RealWorld Paint help index

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RealWorld Paint help index

RealWorld Paint is a freeware image/photo/animation editor. It can be used to create or edit computer images or animations, convert images to animations and back. RealWorld Paint can also be used for photo retouching.

Note: other RealWorld applications are capable of editing image just like RW Paint. All information available in this section is directly applicable to RealWorld Icon Editor, RealWorld Cursor Editor and RealWorld Photos.

Getting started

If you have installed RealWorld Paint on your computer, you can start it by double-clicking the RealWorld Paint icon on your desktop or from the Windows start menu. If you are using the portable version, double-click the RWPaint(.exe) file after you have unzipped the archive.

Creating new images and animations

Clicking on the File->New menu command or switching to the Create tab in an empty window displays a list of available wizards:

  • New raster image - activate this icon to create a new empty image. Width, height and background color of the create image can be specified in the right column.
  • Image from clipboard - creates image from content of clipboard. If you find an image on the web, right-click on it in Firefox and select "Copy image", then use the "Image from clipboard" wizard.
  • Capture desktop - the application window hides for a moment and the desktop without the Paint.COM window is captured and opened in the editor.

Opening files

RealWorld Paint is by default able to open (and save) images and animations in the following formats:

  • .bmp - Windows bitmap.
  • .jpg - JPEG photograph.
  • .png - PNG image.
  • .gif - GIF image or animation
  • .webp - WebP photograph.
  • .jp2/.jpc - JPEG2000 image.
  • .psd - Photoshop image with layers are some layer styles.
  • .xcf - GIMP image with layers
  • .pdn - image with layers.
  • .rli - RealWorld image or animation with layers and styles. This is the native format of RealWorld applications. RLI specification.

Additional formats may be available if plug-ins are installed.

To open an image, click on the Open tab in an empty window or click on the Open command in the File menu. Alternatively, drag and drop an image from a file manage on the RealWorld Paint window. If you frequently open image with RealWorld Paint, consider associating selected file types with RealWorld Paint and open image by simply double-clicking them in Windows Explorer.

Using drawing tools

Paint offers several drawing tools and fill styles. Drawing tools may use the active color or fill style to fill interior of shapes.


Core concepts

Reading the following sections will help you understand how things work inside the RealWorld Designer framework. It is recommended for users wanting to customize the look and functionality of the application and for plug-in developers.

  • Window Layout - this corner-stone of the application controls the content of the entire window and the main menu.
  • View State - communication medium between individual parts of the application. A need-to-know topic for people wanting to customize the user interface and functionality.
  • Localized Strings - how use text in multiple languages in items configurable by the end users.
  • Scripting - introduction to creation of scripted filters or other operations.
  • Plug-ins - technical information for plug-in developers.
  • Stateless GUI - RealWorld application use strictly stateless user interface methods. Learn why and what are the consequences.

Getting more help

The crucial pieces of information are available directly in RWPaint's user interface:

  • Read the tooltips and/or descriptions in application status bar (the line at the bottom of each window) to learn about individual menu commands or dialog controls.
  • Click the lightbulb toolbar button or the "What now?" menu command to display list of frequently used actions.
  • Search this web using the search box in the upper right corner.
  • Ask a question on a public discussion board

Recent comments

- show all comments
user icon Anonymous on July 27th 2018

Anyone ever experience the program refuses to save a file when trying to save as animated png, sometimes it works and other times the program just hangs up and the save button no longer does anything

user icon Anonymous on November 16th 2018


user icon Anonymous on November 22nd 2018

how do you set a cursor, I'm wondering if u can help me please? :-o

user icon Anonymous on January 20th

On Win10, I edited the default Windows cursors, changed the cursor's base white to yellow, saved it with a different name, (load it) selected the new cursor on the Windows mouse options but the color change doesn't reflect, it still appears white. Any ideas?

user icon Vlasta site administrator on January 22nd

maybe you edited just one pf the images inside the cursor

user icon Anonymous on January 31st

How can I enlarge a print?

user icon Anonymous on February 25th

Hi! RW Paint user here, been using it since early 2016.

It's a really neat program but I have a few issues with it.

1. I come into a lot of memory issues and the program not working properly when the program is supposedly handling a lot.

If I have a project with a lot of layers, the program might not behave properly, with some layers not displaying correctly, corrupted/unsavable worked on files if some threshold of memory is reached with it and some features just straight up not functioning, at all. And I've never come across an issue like this with other programs and usually if I do results in a crash, there's some kind of autosave feature installed into said program, which RW Paint lacks to begin with.

2. Some simple UI things--
When I add a layer, in say programs like SAI or FireAlpaca, it'll add a layer over the one I have selected, whereas with RW Paint, it'll just add the layer over every currently existing layer which made sense at first, but again; With pieces with lots of layers, this can be a little bothersome.

And another is I can select multiple layers and merge them at once. There's a merge all layers function from what I can see, and I assumed hey, if I select multiple layers and press that, it should put them all together, but it doesn't which kind was kind of off-putting. A feature like that would be really neat.

I think these 2 or 3 issues are the only ones that really stand out to me.

user icon Vlasta site administrator on February 25th

You may want to try the 64 bit version from It should be able to handle bigger projects if you have enough memory in your computer and it may even have the layer merging fixed.

user icon StickyChannel92 contributing user on April 29th

How do I add a background to an image with a person's shadow and smooth edges?


user icon Anonymous on June 13th

how do i make a cursor?

user icon Anonymous
I wish there were...
Vista & Win 7 icons