With Microsoft’s decision to leave Microsoft Paint out of the next update for Windows 10 we thought we’d put a list together of all the best free programs out there for all you digital artists. MS Paint has been around for 32 years and will have been the first graphics program that many designers will have ever used. It is sad that it’ll no longer be bundled along with Windows, but don’t worry, there are plenty of free alternatives out there including a pleasant surprise.
Some are a little more advanced than others are but they’re all free so let’s get started.
5 free alternatives to Microsoft Paint
That is right. Microsoft will remove Microsoft Paint from your Windows 10 PC the next time they update it but they’re not killing it off altogether. According to the Microsoft blog, MS Paint will still be available for free via the Windows Store. The same blog post reminds us that many of the MS Paint features we know and love are now a part of Paint 3D but who cares. Don’t take away our childhood.
2. Paint 3D
Paint 3D is the shiny new 21st Century version of MS Paint that Microsoft are now shipping out with Windows 10. Paint 3D first rolled out, alongside MS Paint, with the Creators update and will full on replace MS Paint once the Fall (or Autumn) update drops. It pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an updated version of MS Paint that allows you to create digital masterpieces in 3D.
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program and it is almost as powerful as Adobe Photoshop. It is an open sourced program, which means it has an army of volunteer developers working in the background to ensure it has all the best features. GIMP offers a complete set of tools for all types of photo editing. It might be a little more advanced than the humble MS Paint but if you’re looking for complete graphic design suite you should look no further than GIMP.
Paint.net is like MS Paint’s older and more mature cousin. It offers a similar layout to MS Paint but enjoys many more features. Features like color correction, contrast, sharpen and blur and even a layer-friendly interface make Paint.net a more complete graphic design suite than MS Paint ever was. The simple user interface, however, means that it won’t appear intimidating and doesn’t demand that new users learn how to use it quickly. If you still consider yourself to be a beginner, Paint.net is the alternative you want.
Krita was made with comic and Manga artists in mind. Krita has plenty of features for all budding illustrators and definitely marks a step up from MS Paint. You can work using layers and can customize brush sizes, textures, palettes and more. You can even import brush and texture packs that have been made by other artists. If you feel like you’ve learnt a lot from MS Paint and would like to continue your development, Krita would be a great option for you.