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The second beta build for paint.net 4.0 is now available! We’re getting very close to the final release now :)

To install, you can either 1) use the built-in updater from a previous 4.0 build, or 2) use the built-in updater from v3.5.11 if you have “Also check for pre-release (beta) builds” enabled, or 3) download it directly on the forum at http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27954-paintnet-40-beta-build-5168/

Special thanks to volunteers on the forum for the new languages, and corrections to existing ones! http://forums.getpai…via-crowdinnet/

Here are the changes and fixes since the last beta build (5152):

  • Added new languages: Dutch, Finnish, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Fixed many typos and clumsy translations in various languages
  • Fixed the main window growing taller and flashing black after being minimized and then restored
  • Fixed the tools committing their changes to the image when trying to exit the application (waste of CPU/disk)
  • Fixed the current layer not being preserved when using one of the Image -> Rotate commands
  • Fixed keyboard shortcuts not working in some cases if the mouse was positioned over the toolbar
  • Fixed some inappropriate text wrapping in drop down boxes in German (the text is now clipped with “…” instead)
  • Fixed the Recolor tool’s shortcut mistakenly being ‘e’ instead of ‘r’
  • Pressing ‘A’ now cycles through the shapes when the Shapes tool is active (Shift+A cycles backward)
  • Fixed mouse input centering for the brush tools when antialiasing was disabled
  • Re-enabled Ctrl+D as a “commit” button
  • Moved the “Finish” button (green checkmark) to the end of the toolbar and included the “Finish” text so that it is easier to aim at
  • Fixed some font previews rendering as gray instead of black
  • Fixed a crash that was most easily reproducible by copying an image from IE11 and then clicking on File->New Image
  • Image close buttons are now appropriately styled on Windows 7
  • Fixed a dangling progress bar after running some effects
  • Fixed some drifting color value problems in the Colors window when changing Hue, Saturation, and/or Value
  • Fixed a crash caused by 3rd-party visual themes that try to use fonts that don’t exist
  • Fixed a crash when toggling a layer’s visibility while using the Move Selected Pixels tool and then undoing
  • Fixed a crash when opening an image due to not being able to create the thumbnail for the File -> Open Recent list
  • Fixed a crash on startup due to the user’s My Documents folder not existing
  • Changed the canvas background color to gray when using the Blue theme
  • Fixed an error whereby committing an action, changing the active layer, undoing, and then redoing would cause the action to be redone on the new layer instead of the one it was originally drawn on
  • Fixed shortcut keys not working for toggling line styles and caps for the Shapes tool
  • Fixed some styling issues in the Settings dialog in the Tools section
  • Fixed some delayed crashes with some effect plugins which would happen when trying to do an action afterward
  • Fixed a crash caused by pressing Escape while drawing a shape
  • Fixed many plugin compatibility and crash issues

Enjoy!

The first beta build for paint.net 4.0 is now available!

To install it, you can either: 1) use the built-in updater from a previous 4.0 alpha build, or 2) use the built-in updater from v3.5.11 if you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) builds" enabled, or 3) head on over to the forum for the download link: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27839-paintnet-40-beta-build-5152-is-now-available/ 

Here are the changes since the last alpha build (5143):

  • Added a "Finish" (aka commit) button in the toolbar. It looks like a green check mark. This makes it much easier to discover how you finish a shape and then draw another one, for instance. Most of the non-brush tools support this (e.g. Move, Gradient, Magic Wand, Paint Bucket, Text).
  • Added a choice between Light and Blue color schemes to Settings. The default on Windows 8/8.1 is Light, and the default on Windows 7 is Blue.
  • Fixed some artifacts in the Magic Wand when making a "Global" selection
  • Fixed a crash in the Magic Wand tool that was causing people a lot of grief ("this.baseGeometry == null")
  • Fixed a crash in various tools (crash in ClickDragBehavior.cs line 270)
  • Fixed brush strokes being completely erratic over Remote Desktop
  • Fixed some very broken UI rendering over Remote Desktop with Windows 8
  • The icons in the top-right of the main window are now scaled correctly for high-DPI
  • Fixed a crash if you clicked to undo multiple actions after committing a shape
  • Fixed some performance issues whereby non-active images were still rendering stuff in the background
  • Fixed many tools emitting a history item even if the image was unaffected (e.g. drawing a brush stroke outside of the canvas)
  • Fixed a leftover progress bar in the status bar after loading an image
  • Fixed Ctrl+Arrow keys not moving the selection by 10 pixels (it only moved by 1 px) if you didn’t first release the Ctrl key after you pasted with Ctrl+V
  • Removed the dangling "Tool:" tooltip on the Tool selection button in the toolbar
  • Fixed a crash when the language was changed if the new language’s localized "paint.net User Files" folder already existed
  • Fixed the dash style button in the toolbar being too skinny at 96 DPI (it worked fine at >96 DPI)
  • Fixed the main window’s application icon being off by 2 pixels
  • Fixed Ctrl+D reverting selection movement if it was pressed too quickly after using the arrow keys
  • Fixed some missed thumbnail updates, especially for the Layers window
  • Fixed the Width/Height text boxes in the toolbar for Fixed Selection not having an outline around them
  • Fixed a visual styles related crash on some buttons in some cases
  • Fixed the main installer not running after the .NET 4.5.1 installer if it required a reboot
  • Fixed the installer seeming to disappear if there wasn’t enough disk space to install .NET 4.5.1
  • Shapes no longer finish/commit if you press the delete key
  • Non-active images no longer update their thumbnails when you make changes in another image which affect them (e.g. if you leave an uncommited shape on image 1, then switch to image 2 and change the color)
  • Fixed a crash in the Text tool if you try to use a "bad" font (one which shows up in the font list as a yellow exclamation mark)

