I hadn’t updated the Features page on the Paint.NET website since Paint.NET v2.5 was released way back in November of 2005! So today I took some time to do this, taking into account all the changes that have gone into the program over the last year and a half. I especially make a strong mention of the new tabbed document interface, built-in updater, and the online forum.
So, here’s the refreshed features list, complete with new pictures:
Simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface
Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance. In order to handle multiple images easily, Paint.NET uses a tabbed document interface. The tabs display a live thumbnail of the image instead of a text description. This makes navigation very simple and fast.
Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.
Updates usually come about every 4 to 6 weeks, and contain new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Upgrading to the latest version is very simple, requiring only two clicks of the mouse.
Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting.
Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image’s brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned.
Paint.NET includes simple tools for drawing shapes, including an easy-to-use curve tool for drawing splines or Bezier curves. The Gradient tool, new for 3.0, has been cited as an innovative improvement over similar tools provided by other software. The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.
Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody changes their mind. To accommodate this, every action you perform on an image is recorded in the History window and may be undone. Once you’ve undone an action, you can also redo it. The length of the history is only limited by available disk space.
Open Source and Free
Paint.NET is provided free-of-charge, and the source code (all 138,000 lines of it) is also available for free under generous licensing terms. The bulk of Paint.NET is written in C#, with only a small amount of code related to setup and shell-integration written in C++.