Paint For 4.3.8 Mac is not the best raster graphic editor around. It’s clunky, slow, not accessible to beginners, and at the same time doesn’t offer enough for pro-level users. Still, Windows Paint might be the most widely used graphic software around. And lots of people wish there was Paint for Mac as well.
If you’ve been using PCs all your life and have recently switched to a Mac, you wouldn’t miss a lot. But you’ve probably felt that there is one missing program which has inadvertently won the hearts of PC users worldwide — Microsoft Paint.
Is there Paint for Mac? Well, not really. Official Microsoft Paint for Mac doesn’t exist. But there are in fact more accessible alternatives that allow you to do better things and present much less of a learning curve at the same time. One of them is already installed on your Mac by default, only that its toolkit is hidden inside the app called Preview.
Best MS Paint Alternatives For Mac
Since its inception, Mac has been the operating system of choice for creative enthusiasts and professionals around the globe. So it’s no wonder that macOS is the primary destination for the best new drawing, painting, image and video editing, and sketching applications.
As mentioned above, beginning your journey with Preview will cover all your basic needs that Windows Paint used to do. To get a specific result, you can try apps with more to offer, such as Tayasui Sketches for painting or Capto for working on images.
Annotate and edit images with ease
Not everyone knows that Mac’s default Preview application is not only an image viewer but also provides a basic painting and annotating toolkit that’s just enough for it to be a decent substitute for Microsoft Paint for Mac. Here’s how to access it.
- Right-click on any image and choose Open With > Preview
- Locate the marker icon in the upper-right corner of the app window
- Click on it to open all available tools
All the tools in Preview are fairly close to what you used to see in MS Paint. There are three broad functionality groups separated by vertical dividers: selection, creation, and modification.
Using Preview is just as intuitive as it was with MS Paint. Let’s say you want to draw a circle around an object on one of your images to bring someone’s attention to it:
- Select the Sketch tool (third from the left)
- Simply draw around the object. By default Preview will autocomplete the shape you’ve drawn, getting it to a perfect oval, square, or triangle. You can, however, choose to keep the line freehand by selecting such option from a small pop-up menu.
- If you want to modify your line, choose Shape Style (fourth from the right) to pick the appropriate line thickness and Border Color (third from the right) to alter the color of the line itself
- And yes, Preview has the bucket tool as well. If you’ve drawn an enclosed shape, you can select the Fill Color tool (second from the right) and choose to fill your object with any color.
Just like that feel free to explore all the other tools Preview has to offer, such as Shapes, Text, Sign, Adjust Color, etc. We guarantee you won’t miss MS Paint one bit.
But why limit yourself in the first place? Since you’re switching to a new platform altogether, pick the tools that will serve you in any situation, such as producing a high-quality tutorial, for example. For this, you’d need a more powerful app, such as Capto.
Unlike Preview and Windows Paint, which offer bare-minimum functionality in terms of annotating your images, Capto is the top app for recording your screen, whether it’s just grabbing a screenshot or making a video, and modifying all the resulting files afterward.
Starting with Capto couldn’t be easier:
- In the app’s Organizer window, where all Capto’s images and videos are kept, you can either grab a new screenshot using the tools in the top bar (Screen, Area, Window, etc.) or import any image you already have on your Mac just by dragging and dropping it onto the app’s window.
- To modify an image, double-click on it to open
- Choose the tool you need from the left-side bar. Beside the basic tools you might be familiar with from MS Paint and Preview, Capto features more advanced ones, such as Spotlight, Numbering, Blur, and Callout.
- To use a Numbering tool, for example, simply select it from the menu, choose the Type, Style, and Color, and leave the sequence of numbers on your image by clicking on the appropriate locations
Try any other features offered by Capto in a similar way. This app is indispensable in nearly any line of work when we think about the easy ways of explaining to our colleagues how to do something. Taking 45 seconds to create a quick tutorial on Capto can save you hours of walking around the office or endless instant messages.
