Us mighty Photoshop masters might look down on the humble Microsoft Paint, but at least you can use it without signing a second mortgage over to Adobe. Between that, its collection of easy, straightforward tools, and the fact that it’s been packed in free with every copy of Windows for almost 40 years, it’s easy to see why Paint remains popular, even when Microsoft neglects it. Today it’s getting a long-overdue upgrade: compatibility with Windows’ Dark Mode.
You’d think adding Dark Mode compatibility would be trivial, but as The Verge notes, this feature has actually been in various Windows 11 beta and dev builds for over two years. The latest version is being added to Windows Insider builds in the Canary and Dev channels starting with 11.2304.17.0, which means it’s almost certain to hit the release version of Windows 11 sometime in the near future. In addition to semi-final Dark Mode support, the updated Paint includes a new zoom tool with a granular slider and a few compatibility tweaks for better accessibility, in line with the rest of Windows.
To quote my editor Brad, “I’ll be so irritated if this doesn’t come to Windows 10.” I regret to inform you, and him, that there’s no indication that this updated version of Paint is arriving in Windows 10 any time soon. Might I interest you in Paint.NET, which has supported dark mode for years?
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.