Windows' Paint App is getting layer and transparency support
Microsoft introduced support for removing backgrounds from images loaded in the default Windows image editor Paint. Today, the company has pushed out another feature to testers; this time, it is layer and transparency support.
Microsoft announced last month that it had plans to enhance the Paint and Photos app of Windows 11 with AI enhancements, and it seems that at least the background removal feature is one of the first ready for testing.
A blog post by Dave Grochocki, Principal Program Manager Lead Windows Inbox Apps confirms the introduction of layer and transparency support in Paint.
Paint version 11.2308.18.0 includes the new functionality. This new version is being rolled out to Windows Insiders of the Canary or Dev channels.
While officially limited to Insiders, any Windows 11 users who runs the latest stable version of the operating system may download and install the new Paint app already.
Here are the required steps.
- Go to the Adguard website.
- Switch the first field (reading URL (link)) to ProductId.
- Paste 9PCFS5B6T72H into the second field.
- Switch the third field from RP to Fast.
- Activate the checkmark button to retrieve all matching files.
- Download the file Microsoft.Paint_11.2308.18.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe.msixbundle to the local system. (Microsoft may release an update eventually, so that the version 11.2308.18.0 may be higher. If that is the case, pick the newer file).
- Double-click on the downloaded msixbundle file and follow the installation instructions to update Paint on the system.
Note that the new Paint app is not compatible with Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. Any attempt to install it on Windows 10 devices is met with an installation error.
Windows 11 users who run Paint after the update will see the new Layers icon in the image editor's main toolbar. The new layers tool supports adding, removing and managing layers in Paint.
A click on the Layers icon in the toolbar opens the layers sidebar. It lists all existing layers and includes options to add new layers, change the order by using drag & drop, or to remove layers from an image. Other options, which become available on a right-click, include duplicating, hiding and merging layers.
Transparency support is also supported by the new Paint app. Grochocki explains that checkerboard patterns on single layer images indicate transparency in Paint now. When users erase content from images, the erased area becomes transparent now instead of white.
If content is erased when working with multiple layers, content that is underneath the erased area becomes visible, if available.
While Paint is still far away from becoming a replacement for powerful image editors such as Paint.Net, GIMP or Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft seems clearly dedicated to improving the default image editor of the Windows operating system.
Now You: do you use Paint or another image editor?