Microsoft is giving Paint some photo editing features

  • Microsoft has announced some new features that make Paint a more robust image editor.
  • The update adds the ability to remove backgrounds, arrange compositions in layers and export transparent PNGs.
  • The update is currently only available to a few Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev channels.

If graphic design is your passionMicrosoft has some new features coming to Paint that may be of interest.

Yes, Photoshop and Canva exist, but these tools cost money, and a lot of it depending on the package you select. A free tool that gives folks the ability to edit images, even just by cropping a specific part of an image is something that the modern world needs.

Cognisant of this, Microsoft has rolled out a preview of a refreshed Paint to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev channels (version 11.2308.18.0 or higher). This preview introduces support for layers and transparency.

“You can now add, remove, and manage layers on the canvas to create richer and more complex digital art. With layers, you can stack shapes, text, and other image elements on top of each other. To get started, click on the new Layers button in the toolbar, which will open a panel on the side of the canvas. This is where you can add new layers to the canvas. Try changing the order of layers in this panel to see how the order of stacked image elements on the canvas changes. You can also show or hide and duplicate individual layers or merge layers together,” writes Microsoft.

The introduction of layers is fantastic as anybody who has had to create an image in Paint can attest to. Simply being able to switch between different layers opens up a realm of possibilities. The preview also allows one to erase content from the canvas and then save what remains as a transparent PNG.

You can see the functionality on display in the GIF below.

Short animation showing the background getting removed in Paint. Source: Microsoft.

The preview is being rolled out to Insiders slowly, so Canary and Dev Channel users may not see the preview immediately. Microsoft says it wants to gauge feedback before taking the leap and pushing the feature out to everybody.

When this feature will reach the wider Windows userbase is unclear but if you absolutely must get your hands on the preview you can join the Canary and Dev channels. We do recommend doing this on a secondary PC though as these Insider updates could potentially render your PC unusable should a buggy preview be released.


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