use another application. For instance GIMP, or a image viewer with printing functionality.

[edit] Why does not MyPaint have printing functionality?

Creating a good print dialog is a lot of work. And since not that many use printing, and it is very easy to use another application for this operation we do not see a good reason to implement this. People also like to do post-processing before printing, and might expect things to be color managed, all things we do not plan to support in the short term. Better to focus on the drawing/painting part of our painting application. ;)

[edit] Can MyPaint save in Gimp XCF format so layers can be preserved when the canvas is ready to be moved to it?

MyPaint can't save in Gimp XCF format yet, but it's possible to save as *.ora and preserve all layers. The current version of GIMP has built-in ORA support; for earlier versions, the plugin at [1].

[edit] Does MyPaint rotate the image itself or just the view?

MyPaint only rotates the view (which is why the rotate actions are found under the view menu), and not the image data. This means that if you actually do want to rotate the image itself, you will need to use another application. See question 8.

[edit] Does MyPaint support tilt, for Intuos and Cintiq?

MyPaint has supported tilt since version 0.8. In MyPaint 0.9, you can try it with 'marker-flat' and 'marker-small' in the brush presets bundled with MyPaint at installation. (little arrow in the top-right corner of the brush icon is a symbol to indicate the usage of tilt ).

[edit] Sometimes I need several views of one image with different zooms you can support these in next launch?

There are no plans to implement this as of April 2013.

Development versions of MyPaint beyond 1.1.0 feature a whole-document preview tool.

[edit] Is it possible to move/reposition layers on the canvas?

Not yet. In the development version, this function is being tested. It may become part of the stable version in the future. For now, I recommend using GIMP to do image editing.

[edit] What do I do when mypaint brush list will not show up or is completly gone?

You reset the window positions to the default.

[edit] I know MyPaint is for painting, but what exactly are it's goals? To be simple and intuitive? To only create, never edit? To be easy for beginners or a professional-quality tool? Please explain your ideals for this program.

Try this page.

[edit] How can I save some colors I use often between sessions?

A color palette function is in the works. For now, though, you can use the scratchpad feature, that is saved independently of the image you're working on. The scratchpad is essentially a mini canvas. You can add your preferred colors to it using any brush and then save it. You can later reopen it for use with other images. (Note: Sometimes the scratchpad is accidentally overwritten. Be sure to back up the "scratchpads" folder in your ".mypaint" periodically.)

[edit] Can I make the brush thumbnails bigger?

At the moment, the only way is to edit code. Open gui/brushselectionwindow.py and change the number 48 to something larger. If you have installed mypaint via package, the file is usually in /usr/share/mypaint/gui. No need to recompile.

[edit] How can I make a cursor icon visible when using a tablet in a VM?

WARNING: this answer only applies to MyPaint version 1.1.0 and before, i.e. only with PyGTK versions of MyPaint. Patches welcome for this issue in GTK3, which lacks the input device dialog: see bug 20665 for a more up-to-date solution.

The problem: In my virtualbox (VM) with SuSE 12.2 and my Aiptek HyperPen 12000U tablet there is no cursor visible when using mypaint. With gimp everything is ok, but gimp is no replacement for mypaint.

The reason: When attaching the tablet device to my VM, it is detected but attached to the Virtual core pointer. I think in that case the application has to draw the cursor icons. The command xinput list will show the xinput devices:

aglef@linux-qlug:~> xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ VirtualBox mouse integration              id=8    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ ImExPS/2 Generic Explorer Mouse           id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Aiptek                                    id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                              id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]

The problem solution: We have to create a new master input device and move the Aiptek tablet to the new master input. Each master input device has it's own cursor. The new master need name (not an id). I use my tablet name "Aiptek Hyperpen".

aglef@linux-qlug:~> xinput --create-master "Aiptek Hyperpen"

Lets test if we got an new device.

aglef@linux-qlug:~> xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ VirtualBox mouse integration              id=8    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ ImExPS/2 Generic Explorer Mouse           id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Aiptek                                    id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                              id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
⎡ Aiptek Hyperpen pointer                       id=12   [master pointer  (13)]
⎜   ↳ Aiptek Hyperpen XTEST pointer             id=14   [slave  pointer  (12)]
⎣ Aiptek Hyperpen keyboard                      id=13   [master keyboard (12)]
    ↳ Aiptek Hyperpen XTEST keyboard            id=15   [slave  keyboard (13)]

Ok, thats fine. Now we can attach the tablet to ower new master. But attention: The new master will be identified by the full name, with the pointer extention.

aglef@linux-qlug:~> xinput --reattach Aiptek "Aiptek Hyperpen pointer"
aglef@linux-qlug:~> xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ VirtualBox mouse integration              id=8    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ ImExPS/2 Generic Explorer Mouse           id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                              id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
⎡ Aiptek Hyperpen pointer                       id=12   [master pointer  (13)]
⎜   ↳ Aiptek                                    id=11   [slave  pointer  (12)]
⎜   ↳ Aiptek Hyperpen XTEST pointer             id=14   [slave  pointer  (12)]
⎣ Aiptek Hyperpen keyboard                      id=13   [master keyboard (12)]
    ↳ Aiptek Hyperpen XTEST keyboard            id=15   [slave  keyboard (13)]

Now we have a cursor in mypaint, but we can't draw because the axis mapping was wrong. The fourth axis with the pressure information was mapped as tilt information. We need to change this in the Help/Debug/GTK Input Device dialog.

Please select 4 at pressure for the tablet device Aiptek (not Aiptek Hyperpen XTEST pointer) and close the dialog with the window decoration x in the upper right corner (or something else, depending on you window manager).

File:GTK Input Device dialog.jpg

Happy painting!

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