Applications made for kids usually annoy me. Most of them try so hard to appeal to their audience that the interface becomes unbearable to hear and to look at. Tux Paint does away with the fluffy buttons and screen borders in favor of a more conceptual and admittedly rather unpolished interface.
Tux Paint is a simple painting program that features some geometric options but is rather very lacking in the tool precision department. This, of course, is hardly a problem, considering that Tux Paint is aimed at children.
There are 52 brushes in total to paint with, some of them being size variations. The brushes can also be used to draw straight lines. These are complemented by eight geometric shapes, several text fonts and 69 "Magic" tools. These Magic tools vary from effect based brushes to full-screen kaleidoscopic effects like pseudo-3D lattices and different types of mirror drawing.
An additional Stamp pack weighted at 150 megs comes with a plethora of stamp-able items like balls, planets, animals, and apparel.
Although there are many brush and magic tools to chose from, most of them could benefit a lot from size control. Unfortunately, that option only exists for stamps.
Saving in Tux Paint is rather awkward. By default, saved works are displayed in the Open screen. However, there's no hint of where you might find them for real, or what type of file they're saved as.
There's an additional application that installs with Tux Paint. Tux Paint Config allows you to customize resolution, how printing behaves, how mouse clicks are interpreted and more. There's also a section for saves. Unfortunately, Tux paint refuses to launch properly if I set a custom save path. So I still can't retrieve my works of art. There's also a settings tab for joystick controls.
- Various brushes, mostly wacky
- Basic shape drawing
- Multiple undo and redo levels
- Stamps pack
- External settings tab
Tux Paint is not as polished or stable as I would have liked, but being free and all these problems are easy to look past. Tux Paint can be a good diversion for kids, and can also raise some challenges for an adult due to a large collection of tools with limited options.