After announcing MS Paint’s “deprecation” back in 2017, Microsoft has gone in the other direction. Not only is Microsoft Paint sticking around in Windows 10—Microsoft just updated it with new keyboard controls!
This is pretty big news. Microsoft “deprecated” MS Paint in 2017, which meant Microsoft would stop updating it. The media pronounced it “dead,” but Microsoft happily announced that Paint would be moving out of Windows and into the Store app. It would still never be updated again, of course.
All those plans have been canceled. MS Paint will stay in Windows 10 and won’t move to the Store. Most shockingly, Microsoft has started updating it with new accessibility features:
We know that Microsoft Paint (MSPaint) is well-loved by customers and we’re pleased to announce new accessibility features coming to Microsoft Paint with the release of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.
We’ve introduced the keyboard as a primary input mechanism. Microsoft Paint is already fully functional with mouse and multi-touch tablet input, but customers will now be able to use the app and draw with only their keyboard.
When Windows 10’s May 2019 Update arrives, you can use your keyboard to draw and perform other actions in Paint. You can use the arrow keys to move the cursor, press the Space bar to activate the selected tool, and hold Ctrl while pressing the arrow keys to move the canvas. The full list of keyboard shortcuts is available in Microsoft’s blog post.
Microsoft ends the blog post from “the team responsible for MSPaint” by asking users to “Let us know what’s working and what else we can do to improve.”
That’s pretty huge: We knew MS Paint wasn’t dead, but we had no idea Microsoft was still updating it.
We’re happy MS Paint is still sticking around. It’s an iconic part of Windows and web culture. Updating that old tool may seem silly, but making it accessible to more people is worthwhile. Paint 3D is cute, but it’s something else entirely. It can’t replace Microsoft Paint.