Enjoy!

The fifth alpha build for paint.net 4.0 is now available! This is the last planned alpha release, which means beta is next and it’ll become available to v3.5.11 users if they have "Also check for pre-release (beta) releases" enabled.
 
To install it, either use the built-in updater from a previous 4.0 alpha build, or head on over to the forum to download it directly: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27804-paintnet-40-alpha-build-5143-is-now-available/

Here are the changes between the previous build (5105) and this one (5143):

  • Cropping after several simple selection manipulations (e.g. move, scale) would often result in an extra row or column of blank pixels in the cropped image
  • Move Layer Up/Down would often result in the wrong scroll location in the Layers window
  • Panning the canvas via holding the spacebar and click-and-drag of the left mouse button was still panning even after the mouse button was released, but before the spacebar was
  • Clone Stamp tool now uses the Primary color’s alpha value (or Secondary if you use the right mouse button)
  • Fixed a crash that would happen if you clicked on the image list dropdown button (to the right of the image thumbnail list) too quickly after opening a large image
  • The Move tools would revert changes made with the keyboard if the Enter or Esc keys were pressed too quickly afterwards
  • Using the "Check Now" (for Updates) button in the Settings dialog did not close the application if you had any images open which had unsaved changes
  • Fixed some issues with the Colors window whereby left clicking would reset the Primary/Secondary choice to Primary
  • The floating window positions (Tools, History, Layers, Colors) were not being persisted across sessions
  • Plugins can now retrieve the correct value for CurrentCulture and CurrentUICulture from any thread
  • Fixed some rather pernicious crash bugs in several tools related to a "Committing changes" dialog popping up during click-and-drag operations
  • Clicking and dragging on handles in the Gradient tool was lagging behind by 1 frame of mouse movement
  • Fixed a focus bug on startup whereby you couldn’t use keyboard commands until you clicked on the canvas
  • Fixed a crash on Win7 when switching from Aero to Classic theme
  • Settings dialog now works correctly in High Contrast mode
  • Fixed the pixel grid being off by 1 screen pixel (it didn’t line up with the ruler)
  • Fixed a CPU usage issue with the Move and Shape tools. They were running the animations and UI code even if the UI wasn’t visible yet (e.g. no selection / no shape).
  • The "OK" button wasn’t working in the New Image, Resize, and Canvas Size dialogs when the rest of the application’s CPU usage was very high (e.g. slow CPU, slow GPU, disabled hardware acceleration)
  • Reduced CPU usage of animated UI elements, especially when not the active application or when the user has disconnected (locked workstation, Remote Desktop)

Enjoy!

