Tux Paint works on macOS (10.7 and up), Windows (Windows95 through Windows 10), Linux, Android, and other systems. An unofficial Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad) version is also available.
- A number of useful drawing tools are made available. (See Drawing Tools, below.)
- The drawing canvas is a fixed size, so the user doesn't need to worry about 'pixels' or 'inches' when making a new picture.
- The entire program fits on a screen as small as 640x480, and can be displayed full-screen, to hide the computer's underlying 'desktop' interface. (It defaults to 800x600 mode, but can run at larger sizes and in portrait or landscape mode, as well.)
- Loading and saving of images is done using thumbnails, so no knowledge of the underlying operating system's filesystem structure is needed. Even filenames are unnecessary.
- Fun sound effects are played when tools are selected and used.
- A cartoon version of Tux, the Linux penguin, appears at the bottom to give tips, hints and information.
- Paint brush
- Various brushes available
- Parents/teachers can add more brushes
- Brushes can be animated
- Brushes can change shape depending on the direction they're drawn
- Alternate color palettes can be created and used
- Color picker, for choosing colors from a drawing (New in 0.9.23)
- Rubber stamp
- Hundreds of photographic and cartoon stamps images are available
- Parents/teachers can add more stamps and create categories
- Stamps can have descriptive text and sound samples (names, facts, etc.) and/or sound effects assigned to them
- Stamps can be resized, flipped and mirrored
- Raster bitmaps (Portable Network Graphics ("PNG")) with full-color and alpha transparency (32bpp RGBA) supported
- Vector graphics (Scalable Vector Graphics ("SVG")) supported
- Line tool
- Uses Paint Brush's brushes
- 'Rubberband' shows where the line will be drawn as you move the mouse
- Shape tool
- Draw various filled and unfilled polygonal shapes
- Rotate shapes (this feature can be disabled for younger children)
- Text and Label tools
- Come with various fonts
- Bold, italic and size can be changed
- Parents/teachers can add more fonts
- Supports numerous languages (See International Character Input, below)
- Labels may be moved or edited later
- 'Magic' (special effects) tool
- Blind - pull window blinds down, or across, the picture
- Blocks - turn parts of the picture 'blocky'
- Blur - blur parts of the picture using the mouse
- Bricks - paint realistic large or small brick patterns
- Calligraphy - a smooth brush that changes thickness depending on how quickly you stroke
- Cartoon - make parts of the picture look like a cartoon
- Chalk - make parts of the picture look like a chalk drawing
- Color & White - turn the picture monotone
- Color Shift - Jumble the colors of the picture
- Confetti - Throw confetti over your picture
- Darken - darken the colors of parts of the picture
- Distortion - slightly alters the position of the picture under the brush
- Drip - make parts of the picture look like it's dripping away
- Edges - outline the edges of shapes in yur picture
- Emboss - gives the image's edges highlights and shadows
- Fill - 'flood-fill' an area with a particular color
- Fisheye - view parts of your picture through a fish-eye lense
- Flip - flip the image vertically
- Flower - draws curvy-stalked flowers
- Foam - paints foamy bubbles that grow as you move the mouse
- Fold - fold down the corners of your picture
- Glass Tile - see your drawing through glass tiles
- Grass - paint realistic clumps of grass on the screen and into the distance
- Hexagon Mosaic - create a pattern of hexagons
- Irregular Mosaic - turn your picture into a mosaic of shards
- Kaleidoscope - four symmetric brushes
- Light - draw beams of bright light on your picture
- Lighten - fade the colors of parts of the picture
- Metal Paint - paints shiny metallic colors
- Mirror - flip the image horizontally
- Mosaic - make your picture into a mosaic of colors
- Negative - invert the colors of parts of the picture
- Noise - add random noise to your picture
- Perspective - bend your picture to view it from different perspectives
- Picasso - a triplet of brushes that paint in unison
- Puzzle - shift parts of your picture around like it's a sliding puzzle
- ROYGBIV Rainbow - draw a rainbow arc of seven solid colors
- Rails - draw connecting train tracks
- Rain - add raindrops to your picture
- Rainbow - draw using a brush that paints in all colors in the rainbow
- Real Rainbow - draw a colorful arc based on a real photo of a rainbow
- Ripples - rippled waves over your image
- Rosette - three brushes that draw in a rosette pattern
- Shift - move the entire picture around
- Silhouette - turn parts of your picture into a silhouette
- Smudge - push the colors around as though smudging wet paint
- Snow Ball - cover your picture in snowballs
- Snow Flake - cover your picture in snowflakes
- Square Mosaic - create a pattern of squares
- String V - draw V-shaped string art
- String corner - draw string art
- String edges - draw string art around the edges of your picture
- TV - make your picture look like it's on a television
- Tint - change the color of parts of the picture
- Toothpaste - paint with colorful gel
- Tornado - add a tornado funnel to your picture
- Wavelets - wiggle your picture up and down
- Waves - wiggle your picture side to side
- Wet Paint - draw with wet, smudgy paint
- Zoom - zoom your entire picture in or out
- ... plus, programmers can easily and quickly create new 'Magic' tools using a plug-in interface!
- Multiple levels of undo
- Undo actions can themselves be undone with the 'Redo' button
- Save a picture to the virtual 'picturebook'
- One-click save: No file browser dialogs or filename prompts are used
- If saving an opened picture, choose to save over it (like 'Save' in desktop programs), or save a new picture (like 'Save As')
- Open a previous drawing by selecting its thumbnail in a virtual 'picturebook'
- Delete previously-saved pictures
- View a slideshow of multiple saved drawings
- Control the speed of playback; create class presentations or simple looping animations
- Go forward or back using the arrow keys or mouse
- Various coloring-book-style images included
- Photographic scenes included, with foreground and background elements that you draw in between
- Vector graphics (Scalable Vector Graphics ("SVG")) supported
- Kid Pix templates ("KPX" files) supported
- Print pictures on a printer
Parts of Tux Paint have currently been translated into the following languages: (130)
(You can even help translate it to your favorite language.)
Enter text in different languages using the Text tool:
- Latin languages - Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc.
- Japanese - Romanized Hiragana and Romanized Katakana
- Korean - Hangul Bul-2
- Traditional Chinese
Tux Paint provides a number of optional accessibiltiy enhancements, to help make the program more suitable in some circumstances.
- On-screen keyboard
- Keyboard-driven mouse pointer control
- Joystick-driven mouse pointer control
Parental and Teacher Controls
- Run Tux Paint in full-screen mode, or have it 'grab' the mouse pointer, to prevent children from accidentally accessing other programs or files on the desktop.
- Sound effects can be disabled.
- The Print and Quit options can be disabled.
- Alternatively, the Print option can be limited to allow only one print every n minutes.
- Tux Paint cannot be launched more than once every 30 seconds, to prevent multiple copies from being run accidentally, due to over-eager mouse clicking.
- The directory/folder where Tux Paint saves files may be changed. This can be used to save pictures in a student's home directory on a network drive or shared drive, rather than locally on one particular workstation.
- Stamps, starters and brushes are stored using popular open formats (PNG, SVG, Ogg Vorbis, etc.) allowing parents and teachers to create their own content for use at home or in the classroom - even using completely free tools.
- The 'Tux Paint Config.' program allows parents, teachers, and school technicians to alter Tux Paint's behaviour using a simple, easy-to-use graphical interface. (It's separate from Tux Paint, to prevent children from changing things.)
- ... and much more!