There are loads of third-party image-editing software packages for Windows 10. However, you might not need any for more basic editing. Instead, check out some of the tools already included in Windows 10. Paint has been the primary image-editing accessory in Windows for a while, but now Microsoft has also added a new Photos app to Win 10 that expands the platform’s editing tools.
Also see our article Add an Alternative File Explorer to Windows 10
Editing Images in Paint
Paint is hardly an alternative to Adobe Photoshop, but can still come in handy for more basic image editing. Type ‘Paint’ into the Cortana search box to open its window. The Paint window has a ribbon UI with File, Home and View tabs. The File tab includes the Save, Open and Print options, and View includes display and zoom settings. You can select all Paint’s editing options from the Home tab.
Paint can come in handy for resizing images. Open an image to edit by clicking the File tab and Open. Then click the Resize button on Home tab to open the window shown directly below.
Click the Percentage radio button on that window. Then you can adjust the image’s dimensions in percentage terms. For example, to reduce the photo by 50%, enter ‘50’ into the Horizontal and Vertical text boxes and click OK. That will cut the picture down by half, and to double its dimensions you would enter ‘200’ in the Horizontal/Vertical boxes.
Cropping is one of the most essential editing tools, and Paint includes a Crop option. With that you can cut out a selected area of the image. First, press the Select button on the Home tab and click Rectangular selection from the menu. Then you can drag a rectangle over an area of the image by holding left mouse button as shown in the snapshot directly below.
This is the area of the image retained when you crop it. So the cropping option effectively cuts out everything outside your rectangle selection. When you’ve selected an area of the picture with rectangle, click Crop to cut out the rest of the image as below.
Paint also has a Free-form selection option that you can select to highlight cropping areas without rectangles. Press the Select button and click Free-form selection from the menu. Then you can draw a shape on the image to highlight the area to retain, and press Crop to cut out the rest of the photo.
If you need to switch a landscape photo to portrait, click the Rotate button. Select Rotate left 90 to switch it a portrait. You can also select Rotate 180 that effectively turns the image on its head.
Click the Text button to add some text to an image. Then drag a rectangle over the photo to expand a text box and open a new tab. Now you can type something into the text box. You can select font options from the Text tab.
Click Opaque to add background color to the text box, which is otherwise transparent by default. Then click the Color 2 box, and choose a color from the palette to add it to the text box background. You can alter the text colors by selecting the Color 1 box.
If you have an image with a basic background color, you can quickly adjust that with the Fill with color option on the Home tab. Select that option, click the Color 1 button and choose a replacement color from palette. Then move the paint bucket cursor over the background color area and left-click to switch it to the color selected from palette.
Editing Images with the Photos App
Windows 10 has a new Photos app that has quite a few extra options that aren’t in Paint. For instance, it includes a variety of filters, lighting and color options. It also includes a couple of extra effects to add to photos. So Photos has a slightly more extensive image-editing toolset than Paint.
The Photos app should be on the Start menu. However, if you can’t find it there enter ‘Photos’ in the Cortana search box to open the window shown below. That will open the window below with Collection selected. You can select all the photos included in your Pictures folders from there.
Choose a photo to edit by clicking its thumbnail preview and selecting the Edit button. That will open the app’s photo-editing options in the shot below. It will open with Basic Fixes selected on the left, which has the Crop and Rotate options included in Paint.
One handy option you can select here is Enhance. This is quick fix option that makes some basic edits to photos. For example, it will probably make a blurry photo a little sharper and enhance its contrast. You can always press Ctrl + Z to undo any editing.
The Straighten option also comes in handy if your photo isn’t entirely straight. Select Straighten and then rotate the circle around a circular bar to adjust the angle of the picture. Then click anywhere on the image to apply the editing.
Click Filters on the left to open six filter options. The app doesn’t include any tooltips to make it clear what these filters are. The only obvious one is the black and white filter that converts pictures to black and white. Click the filter options to see how they edit the picture.
To adjust the image colors, click Color on the left. There you can select Color Boost to either enhance or reduce a color in the photo. Click the Color Boost option, and then drag the color picker onto the picture. You can select a color in the picture to edit by dragging the color picker over it. The circle on the color picker highlights what color it will edit.
Then drag the circle around the circular bar to enhance or reduce the vibrancy of the selected color. If you rotate the circle anti-clockwise, that can convert the image color to grey as shown directly below. Rotating it right will boost the selected color. This can be a good option to enhance dull blue skylines in photos.
Click Effects to open two more options that apply Vignette and Selective focus editing to the image. The Vignette option darkens the border of the picture as shown in the snapshot below. Click Vignette and then rotate the circle clockwise to darken the borders. Rotating the circle anti-clockwise lightens the borders.
Photos also has a Selective focus option that blurs the picture around a selected area. So this keeps a selected part of the photo in focus with the rest out of focus. To apply this editing to your image, click Selective Focus and then position and resize the circle in the snapshot below to select the area of the picture to keep in focus.
Next, select the Blur button at the top to adjust the amount of blur included in the image. Then click the Apply button on the toolbar to confirm the editing. Alternatively, click Cancel to undo it.
When you’re done editing, click Save on the toolbar. That will save the image with the editing applied. To save the edited image and keep the original one, you can press the Save a copy button.
So you might not need any extra image-editing software. With both Paint and Photos you can edit your photos in various ways. There are still a few notable editing options missing from them, but for basic fixes they should be sufficient.