The fourth alpha for paint.net 4.0 is now available! To install it, either use the built-in updater from a previous alpha build or head on over to the forum: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27642-paintnet-40-alpha-build-5105-is-now-available/

Here are the changes and fixes between the previous build (5086) and this one (5105) :

  • Added Bezier curve to the Shapes tool
  • Line/Curve shapes weren’t working with the rounded line cap styles
  • When opening an image (e.g. JPEG), the EXIF orientation/rotation metadata is now applied
  • Fixed: If you change the resolution from Image->Resolution, the selection measurement info in the status bar will now update
  • Fixed the selection tools not always showing the selection measurement info in the status bar
  • Text Tool: fixed Strikethrough being incorrectly rendered as Underline
  • Text Tool no longer interprets something like Alt+9 as the Home key
  • Fixed some effects leaving an empty progress bar in the status bar
  • Fixed the Magic Wand tool sometimes leaving an animated progress bar in the status bar
  • Move tool no longer resets the "angle" displayed in the status bar when you let go of the mouse, and it’s now an absolute angle versus relative to the beginning of the drag operation.
  • Move tools now let you use arrow keys while the mouse button is down. This allows fine precision control over rotations and moves and scales
  • Setup will now install .NET 4.5.1 instead of .NET 4.5
  • Reduced download size by 116KB
  • Fixed the update and language settings not carrying forward from the installer to the application
  • Main window now works in High Contrast mode on Windows 8/8.1
  • Settings dialog can now be accessed with Alt+X
  • Fixed a cosmetic blemish in the Updater dialog (it had a black "footer")
  • Fixed the Language dropdown in Settings sometimes showing up "blank"
  • Fixed a pseudo-crash when using Edit->Paste followed immediately by clicking and dragging
  • Fixed a crash on exit related to Direct2D and WARP

Enjoy!

The third alpha for paint.net 4.0 is now available! To install it, either use the built-in updater from a previous alpha build or head on over to the forum: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27553-paintnet-40-alpha-build-5086-is-now-available/

Here’s a list of the changes between the previous alpha build (5064) and this one (5086):

  • Text tool
    • Colored fonts are now supported in Windows 8.1 (e.g. Segoe UI Emoji).
    • You can now choose between Smooth, Sharp (Modern), and Sharp (Classic) rendering. These correspond to the DirectWrite’s rendering modes of Outline, Natural Symmetric, and GDI Classic.
    • OpenType/Adobe fonts are now included in the list of fonts.
    • Fixed some layout glitches that caused text to be incorrectly clipped and/or the cursor to appear in the wrong location.
  • Selections
    • Drawing a rectangle selection with a fixed ratio followed by a Crop operation was often resulting in an extra row or column of partially transparent pixels.
    • When using aliased selection clipping while zoomed in, the selection was often rendered in the wrong location and/or at the wrong angle.
    • When drawing a rectangle selection, the status bar would always say it had zero area.
    • Selection adjustments would sometimes result in half-pixel alignment of the selection outline.
    • Deselecting via pressing Enter or Escape was not working consistently.
    • Fixed some rendering artifacts when scaling the selection to a small size.
    • Fixed some rendering glitches after pasting when a selection was already active.
  • You can now use the middle mouse button for panning at any time.
  • Panning via spacebar while a selection tool was active didn’t always show the correct mouse cursor.
  • UI text now honors the user’s control panel settings for ClearType and antialiasing of text.
  • Edit->Copy now includes the PNG format when initializing the clipboard data, which allows applications like Office to paste with full transparency information.
  • The Diagnostics page in the Settings dialog now includes a “Copy to Clipboard” button and a “Open crash log folder” link.
  • The Eraser tool now uses the alpha value of the current color.
  • Double-clicking the “roll ball” in Rotate/Zoom was not resetting all the values to their defaults.
  • Fixed some visual artifacts when using the Line or Curve shape along with certain arrow end caps.
  • Ctrl+[ was not reducing the brush size by 5.
  • Fixed a crash in the Move and Shape tools when adjusting the rotation anchor while using the Classic theme on Windows 7.
  • Some of the new toolbar items didn’t have tooltips.
  • When hovering the mouse over a taskbar image, the main window was always showing a blank image for the corresponding tab.
  • Fixed a bug in the Colors window where it would incorrectly switch to the Primary color when you clicked on the Hue slider.
  • Removed the legacy Ctrl+Alt+0 keyboard shortcut for View->Zoom to Actual Size, which was preventing some characters from working in the Text tool.

Enjoy!

The second alpha build for paint.net 4.0 is now available! To download it, please head over to the forum: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27399-paintnet-40-alpha-build-5064/

Please note that this is an alpha! It is mostly complete but there are bugs, both known and unknown. DO NOT install this if you depend on Paint.NET for your livelihood, for instance, as it might crash at seemingly random times or even corrupt your data (that’s actually very unlikely but, still, use caution). After alpha comes beta, and then final (general availability) or "RTW" (release to web) (also sometimes called RTM).

