“Microsoft Paint, also known as MS Paint, is set to receive a significant update, introducing two new image editing features that enhance the capabilities of this popular free graphics manipulation tool. Users will soon have the ability to work with layers, a feature reminiscent of Adobe’s renowned Photoshop software. Additionally, MS Paint will support transparent images, allowing users to edit and save them seamlessly. These exciting features are anticipated to become available to all Windows 11 users in the near future.
In a recent Windows Insider blog post, Microsoft unveiled its plans to modernize this nearly 40-year-old program by introducing support for layers. Users will gain the ability to add, remove, and manage layers directly on the canvas, providing a powerful way to manipulate their images. These layers can be hidden or revealed at will, granting users the flexibility to work on specific elements without affecting others.
Much like industry-standard image manipulation tools such as Photoshop and the open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), these layers will appear in the order they are arranged, enabling users to organize and adjust digital elements effectively. As demonstrated in Microsoft’s blog post, an image featuring pixel-style artwork, like a cat, can consist of multiple layers, including a background layer.
Another significant enhancement is the introduction of transparency support in MS Paint. Users can now open and edit transparent images, such as PNG files, with the application. Transparent portions of the image will be displayed with a duotone checkerboard pattern as the background, providing a clear visual indication of transparency.
With this new transparency support, MS Paint’s eraser tool gains the ability to selectively remove backgrounds, rendering them transparent. When users are ready to save their edited images, MS Paint will preserve the transparency by saving them as PNG files, eliminating the previous practice of filling transparent areas with a white background.
Although a specific release date for these features reaching all Windows 11 users remains uncertain, Microsoft is actively testing the functionality with Windows Insider testers on the Canary and Dev channels, starting from version 11.2308.18.0 and newer. The company is expected to roll out these exciting features to all users once the testing phase concludes.”