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Highly anticipated: After almost killing the iconic Windows graphics editor, it appears Microsoft is finally set to release Paint's first significant overhaul in over a decade. In addition to dark mode and improved zoom controls, the update brings a range of minor interface tweaks.
Windows Insiders are set to witness the first substantial update to Paint in years this week. The update introduces a dark mode to the app and enhances usability in various other aspects. Much like other Windows built-in applications, Paint's dark mode will be activated based on the user's system setting by default. Additionally, the app will include a settings screen where you can manually toggle dark mode and adjust other features.
Another improvement gives users more granularity when using the zoom slider by allowing the input of custom values in the zoom percentage field. A new fit-to-screen function will automatically resize images to match the window size, a feature that is commonly found in most PDF viewers.
Moreover, Paint gains additional keyboard shortcuts and better access keys. Microsoft has also redesigned dialog boxes to align them with the rest of the Windows 11 interface. Insider build experiments don't always make it to public branches of Windows, but the Paint updates will likely do so sometime this year.
Microsoft first hinted at updates to Paint in 2021, showcasing a dark mode and other interface modifications. This update marks a resurgence for the long-standing Windows staple, which seemed to be approaching its end-of-life phase. Back in 2017, Microsoft announced that it would discontinue the development of Paint, shifting it from a pre-installed program to a free Microsoft Store download.
Another image-related update for Windows Insiders introduces an innovative way for users to transfer and view photos from their phones. Build 23471 incorporates an "Add Phone Photos" button into the command bar located at the top of the File Explorer window. This button initiates the setup process for a wireless link.
Upon clicking the button, a URL and QR code are displayed. Scanning this code with a phone enables users to view the phone's photos in File Explorer without needing to connect the device via USB. A senior program manager at Microsoft has confirmed that this feature is compatible with both iPhone and Android phones. Additional updates in build 23471 include support for European and Latin American Spanish language in Natural Narrator and the capability to detach or merge File Explorer tabs.