Microsoft Paint is not dead, gets keyboard accessibility improvements

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by Martin Brinkmann on May 16, 2019 in Windows – 2 comments

Microsoft Paint is dead? Not really. Microsoft tried to establish a reworked version of Microsoft Paint called Paint 3D on Windows 10 to replace the then-deprecated Microsoft Paint eventually.

The company removed the deprecation status from Microsoft Paint recently again. Yesterday, Microsoft revealed that it added new keyboard accessibility options to the classic Paint application. These allow users to run actions using keyboard shortcuts.

Microsoft Paint supports keyboard shortcuts for certain functions already: use Ctrl+ or Ctrl- to change the brush size, Ctrl-W to resize and skew, or Ctrl-F to display the File menu.

The new set of shortcuts gives users full control over Paint’s functionality. In other words, it is possible to use only the keyboard in Microsoft Paint going forward.

Microsoft plans to introduce the changes in the upcoming May 2019 Update for Windows 10. The roll out of the feature update for Windows 10 starts at the end of May 2019 if Microsoft does not change the schedule.

Microsoft Paint keyboard shortcuts

microsoft paint keyboard

The following keyboard shortcuts have been added:

  • Arrow keys: move the cursor onscreen.
  • Ctrl + Arrow keys: scroll the canvas
  • Space Bar: activate the tool.
  • Space Bar + Arrow keys: select part of the canvas. Also Shape Controls.
  • Tab (on selection): cycle through 9 control points.
  • Shift + Tab (on selection): cycle in clockwise order.
  • Arrow keys (selection): modify the control point
  • Ctrl + Space (manipulating selection): commit the operation.
  • Esc (manipulating selection): cancel the operation.

Microsoft notes that Paint users may use the image editor using the keyboard only. The company published an image on the Insider Blog that has been created using the keyboard only.

The new keyboard shortcuts to control Microsoft Paint with the keyboard are accessibility improvements that will benefit users who don’t use a mouse. Microsoft notes that it made improvements “to the way Paint interacts with Screen Readers” as well which highlights this further.

Closing Words

The update shows that Microsoft Paint is not dead yet; that is good news for users of the program who prefer it over the new Paint 3D application or third-party applications. Whether that means that Microsoft Paint will remain a part of Windows 10 going forward remains to be seen.

I think it is possible that Microsoft had a change of heart and made the decision to keep Paint around.

Now You: Do you use Paint? (via Deskmodder)