Paint.NET 4.0 build 4158 screenshot

Here’s a screenshot (click for full size):

A summary of the changes so far:

  1. Window, Utilities, and Help menus are now button menus in the top-right corner. They are still menus, and behave as such (as in, they are not some weird custom button control).
  2. The floating tool window now use a more compact, glass-less styling.
  3. The image list has been “pulled up” into the title bar area. This has several advantages. First, if follows the Fitts-Law-friendly convention that Firefox and Chrome have employed whereby the tabs are docked to the top edge of the screen when the window is maximized (the title area is always draggable, for all of us Aero Snap fans). This ensures that the image list does not get “shoved around” when a tool needs more horizontal area (such as the Text tool). And, it ensures more horizontal space for toolbar controls (which will become important later!). 
  4. The zoom and controls have moved to the status bar area, and use a slider instead of a text combo box. It works much like the one in Windows Live Photo Gallery. The units selector has also moved to the status bar.
  5. “Paint.NET” is now “”

Some things probably not apparent in the static screenshot:

  1. The image list supports drag-and-drop reordering. The dragging is live (I don’t employ an “insertion arrow” ala Firefox), and sports the same types of reshuffling animations you see in the Windows 7 task bar. Fade in animations are also used when opening or creating an image.
  2. Speaking of Windows 7, each image shows up in the task bar thumbnail list. If you hover over the Paint.NET icon, you’ll see a list of images instead of just 1 thumbnail for the main window. This can be disabled in Settings, just like in Firefox, at which point you’ll get 1 tab for the main window instead of 1 per image.

These are just some of the cosmetic changes. There are, of course, many other little and not-to-little changes.


59 thoughts on “Paint.NET 4.0 build 4158 screenshot

  1. John Dangerbrooks says:

    Thanks for the update.

    I personally loved “Paint.NET”, especially its capital P. Oh, and I don’t mind seeing most of the decorative effects go, including thumbnails, animation effect, glass, etc.

    In fact, I really like to hear about Paint.NET’s new image edit/processing capabilities.

    By the way, I was wondering about “pre-alpha”! Perhaps it is just me, but I think it fits the bill for “alpha”.

  2. T Man says:

    The 550 with the M Sport package looks really nice. I’m partial to the Dark Graphite color.

  3. Aethec says:

    I like “Paint.NET” more than its lowercase equivalent, but maybe that’s just because I’m used to it.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      They don’t have the configurator on the website for the new M5 yet 🙂 The old one is no longer being produced. I test drove a 2008 E60 M5 in Mafia Black … it was a little terrifying, in a sexy kind of way.

  4. Sidneys1 says:

    Can’t wait for a Paint.NET (ahem, I mean Although personally I prefer the capitalization) 4.0 beta!


    • Rick Brewster says:

      Feel free to use whichever capitalization you prefer. It’s not like I have legal documents forcing everyone to change how they type 🙂

  5. Nilotiso says:

    Glad it’s not just me that thinks the lower casing of the name doesn’t suit at all! Seems a daft change for no benefit?

      • Nilotiso says:

        “By your logic, why have a name at all?”
        Well yes exactly, good question? 🙂

        On a more relevant point though; i’m guessing the screenshot is more to show how loaded images will work and the smaller changes like zoom slider as opposed to demonstrating a “new UI” (as noted on blog page), which I guess will be overhauled when you approach a beta?

        Btw, I don’t mean to sound on a downer – I love PDN and I use it near enough every day; what you have achieved with it is fantastic =)

  6. Rich S says:

    Bueno! Thanks for sharing. I’ll be very happy to have the zoom on the bottom right…it always seemed a little tedious to click a couple times for the drop down menu one. So much easier to click and slide.

  7. Michael Stum says:

    Nice work! I love what you have done to the title bar: Menus are still menus (unlike the Office Ribbon) but you actually use the spare space for “Tabs”. Also, the zoom slider is fantastic – is there an easy way to get back to 100% though? Say, by double clicking on the number or by the slider “locking” into position if dragged from either side?

