4.0 is now available!

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the extensive alpha and beta releases with all the bug reports, crash log submissions, and general feedback. It has all been a tremendous help in creating the best release ever! It’s been a long time coming, but I think it’s worth it.

There are a few ways to get the new version:

  1. The preferred way: If you’re using Paint.NET v3.5.x, go to the Utilities menu and click on “Check for Updates.” If you’re using a pre-release version of 4.0 (beta or release candidate), go to the Settings dialog, then to the Updates section, and then click “Check Now.”
  2. You can also download it directly from the website, . There is no need to uninstall the old version: that will be taken care of automatically.

Without further ado, here is the final list of changes, features, improvements, and fixes:

  • System Requirements
    • Windows 7 SP1 or newer is now required.
    • .NET Framework 4.5 is now required, and will be installed if needed.
    • A dual-core (or more!) processor is highly recommended.
    • Hardware acceleration (GPU) via Direct2D is now supported.
      • Please disable this in the Settings dialog if you experience visual artifacts.
  • Performance
    • A brand new, asynchronous, fully multithreaded rendering engine allows performance to scale very well with respect to the number of CPU cores whether you have 2, 4, 6, or even 16 of them.
    • The responsiveness of the user interface has been greatly improved, especially when working with large images.
    • Memory usage is lower.
    • Improved battery life impact due to fixing the way the floating windows manage their transparency.
    • Startup performance when many plugins are installed is improved, thanks to the Multicore JIT feature introduced in .NET 4.5.
  • Selections
    • Selections are now antialiased, which greatly improves the quality around the edges of selected content. You can turn this on and off at any time from the toolbar.
    • Everything related to selections now has much higher performance and greatly reduced CPU usage, especially if hardware acceleration (GPU) is enabled.
    • The selection outline is now rendered using the “dancing ants” animation, which greatly improves the contrast between it and the image itself.
  • General
    • 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.
    • The image thumbnail list has been moved up 1 row so that it no longer intrudes into the current Tool’s toolbar space. This means it will no longer “jump around” when you switch between tools. This also means that it is aligned to the top of the monitor when the main window is maximized, making it easier to click on images (Fitt’s law).
    • The image thumbnail list can now be reordered with drag-and-drop.
    • 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).
    • Each image now shows up as its own taskbar item. This can be disabled in the Settings dialog with “Show image previews in the Windows taskbar.”
    • Layers can now be reordered with drag-and-drop.
    • Ctrl+Click on the Move Layer Up/Down buttons will now move a layer to the top/bottom, respectively.
    • Improved quality of Image->Resize.
    • Edit –> Copy Merged will copy all layers to the clipboard without having to use Image->Flatten first.
    • Copying to the clipboard now includes the “PNG” format, which allows transparency to survive from many popular applications (e.g. Office)
    • You can now use the middle mouse button to scroll/pan the image at any time (same functionality as holding down the spacebar along with clicking and dragging the mouse).
    • Shift+Backspace will now fill the selection with the secondary color (Backspace, the shortcut key for Edit -> Fill Selection, still fills with primary color as usual).
    • now shows up in Windows’ “Default Programs” control panel so you can configure its file type associations without reinstalling.
    • EXIF rotation metadata is now applied when opening images (e.g. JPG taken with a rotated camera).
    • Eleven (11) new languages, bringing the total to 21: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, and Spanish.
    • Crash logs are now stored in %LOCALAPPDATA%\\CrashLogs (e.g. C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\\CrashLogs) instead of on the desktop.
  • Effects
    • New effect: Photo -> Vignette.
    • Improved the quality of the Photo -> Red Eye Removal effect.
    • Improved UI for Layers -> Rotate/Zoom.
    • Effect plugins now show up with a jigsaw puzzle icon next to them in the menus. You can hover over the effect to see information about it, including the author and location of its DLL.
    • Errors while loading effect plugins are now displayed in the Settings dialog.
  • Tools
    • Most Tools now support “fine-grained history.” You may adjust the properties of what you’ve drawn (e.g. colors, toolbar settings) before committing to the layer (use the “Finish” button or press Enter), and each change is tracked in the history.
    • 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.
    • The Move tools now support moving the rotation anchor, which changes the center of rotation.
    • The new Shapes tool replaces the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, and Freeform shape tools. 27 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.
    • 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).
    • Gradient tool has improved rendering quality via dithering and antialiasing. You can control both of these with the standard antialiasing toggle in the toolbar.
    • 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.
    • Paint Bucket tool now supports anti-aliasing.
    • 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.
    • Text tool now supports multiple rendering modes: Smooth, Sharp (Modern), and Sharp (Classic). These correspond to DirectWrite rendering modes of Outline, ClearType Natural Symmetric, and GDI Classic, respectively.
    • Text tool now supports colored fonts on Windows 8.1.

