4.0.3 is now available

This update fixes a few small bugs and improves performance. There are still some performance issues when working with lots of layers, particularly when using Layers –> Import From File, but I plan on fixing those in the near future as well. Optimization work is never complete, and is quite fun and rewarding Smile !

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

Changes since 4.0.2:

  • Further improved performance when working with images that have a lot of layers.
  • Fixed some flickering in the Layers form.
  • Fixed the Language selector in the Settings dialog.
  • Fixed 2-finger touchpad and touch screen scrolling.
  • Aero peek thumbnails now include the pixel grid if it’s enabled.
  • Fixed a crash in the thumbnail renderer that sometimes happened when switching between images.
  • Ctrl+W no longer exits the application if zero images are open.



76 thoughts on “ 4.0.3 is now available

  1. daniel says:

    Hey rick you should totally add support for the new pen api in windows 7 and up. I really want to use my surface pro 3 with

    Also layer folders 🙂

  2. mulsivaas says:

    Aww, I liked that Ctrl+W closed the window if now images were opened. It is a much easier shortcut than Alt+F4. Was this a bug or a feature you decided to remove?

      • ajgelado says:

        Alt+F, X may be easy, but it is not standard. Nowadays, many applications close their main window with Ctrl+W. And the other standard combination, Alt+F4, is getting harder to use in the recent crop of laptops, which makes you press Fn to access the function keys, making it Alt+Fn+F4. IMHO, these are good reasons to revert Ctrl+W to the way it worked before 4.0.2.

  3. Noxigar says:

    Hi, Rick, i’ve a problem with the built-in auto updater : checking for a new version is ok, but i was unable to get the update : timeout error all the time.
    Running 4.0.2 on W8.1 Update1 x64 Fr

  4. vux777 says:

    can something be done to speed up start on first run per session? every start after that is fired in matter of second, but the first one takes about 10-15 sec. (win7 x64, x3 3,3 GHZ, 6GB RAM)…some depending service that could slow it..or something like that?

      • Franz says:

        Thanks Rick for Paint.NET, I’ve been using it for many years now.

        Just wanted to add that the first start also takes a while on my machine after a reboot (3 years old laptop, Windows 7 x64, 16 GB of memory, relatively slow hard drive). I guess many DLLs need to be accessed and loaded in memory? Also, are the .Net assemblies ngen-compiled?


        • Markus says:

          ~10 seconds for the first startup here as well. Using regular HDDs.

          Another annoying thing is that the first time you use the brush, it will lag the program for 2-3 seconds and force you to delete a wrongly painted line.

    • Paul B. says:

      I would also like to see faster first-opens. Many of the units I work on are not highly powered, and there is a large lag. Thanks.

  5. daniel says:

    So Rick fantastic news about the potential pen support in the future.

    Any plans for anything else like layer folders or do you have a road map for 4.5?

  6. Katar says:

    I’d like to be able to rotate at more than just 90 degree angles… Can we enter a number in degrees of how much we want to rotate it? for straightening pictures for example?

    • Rick Brewster says:

      There are 2 ways that rotation at arbitrary angles has been possible since the v2.5 release (in 2005!!!) :

      1. Move Selected Pixels tool. You can move the mouse to the outer edge and the cursor will have a curve arrow underneath it. You can also just use the right mouse button (click and drag). The angle of rotation will be displayed in the status bar, and you can hold shift to constrain to a multiple of 15 degrees.

      2. Layers -> Rotate / Zoom. You can type in whatever value you want in here. It’s not the same as #1 but it may be very useful for you.

