How to create a graph paper

Written by c. taylor
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How to create a graph paper
Create your own graph paper with Window 7's Paint program. (graph image by Roman Sigaev from

Graph paper assists in drawing pictures, schematics or graphs presenting a series of equidistant gridded lines to use as a guide. Although you can purchase this graph paper commercially, you can also create graph paper yourself with a very simple graphics program. Windows 7 comes with such a program, called Paint, which will allow you to easily construct your own graph paper that you can print out whenever you need it.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Paint by clicking "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories" and then "Paint."

  2. 2

    Click the line tool, which is the single diagonal line, located in the top-left position in the "Shapes" section. Hold the "Shift" key and drag a line across the bottom of the page from left to right. Holding the "Shift" key forces the line to be horizontal. You can change the size and colour of the line by clicking and choosing the appropriate selection under "Size" or "Color 1."

  3. 3

    Draw a second line just above the first line. Leave a distance between the two, which corresponds to a grid width of your choice.

  4. 4

    Click the small triangle under "Select" and click "Transparent selection." Verify it is selected by looking for a check mark to the left of the option.

  5. 5

    Click the box over "Select" and drag a box around the entirety of the two lines. Press Ctrl+C to copy the lines, and then press Ctrl+V to paste copes of the lines, which should appear at the top.

  6. 6

    Click the pasted lines and drag until the bottom line of the new pair perfectly overlaps the top line of the original pair. You can easily tell if they align by looking at the line width or the boldness of its colour. When all three lines look identical, they are aligned. You will only see three lines, since two are on top of one another. You can fine-tune movements by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard; this allows moving one pixel at a time.

  7. 7

    Press Ctrl+V again to paste another copy and repeat the steps to align them. Continue repeating these steps until you have a sufficient number of lines required for your project. You can save time by periodically copying all the bottom lines and pasting them, which allows you to paste and align several parallel lines at a time.

  8. 8

    Select all the lines and press Ctrl+C one more time to copy them, but do not paste them yet.

  9. 9

    Click "Rotate," under the section "Image," and click "Rotate left 90 degrees." The lines should now be vertical. Drag them into proper position if required.

  10. 10

    Press Ctrl+V to paste the copied lines into the window. These will still be horizontal, creating a grid on your paper. Drag the horizontal lines if you need to reposition them.

  11. 11

    Drag a selection box around the straggly edges of the grid and press "Delete" to remove them. You can leave a little overhang if you prefer, for labelling or alignment purposes, or you can trim the graph up to the line to make it flush.

  12. 12

    Repeat this trimming process for each of the four sides until you have a perfectly square grid on your screen.

  13. 13

    Press Ctrl+S to save your creation with whatever file name you desire. When you are ready to print, you can press Ctrl+P and click "Print" to print your creation.

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