Microsoft Paint has been an integral part of Microsoft Windows for many decades now. In the 90’s, there were books available on the Windows operating system with entire chapters dedicated to the proper use of Microsoft Paint. These days, Paint is one of the first programs that kids start using in elementary school.
While there are tons of much more advanced image viewers and editors available now, Paint is still very handy for quick editing and creating of images. It is intentionally designed to be simple and lightweight. But now someone has decided to add layers to this image editor from Microsoft.
Talon Zane has coded an application called “MS Paint Companion” in C# that adds the layers functionality in Microsoft Paint. This program designed using C# makes use of the clipboard data, send keys function and transparency properties to mimic the layers feature found in image editors like Paint.net.
As soon as we run this application, it launches Paint and puts its own window on top of the Paint’s window. You must maximize Paint’s window because “MS Paint Companion” calculates the dimensions assuming Paint is maximized.
Using “MS Paint Companion”, we can add new layers, change their order, make them visible/invisible, etc. You can also choose a transparent color for saving transparency in the image. There is an export function to export all the layers together to an output image file.
The author Talon Zane has made the source code available on GitHub and it can easily be modified. While the idea is very unique, the application does not seem to be very practical at this stage. Perhaps it will evolve into a whole new set of features that can be added to Paint in the future.
You can download MS Paint Companion from https://talonzane.itch.io/mspaintcompanion. Its source code is available from https://github.com/TalonZane/mspaintCompanion.