NOTE: The alpha is not available via the updater in v3.5.11, even if you have “Also check for pre-release (beta) versions” enabled. The beta for 4.0, however, will be made available through that update channel (from v3.5.11, I mean). I’m deliberately doing this in order to keep the audience size smaller for now so that my inbox doesn’t get flooded (I’m also not advertising it on the paint.net website just yet). Newer 4.0 alpha builds will, of course, be automatically offered to you once you have any 4.0 alpha installed.

Here is a list of the changes between the previous alpha build (5034) and this one (5064):

  • "Auto-hide taskbar" was not working while paint.net was maximized and the foreground application
  • Arrow keys were not working with the Move tools until after you had used the mouse
  • Drawing on an invisible layer was visible while drawing
  • The bracket keys [ and ] were not working to adjust the brush size
  • Save Configuration was not remembering what settings were used for saving
  • The Magic Wand and Paint Bucket tool’s handling of transparent pixels was broken
  • Clicking on taskbar image thumbnails did not work to activate the application if you clicked on the image that was already active within paint.net
  • Some translations were crashing (e.g. Russian)

Enjoy!

The first alpha for paint.net 4.0 is now available! To download it, please head over to the forum: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/27227-paintnet-40-alpha-build-5034/

Please note that this is an alpha! It is mostly complete but there are bugs, both known and unknown. DO NOT install this if you depend on Paint.NET for your livelihood, for instance, as it might crash at seemingly random times or even corrupt your data (that’s actually very unlikely but, still, use caution). After alpha comes beta, and then final (general availability) or "RTW" (release to web) (also sometimes called RTM).

NOTE: The alpha is not available via the updater in v3.5.11, even if you have “Also check for pre-release (beta) versions” enabled. The beta for 4.0, however, will be made available through that update channel (from v3.5.11, I mean). I’m deliberately doing this in order to keep the audience size smaller for now so that my inbox doesn’t get flooded (I’m also not advertising it on the paint.net website just yet). Newer 4.0 alpha builds will, of course, be automatically offered to you once you have any 4.0 alpha installed.

Here is a list of the most prominent changes between v3.5.11 and 4.0:

  • System requirements
    • Windows 7 SP1 or newer is now required.
    • Windows XP and Windows Vista are no longer supported (paint.net will not install).
    • .NET Framework 4.5 is now required, and will be installed if needed.
    • A dual-core (or more!) CPU is highly recommended. (I no longer test on single core systems, btw.)
  • A brand new, asynchronous, fully multithreaded rendering engine
    • Performance scales very well with respect to the number of CPU cores, whether you have 2, 4, 6, or even 16 of them.
    • Performance scales much better with large, or even huge, images. Rendering will slow down and you will see tiles “trickling” in as they are completed, but the UI will still be responsive to your changes and clicks.
    • The canvas now uses hardware acceleration via Direct2D, which also improves performance.
    • Memory usage is lower.
  • Selections have been improved in many ways
    • Antialiased selections. You may turn this on/off at any time from the toolbar.
    • Selection outlines are now rendered with the “dancing ants” animation.
    • Performance of selection rendering and manipulation (Move Selection tool) have been fantastically improved.
  • General UI
    • The functionality previously provided by the Utilities, Window, and Help menus has been simplified, consolidated, and moved to the top-right corner of the main window.
    • A brand new Settings dialog makes it much easier to configure all the tool and toolbar defaults, among other things.
    • The zoom slider and units selector have been moved from the toolbar to the bottom right corner of the window (into the status bar).
    • The image thumbnail list is now left-aligned and does not move around when you switch between certain tools.
    • The image thumbnail list can now be reordered with drag-and-drop.
    • Updated theming to a white, blue, flat motif.
  • Tools
    • Tools may now draw directly with a blending mode, configurable from the toolbar. All of the layer blending modes are supported, as well as “Overwrite.”
    • Drawing tools (Pencil, Paintbrush, Eraser, Clone Stamp, Recolor) now have much smoother mouse input handling via GetMouseMovePointsEx.
    • Brush tools (Paintbrush, Eraser, Clone Stamp, Recolor) now have soft brushes support via a “Hardness” setting in the toolbar.
    • The Move tools (Move Selected Pixels, Move Selection) have a much better UI for scaling, moving, and (especially) rotation.
    • Color Picker has a configurable sampling radius, and can sample from either the current layer or the whole image.
    • Gradient tool now supports a new “Spiral” gradient type, and allows configuration of the repeat mode (none, repeat, wrapped).
    • Magic Wand and Paint Bucket now allow live adjustment of Tolerance and the Origin (click location) after clicking (press Enter to commit/finish).
    • Magic Wand and Paint Bucket can now sample from either the current layer or the whole image.
    • The Paint Bucket now supports anti-aliasing.
    • The Recolor tool can now use the color of the pixel where you click as the color to be replaced. Or, as usual, it can use the secondary color.
    • The new Shapes tool replaces the Line/Curve, Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, and Freeform shape tools. 29 shapes are currently available. You may move, resize, and rotate a shape, as well as reconfigure any other properties from the toolbar (color, outline size, etc.) before committing it to the layer.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Layers can now be reordered with drag-and-drop
    • Edit –> Copy Merged
    • Shift+Backspace will now fill the selection with the secondary color (Backspace fills with primary color, as usual)
    • Ctrl+Click on the Move Layer Up/Down buttons will now move a layer to the top/bottom
    • New exception/error dialog
    • Improved battery life impact due to fixing the way the floating windows manage their transparency
    • paint.net now shows up in the “Default Programs” control panel so you can configure its file type associations
    • Improved performance of saving .PDN images
    • Image->Resize has improved super sampling quality

