If you’re a fan of creating pixel art with Paint on Windows XP or Windows Vista, you’ll probably hate the new Paint in Windows 7.
While the new Paint has some new features and uses the new Ribbon user interface that Microsoft is using across all of its Windows and Office products, they have also removed a lot of well-loved features.
In this article, I will go through some of the features that have been removed and others that have been added. After using the older version of Paint and the new version, I can see Paint newbies may find the new version quite fine, but veterans will be quite disappointed.
I will also write about how you can get an old version of Paint and use it in Windows 7 and later. If you just want to do that, go to Install Old Version of Paint in Windows 7/8/10 section.
First, let’s take a look at the GUI interface differences. As you can see from the images below, Windows 7’s Paint interface is completely different from the Paint versions for XP and Vista.
What’s good in Windows 7 Paint?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many aspects of the newer Paint that are great compared to the older versions, but here’s what I can come up with.
Windows 7 Paint has a cleaner and more modern interface
In terms of the graphical interface, the new version of Paint certainly looks better. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to find the tools or options you want, but the interface is clean and modern.
I’ve been using newer versions of Office for the past few years and am used to the ribbon interface, so it’s not a big deal to see buttons instead of menus.
Also, Windows 8 and Windows 10 use the same ribbon interface across the operating system, so things should go that way.
Thankfully, you can still use CTRL and + to increase the size of the line thickness when using different drawing tools.
In the drop-down menu, there are only four sizes to choose from, which is pretty useless, so it’s still essential to be able to adjust the thickness to any size using hotkeys.
Another positive is that you can still paste an object and use transparency to remove the white parts to reveal what’s underneath. I thought they removed the transparency feature, but it’s just hidden underneath Option button.
The only other positives I can think of are the inclusion of some more brushes and shapes. Paint has always been considered a very simple tool, so there aren’t many tabs, buttons or options to get started.
What’s bad in Windows 7 Paint?
Lots of stuff in my opinion! Most of these complaints are minor, but they all make for a very frustrating experience for longtime Paint users.
Let's start off with one of my biggest problems: automatic anti-aliasing on everything.
Some people will love this feature, but a lot of people simply hate it. For the average user, anti-aliasing makes everything look smooth and nice, but if you’re a graphic artist, you might not necessarily want everything automatically smooth. An option should be added to enable or disable this feature.
Second annoyance: Paint auto-selects any line or object after you draw it
In older versions of Paint, you could start drawing a line and then continue drawing another line as soon as you release the mouse button. This makes drawing point-to-point with Paint really easy.
Now whenever you draw a line it will select that line and you cannot continue drawing from that point. This is really annoying and makes drawing in Paint a lot more difficult.
Third problem: drawing solid colors with the brush doesn't work with paint bucket
I mean when you draw solid colors using a brush and then try to paint it with a different color the new Paint will leave a border around the brush stroke.
In Windows XP and Vista Paint, this is not a problem. You can just stroke the brush with a different color and it will fill the entire stroke without any outline. Again, small change, but makes a big difference for certain types of designers.
There is a way around this and that is to use the Pencil tool, draw a line and then use the paint bucket. When using a pencil, there is no black outline.
Fourth mistake: removal of solid pixel brushes
If you did multiple pixel-by-pixel edits in Paint, the older version allowed you to actually do pixel-level edits using the solid pixel brush. Now you have all the newer brushes like airbrush, crayon, etc, all good, but don’t discard the older ones.
There are other problems, but I won’t waste too much time on that. Some things are really hard to find, while that was evident in previous versions.
For example, inverting colors in the old version was easy: just click a menu or use a hotkey. In the new version you have to right click on the object and then you will see the option. Not a big deal, but takes some getting used to if you’re coming from an older version.
Install Old Version of Paint in Windows 7/8/10
If you can live with the new version of Paint, then congratulations. If not, it might be worth reverting to an older version.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to get older Paint in Windows 7 and up. Actually, there are two ways: download a program or manually replace Paint in Windows 7. The first method is definitely easier and less risky.
Paint XP is the standard old MS Paint that you can run on Windows 7 and Windows 10.
When you run the EXE file, make sure to click Custom settings then uncheck the additional junk software it wants to install. As long as you do that, you’ll only get the Paint program and nothing else.
The second method is more technical, but fortunately someone already wrote a detailed guidel. Hopefully, either method works for you. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Interesting!