    • Michael Stum says:

      Also, I dig, mainly because the uppercase .NET just looks ugly. Screaming Caps is for 13-year olds and C++ Developers 🙂

    • Rick Brewster says:

      You can get 100% with View->Actual Size (Ctrl+Shift+A or Ctrl+Alt+0), or by clicking the button down there. It toggles between Actual Size and Fit to Window. If you’ve changed the zoom level, then clicking it enables Fit to Window.

  8. Oliver Vincent says:

    Are You going to ask Microsoft to add Paint.Net, OK, as a default picture editor in, lets say, Windows 8?

    You have done more than all the Microsoft programmers did from 1995.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      No. That’s apocrypha that was started 6 years ago when everyone thought, for some reason, that Paint.NET was going to be bundled with Vista.

  9. Oliver Vincent says:

    One more question: could You add a option to remove the second and third toolbar? I prefer to use shortcuts and the toolbars take a bit of space?

  10. Eugene says:

    Hi Rick,
    thanks for PDN, it’s really really nice tool (at least so far:)) Regarding PDN4 – my 2 cents.
    All this FF4/Chrome-like stuff (using frame title for image list) I think is meaningless – it would be much easier and handier to have a list of images to appear when mouse hovers some area on the top (something like “popping-up URL” in the latest Chrome builds) if u know what I mean

    And yes, what will be *real* differences of PDN4 from PDN3.x? For now it seems all these are in windows’ frames:))

  11. Ben Harper says:

    I don’t see the Flamethrower nor the Rocket Launcher in this build how am I suppose to get to level 2?? 🙂

    (Continuing the Duke Nukem Forever juke)

  12. Eugene says:

    And one more point, Rick – for now, most of us have wide screen, but 4:3 pics:) Using soooo wide top toolbar is a kind of crime these days:)
    I would suggest the following:
    – divide top toolbar into 2 parts (buttons line and the next one with fonts/brushes/etc)
    – make them dockable left/top/right (so anyone could configure GUI like, say, in IBM Lotus Office)
    – make tabbed side-docks like they are in VS (when you aggregate Solution Explorer/Properties/Toolbox – I hope u see my point), so users could put there Layers, Toolbox, imagelist, and probably clipboard history (it would be nice feature!)
    – make main menu as one button, like in FF4 (at least as option)
    What do you think about my suggestions?

  13. Johnny says:

    So uh, are Layers, History & the Colour picker still floating Windows? They haven’t dissapeared into the void I take it? 😛

  14. Jon R says:

    I’m christening a new development fallacy in honour of the name discussion in this thread, “ the bikeshed” X-D

    But seriously, it looks awesome. So we can expect a beta any day now right? Right…!? 😉

  15. johnnyq3 says:

    “Me grimlock love paintnet, bestest of all fleshy inventions!”

    It looks really great Rick, keep up the good work.

  16. James says:

    We need to be able to set the zoom to a specific number. Often I like to zoom to 100 or 200 % exactly and it’s going to be a real pain with the Microsofty zoom track bar.

    You should make the ‘100%’ display a combobox with the defaults as before, but also have the trackbar to the right. -> As it is, with the ‘100%’ not just a Label.

    The ‘rotate/transform’ dialogue is available only to layers, where as other commands exist for both the ‘image’ and a ‘layer’. Sometimes I have to ‘rotate/transform’ 10 layers individually. Whereas I can ‘flip’ every layer with one command.

    Your last concern is making the app look good in Classic mode. Windows 7 availability is fine, but you can put Classic mode on, on the highest spec machine. Many schools do it to reduce the size of the profile download when users log on.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      Don’t worry, I’m not planning to leave that scenario in the cold. I myself often need to just type in a zoom level. The plan is that you can click on the “100%” text to the left of the slider and then type in whatever you want. Whether it does this with a combobox or a textbox, not sure yet. I’m finishing up integration of a new canvas implementation using Direct2D, and coincidentally I’m right at the point where I’m updating the zoom slider to work with its data binding.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      It all depends on time and priority. I’d like to add full screen mode for 4.0, but it’s not as high of a priority as other functionality and features. Perhaps for a 4.x release.

