Friday, September 22, 2023

Microsoft Paint adds two of Photoshop’s best features

Microsoft Paint is about to become an image editor similar to Photoshop. The latest update will add support for layers and transparency, two of the features most requested by the community. The new version, available for Windows Insider users, allows you to create and manipulate images in a similar way to Adobe’s flagship application.

In a Windows blog post, Microsoft announced that they have begun rolling out a Paint update to those in the Windows Insider Canary and Dev channels. The version includes layers (layers), so now you can add, delete or manage multiple items to compose an image.

Users will have at hand a side panel to manage layers, being able to duplicate, merge or hide them. The operation is similar to Photoshop, where the layer at the top of the list is the one with the highest hierarchy. This feature can be combined with the support for transparencyanother novelty that debuts in the most recent version of Paint.

The function allows open and edit PNG files with transparent background. In case you want to remove the background of an image and save it as PNG it will now be possible, since Paint already has a feature that identifies the subject and separates it automatically. Users will be able to remove background with the push of a button and then save the file with transparency.

The changes would seem minor, although not to the old-school Paint user. The graphics editor is one of the oldest Windows applications and is included since the first version of the operating system. Unfortunately, Microsoft was never interested in adding useful features and soon lost relevance to more robust software such as Adobe Photoshop.

The rebirth of Microsoft Paint

The story of Paint is an example of resilience. Despite the lack of features and the time it takes to update, the app has stood the test of time like no other. A few years ago, Microsoft announced that it would replace it with Paint 3D, although the community reacted and prevented it from disappearing.

The latter was decisive for the future of Paint, since Microsoft separated it from the operating system to offer it as an independent application. By migrating to the Microsoft Store, Paint was no longer limited to a Windows update to integrate new features, so it would receive features at a faster rate.

After receiving a facelift with Windows 11, Paint is preparing to become a more complex image editor. Support for layers and transparency is not the only thing on Microsoft’s list of new features, as Paint will embrace artificial intelligence through a function that allows you to generate images based on text instructions.

Like other Microsoft applications, Paint will integrate a sidebar where users will experiment with generative AI. The image editor, which for years only served to paste and crop screenshots, will have its moment of glory after 38 years.

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