Enjoy! Smile 4.0 Release Candidate (build 5284) is now available

The penultimate build is here: the release candidate! The only changes that should occur between this build and the final release are the those related to the translations. In other words, the code is complete unless there’s a Priority Defcon 0 Nuclear Holocaust type bug that’s found (which I don’t expect). I believe the final release will be sometime next week.

As usual, 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”, or 3) download from the forum at

Changes since the last beta build (5278):

  • Pasting with the Text tool should no longer hide the move handle
  • The rotation anchor (Move, Shapes) is now less intrusive
  • Fixed focus rectangles in some controls that effects use (check boxes, radio buttons, sliders)
  • Fixed a layout issue with the ruler in some very specific scenarios
  • Hardware acceleration is now enabled by default for some Intel GPUs (e.g. Intel HD 4000 series)

Have fun with the final code over the weekend 🙂 4.0 beta (build 5278) is now available

The fifth beta build for 4.0 is now available. Things are going very well: I only had to fix bugs that I introduced in the last update Smile

As usual, 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,” or 3) download it from the forum at:

Changes since the last beta build:

  • Significantly improved performance of the Ellipse shape
  • Fixed the selection outline being drawn in the wrong location when zoomed in
  • Fixed a glitch in the Line/Curve tool
  • Fixed a rendering glitch and crash in the Move Selected Pixels tool
  • Fixed a crash when attempting to draw a shape with zero width and/or zero height
  • Updated installer to use .NET 4.5.2
  • Fixed a problem that was preventing the installer from working with certain McAfee antivirus configurations (MsiOpenDatabaseW error 110)
  • New language: Persian
  • New language: Danish

Enjoy! 4.0 beta (build 5268) is now available

The fourth beta build for 4.0 is now available!

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”, or 3) download it from the forum at:

  • The Line/Curve tool is now back, and the Line and Curve shapes have been removed from the Shapes tool
  • Improved rendering quality of the Line/Curve tool, especially when antialiasing is disabled
  • The rectangle shape now draws using an “inset” brush stroke. This helps prevents blurriness with odd-sized brush widths
  • Shapes tool now lets you commit by clicking outside of the bounding box of the current shape. (you can also start drawing a new shape via clicking and dragging, of course)
  • Improved rendering quality of brush tools when antialiasing is disabled
  • Improved performance of Shapes and Line/Curve tools on most systems (e.g., less than 8 CPU cores)
  • Improved rendering quality of Image->Resize when using Nearest Neighbor
  • Fixed the Palette chooser in the Colors window, which was going away when you tried to move the mouse to click on one of its items
  • Fixed some broken clipping when using Paste and “Expand Canvas”
  • Intel-based GPUs now default to having hardware acceleration disabled. You may still force it to be enabled from the Settings dialog.
  • When pasting, the PNG format now has a higher priority than CF_DIB, which allows easier access to transparency (alpha) from other applications
  • Tools no longer incorrectly commit when clicking on the currently active layer in the Layers window
  • The layer’s opacity was being ignored while drawing if it was the lowest (index zero) layer
  • You can now copy a file from File Explorer and Paste it into Paint.NET (regression from 3.5)
  • Fixed the canvas scroll bars occasionally being incorrect after maximizing the main window and then restoring it
  • Fixed radio button group tab processing
  • Fixed many small miscellaneous crashes
  • New language: Czech

I’m summarizing and consolidating the bug list here a little … there are 52 fixed bugs since the last public beta Smile