One of the best features of Capto, and one of the ones you wish Microsoft Paint for Mac would have, is its extensive sharing capabilities. As the app is mostly used to show someone how to do something, you also need an easy way to send the explanation to them.
To share your creation with Capto:
- When you’re done with your image, click Share in the top-right corner of the app’s window
- By default, you have a selection of Mail, Messages, or AirDrop. Choose one of these or click Configure for more options.
- In the new menu, select one of the options you’d like to set up, from Dropbox to your own server, and follow the login instructions on the right. Now you’ll be able to share images from Capto through your favorite platform in no time.
Finally, don’t forget that Capto goes beyond images and lets you record, edit, and share video tutorials as well. The process is largely the same. Just choose Record from the top menu bar to start, use the same tools to edit, and share in the preferred way you’ve set up above.
Paint at any level right from the get-go
When it comes to drawing and painting, a lot of people are used to MS Paint mostly for the lack of accessible alternatives. Macs, on the other hand, have plenty. And one of them is Tayasui Sketches.
Tayasui Sketches is a lot more than just Microsoft Paint for Mac. It combines natural drawing experience you’re so used to with a near unlimited selection of beautiful digital brushes and colors.
Starting with Tayasui Sketches is just as easy as picking up a pen in real life — simply choose the paper type, select one of the tools in the left sidebar, and begin to draw.
Quickly you’ll realize how none of the MS Paint’s artistic brushes can compare to the flow and realistic beauty of the tools available in Tayasui Sketches. At the same time, the app doesn’t require you to go through lengthy workshops and spend hours in settings, which positively distinguishes it from other professional alternatives.
It’s likely that Tayasui Sketches will serve you for many years to come. It remains an indispensable tool for lots of professional artists. And even if you decide to switch to a different professional drawing app in the future, the foundational functionality would probably remain the same.
Pick the right tool for the job
As you can see, there is no need to try to download Microsoft Paint for Mac as soon as you discover there is no exact counterpart within macOS. There are plenty of tools that copy and even surpass both the functionality and ease of use that MS Paint used to offer.
Sometimes you might be using Preview for the simplest tasks around. More likely, you might find yourself relying on Capto more and more, as its diverse toolkit is able to perform the majority of annotating and editing tasks at the highest level in no time. Finally, when you feel really creative, you can easily switch to Tayasui Sketches and really express that creativity with beautiful pens and watercolors.
Best of all, these apps are not going to set you back financially at all. Preview is already installed on your Mac by default, and Tayasui Sketches and Capto are both available for a free trial through Setapp, a platform of over 150 useful apps and utilities for any scenario. Let your creative side shine!
Microsoft Paint for Mac
Before even hopping on and suggesting a bunch of third-party apps, I wanted to shine some light on one of the most underused and under-rated native apps on Mac OS: Preview. While I was on the hunt for a paint app, Preview managed to seriously surprise me with its capabilities.
To get started, open Preview and open up the image you want to edit or simply open the image with Preview directly. Next show the Markup Toolbar by the clicking the icon shown below.
You can now find a whole host of editing options from simple sketching and drawing to insertion of various shapes and text and even adjusting image parameters like exposure, contrast, sharpness and a lot more. You also get the ability of adding a signature or signing your PDFs from Preview itself, image size formatting and text formatting options.
Although Preview has a lot to offer, it may not be the perfect replacement for some as it does not allow you to create new image files which is its biggest setback.
Quick Tip: Be sure to first make a copy of your image before editing with Preview, as it automatically saves all your changes and it could be really hard to revert back if you have already saved the image.
2. Paint Brush
Paint Brush for Mac OS is like the perfect replica of MS paint. The app is quite bare bones and extremely easy to use, offering just the basic functions of a paint application.
