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How To Make a Background White

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Hi, I am new to any kind of graphics program. I selected Paint.net because I had read it was much easier to use than other graphics programs. I have searched and read many postings regarding what I am asking but nothing has guided me. This is what I want to do and seems as simple a graphics  task as one can imagine. I have created an image of a solid black cat on a white background and I scanned it and opened it with Paint.net. All I want to do is remove the very faint pencil erasure marks and other imperfections that appear on the white background. I want to leave the black cat just as it is. I have tried the following:


1. Selected magic wand and the background. (Perfect! It selects the whole area I want to change)

2. Applied the eraser and it leaves a checkerboard, which I understand is the underlying blank layer. (Fine, now I want to fill in that checkerboard area with the color white so the imperfections are gone)

3. I can not find the correct tool to color the erased section white, just plain white.


I am obviously not understanding the many complexities with this program. But, that's okay. I only want to to this one task, at least for now and as I mentioned, I can not find how to do this simple task. Any help would be appreciated.





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Hey @JonH & welcome to the forum :)


I'm about to introduce you to something that is probably a new concept. Layers. Don't worry, its easy!


Your image is currently a single layer. The erased bits show up as a checkerboard - denoting transparent areas. With me so far? 


Look in the bottom of the Layers Window for this icon :LayersAddNewLayer: and click it once. That adds a new layer. See it appears in the Layers window above your existing layer?


Drag that layer below the image layer. Just click on it in the Layers Window & drag it downwards. You'll be fine!!


When it is at the lowest position of the two layers, click the layer once to make sure it has the highlight (it's a blue highlight). This indicates this layer is the active one.


Select the Paint Bucket tool by clicking on this icon :PaintBucket: in the Tools window or pressing F on your keyboard.


Right click anywhere in the image. The new layer will be filled with white fully coloring the transparent bits in the upper layer. How cool is that?


To preserve the layer structure, save the image as a *.PDN.


If you're not interested in the layer structure and just want the final image, flatten the image to a single layer with Ctrl + F and save it as a *.PNG or *.JPEG or whatever file type you want.



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  1. The paint bucket filled with white using a right-click because White is the default Secondary color. If you had left-clicked it would have filled with the Primary color (defaults to black). Naturally if you had changed the color in either Primary or Secondary color slots the new shade would have been used.
  2. You could have filled the layer without selecting the paint bucket tool by selecting the entire layer with Ctrl + A (select all) then hit Shift + Backspace to fill with the Secondary color (white by default). Backspace (without the Shift key) fills with the Primary color.
  3. Lots more cool stuff can be found here: https://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/PaintBucket.html


Let me know if you have any problems :)

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