Windows Insiders to get updated Paint app with layers and transparency

Kip Kniskern

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Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels are getting some important updates to the venerable Paint app. With version 11.2308.18.0 and higher, Paint is adding two new features available in most other image apps but missing from the built in Microsoft app, layers and transparency.


You can now add, remove, and manage layers on the canvas to create richer and more complex digital art. With layers, you can stack shapes, text, and other image elements on top of each other. To get started, click on the new Layers button in the toolbar, which will open a panel on the side of the canvas. This is where you can add new layers to the canvas. Try changing the order of layers in this panel to see how the order of stacked image elements on the canvas changes. You can also show or hide and duplicate individual layers or merge layers together.


Along with layers, Paint is also getting transparency, including support for opening and saving transparent PNGs.

When working with a single layer, you will notice a checkerboard pattern on the canvas indicating the portions of the image that are transparent. Erasing any content from the canvas now truly erases the content instead of painting the area white. When working with multiple layers, if you erase content on one layer, you will reveal the content in layers underneath.

The two new features are in addition to the recently added background removal feature, making Paint suddenly much more versatile. Do you use Paint? Will these new features change your mind about using it in the future? Let us know in the comments below.