Tux Paint
version 0.9.27 Frequently Asked Questions

Copyright © 2002-2021 by various contributors; see AUTHORS.
http://www.tuxpaint.org/

August 29, 2021


Table of Contents

Drawing-related

Fonts I added to Tux Paint only show squares
The TrueType Font you're using might have the wrong encoding. If it's 'custom' encoded, for example, you can try running it through FontForge (http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/) to convert it to an ISO-8859 format. (Email us if you need help with special fonts.)
The Rubber Stamp tool is greyed out!

This means that Tux Paint either couldn't find any stamp images, or was asked not to load them.

If you installed Tux Paint, but did not install the separate, optional "Stamps" collection, quit Tux Paint and install it now. It should be available from the same place you got the main Tux Paint program. (Note: As of version 0.9.14, Tux Paint comes with a small collection of example stamps.)

If you don't want to install the default collection of stamps, you can just create your own. See the "Extending Tux Paint" documentation for more on creating PNG and SVG image files, TXT text description files, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 or WAV sound files, and DAT text data files that make up stamps.

Finally, if you installed stamps, and think they should be loading, check to see that the "nostamps" option isn't being set. (Either via a "--nostamps" option to Tux Paint's command line, or "nostamps=yes" in the configuration file.)

Either change/remove the "nostamps" option, or you can override it with "--stamps" on the command line or either "nostamps=no" or "stamps=yes" in a configuration file.

The "Fill" Tool Looks Bad

Tux Paint is probably comparing exact pixel colors when filling. This is faster, but looks worse. Run the command "tuxpaint --verbose-version" from a command line, and you should see, amongst the other output: "Low Quality Flood Fill enabled".

To change this, you must rebuild Tux Paint from source. Be sure to remove or comment out any line that says:

#define LOW_QUALITY_FLOOD_FILL

in the "tuxpaint.c" file in the "src" directory.

Stamp outlines are always rectangles

Tux Paint was built with low-quality (but faster) stamp outlines.

To change this, you must rebuild Tux Paint from source. Be sure to remove or comment out any line that says:

#define LOW_QUALITY_STAMP_OUTLINE

in the "tuxpaint.c" file in the "src" directory.


Interface Problems

Stamp thumbnails in the Stamp Selector look bad

Tux Paint was probably compiled with the faster, lower quality thumbnail code enabled. Run the command: "tuxpaint --verbose-version" from a command line. If, amongst the other output, you see the text: "Low Quality Thumbnails enabled", then this is what's happening.

To change this, you must rebuild Tux Paint from source. Be sure to remove or comment out any line that says:

#define LOW_QUALITY_THUMBNAILS

in the "tuxpaint.c" file in the "src" directory.

Pictures in the 'Open' dialog look bad
"Low Quality Thumbnails" is probably enabled. See: "Stamp thumbnails in the Stamp Selector look bad", above.
The color picker buttons are ugly squares, not pretty buttons!

Tux Paint was probably compiled with the nice looking color selector buttons disabled. Run the command: "tuxpaint --verbose-version" from a command line. If, amongst the other output, you see the text: "Low Quality Color Selector enabled", then this is what's happening.

To change this, you must rebuild Tux Paint from source. Be sure to remove or comment out any line that says:

#define LOW_QUALITY_COLOR_SELECTOR

in the "tuxpaint.c" file in the "src" directory.

All of the text is in uppercase!

The "uppercase" option is on.

Either change/remove the "uppercase" option, or you can override it with "--mixedcase" on the command line or either "uppercase=no" or "mixedcase=yes" in a configuration file.

Tux Paint is in a different language
Make sure your locale setting is correct. See "Tux Paint won't switch to my language", below.
Tux Paint won't switch to my language

Printing

Tux Paint won't print, gives an error, or prints garbage (Unix/Linux)

Tux Paint prints by creating a PostScript rendition of the picture and sending it to an external command. By default, this command is the "lpr" printing tool.

If that program is not available (for example, you're using CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System, and do not have "cups-lpr" installed), you will need to specify an appropriate command using the "printcommand" option in Tux Paint's configuration file. (See the "Options Documentation".)

Note: Versions of Tux Paint prior to 0.9.15 used a different default command for printing, "pngtopnm | pnmtops | lpr", as Tux Paint output PNG format, rather than PostScript.

If you had changed your "printcommand" option prior to Tux Paint 0.9.15, you will need to go back and alter it to accept PostScript.

I get the message "You can't print yet!" when I go to print

The "print delay" option is on. You can only print once every X seconds.

If you're running Tux Paint from a command-line, make sure you're not giving it a "--printdelay=..." option.