Unlike Preview, in this app you can create a new document and this is the first thing you are greeted with, on opening the application and you can state the size of your canvas. It offers all the basic functionalities just as MS paint like pencil, colour fill, shapes, text, magnification and also a colour picker tool which comes in very handy. It also supports most image formats including JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF and GIF.
Paint Brush is also very fast to open and get work done with and will be perfect for doing some small editing or painting stuff in a jiffy.
Seashore is a free, open-source paint application for Mac OS built entirely in Cocoa. While the UI might seem a little dated, the app has a lot of tricks up its sleeves which makes it an upgrade to Preview or Paint Brush.
SeaShore introduces the concept of layers, just like you have in Photoshop. The layers work like sheets of acetate stacked upon each other and the transparent areas allow you to see through to the underbidding layers. This allows you to create different layers for different effects and adjusting the effects separately or deleting them separately, thus providing easy management.
Seashore has a nifty gradient tool where you can specify the direction and strength of the gradient. Some other features include alpha channel editing, texts with sub pixel rendering and textures.
Quick Tip: Another free and open source alternative is Pinta, which is also cross platform and an exact clone of Paint.NET on Windows.
4. MS Paint using Wine or Play On Mac
If you didn’t know, Wine is an awesome and efficient way to run native Windows applications on your Mac and the best part about it is that unlike Bootcamp or VM installations, it does not require a windows license and does not add that overhead.
The setup process can be a little tedious, but it is definitely rewarding as you can run most of your Windows apps on your Mac. Play On Mac is a third party tool built on Wine, which we recommend for installing Windows applications on Mac OS. Just download Play On Mac and all the dependencies required for Wine and then you should be able to install any Windows app of your choice. To install Paint, go to Install Apps > Graphics > Paint and hit download. MS Paint should be installed on your computer and it works just as good on any Windows PC.
Quick Tip: Although Wine is much less intensive or involving than Bootcamp or a virtual machine running Windows, it still takes up a lot of space with its dependencies and adds overhead. So we recommend this method if you are someone who is planning on using more Windows apps on your Mac or just cannot do without MS Paint.
While MS Paint is mostly about simplicity, it doesn’t hurt to include a feature packed app for all the power users out there. As I said, by no means should Pixelmator be considered a basic app as it is far from that, having a boatload of options, effects and features.
Pixelmator also offers layers with the option of layer styles presets where you can either use a predefined preset or save your own custom style preset. It also has retouching tools, colour correction tools and a real-time effects machine along with all the drawing and brushing tools. It even sports iCloud support and the ability to publish your pictures directly to social media.
What makes Pixelmator stand out from all the other professional graphic utility apps, is its flexibility; while it does have a lot of features, one can also just use the brush or pencil tools to doodle anything just as they would in any other paint app. The app is not at all overwhelming even for a beginner and strikes a perfect balance between simplicity and productivity. If you do not mind spending $30, Pixelmator is a keeper.
- Mac OS X Kodiak, 10.0 (Cheetah), 10.1 (Puma), 10.2 (Jaguar), 10.3 (Panther), 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion)
- OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan)
- macOS 10.12 (Sierra), 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina), 11.0 (Big Sur) and Later Version.
- Supported Hardware: Intel or Apple Chip (M1) or PowerPC Mac.
Wrapping Up: Microsoft Paint for Mac
Mac OS doesn’t come with any paint app but that doesn’t mean that there is a dearth of paint apps on Mac and it is quite the opposite. But before downloading any third party app, we highly recommend checking out Preview and checking whether it fulfills all your needs or not. Paint Brush is an awesome simple and easy to use paint application while Seashore is slightly more complex with the addition of layers.
Pixelmator is one heck of an app with all its features, but it is very flexible and you can use it as an MS paint replacement to a cheaper Photoshop alternative. And last but not least, if you need to use a lot of Windows apps, Wine is your best bet to get MS paint running on your Mac. So this was our list of the Microsoft Paint for Mac. Which one do you use daily or did we miss yours? Let us know in the comments below.