Tracing for Windows 10 is ideal for inking over photos

Tracing is an easy hobby to get into and allows you to do everything from copy a picture you like to creating inspired work. Tracing for Windows 10 has a number of great tools to make tracing easier and also plays nice with other apps by supporting the .ink format.

Whether you want to pass time by doodling over your favorite photos or want to make work loosely based on other images, Tracing is worth a look. The app is available on Windows 10 and is free.

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Tracing is an app made exclusively with tracing and creating art around tracing. It isn't meant to replace Paint, Fresh Paint, or other apps for artists. But where it lacks versatility, it is full of features aimed at creating art through tracing. The app has a digital ruler and protractor, has multiple writing utensils, and can export photos in .ink formats to continue your work in other apps.

An especially useful feature is the transparency slider that allows you to pick how much of the original photo you want to see compared to your own drawing. If you're drawing with colors, rather than just inking black outlines, the ability to change transparency, or even hide a layer entirely, is very important.

The app makes it easy to dive into tracing artwork. A great combination of features is the ability to zoom in up to 800 percent and draw using grid lines. This lets you get a great amount of detail into your sketching without needing to have a surgeon's steady hand.

Tracing also has an ink replay feature that allows you to watch your drawing process back. Recording making a piece of art is a great form of illustrating a time-lapse and having this feature built in makes it easy to record a video of your creative process.

All the inking tools

Tracing is also an impressive app when it comes to its utilization of Windows 10 inking features. It has almost every feature related to inking available. These include the basics like a ruler and protractor but also include Surface Dial support. Though in preview, the app also has draw to shape as an option. This feature didn't seem to work in our testing but it is in preview so that's understandable.

Tracing essentially takes the inking improvements that have been slowly added to Windows 10 over the last couple of years and combines them into an app aimed at tracing images. The end result is impressive and simple to use.

A few bugs

Tracing performs well generally but there are a few specific bugs that are worth noting. In your testing, using the protractor almost always resulted in an error message. The app also had some issues opening one photo when another file was already open. This error didn't occur every time but happens enough that it's noticeable.


Tracing is easy to use and makes creating art easier, especially if like me you aren't great at drawing. It has a number of inking features and the developers seem interested in expanding the feature set of the app.

The app doesn't have everything that you'd like to see in an app like this, for example it doesn't have an eye drop color selector, but it has quite a few features that make it a very worthwhile app. Its feature set is even more impressive when you consider that the app is available for free. If you're trying to get into art or just want a digital way to trace images, it's a solid app and is worth trying out.


  • Has tools aimed specifically at tracing.
  • Supports formats that work with other apps.
  • Free.


  • Lacks features such as an eyedrop color picker.

See in Microsoft Store

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at