If you're running Tux Paint by double-clicking an icon, check the properties of the icon to see if "--printdelay=..." is listed as a command-line argument.

If a "--printdelay=..." option isn't being sent on the command line, check Tux Paint's configuration file for a line reading: "printdelay=...".

Either remove that line, set the delay value to 0 (no delay), or decrease the delay to a value you prefer. (See the "Options Documentation".)

Or, you can simply run Tux Paint with the command-line argument: "--printdelay=0", which will override the configuration file's setting, and allow unlimited printing. (You won't have to wait between prints.)

I simply can't print! The button is greyed out!

The "no print" option is on.

If you're running Tux Paint from a command-line, make sure you're not giving it a "--noprint" option.

If you're running Tux Paint by double-clicking an icon, check the properties of the icon to see if "--noprint" is listed as a command-line argument.

If a "--noprint" option isn't being sent on the command line, check Tux Paint's configuration file for a line reading: "noprint=yes".

Either remove that line, or simply run Tux Paint with the command-line argument: "--print", which will override the configuration file's setting.

Or use Tux Paint Config. and make sure "Allow Printing" (under "Printing") is checked.


Saving

Where does Tux Paint save my drawings?

Unless you asked Tux Paint to save into a specific location (using the "savedir" option), Tux Paint saves into a standard location on your local drive:

Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10
In the user's "AppData" folder:
e.g., C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\TuxPaint\saved
Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP
In the user's "Application Data" folder:
e.g., C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\TuxPaint\saved
macOS
In the user's "Application Support" folder:
e.g., /Users/Username/Library/Applicaton Support/TuxPaint/saved/
Linux / Unix
In the user's home directory ("$HOME"), under a ".tuxpaint" subfolder:
e.g., /home/username/.tuxpaint/saved/

The images are stored as PNG bitmaps, which most modern programs should be able to load (image editors, word processors, web browsers, etc.)

Tux Paint always saves over my old picture

The "save over" option is enabled. (This disables the prompt that would appear when you click 'Save.')

If you're running Tux Paint from a command-line, make sure you're not giving it a "--saveover" option.

If you're running Tux Paint by double-clicking an icon, check the properties of the icon to see if "--saveover" is listed as a command-line argument.

If a "--saveover" option isn't being sent on the command line, check Tux Paint's configuration file for a line reading: "saveover=yes".

Either remove that line, or simply run Tux Paint with the command-line argument: "--saveoverask", which will override the configuration file's setting.

Or use Tux Paint Config. and make sure "Ask Before Overwriting" (under "Saving") is checked.

Also, see "Tux Paint always saves a new picture!", below.

Tux Paint always saves a new picture!

The "never save over" option is enabled. (This disables the prompt that would appear when you click 'Save.')

If you're running Tux Paint from a command-line, make sure you're not giving it a "--saveovernew" option.

If you're running Tux Paint by double-clicking an icon, check the properties of the icon to see if "--saveovernew" is listed as a command-line argument.

If a "--saveovernew" option isn't being sent on the command line, check Tux Paint's configuration file for a line reading: "saveover=new".

Either remove that line, or simply run Tux Paint with the command-line argument: "--saveoverask", which will override the configuration file's setting.

Or use Tux Paint Config. and make sure "Ask Before Overwriting" (under "Saving") is checked.

Also, see "Tux Paint always saves over my old picture!", above.


Audio Problems

There's no sound!
Tux Paint makes too much noise! Can I turn them off?

Yes, there are a number of ways to disable sounds in Tux Paint:

The stereo panning of sound effects is bothersome; can sound effects be monophonic?

Run Tux Paint with the "no stereo" option:

The sound effects sound strange

This could have to do with how SDL and SDL_mixer were initialized. (The buffer size chosen.)

Please e-mail us with details about your computer system. (Operating system and version, sound card, which version of Tux Paint you're running (run "tuxpaint --version" to verify), and so on.)


Fullscreen Mode Problems

When I run Tux Paint full-screen and [Alt] + [Tab] out, the window turns black!
This is apparently a bug in the SDL library. Sorry.
When I run Tux Paint full-screen, it has large borders around it

Linux users - Your X-Window server is probably not set with the ability to switch to the desired resolution: 800×600. (or whatever resolution you have Tux Paint set to run at.) (This is typically done manually under the X-Window server by pressing [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Keypad Plus] and [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Keypad Minus].)

For this to work, your monitor must support that resolution, and you need to have it listed in your X server configuration.

Check the "Display" subsection of the "Screen" section of your XFree86 or X.org configuration file (typically "/etc/X11/XF86Config-4" or "/etc/X11/XF86Config", depending on the version of XFree86 you're using; 3.x or 4.x, respectively, or "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" for X.org).

