MS Paint, redone in Javascript

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I’ve seen this news on several sites and maybe it’s a generational thing, but I have a hard time seeing the nostalgia for MS Paint – it seemed pretty obviously a rip-off of Bill Atkinson’s revolutionary MacPaint (1984), which pretty much created the computer paint program as we know it (although yes, there were earlier systems like the Graphics Magician, but they weren’t GUI based).

Beautifully authentic, brilliant execution.

I love this idea of remaking an entire legacy piece of software just to fix that one drawback that always bothered you and tugged you back to flawed reality every time you tried to float in complete bliss.

I hope this happens with emulated games as well “Why couldn’t you just pick up the X and Y?!!? Why couldn’t you just move through the Z?!??!”

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Amazing how far JavaScript has come! You can finally create applications as good as ones introduced in Windows 3.1


there was a German frame-by-frame painting software called Mirage. After a set number of undos they’d give you the dialogue box “Whats done is done”.

Bauhaus software is now defunct, but the program lives on today as TVpaint


I think the nostalgia largely lies in the fact it was the de-facto image editing/creation software included with several iterations of Windows and thus by massive install base alone used by multiple generations across a wide band of people. There are quite a few classic early internet memes associated with MS Painting things. And lets not forget, webcomic giant Homestuck arose from the collaborative comic experiments of Jailbreak Adventure, Bard Quest, and Problem Sleuth at

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Two evils do not necessarily cancel each other out.

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Well there was KoalaPainter, 1983. I feel like an irritating pedant for pointing this out, but I also feel like you made me do it. So, like, nyah nyah.



The ribbon aspect of the recent incarnations of mspaint is hardly a big deal (not like the shit show that is the Office ribbon), and skeuomorphism? What? It’s basically mspaint with a slightly refreshed UI and some shapes (which are quite handy for annotating screenshots).

Now Paint 3D. That’s a different story entirely, and not something I ever plan to use. (I fully admit I’m not the target audience for such a tool.)


It’s basically the notepad.exe of graphics design. It’s simple, (generally) intuitive to use, and really fast. If I want to throw together a quick mock-up of something, annotate a screenshot, or do some quick and dirty edits to a picture it’s really great.

I applaud those who do “real” artwork in mspaint. They are sick in the head, though.


i remember i made a highly detailed xenomorph drawing in ms paint when i was like 8 or 9, then as i was doing the paint fills there was one bad fill and i panicked and clicked again and just like that all my work was gone. should have versioned up


Roger that!

It’s a bit like carving Michaelangelo’s David at full scale and all you have to do it, is a swiss army knife and a smooth round rock to use as a hammer.


I already mentioned The Graphics Magician (1982), which I actually used. Remember I’m talking about GUI graphics apps. That means mouse-driven with pull-down menus and the like. That definitely started with MacPaint, and was clumsily copied in typical MS style with MS Paint.

BTW, for those Millenials who have no idea what MacPaint was, there’s a Javascript version here:

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Source code was released in 2015:


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