I recently had a situation where I wanted to send someone a picture, but I wanted it to be a combination of two pictures. Submitting the images separately would have been boring because they needed to be shown side by side to get the best effect. I also wanted to do this without Photoshop or downloading any third party program!
I made it work with Paint, although for obvious reasons it’s not the best tool to use. If you’re okay with cropping and resizing your image, it’s actually not that bad, and the results are good. In this article, I will show you how to merge two images into one on Windows.
If you are using a Mac, or simply prefer tools other than MS Paint, check out our YouTube video for a look at some good photo editing tools that can easily accomplish the same task.
Combine two pictures in MS Paint
First, let’s start with the images we want to combine. For my example, I’ll be using two sample photos that Microsoft includes in Windows 7: chrysanthemums and hydrangeas.
The next thing we need to do is figure out the dimensions of the image. Depending on the photos you are trying to merge, you may need to crop one to make it fit correctly next to the other image. Since we are using Paint, right-click one of the images and select “Open With – Paint”.
Click the small arrow to the left of the Home tab and select Properties. Here we will see how big the image is in pixels or inches.
If you open images from a digital camera, they can be very large, so it is recommended that you resize them to a more reasonable size first. This way, you can also email the merged image so that it doesn’t go crazy like 8MB! To resize in Paint, click the Resize button on the Home tab.
You can do this in percentages or pixels if you like. You also need to make sure you have the “Maintain aspect ratio” checkbox checked.
After you have resized it, you can also crop it if you like. Again, you can always go to Properties to see the final image size in pixels or inches. This way you can adjust the second image to be the same size if you like. To crop, simply click the Select button and then select the area you want to crop. Finally, just click the Crop button and you’re done.
After you finish adjusting the size and crop, save the photo. Now open the second image and make the same adjustments to match the first. Now let’s get to the fun part of combining images. Take note of the dimensions of both images and then create a new file in Paint.
By default, a new file will be created with the default size. We need to size our new image so that the width is exactly the same as the width of images 1 through 2, and the height is exactly the same as the height of one image. In my case, both images were originally 1024×768, but then I reduced their size to half. So I need to resize my new image to 1024 × 384 in order to accommodate both images. It makes sense? Again, go to Properties and adjust the size manually:
Note that this will place two images side by side. If you want them to be stacked on top of each other, you would make the width in this case 512 and the height 768. So you just have to do a little math to get the correct size for what you want to do. After resizing the new image, open another instance of Paint. If you try to open the file, it will ask you to close the current image, so you will have to open a new instance of Paint.
Open one of the images and click Select All to select the entire image. Then click “Copy”.
Now go to the new image and click the “Insert” button at the top left. It should now look like this:
Now in the second instance of Paint, open the second image, select everything and then copy. Then paste it into a new image. By default, it will go right over the first image. If you hover your mouse over the image, you will see that you can drag it to a new location. Just click and drag to the right.
If you screw up and drop it in the wrong place, for some reason it will not be possible to select the image again. At least I couldn’t understand it. In this case, you just need to click the Undo arrow at the very top or press CTRL + Z. Then just paste it again and move it. Moreover, when you insert it for the first time, you can also move the image with the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Well, that’s all! Now just select File – Save As and save the combined image! It may take a little time and patience, especially if you have two images that are completely different in size, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s also good to know if you are using someone else’s computer that doesn’t have third-party photo editing software installed. Enjoy!