It’s hard to complain about Microsoft Paint. After all, it comes free with Windows and provides the basics for annotating a screenshot with boxes, arrows, and text. It’s nice, but compared to every other paint app on the planet, it seems outdated.
That’s about to change. Microsoft shared the news in a Windows Insiders blog post about some exciting new features available now for Windows Insider users in the Canary and Dev channels.
Microsoft Paint finally gets layers and transparency. The two go hand in hand to allow you to construct a final image in pieces. The Microsoft example loads a drawing of a fairy creature flying over a city.
A single click removes the background, another new feature in Paint. Adding the Windows background of a grassy hill and an intensely blue sky to a layer below completes the new image.
If you’re not a Windows Insider, you’ll have to wait a little longer to test the new features. Hopefully this is a change that Microsoft will move forward with quickly.
You don’t need to wait for Microsoft, of course. There are many free painting and photo apps and many more that you can use right now. We recommend six of the best free photo editing apps, some running in a browser tab.
Microsoft, however, has the ability to turn Paint into something special. I can’t wait to see how dramatically the experience will change with the addition of layers and transparency.
With Microsoft’s recent focus on AI, we may see image generation become a part of Paint, taking it to a whole new level. We expect to hear about more updates to Paint and other Windows apps at Microsoft’s event on September 21. Rumors suggest that Microsoft will announce AI updates for apps, as well as devices like the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and Surface Laptop Go 3.