The primary goal of this update is preparing for the v4.0 release: v3.5.10 will not be able to offer the v4.0 update, but v3.5.11 will. I’m not a fan of putting out an update for purely infrastructure purposes so I’ve also reverse-ported a handful of low-risk improvements from the v4.0 code base. This way we all win.

As usual, you can download it directly from the website or you can use the built-in updater via Utilities –> Check for Updates.

Here are the changes for this release:

  • Fixed: The Gaussian Blur effect was incorrectly calculating alpha values for non-opaque pixels. (http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/18483-gaussian-blur-mistreats-alpha/)
  • Improved performance of the Sharpen effect by about 25%
  • Improved performance of the Median effect by about 30%
  • Improved performance of the Fragment effect by about 40%
  • Improved performance of the Unfocus effect by about 100%
  • Reduced memory usage when many selection manipulation operations are in the history/undo stack (the undo data is now saved to disk)
  • The built-in updater now supports upgrading to paint.net 4.0 (once it’s available)

When I announced the beta for v3.5.11, I also talked a little about 4.0 and the progress that’s been made. If you haven’t read that, please catch up!

There have been rumors floating around that Paint.NET is “dead.” This is not true! Smile The 4.0 update has simply been a huge project, and I only have a limited amount of time at my disposal. (Apparently if you go 22 months without an update, that means “dead” in Internet years. Sorry!) Plus, sometimes you just want to go out and enjoy summer instead of writing code.

For comparison, v3.5.11 is about 203,000 lines of code, whereas v4.0 is at about 391,000. What’s new? Well, it has a brand new, asynchronous, fully multithreaded, hardware accelerated (via Direct2D) rendering engine that performs very happily with huge and large images, all while consuming less memory than v3.5. I’m not exaggerating the performance scaling either: whether you’ve got a 16-core Dual Xeon or a 400 megapixel image, paint.net 4.0 will be quite happy (other combinations are also very copacetic, of course).

The whole UI has been updated to use newer rendering toolkits such as Direct2D and DirectWrite, and the main window has a greatly simplified and consolidated layout. All of the drawing tools have been updated to use the new rendering system along with a new “fine-grained” history system (to clarify: the UI for history is the same, but the underlying code is radically different). It’s made possible a much richer “WYSIWYG” model for editing which is exemplified by the new Paint Bucket and Magic Wand tools. Selection rendering quality and performance are way up. The brush tools (Paintbrush, Eraser, Clone Stamp, Recolor) now support soft brushes, and the new Shapes tool replaces the 4 separate shape tools that are in v3.5 while providing many more shapes to use. There are also a bunch of other small, miscellaneous improvements that span across the UI and tools, including things like “Copy Merge” and antialiased selection rendering.

Anyway, enjoy!

This is probably not the update you were expecting Smile I need to push out an update to v3.5 in preparation for the eventual release of v4.0, and it’s necessary to do this sooner rather than later to make sure everyone is up-to-date by then. I’m releasing a “beta” today to make sure everything is still working (compilers, packagers, updaters), and then I’ll be pushing out the Final/RTM in a few days.

The primary goal of this update is preparing for the v4.0 release: v3.5.10 will not be able to offer the v4.0 update, but v3.5.11 will. I’m not a fan of putting out an update for purely infrastructure purposes so I’ve also reverse-ported a handful of low-risk improvements from the v4.0 code base. This way we all win.

