PAINT RETURNS FROM THE DEAD – WITH A FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY
on 13/08/2019 00:00:00

Microsoft has not only saved Paint from the digital scrapheap but has actually provided it with a few new features.

Though Paint has long been usurped by other, more sophisticated image editing tools, it still has an enormous fan base. In fact, when Microsoft announced plans to finally get rid of Paint, the news was met with disdain from users the world over. So loud was the outcry that Microsoft has decided to keep supporting the basic, but very much-loved application – and even roll out a few updates.

Now, Paint hasn’t just been saved, but upgraded. In its Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Microsoft has announced a host of new features that will make Paint more accessible than ever.

The most notable change is the introduction of keyboard functionality. Users will now be able to draw using only their keyboards – with the arrow keys moving the cursor and the space bar activating tools.

It works with users moving the cursor to the area in which they want to start drawing, then holding the space bar. The arrow keys are then used again to drag the shape or brush to its desired end point, when the space bar is released to draw the shape.

Elsewhere, Ctrl + arrow keys will move the canvas, whilst Esc cancels the current operation.

The keyboard functionality wasn’t all, as Microsoft also announced that Paint will soon work much better with screen reading tools such as Windows Narrator, to complete its accessibility-led makeover.

The move isn’t a wholly unexpected one, given Microsoft’s recent focus on accessibility. Developments elsewhere include the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which was met with almost universal acclaim when it was released around this time last year.

Whilst further accessibility-minded updates are to be expected across the Windows universe, at least the huge fans of MS Paint can be happy that reports of its death appear (for now) to have been greatly exaggerated.

This article is from our Summer 2019 Soundbytes Newsletter. To read the other articles from the newsletter, click on a link below: