Paint.NET features page — finally updated!

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.

Active Online Community
Paint.NET has an online forum with a friendly, passionate, and ever-expanding community. Be sure to check out the constantly growing list of tutorials and plugins!

Frequently Updated
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.

Special Effects
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.

Powerful Tools
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.

Unlimited History
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++.


Paint.NET v3.08 BETA is now available

This is mostly a service release that fixes some bugs, while also improving keyboard / accessibility cues for some dialogs. Get it via the built-in updater, or from the website:

Fixed: Pasting an image from Office 2003 applications now works (e.g. Excel 2003 graphs).
Fixed: Some dialogs were not indicating which command button was the default. These buttons now have a highlight to indicate which one will be activated if the user presses Enter or Space.
Fixed: Some minor keyboard navigation issues with task dialogs
Fixed: Performance issue with the File->Acquire submenu taking a long time to appear
Fixed: Window activation issue when the Print wizard was finished / closed
Fixed: Crash when there was 1 image open and the user pressed Ctrl+Q and then Ctrl+W
Fixed: Minor performance issue if the user had 1 modified image open and then canceled the “Save changes?” dialog
Fixed: Misbehaving filetype factory implementations (plugins) will no longer cause a crash

This is mostly a stop-gap release to fix some bugs before work begins in earnest on the next release with some cool new features. Stay tuned!

Window Clipping 2.0 just released!

If only I had used Window Clippings back in January when I redid the screenshots in the Paint.NET documentation … I would have saved so much time! It has this great ability to capture a window in Windows Vista along with the drop shadow, but without the stuff behind the window. (You know, the blurry stuff.) For example:

The steps to do this before were:

1. Make sure the window is on top of a white background
2. Press Print Screen to capture the whole screen.
3. Paste in to Paint.NET with Ctrl+Alt+V.
4. Crop the image to a large rectangular area that encompasses the window and the drop shadow, but nothing else.
5. Switch to the Magic Wand tool.
6. Make sure the Tolerance is set to 0%.
7. Click on the white area just past the drop shadow.
8. Press Ctrl+I to invert the selection.
9. Press Ctrl+Shift+X to crop the image to the selected area.
10. Create a new layer.
11. Fill the layer with white
12. Move the layer below the “Background” layer
13. Flatten the image
14. Save!

It was a repetetive and error-prone process. But with Window Clippings, this is a much simpler process:

1. Press Ctrl + Print Screen.
2. Double click the window that I care about.
3. Paste it into Paint.NET with Ctrl+Alt+V.
4. Save!

Anyway, Kenny Kerr just announced that the new 2.0 release is available. Looking at the new features, I can immediately see a use for inclusion of the mouse cursor and tooltips in screenshots.

Paint.NET ranked as the 19th Best Product of 2007

So I was drinking my morning coffee and I happened to do a quick ego search for Paint.NET at . To my surprise I saw half a dozen blogs linking to a new PC World article where Paint.NET had been ranked as the 19th Best Product of 2007!

(image editing software; free) This open-source photo editing application packs tons of muscle into a measly 1.3MB download that doesn’t cost a dime. Impressive.

The word I use to describe my reaction is floored. Regardless of the footnote-worthy review text, that ranking puts Paint.NET above industry heavyweights such as Gmail (#31), YouTube (#34), Firefox (#35), Picasa (#36), and (#58)!

Thank you PC World! That’s definitely an issue worth buying 😉