  7. gumbythecat says:

    Some good new features, but it is sooooo slow and many of my plugins no longer work. Going to have to revert back to the last version until the bugs get ironed out. <– not meant to be harsh, just truthful. I love Paint.NET and appreciate the incredible amount of work and dedication you've shown over the years.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      Hmm, well it’s certainly not supposed to be slower. Umm, would you be able to post your system details? You can do something like going to the Settings dialog, then go to Diagnostics, then “Copy to clipboard” and then either 1) post it onto the forum in the Troubleshooting section so we can start up a dialog, or 2) e-mail it to me (the address is at (I don’t put up a direct link here to hopefully reduce spam))

  8. oberdead says:

    I really like and I use it almost every day and really push it to it’s limits with over 50 layers on some days, so this optimization will really help. if possible grouping layers would really tidy it up, though I know it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

  9. rredline says:

    I would really like to see some magnetic lasso image cropping feature being implemented in the near future.
    I keep Photoshop in my hard drive almost purely for this feature.

  10. Blubbeh says:

    Great work, thanks.
    Something really bugging me is how a fresh file is first displayed when opening with files to load. Would prefer it if it just stayed blank until the actually files are loaded.
    And I kinda miss the old zoom buttons… but that’s just big personal preference I guess. I tend to use the mouse wheel to zoom now, but for pixel art, the uneven zoom values introduced by doing so are a bit annoying. A setting for even values when mouse wheel zooming maybe?

  11. sam says:

    Hi Rick thank you so much for the great software, I have both and photoshop and illustrator but I like the best and use it exclusively. the new improvements are great!

    There was one very important behavioral change that has happened in the update from the old version:

    One of the absolute most common actions in is that one draws a selection and then wants to move it. often the selection can be a thin rectangle. since the new version this task has become much more difficult. before the area in which a mouse hold would “catch” the selection was much larger now almost the whole area is taken up by the new move the central bubble functionality which in comparison to selection movement is almost never used. this has meant that one has to zoom in to a selection find the area that can catch the selection and zoom out.

    Also the stretching of a selected area has become much more slow if I select the narrow side of a thin rectangle and want to stretch it all the way across the screen this used to be a sharp rapid dynamic, now it is step wise and very slow.

    Hopefully my explanation was clear enough to illustrate what I meant.

    I’m a huge fan of the new version with all the new features and the detailed history and the brushes but the selection problem is so disruptive I’m thinking of going back to the older version to get the better response.

    Thank you muchly


  12. Slava says:

    Would you make modal windows (effects/adjustments) to open not on the center of window – it’s cause me to always move it out to view changes it does.
    Better to open it near the edges of window or screen itself.

  13. Tanis says:

    Hi, I downloaded the new July upgrade but the circle text is still off. If I write Hawaiian Islands, the H is much smaller than the S. I have text over most of my circle designs so it’s a big deal to me. Is there anyway to fix this problem??? Thank You!!!

    • Rick Brewster says:

      Try modifying the settings in the toolbar, e.g. the Text Rendering Mode defaults to Smooth but you might prefer one of the Sharp modes (Modern or Classic) for what you’re doing.

  14. Thair Joudi says:

    Hi Rick, thanks first for the great efforts,
    Zooming in > Canvas bounds is larger and the Viewport > Horizontal and/or Vertical Scrollbars appear > Scrolling (and Panning) > Canvas bounds move accordingly (But only until the edge of Canvas meets the edge of view port)!
    It is really difficult to draw at the edge of the Viewport, even if all Tools Windows are hidden!
    Please let edges of Canvas free to move toward center of the Viewport.

  15. pj says:

    drawing tablet support when? I have a friend using a version from many years ago (before it was unexpectedly removed) just to get this functionality back.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      The updater does not support proxies that require manual configuration within the application. Sometimes it’s possible to install something which provides transparent (to the app) proxy support. Microsoft Internet Sercurity and Acceleration Server has something like that, IIRC (it’s a thing you install client-side).

  16. Harry Ward says:

    Rick. Great software. Have used for several years.