Add "800x600" (or whatever resolution(s) you want) to the appropriate "Modes" line. (e.g., in the "Display" subsection that contains 24-bit color depth ("Depth 24"), which is what Tux Paint tries to use.)

Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

Note that some Linux distributions have tools that can make these changes for you. Debian users can run the command "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86" as root, for example.

Tux Paint keeps running in Full Screen mode - I want it windowed!

The "fullscreen" option is set.

If you're running Tux Paint from a command-line, make sure you're not giving it a "--fullscreen" option.

If you're running Tux Paint by double-clicking an icon, check the properties of the icon to see if "--fullscreen" is listed as a command-line argument.

If a "--fullscreen" option isn't being sent on the command line, check Tux Paint's configuration file for a line reading: "fullscreen=yes".

Either remove that line, or simply run Tux Paint with the command-line argument: "--windowed", which will override the configuration file's setting.

Or use Tux Paint Config. and make sure "Fullscreen" (under "Video & Sound") is not checked.


Other Probelms

Tux Paint won't run

If Tux Paint aborts with the message: "You're already running a copy of Tux Paint!", this means it has been launched in the last 30 seconds. (On Unix/Linux, this message would appear in a terminal console if you ran Tux Paint from a command-line. On Windows, this message would appear in a file named "stdout.txt" in the same folder where TuxPaint.exe resides (e.g., in "C:\Program Files\TuxPaint").

A lockfile ("~/.tuxpaint/lockfile.dat" on Linux and Unix, "userdata\lockfile.dat" on Windows) is used to make sure Tux Paint isn't run too many times at once (e.g., due to a child impatiently clicking its icon more than once).

Even if the lockfile exists, it contains the 'time' Tux Paint was last run. If it's been more than 30 seconds, Tux Paint should run fine, and simply update the lockfile with the current time.

If multiple users are sharing the directory where this file is stored (e.g., on a shared network drive), then you'll need to disable this feature.

To disable the lockfile, add the "--nolockfile" argument to Tux Paint's command-line, or "nolockfile=yes" to the configuration file.

I can't quit Tux Paint

The "no quit" option is set. This disables the "Quit" button in Tux Paint's toolbar (greying it out), and prevents Tux Paint from being exited via the [Escape] key.

If Tux Paint is not in fullscreen mode, simply click the window close button on Tux Paint's title bar. (i.e., the "ⓧ" at the upper right.)

If Tux Paint is in fullscreen mode, you will need to use the [Shift] + [Control] + [Escape] sequence on the keyboard to quit Tux Paint.

(Note: with or without "no quit" set, you can always use the [Alt] + [F4] combination on your keyboard to quit Tux Paint.)

I don't want "no quit" mode enabled!

If you're running Tux Paint from a command-line, make sure you're not giving it a "--noquit" option.

If you're running Tux Paint by double-clicking an icon, check the properties of the icon to see if "--noquit" is listed as a command-line argument.

If a "--noquit" option isn't being sent on the command line, check Tux Paint's configuration file for a line reading: "noquit=yes".

Either remove that line, or simply run Tux Paint with the command-line argument: "--quit", which will override the configuration file's setting.

Or use Tux Paint Config. and make sure "Disable Quit Button and [Escape] Key" (under "Simplification") is not checked.

Tux Paint keeps writing weird messages to the screen / to a text file

A few messages are normal, but if Tux Paint is being extremely verbose (like listing the name of every rubber-stamp image it finds while loading them), then it was probably compiled with debugging output turned on.

To change this, you must rebuild Tux Paint from source. Be sure to remove or comment out any line that says:

#define DEBUG

in the "tuxpaint.c" file in the "src" directory.

Tux Paint is using options I didn't specify!

By default, Tux Paint first looks at configuration files for options.

This means that if anything is set in a configuration file that you don't want set, you'll need to either change the config. file (if you can), or override the option on the command-line.

For example, on Linux and Unix, if "/etc/tuxpaint/tuxpaint.conf" includes this option to disable sound...

nosound=yes

...then you can reenable sound by either adding this option to your own ".tuxpaintrc" file:

sound=yes

...or by using this command-line argument:

--sound

Linux and Unix users can also disable the system-wide configuration file by including the following command-line argument:

--nosysconfig

Tux Paint will then only look at "~/.tuxpaintrc" and command-line arguments to determine what options should be set.


Help / Contact

Any questions you don't see answered? Please let us know! You can subscribe and post to our "tuxpaint-users" mailing list:

http://www.tuxpaint.org/lists/

Or, contact lead developer Bill Kendrick directly:

bill@newbreedsoftware.com