paint.net 4.1.6 alpha (build 7000) with high DPI icons

(To download, please go to the forum where I’ve posted the download link, along with a copy of this blog post)

Please note that this is an “alpha” simply because I still plan on adding more stuff for the 4.1.6 release (or whatever version # it ends up being called … )

As I’ve discussed here (blog) and here (forum), I’ve been working on a new set of icons for the app along with full high-res /  high-DPI support. Things no longer look blurry on high resolution screens! This has been a 2 month project so far and I’m really glad to finally unveil it :)

All of the icons have been redone as vector art (SVG) and match the modern Microsoft Office style guidelines. They can now scale all the way from 100% (96 DPI) up to 400% (384 DPI) without looking too blurry. If you’re at 125% (120 DPI) or 150% (144 DPI) then things may still be a little blurry, but it’ll be loading the 200% images and scaling down instead of the 100% images and scaling up, so it’ll still look a whole lot better than before.

There may still be some layout bugs if you’re at >200% scaling, but they’re not new bugs. I do plan on fixing them. Most prominent is a very obvious glitch in the Colors window.

The only remaining art asset that hasn’t been vectorized is the actual application icon/logo. We’ll see about that …

Change log since the 4.1.5 release:

  • New: Completely redone icons throughout the app to match the Microsoft Office style guidelines, with native support for up to 400% scaling (384 DPI)
  • New: File -> Save All (thanks @Bruce Bowyer-Smyth!)
  • Changed: Ctrl+Shift+F6 and +F7 will now also reset the floating window sizes for History and Layers, respectively (same if you Ctrl+Shift+Click on the button at the top-right of the main window)
  • Fixed: An icon handle was being leaked every time a dialog was opened (thanks @null54 for the fix!)
  • New: Turkish language

A small preview of the new icons (sorry-not-sorry for the high res, no pixel was spared):

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15 thoughts on “paint.net 4.1.6 alpha (build 7000) with high DPI icons

  1. schungx says:

    Thanks for all this work!

    Any chance that the most important UI element — the CURSOR — can be scaled up on high-DPI monitors? Right now it is VERY TINY and very thin which is very hard to see…

    • Rick Brewster says:

      The cursors already scale with respect to the integer scaling factor (1x at <192dpi, 2x at <288dpi, etc.). Sometimes it doesn’t work well if you’re using multiple monitors with different DPIs, or moving amongst docking stations with different DPIs, or something similar with remote desktop. I am planning to look at these, however, so that the cursors don’t look pixelated anymore. However, scaling is already there so I’m not sure what you’re seeing unless you’re on an old version of the app.

  2. sp4mmy says:

    Nice!

    Did you took advantage of this icon redesign in order to make them correctly stand out on the dark theme as well?

  3. sw3n says:

    Great improvments! “Save all” is not yet transleted tho; not a criticism, just a reminder 🙂

  4. Fleet Command says:

    Huh? Microsoft Office has an icon guideline? I wonder why. A Visual Studio icon guideline would have made sense, but it’s not like anyone uses Office develop apps.

    Anyway, the result looks good, so good job.

    You should absolutely make a premium edition of Paint.net and sell it for $99.99. 😉

      • Fleet Command says:

        Believe me, I am aware of that. I am also aware that those 3rd-party developers (including Adobe) deliberately use their own styles to give their own products distinction and personality. Using a Microsoft style guideline serves Microsoft, not the 3rd-party developers.

        And then, there is you: You adhered to Microsoft Office’s style even though you are not creating an Office add-in. You thought it is a good idea. I understand that. As I always say, being a good idea is reason enough to do something.

        • Rick Brewster says:

          The Office guidelines have unofficially taken the place of being the standard guidelines for desktop apps that aren’t UWPs (and, may I add: blech on UWPs). Even LibreOffice is using the guidelines for their latest visual refresh.

          It’s nice to have guidelines that look good and that aren’t too difficult to adhere to. Crafting bitmaps in the 2000s for the style conventions of the time was just impossibly expensive, it’s why I never did it past 96 DPI.

          I used Axialis’ Flat Pro 2017 vector set as the basis for most of the icons, and Icons8’s Office set for some of the rest (mostly effects). (And some were from scratch, of course). And they’re both using (mostly) the Office guidelines. The Axialis “Fluent Pro 2018” set is newer, but just looks bad, imo. I prefer to have more color… Windows 3.1 was almost 30 years ago.

  5. John says:

    Which part of the config should I touch to return to old icons before the update? As pretty as the new ones are (and they are very pretty), this is messing with my workflow because I worked with previous versions of paint.net for years.
    Sorry.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      There’s no way to go back to the old icons. Just give your brain a little bit of time to adjust — it’ll happen. The human brain is plastic, and you will get used to it. Please trust me on this, I’ve been through a lot of changes like this 🙂

      Also, there’s absolutely no way I’d add a setting to go back to the old theme. There’s no way I can maintain two icon sets that have to be created via completely different methods and artistic styles. The old bitmap-based icons are very expensive to update, and it would require all new icons to be authored twice (once for each style, I mean). It just can’t be done, sorry.

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