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What is Paint?

What is Paint

Microsoft Paint (Paintbrush, for MacOS users) is a legacy graphics drawing program that allows users to edit graphics files or create their own graphics. It is a simple raster graphics editor that makes it easy to create basic graphic art on a computer, and it has been shipped with all versions of Microsoft Windows since its inception. It offers various features for drawing and painting files, such as tools like color fillers, cured line tools, image pasting, shaped stencils, and text tools for adding text in different fonts and sizes.

The paint program enables the users to open and save images in different formats like JPEG, GIF, PNG, Windows bitmap (BMP), and single-page TIFF formats. The application does not have a grayscale mode, although it may be used in colour or two-color black-and-white. It soon became one of the most popular apps in early versions of Windows due to its simplicity; it also introduced many people to sketching on a computer for the first time. Commonly, it is still used for picture manipulation. In July 2017, Microsoft added Paint to their list of deprecated Windows features. According to Microsoft, the paint software will also be available as a free standalone application on the Microsoft Store. The below image is an example of Microsoft Paint.

What is Paint

History of Paint

The initial version of Paint was published in November 1985, along with Windows 1.0, the original version of Windows. It was a licenced version of ZSoft Corporation's PC Paintbrush, and it could only handle monochrome graphics with a bit depth of one. This version was later replaced by Paintbrush in Windows 3.0, which had a revamped user interface, support for the BMP and PCX file formats, and true colour support. With Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, an updated version of Paint was included by Microsoft, which enables users to save and load a combination of colors in the form of a color palette. This capability works well if the colour depth of the photos is 16 bits per pixel or more. Later versions do not support this functionality.

When appropriate graphics filters are installed, Paint has the potential to open TIF, JPEG, 48-bit, GIF, and save pictures in JPEG and GIF formats in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows Me. These kinds of plug-ins are added with Microsoft PhotoDraw and Microsoft Office. And Paint also becomes capable of using transparent backgrounds. The canvas size expands automatically was began with Windows Me, when larger pictures are opened or pasted rather than asking.

Later with the time, Paint began to save pictures as PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and JPEG without the need for additional graphics filters as it uses GDI+. However, there is still a lack that the alpha channel transparency is not supported. The default color palette and the toolbar icons were redesigned in Window Vista. Paint may erase a change up to ten times in Windows Vista, compared to three in prior versions. It now has a crop option as well as a slider for image magnification. By default, the files were saved in JPEG format in this version.

Windows 7 and later

In Windows 7 and later, a ribbon in its user interface was included in the version of paint. This version also contained artistic brushes with various shades of grey and varying degrees of transparency. As a result, it provides a more realistic outcome. In addition, this version is able to save files in the .png extension file format by default and allows users to view transparent PNG and ICO file formats.

Now text can be pasted into text boxes even if there is no more space to display the text. Also, a text box allows you to enlarge it accordingly in which text can be fit into the text box. While in previous versions of Paint, if a user tried to paste the text into the text box and the box size is not appropriate for the text, it displays an error message. Paint in Windows 8 was updated to solve a long-standing problem that stopped users from scrolling the window when editing in a zoom view larger than 100%.


Paint 3D alongside Paint was introduced by Microsoft for Windows 10 in April 2017. Paint 3D has the potential to import and manipulate three-dimensional models in addition to the traditional two-dimensional drawing tools. On July 23, 2017, Microsoft added Paint to the list of obsolete Windows features, three months after it was added to the list of deprecated Windows features. Even though Paint 3D has the same capabilities, Microsoft stated the next day that the paint program would become a free independent application in the Microsoft Store. However, all versions of Windows 10 include paint.

Features of Microsoft Paint

Paint has a few functions like trail mode, regular shapes, stamp mode, and moving pictures. This tool is an attractive option for people that makes it easy to create basic graphic art on a computer. However, Paint provides multiple features that enable users to make effective graphics files. Some important features are discussed below:

Drawing Tools

In Paint, the toolbox is a box that includes icons for artistic tools. Such tools provide users the ability to select different sizes of brushes with different textures. It also allows users to choose the colors to fill in the drawing that makes it more attractive. There are other tools also available in the Paint that contains various shapes, like rectangles, circles, and squares, and allow users to select them.


Users can change the viewing size of an open file in Paint. They can resize the viewable area by selecting "View" from the menu. By selecting "Custom" from the menu, users can magnify the view up to 800 percent of the original. The worker can change her graphic in great detail by zooming in at high resolution. Additionally, users can add gridlines to the window with the help of an additional choice on the "Zoom" menu. However, gridlines do not print with the file. When artists use drawing tools, these tools are a guideline for them to be used to be more precise. Also, by using keyboard commands, users may enlarge the screen view. To zoom in, press the "CTRL" key while pressing the "Page Down" key on your computer. You may also zoom back to the original view size by holding down the "CTRL" key while pressing the "Page Up" key.

Image Options

In Paint, different commonly used tools are provided by the "Image" menu that affects the overall picture. For example, the "Flip and Rotate" selection enables the worker to rotate the image in any direction, such as left, right, up, and down. Also, he can rotate the graphic a specified number of degrees. The picture can also be stretched or skewed by degree. Furthermore, the image's size attributes can be changed horizontally and vertically.

Simple File Sending

Users can send files with the help of simply clicking on the "File" menu and selecting the "Send" option. Microsoft Paint has an email option that allows users to send an open file. When you select the file to send, first, the computer's email software is opened by the Paint program and inserted the file into an email. The user only needs to select the recipient because the file will be automatically attached, write the subject and the message and click on the "Send" button.

Why is Microsoft Paint included with Windows?

Users can open other picture files in Microsoft Paint. For instance, the files with extensions like, .ico, .png, .tiff, .jpg, .bmp, .dib, .gif can be created, opened, viewed, and edited by using the latest version of Microsoft Paint. If you have not installed Paint on your computer, you need to install an image viewer for viewing pictures on the system.

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