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January 21, 2022


Fred Katz

You could establish a virtual machine in Windows 10 running Vista and Paintbrush. My suggestion is to learn how to do your drawing using Microsoft-Word. I have used it to do schematics, block diagrams, physical drawings and other presentations. You can create a file that is a library of complex shapes, analog components, logic blocks, pipe fittings and other symbols. It actually works best with older copies of Word. The most powerful tool within it is to group lines and shapes to create a custom library. Unfortunately, many features of MS-Office seem to devolve with newer editions.

John Dunn

I've been writing essays for EDN under the banner "Living Analog" at:


Illustrations for those essays have a width limit of 600 pixels. In Paintbrush, I can turn on "Cursor Position" which allows me to exactly place a vertical line at the 600 pixel position so that I can always keep my illustrations safely within that 600 pixel limit. Paint offers no such tool.

Cursor positioning in Paintbrush responds to my up-down-left-right keyboard keys which allows me to control line drawings to single pixel precision. Paint provides only mouse-control of cursor position which makes precision adjustments to any drawing very difficult.

Just look at that last sketch of the hexagonal EMI shields and you will see how important that level of control can be.

Paintbrush provides a black-and-white mode in which a variety of drawing patterns is available. There are crosshatch patterns and dot patterns of varying densities which can be very useful for shading purposes. Paint doesn't offer that.

Also, I've gradually created a library of more than 400 icons, these tiny little but oh ever so handy little images that become parts of many illustrations. Now and then I add something new. They used to be PCX formatted, but lately I've converted them to BMP images.

The summary of it all is that I've never found a satisfactory tool to replace Paintbrush although there have been many suggestions.

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