Microsoft Paint hacks take it a step closer to being Photoshop

Microsoft Paint
(Image credit: Future)

The Windows 11 (and 10) app Microsoft Paint just got modded to allow the software to be used to create basic animations (and more besides).

This feat of app hacking was achieved by YouTuber Sam Chiet, who tweeted an example of what’s described as Flipnote-style animation software (via Windows Central).

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As you can see, the animation appears in a separate panel, and you can play or pause it, or step through individual frames which are shown in that panel, and in the main Paint window itself.

Then if you want to make changes to any given frame, you can simply edit in the Paint app and see the results instantly in the animation panel to the side. Pretty nifty indeed, and Chiet has already shared an animated GIF made with the feature.

Want more? Well, there is more on the Microsoft Paint modding scene as it happens, courtesy of game developer Talon Zane (as Gizmodo reports).

Earlier this week, Zane managed to introduce layers to the application somehow. Yes, a fully functioning layer facility in Paint, albeit one implemented via a companion app, and you can see the tweet demonstrating this here (with a warning that it contains profanity – yes, someone got excited about their achievement).

Analysis: Is Microsoft watching all this?

Microsoft Paint is a popular little program. In fact, we still remember the outcry way back in 2017 when Microsoft was considering ejecting the app from Windows 10. The support shown for Paint ensured that it wasn’t banished from the OS in the end, and it’s still going strong today.

Going even stronger in the near future, perhaps, looking at these mods, both of which could be out soon enough (neither feature is ready for release just yet). It’d certainly be very cool to have the ability to knock out simple animations, swiftly and easily, with Paint, and layers would also make for a smart piece of added functionality.

Maybe Microsoft will be sitting up and taking notes (in Notepad, perhaps) of these impressive developments in the modding scene. Not to mention the reaction on Twitter, and elsewhere online, to these mods which have certainly been getting plenty of excited calls to have them released quickly. Watch this space, we guess.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).