Alternatives to Windows Paint for Mac

paint for mac

If you are Mac user you know the struggles of missing out on a famous windows computer feature, paint. The paint application is a fantastic tool for creating images and designs right on your desktop for free. While the application may not be the most robust and feature filled experience possible online it is still a fantastic pack in software that mac users miss out on completely.

Most often PC users use Microsoft Paint to illustrate and design. The large color pallet and somewhat large amount of tools at your disposal allow for some more advanced work to e created. Getting started on graphics through the app is a gateway for many artists. While no real graphic designer would craft all of his or her final work through this medium it is a great tool that is always at the ready.

Built-in Image Editing Tool on Mac

mac preview editor

While Paint is not Macintosh compatible there has been a newer application added to the mac OS that is somewhat similar! Many users do not know about this software since it is actually quite hidden within the drives of the new operating system.


The popular “Preview” app on mac has always been a fan favorite. Allowing you to read many types of files and even code on your desktop is some of the great practical uses of this software. But did you know that recently an update allowed for painting to be done within this app?

To access this hidden feature you simply need to “Control” and “Click” any image file you have on the computer and choose to open with Once the file opens all you have to do is click on the toolbox icon at the top of the screen and the layout transforms into a playground of color or design. The multiple brush sizes and cropping tools allow for basic design and customization to your files. While this is not nearly robust as Microsoft Paint it is the closest thing to a pack in offering.

Standalone Image Editing Software

This is where we start to see the real competition. There are many editing tools out there that are similar to paint and rival in its features and use while being mac software. Not only are many of these great but also the majority is free!



This free downloadable software for mac computers holds an extremely similar interface to Microsoft Paint. If you have any experience in the Microsoft software then you should fall right into place here. With this image editor you have the ability to crop images, add texts, insert symbols, pick colors, remove red eye, select background colors, mess with the gradient levels and so very much more. This is a full suite that you can use to your liking.


The sheer scope of features and possibility with this image editor make it number one in the charts. Some find this software better to their liking than paint even. The software is compatible with each OS and any browser out there.

MAC Paintbrush

brush for mac

While the above software seems to mimic the UI of Paint and nothing else Paintbrush is more of a carbon copy job to Microsoft’s better application. You are able to easily crop and edit photos on the fly while painting over anything you desire can be done within a moments notice. Unfortunately this adds nothing to the formula other than accessibility to mac users and thus takes second place. The performance can be less than stellar but hey, it’s free!


Desk Scribbles


This is a popular go to for many years on Mac computers. Scribbles have been around a long time and were the original Microsoft Paint clone. With easy use for kids built in from the ground floor the mechanics are simple if not quite deep enough. While the easy systems may seem pandering to some it has grown quite a large audience. Again, no new features added over the Windows sister application. This lackluster semi suite of fun features can get the job done on a simple editing project but not much else.


In this article, we have several handy image editor tools for Mac users to enjoy similar experience of using Paint on Windows. This is a great start for any mac user looking for that comparative Microsoft Paint experience. And if you have more suggestions on better image editing solutions, do not hesitate to leave a message below.

Quick Navigation

  • Built-in Image Editing Tool on Mac
  • Seashore
  • MAC Paintbrush
  • Desk Scribbles
  • Conclusion

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