Microsoft plans to launch a new Paint app called Paint 3D with the Windows 10 Creative Update in early 2017.
It is unclear yet if Microsoft plans to replace the win32 version of Paint that was part of all recent and not so recent versions of Windows with the application version Paint 3D, or if both will remain available at least for some time.
Update: Microsoft launched Paint3D alongside classic Paint in the Windows 10 Creators Update.
As a user of Windows 10, and Paint in particular, you are probably wondering how Paint 3D compares to the classic Paint desktop application.
Notes: Paint 3D is available as a preview version currently. While it seems likely that the version resembles the final product in functionality and interface, there is a chance that things are changed before release. Features may be pulled, interface elements moved, or new features introduced.
I'm not a designer and not the target audience. I have used Paint in the past, but only to paste a screenshot from the Clipboard and to save it afterwards. That's why I will concentrate my observations on interface and differences in functionality mostly.
The first thing that you may notice is that the new Paint 3D opens slower than the classic Paint program. This may not matter much if you use the program for a prolonged period of time regularly, but it may matter if you use it for quick tasks like the aforementioned saving of a screenshot.
Paint 3D displays a "getting started" page on Start with no apparent option to disable it. While it goes away when you paste an image into the application or drag a picture in the interface, it delays the start further if you want to start with a blank canvas.
It is possible that the page is only there during the preview period and that it will be removed or get an option to be turned off when Paint 3D is released fully.
The second thing that you may notice is that Paint 3D uses a tabbed interface at the top. While classic Paint used tabs as well, all but view related tools were accessible on a single toolbar.
This is no longer the case in Paint 3D as it divides tools on six different tabs. The following tabs are provided from left to right:
Paint 3D offers more functionality than the classic Paint. The 3D functionality is probably the most visible new feature but you find a couple more. You can use Paint 3D to upload images or join a community. The latter did not work for me as it is available only to users from the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand currently.
The new app is optimized for touch input; all buttons, sliders and toggles are big and easy to tap on.
As far as missing features are concerned, there are a couple. There does not seem to be a scanner option anymore, and the option to set an image as the desktop background is missing as well.
Format support is identical, but Paint 3D does not support different save presets for Bitmap images anymore.
You can try the Paint 3D Preview if you are on the latest Windows Insider Fast Ring build.
It will be interesting to see if the Windows 10 community welcomes Paint 3D. It is not a bad program, and the new functionality makes it interesting to a whole new audience. Then again, this is not the classic Paint that you got in and out in less than five seconds saving a screenshot in the process.
Now You: Paint or Paint 3D, which one do you favor and why?
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