Apple’s OS X 10.10 Yosemite software introduced so many new features that users will still be trying to learn them several months after installing the update. But OS X also has some old features that you might not know about. In fact, there’s a hidden paint program on your Mac computer that has been sitting right under your nose this whole time, and a recent pose will show you how easy it is to find.
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Paintbrush is a simple paint program for Mac OS X, reminiscent of Microsoft Paint and Apple’s own now-defunct MacPaint. It provides users with a means to make simple images quickly, something that has been noticeably absent from the Mac for years.
As Dave Winer recently pointed out on Scripting News (via The Loop), Apple’s Preview app has somewhat hidden paint function that most users have no idea is there.
Winer’s instructions for accessing the paint functions in Apple’s Preview app include a few extra steps, wo we’ll amend them here.
All you have to do is open any image file on your computer in Preview (if Preview isn’t your default app for image files, simply right-click on a file, hover over “Open With,” and then select “Preview.app”).
Then in the top menu in Preview, you’ll see a toolbox icon. Just click it and you’re ready to go.
The paint functions in Preview aren’t exactly on par with something like Photoshop, but there are plenty of simple tools for quick edits and markups. There is even a nifty signature function that lets you digitally sign documents using your laptop’s trackpad or a Magic Trackpad.Paintbrush is a simple paint program for Mac OS X, reminiscent of Microsoft Paint and Apple’s own now-defunct MacPaint. It provides users with a means to make simple images quickly, something that has been noticeably absent from the Mac for years.
When Apple released the original Macintosh in 1984, they included two applications: MacWrite and MacPaint. Twenty-five years later, every Mac still includes a basic text editor in TextEdit, but a simple paint program is a thing of the past.
Paintbrush can open and save to most major image formats, including BMP, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and GIF. Full support for transparency is available for image formats that support an alpha channel (currently PNGs and GIFs). You can also paste images copied from many common Mac applications, including Microsoft Office and Apple iWork.
Last updated in April of 2019, Paintbrush 2 brings with it a multitude of new features, including (to name a few):
- An updated and streamlined new UI
- Transparent selection and marching ants for the selection tool
- A completely rewritten Text tool for pinpoint-accurate insertion
- Four all-new tools: Airbrush, Rounded Rectangle, Eyedropper, and Zoom
- Image resizing, canvas resizing, and cropping
- Countless bug fixes and speed improvements
Disclaimer: Paintbrush is not intended to replace Adobe Photoshop or other high-end image editors. Instead, it aims to fill the need for a basic, streamlined, and Mac-native image editor. Whether you need to quickly crop a photo, add some text to an image, or just have fun doodling, Paintbrush has you covered. Sporting a simple and intuitive UI, Paintbrush will have you discovering your inner van Gogh in no time. Just pick a tool, pick a color, and go!
Oh, and did we mention that Paintbrush has always been, and will always be, completely free? (That’s both free as in
Free Paint Alternative For Macgratis and free as in libre: the full source is distributed under an open-source license.)
Interested yet? What are you waiting for? Click here for a list of downloads.