As usual, you can download it directly from the website or you can use the built-in updater. Make sure that you enable “Also check for pre-release (beta) versions,” which you can do by going to Utility –> Check for Updates, and then clicking on the Options button.

Here are the changes for this release:

  • Fixed: The Gaussian Blur effect was incorrectly calculating alpha values for non-opaque pixels. (http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/18483-gaussian-blur-mistreats-alpha/)
  • Improved performance of the Sharpen effect by about 25%
  • Improved performance of the Median effect by about 30%
  • Improved performance of the Fragment effect by about 40%
  • Improved performance of the Unfocus effect by about 100%
  • Reduced memory usage when many selection manipulation operations are in the history/undo stack (the undo data is now saved to disk)
  • The built-in updater now supports upgrading to paint.net 4.0 (once it’s available)

As for paint.net 4.0, progress has been speeding up. All of the tools have been ported and upgraded for the new rendering and history systems, and there’s only 1 or 2 small feature left. Once those are done, which should be soon since they’re fairly simple and straightforward, I’ll be in strict bug fixing mode in preparation for a public alpha release! As usual I have no promises as to when this will happen, but we’ll go with “soon.”

Another recent change in 4.0 that I’m very happy about is further improvements to selection rendering performance. I talked about this awhile ago when I detailed how the selection is now rendered using background threads and hardware acceleration. Back then I also said, “Manipulating selections is still just as slow as it ever was, and over time I plan to move that work off the UI thread.” Well I’m happy to report that I’ve now been able to move almost all of the remaining CPU-intensive geometry processing off the UI thread, and I’ve also added a few other tricks that make it so that most selection manipulation can be done at a full 30-60 frames per second! If you’ve ever drawn a complex selection, either by hand or with the Magic Wand, and then proceeded to move/scale/rotate it with the Move Selection tool, you’ve probably experienced severe lag. This is all now almost entirely gone, and it is very cool stuff, and it’s not isolated to that scenario.

This video showcases some of the things I can do with the new rendering engine and tool transaction system in paint.net 4.0. Even the Paint Bucket tool can get awesome “WYSIWIGEWYEI” (What You See Is What You Get … Especially While You’re Editing It, which needs a better name) and Fine-Grained History (you can undo/redo every change, not just those that commit pixels to the layer).

One big annoyance of the Paint Bucket tool in every imaging app out there is that it doesn’t do a good job of letting you explore and be creative. There are two primary “inputs” for it: the origin point (where you clicked), and the tolerance setting. Where you click determines the point at which the flood fill algorithm is executed from, and which color is used as the basis for comparing to other colors to see if they are at a “distance” (Euclidean) that is less than the tolerance value. Colors that are at a distance less than the tolerance are filled in with whatever color or pattern you specify. Black and white are as far apart as possible and require a high tolerance value to “notice” each other, while shades of the same color are computed as relatively close to each other and will be included with lower tolerance values.

What happens in most imaging apps* is that you click somewhere with the Paint Bucket tool, look at the result, and decide that either you wish you’d clicked somewhere else or used another tolerance value. On a rare occasion, it looks perfect and you’re done.

Then you click undo.

Next, you click somewhere else, possibly after editing the tolerance in the toolbar. Then you realize it’s not exactly what you want, so …

Then you click undo. And repeat. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

In paint.net 4.0 I’m working to finally get rid of that repetition, which is work I started with the new Gradient tool I added back in 3.0 (2006!). Once you click somewhere with the Paint Bucket tool, you can go edit the tolerance in the toolbar which essentially causes your click action to be re-executed. You can also move your mouse down into the canvas where you clicked, and drag around a handle which will move the origin point. You can change the color, or anything else that affects how the fill is rendered. You can use the undo and redo commands to walk through every adjustment that you’re trying out.

This is a very powerful addition to the tools in paint.net which really enables you to quickly explore the creative landscape in a way that no other image editing software can. It also lets you gain an intuitive understanding of settings that do not necessarily lend themselves to short, intuitive descriptions (like tolerance!), but which are easily learned through interactive exploration. This video was recorded a few weeks ago. Since then I’ve added antialiasing as well as the ability to choose between sampling the current layer or the whole image, and have also made other performance improvements. (I’ve also removed the “old” Paint Bucket tool, which is why you see the “new” version of it sitting at the bottom of the Tools window in the video.)

This is my first video posting, we’ll see how it goes! I didn’t think I could properly discuss this feature with just words and pictures.

* every one that I know of, but I used the word “most” just in case I’m wrong Winking smile

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