  17. Alex says:

    Looking really good, is a fantastic editor. 🙂

    Does the Direct2D implementation of the canvas allow for different paintbrush types and maybe a smudge tool? 😛

      • Oliver Vincent says:

        PDN is a good editor, but I can’t understand Your Ricks thinking. If I’m a programmer that wants to extend PDN I can only add a position to the Adjust and Effects menu. I can’t add new buttons to the toolbar, add new floating windows etc.

        So if someone wants a to add a smudge tool, the user will have to go every time to the Effects menu, choose Smudge and in the popup window do his work. He/she can’t work with layers or other tools at the same time.

  18. Илиан says:

    First of all thanks for the great software. I really appreciate your work. But there are still issues. One of them is the text tool. I don’t know how difficult it is but is there any chance the text tool to be more useful in in the next version of the program. I mean now you can’t edit once written words and it really annoying.

  19. Tuxplorer says:

    Why did you decide not to include the Ribbon UI? I hate classic Menus/Toolbars. is the only software I use currently that uses menus.

      • Tuxplorer says:

        How did you find it wasn’t a good fit? Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer etc have got the Ribbon UI.

        Or did you mean it will be too difficult to implement such a drastic UI change?

  20. Felix Kütt says:

    “The floating tool window now use a more compact, glass-less styling.”

    Could we get that with “dock-ability of anything – anywhere in the window” on top, ~please?!! 😀

  21. Nirmal says:

    I think the you could change the UI to Metro like in upcoming windows 8 and full integration to win 8. It will also support win 7 sice plateform update for win 7 comes with win 7 sp2 after the release of Win 8 in 2012.

  22. Schniefelus says:

    are you planning to integrate a scanning function into, would be nice

  23. Schniefelus says:

    haven’t found, thank you
    what is with touch support
    will you release a beta of v4.0 (and when?)?

  24. Perennial says:

    Ditch the Beemer (white or graphite, 540i or M5, doesn’t matter). We want banana-ear guy!

  25. Martin says:

    PDN40 seems to shape up really nicely! Happy to see some Win7 exclusive apps 🙂

    I know this is not the wishlist, but seeing the UI reminded me of a problem:
    Pictures should include some “ghost margin”. I.e. if I have a picture that perfectly fits in the viewport, some parts of the picture will be obstructed by the toolbars, and I’m not able to scroll or move it. I have to move the scrollbars 😦

    • Rick Brewster says:

      I recently rewrote the canvas so that the ‘ghost margin’ is now possible to implement. I do plan on doing something for this in 4.0. I actually get a lot of requests for this, and have found myself needing it on occasion myself.

  26. Vašek says:

    Rick, “think on” another languages, please. Space (for the text) is in the status bar smaller. Some languages are “flowery” and these languages are using “longer” texts. Thank you.

  27. ike says:

    Do you think you can make the grey space invivisble? So you can see the desktop? It is just a suggestion.

    Also are you going to implement ‘layers grouping’? It would make it a lot easier to do so IMO. Some images I create are like 25+ layers. It would be nice if this can be added to the update.

    Also do you think you are going to add a feature where you can separeate the canvas to it’s own window? I don’t think you are going to add it. I was just wondering. I like your ideas and I can wait for it to be released.

  28. TBW says:

    Are you serious? no ribbon. Thanks for wasting my time. I’m going to install something else now. Uninstalling

    • Rick Brewster says:

      Nope, no ribbon. I find it bizarre that you judge programs based on some checkbox “feature”, and not on its merits. The ribbon is not the be-all-end-all UI paradigm, and is not optimal nor appropriate for all applications.

  29. Dragunov says:


    Wonderful program…

    But did u contact AMD/ATI yourself to tell them about the ‘bug’ in their driver or just made the post on this site?

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