In a surprise move, Microsoft is adding a cool feature to its long-running image editing and creation tool, Paint. The app, formerly known as MS Paint, is getting a one-click ability to automatically remove the background of any image to leave "a smooth cutout of the subject."
Per Microsft's announcement, the background-removing Paint version is now available for Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels to test out. No word on when it might arrive as part of an official Windows or app update, but odds are it's on the cards for a wider release in the coming months.
Background removal is a super handy tool for those who work with images and image editors and has been a staple and popular part of apps like Photoshop for a while now. Paint, Microsoft's lofi and rudimentary image app that first debuted in 1985, has been a part of Windows for so long that it feels like a relic from a different time.
But, its ease of use is one of the reasons many (including myself) fire up Paint to do some basic image scaling or editing - so adding an automated background removal tool is wonderful news. The new tool follows suit with a 'remove background' button being added to the toolbar - which you can apply to the entire image or refine via selecting a rectangle section to use the effect.
This one new feature won't make Paint anywhere near as powerful and versatile as Photoshop, but as it's a free app, being able to remove backgrounds from images quickly will no doubt come in handy - and might lead to many people coming back to MS Paint after a long absence.