Microsoft Paint
The classic Microsoft Paint app is set to receive Photoshop-like features. Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft Paint is set to receive some of Photoshop's best features. Microsoft's Principal Program Manager Lead - Windows Inbox Apps, Dave Grochocki, recently announced the company's plans to add a slew of useful features to the creative application via a blog post.

Much to the delight of Windows 11 users, Microsoft is sparing no effort to transform the classic Paint app into a highly competent graphics editing software.

In line with this, an earlier report suggested that Microsoft is testing AI in MS Paint. While it is not trying to compete with Adobe Photoshop, the company seems to be leaving no stone unturned in a bid to make Paint more powerful.

Windows 11 Paint app gets new features

A major Windows 11 Paint update is slated to roll out to testers in the Windows Insider Program in the coming months. In the meantime, the Redmond-based tech company has added a Photoshop-like 'background removal' tool to Paint.

Now, it looks like Microsoft has more in the store. Apparently, the company is now adding Layers and Transparency features to Paint. Layers act like transparent sheets of glass in the app and you can make changes to each layer independently.

Moreover, layers can be stacked together to create the desired art. It is like making a sandwich, where each ingredient represents a different layer. The new layer feature in Paint will help you create complex designs without breaking a sweat.

You can create a complex work of art simply by adding a picture to one layer, text to another and then stacking all layers. Let's check out how to use layers in MS Paint.

How to use layers in Paint for Windows 11

  • First, head straight to the Microsoft Store to download and install the updated version of Paint.
  • Open the Paint app.
  • Click the new Layers button, which is located in the toolbar.
  • You will see a new panel on the right side of the app's screen.
  • The new layers panel allows you to add, remove or change the order of the layers in the app.

You can easily drag and drop one layer above another to change the order of stacked elements. Aside from this, you can merge layers, duplicate individual layers and show or hide layers.

You can use the duplicate layer feature to create more identical layers. All layers in Paint combine to create one final image. Also, Paint now supports the transparency feature, which lets you edit PNG files (transparent ones) without downloading Photoshop on Windows.

The transparency effect is shown in a checkerboard pattern, particularly when you're using a single layer. In fact, you can use Paint's background removal tool to create a transparent PNG file.

Currently, Microsoft is testing these new features with Windows Insiders. The company is also reportedly planning to get rid of WordPad from Windows in future updates.