MS Paint (also known as Microsoft Paint) is being updated with two new image editing features, allowing users to edit images more efficiently using Microsoft’s free graphics tool. Users will be able to edit images using layers, similar to Adobe’s widely used Photoshop software. MS Paint also allows users to work with transparent images and save them after editing. These features are expected to roll out to all users running Windows 11 at a later date.

In a recent Windows Insider blog post, Microsoft declare The company’s nearly 40-year-old computer program will be updated to support layers. According to the company, users will be able to “add, delete and manage layers on the canvas.” These layers can be hidden at will, allowing users to manipulate them without affecting the contents of other layers.

Just like other image processing tools such as Photoshop and the open source GNU Imaging Program (GIMP), layers are visible in the order in which they are placed. The digital elements on each layer can then be organized or adjusted so that they appear behind other elements in the image. Microsoft’s blog post provides an image example with pixel-style artwork depicting a cat with five layers, including a yellow background.

Another important feature of MS Paint is transparency support. Users can now open and edit transparent images (such as PNGs) on the app, which will display a two-tone checkerboard pattern as the background for the transparent portion of the image.

With new transparency support, MS Paint’s eraser tool can also selectively remove backgrounds, making them transparent. When the image is ready to be saved, Paint saves it as a PNG file with transparency – the application previously saved the image after filling the transparent areas with a white background.

There’s no word yet on when layer and transparency support will be available to all users on Windows 11 – Microsoft is currently trialling the new feature with Windows Insider testers on 11.2308.18.0 or later in the Canary and Dev channels. The company is expected to roll out these features to all users once the testing is over.

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Further reading:
MS Paint, Microsoft Paint, MS Paint features, MS Paint updates, MS Paint layers, MS Paint transparency, Microsoft apps, Windows, Windows Insiders, Windows 11, Microsoft

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