    I just upgraded to 4.03 from 3.5. I used the built in update feature, and let it close the old PaintNET for me. I had two problems which hopefully you can fix before the next update.
    1. The installation DELETED all my Effects, and left that folder empty. Luckily, I have 3.5 on an XP computer, and was able to copy them over. There was absolutely no warning that this was occurring.
    2. There was no option on where to install 4.0.3. It installed it in the directory that 3.5 had been in, but I might have wanted to put it somewhere else.

    I don’t know if I had downloaded 4.0.3 from your website (and therefore not used the update feature) if I would have had more control over the installation or not.


    • Rick Brewster says:

      1. I’m not sure why it deleted any of your effects. It’s certainly not supposed to. I haven’t heard any other reports of this. Sorry :-\

      2. It’s an update … it’s supposed to install in-place and replace your old version. You can only have 1 version of Paint.NET installed on the system, so even if you’d ran the installer manually and chosen another location it still would’ve removed the old version.

  17. Rudi says:

    When I start the, the window have a standard size. I enlarging the window according to my wishes. I Close the program and restart it, the window opens again in the smaller size. Can you programing so that the window size is saved when the user exit?

    • Rick Brewster says:

      The window sizes are programmed to be remembered across instances. For some reason it doesn’t work on all systems, and we’re still trying to figure out why and how to fix it.

  18. Andrew says:

    Hey, is a wonderful image editor; I really appreciate it. One thing I’ve always wanted to see in is a polygonal select tool because the lasso select has always seemed unwieldy to me.
    I usually just use the magic wand or draw on a layer and select it to select certain things in pictures and it works okay, but a select tool which I could click, move, and click instead of just free-hand drawing the selection would be great.
    Could this ever be possible?

      • Rob says:

        What’s weird is mine did work through a corporate proxy! I’ve specified my proxy settings in http_proxy and https_proxy environment variables though; perhaps it picked those up?

  19. Jim Shoenbill says:

    Are there any concerns with going back to the prior major version? A number of things are driving me nuts in this one. Mainly the shapes drawing; I was accustomed to drawing many shapes intersecting each other, but when I try this now the tool now wants to grab instead of just drawing another shape. Like others, I’ve noticed it is more difficult to grab and move selected areas. Also the loss of zoom in and out button, and slower interaction in general, are problems.
    This does not mean I don’t absolutely love I do!

    • Rick Brewster says:

      You can press Enter or Escape to finish the shape (e.g. to commit it to the layer) after drawing it. This is the same as pressing the “Finish” button in the toolbar. It’s easy to get into the habit of drawing a shape, then press Enter or Esc (depending on if you’re left or right handed), then draw the next one, repeat. 4.0 doesn’t have slower interactions, it just has a few simple things to get used to that, when you know about them, can greatly improve your ability to do really cool things. For instance, if you didn’t draw the shape perfectly then you can use the handles to adjust it instead of undoing it and redrawing it.

  20. Eric Gorman says:

    Still just Awesome that you guys are still putting this out there and so regularly, I use everyday, and just have to say “THANK YOU”!!!

    I was wondering I have 4.3 already (updated through my previous 4.0) but I have noticed and been told by a couple friends I have turned on to this product, that all the stand alone down-loads they have been able to find are full of Bloat-ware/ads/Toolbars…why is this?



    • Rick Brewster says:

      Paint.NET doesn’t come bundled with anything. Perhaps they downloaded from a 3rd party site that did something unscupulous? e.g. (ugh)

  21. Bill Lee says:

    Hi Rick Brewster,

    When will join Github?

    Thank for great image tool.

  22. Eric H. says:

    Hey Rick.
    I’m a big fan of your work since a while now.
    It would be really awesome if would be able to manage text like photoshop did. You know, like objects you can edit (text, style, etc…) whenever you want.
    Maybe you could extend this behaviour to other objects (shape, etc…).
    What do you think about that? Are these planned?

  23. Benjamin Coats says:

    You know, Rick, I just want to say that you are awesome; this product is awesome; and the fact that you (and your team members) built this when you did, under the circumstances you did, is just unbelievable.

