Paint.NET v4 gets a Settings dialog

I’ve said for a long time that I didn’t want a “Settings” dialog in Paint.NET. I honestly felt that providing as few settings as possible, as well as reasonable defaults for the ones that did exist, was the best way to go.

However, it’s finally to the point where it actually makes sense to consolidate the few settings that Paint.NET has into a proper Settings dialog. This also opens up the ability to easily add new settings where it makes sense.

Here’s a preview:

The “Choose Tool Defaults” dialog will also be folded into this.

I’m using IndirectUI to auto-generate and auto-databind most of this. This is the same system that is used for most of the effect and file type configuration UI as well. It’s a versatile system and is saving me a lot of time. Getting the new application settings system (the data and storage model) up and running has taken a bit of time, but adding any new setting or settings section only takes a few minutes. The dialog here didn’t take much time at all, either.

Effect plugins will be able to query the “Default Quality Level” setting and apply it as they see fit, along with any other settings that end up being pertinent.

Oh, and I’m using DirectWrite to render all of the text now. It works really well, looks great, and is configurable (if you prefer the “GDI Classic” mode, well then just change the setting). Even the buttons are no longer using GDI+, and also have the animations that “real” buttons in the rest of Windows have (this is a change throughout Paint.NET, not just in the Settings dialog).

As usual, the icons are from the excellent Fugue Icon set.

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9 thoughts on “Paint.NET v4 gets a Settings dialog

  1. John says:

    It’s a good move, IMHO. Not every option needs to be visible on the main interface, and trying to pick sensible defaults that please everyone is a near-impossible task, and some areas feel like stuff has been shoehorned in somewhere because there’s no logical place for them.

    For example, how do you disable updates? You go to Utilities > Check for Updates, which is the *opposite* of what you wanted to do.

    Paint.NET could also use a decent built-in plugin manager to make it easier to find new and updated plugins. Something like Notepad++’s implementation would work nicely.

  2. Grijan says:

    The Settings dialog is a much needed one. I use Paint.NET in three computers (a workstation, a laptop and a netbook), all with different screen resolutions, processors, memory… even the netbook has a slow SSD instead of a hard drive. And I feel that many of the default values of Paint.NET fit better the more powerful computer. Disabling undo-on-disk, hiding the status bar and allowing a smaller color selector would greatly help Paint.NET to work in a netbook.

    Also, I agree the plugin manager is a much needed feature. In my home computer I use dozens of plugins, and it is a mess. I use the Spanish localization of Paint.NET, but some plugins insist on creating English-named submenus (other place themselves in the corresponding Spanish submenu). The Effects menu is long and convoluted, and I can’t recall where the less used plugins reside (in the Adjustments menu, or in one of the Effects menu’s submenus). So I end spending some time “hunting” for them. It’s frustrating.

    I think it is needed a dialog where you can enable/disable plugins, see which DLL they reside on (making it easier to remove the unwanted ones), and, when one “plugin pack” DLL contains several plugins, hide the ones you don’t need/use. Right now, I don’t think I’m trying any newer plugins because of all those problems.

  3. Rick Brewster says:

    Rest assured, “plugin management” is one of the “P0” (priority-0 / highest) features for PDN v4. Grijan, you said it nice and succinctly: “… it is a mess.” Just look on the plugin section of the forum — half the posts are installation questions and troubleshooting.

  4. John says:

    That’s good to hear – though it’s kinda making me wish 2011 would stop taking its sweet time and just get here already!

    Grijan’s point is a good one, though it was partially solved by the Effects Lab (where’d that go, anyway) with its search feature. But either way, being able to hide effects you never use would be a good improvement. You could also take it one step further and allow me to save that configuration with a name, then swap between the different configurations from a menu option.

    For example, you could have a set of effects for editing photos, and a totally different set for making your crazy abstract fractal-based art. Today I’m editing a photo, so I choose the photo set, the next day I’m doing something different so I choose a set more suited to that job, just by choosing that option from the menu.

  5. Chris says:

    Will there be some setting like “default size for new images”? Because it’s 800×600 but I always need another one, so I have to change it every time. BTW I’d very much appreciate an option to “keep the ratio” when resizing a selection 😉 I once e-mailed you a very detailed feature request with lots of features but I didn’t get any answer 😀

    • Rick Brewster says:

      Chris, that’s one of the things I’m considering. As far as “keep the ratio” on selections … hold down Shift. (Pay attention to the status bar, it’ll always tell you what you can do.)

      • Chris says:

        Ah cool. The statusbar does not tell me about “Keep the ratio”, it just says (in German) “To move the selection drag it, to resize it drag the dragpoints, to rotate it use RMB”. But I love the shortcuts for Paint.NET 😀

        Thanks!

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