    I believe I started using your product in either June or July of 2004. (I simply CANNOT BELIEVE I’ve been in love with Paint.Net for 10 YEARS!) You had just released version 1.0 back then. I had been using a cracked copy of Photoshop, and wanted a legal substitute for the graphics/imaging tool I needed to do my daily job. I can’t remember where I heard about the project (methinks it may have been the MSDN newsletter/blog, or maybe some other Microsoft or Microsoft MVP-er’s blog). In any case, I’ve been a big fan and staunch advocate ever since. It’s always the first app I install (after the latest of Visual Studio and nodeJS) after I get a new machine!

    You are appreciated. Your legacy will outlive you, one way or another. Keep up the great work!

  24. J. says:

    I just noticed a lag time between when I enable or disable a layer (from unchecked – ie. invisible to checked – ie visible), I have to left click in the just altered frame before it changes to either seen or unseen. I bet you already know of this, and so I apologize for the repeat. However if there is a fix, please send me in the right direction or show ma a map…Thank you for all the extraordinary time, skill, effort and most of all your dedication to this project…;PAINT.NET is A # 1!!!!

  25. J.E.Gorman says:

    3 in one day ~ I selfishly forgot to write “Paint.Net” is the standard I hold all other Photo Editing and Art applications up to compare with. It was the first free tool that I found after attempting ‘The Pirate Bay Maze’ back in 2006. The easily understandable controls made a good impression the first time I used it.
    Now whenever I upgrade or reinstall an OS on my PC, Paint.Net is the first application to be installed. I may use a couple of other art app’s (EasyPaintToolSai,and WIndows Paint) but Paint.Net is the primary go to source for me..


  26. Paint.NET lover says:

    Hey there!

    I absolutely love Paint.NET and have been using it for year and years, ever since I was first introduced to it back in primary school (and considering I’m graduating school now, that was a long time ago). I love all the features and it is the only image editing software I use, and have no need to change that.

    There is one feature, though, that I’ve really been wishing to have, and that’s a feathered edge tool. The ability to blur the outline of a cropped section of image would be infinitely useful to me, and trying to repeat the effect using a Gausian blur just isn’t quite the same. Is there any plans to add a feathering tool into Paint.NET in the future, and if not, can you put it on the to-do list please?

    Thanks for listening!

  27. makroben says:

    i want to know is there any concerns with going back to the prior major version? A number of things are driving me nuts in this one. Mainly the shapes drawing; I was accustomed to drawing many shapes intersecting each other, but when I try this now the tool now wants to grab instead of just drawing another shape. Like others, I’ve noticed it is more difficult to grab and move selected areas. Also the loss of zoom in and out button, and slower interaction in general, are problems.
    This does not mean I don’t absolutely love I do! ?

    • Rick Brewster says:

      Firstly, the zoom buttons aren’t gone — they’re at the bottom right corner of the window.

      Secondly, in the general case, Shapes just requires you to “commit” (aka Finish) the shape before moving on to the next one. You can get into the habit of pressing Finish in the toolbar, or even better you can just press Enter or Esc or Ctrl+D between shapes.

      Whenever you have trouble, please be sure to check out (also accessible from the Help menu!) and the forums ( , also accessible from the Help menu)

  28. Sah War says: is amazing! I have 1 feature request, though — please make the color palette with 256 color wells! It’s much needed for GIF image editing. 🙂

  29. BulbOhrbTom (@Tom00Z7) says:

    I would really like to enjoy version 4.x so far, its new features are good, but I couldn’t help but notice the brush tool appears more jittery when I draw without anti-aliasing than it did in previous ones; it’s quite hard to draw like this.

  30. Denise says:

    I love this program and I’m still getting used to the changes, but what happened to the “Smug Tool” – I used this tool a lot with the graphics I do!!
    Can we get it back or is it gone forever?

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