4.2.16 is now available

This updates fixes and optimizes palette generation when saving at 8-bit depth or less, and also fixes any remaining issues with using "Auto-detect" for bit-depth. A new effect, Quantize (in the Effects -> Color menu), has been added, some bugs have been fixed, and bundled file type plugins have been updated.

Here’s a simple example of using Quantize to reduce the # of colors in an image. You can also apply dithering, just like you can when saving an image at 8-bit or lower bit-depth. You can also choose between the Octree (default) and Median Cut palette generator algorithms. Octree is generally the right choice, but Median Cut can occasionally be quite useful.


If you’re using the Windows Store release, you should get the update automatically within the next 24 hours. You can also force an update check by following these instructions.

For the Classic release, you should be offered the update automatically within the next week or so. You can get the update sooner by going to ⚙ Settings → Updates → Check Now. You can also download and install it directly from the website.

List of changes since 4.2.15:

  • New: Effect -> Color -> Quantize, which applies palette reduction to 256 colors or less, along with dithering. This is the same algorithm used when saving images at 8-bit color depth or lower.
  • Fixed and improved palette generation when saving at 8-bit color depth or less
  • Greatly optimized performance of palette generation and image quantization
  • Added option to choose between Octree (default) and Median Cut algorithms for palette quantization when saving at 8-bit color depth or less
  • Fixed a crash in Move tools when the selection was 0-width and/or 0-height
  • Added tooltips w/ shortcut keys to the Tools dropdown in the toolbar
  • Fixed IndirectUI ColorWheel rendering (thanks @toe_head2001!)
  • Fixed a crash in the Text tool when using Ctrl+(Left,Right,Backspace,Delete) (thanks @Bruce Bowyer-Smyth!)
  • Changed: New layers are now filled with #00000000 instead of #00FFFFFF
  • Fixed a crash when working with selections (OutOfMemoryException)
  • New: Effects can now access the Document’s DPI via EffectEnvironmentParameters.DocumentResolution
  • Fixed drawing of the color palette in the Colors window when using some non-standard DPI scaling settings (e.g. 1.15x)
  • Fixed a crash when using @Ed Harvey‘s Threshold plugin
  • Fixed the return value from PdnRegion.GetBoundsInt() so it’s not anchored at (0,0) unless it should be
  • Fixed premultiplied-to-straight color conversion on some code paths (thanks @null54!)
  • Updated bundled AvifFileType plugin to v1.1.11.0, which includes performance optimizations and bug fixes. See its GitHub releases page ( for more info. (thanks @null54!)
  • Updated bundled DDSFileTypePlus plugin to v1.10.9.0, which uses an updated version of DirectXTex (2021-04-06). (thanks @null54!)



27 thoughts on “ 4.2.16 is now available

  1. darthvitrial says:

    Thank you for the update!

    Out of curiosity, what .Net version does PDN use currently?
    Looking up “current .Net version” on google finds everything from “.net framework 4” to “.net core 3” to “.net 5” to “.net 6 beta”, which is a little overwhelming when you just want to know “what’s the current version” 😛

      • AlphaRomeo says:

        Out of curiosity, will porting to .NET Core 5 also open up possibilities for a Linux version or is there too much win32 interop going on in the background?

        • Rick Brewster says:

          Paint.NET is heavily dependent on many Windows system libraries, like WIC and Direct2D. There will never be a Linux port of Paint.NET. If WINE becomes capable of running Paint.NET then that’s great, but nobody’s ever volunteered to do the work and push it past the finish line.

  2. SHOWGOOD says:

    Thank you for creating this fantastic little program! It’s honestly life changing to be able to have a tool like this in a small organization 🙂

  3. John Henson says:

    As a one man company working from home, Paint.Net is a blessing to quickly knock up something to illustrate ideas.

  4. Pierre Cornelissen says:

    Thanks for the update, the Quantize is most welcome. I passed it by a PS fundi and she was quite impressed and commented that most of the time PDN will suffice for most of her work. I use PDN for all of my work and from time to time you’ll get my 2c.

  5. Paul says:

    Rick, I use as both a image editor and a image browser. I take many
    many screenshots as part of my work that this tool and its shortcuts allow for a great
    work flow. Sometimes I do adhoc presentations using this tool. However, the only
    thing missing is the ability to auto-save the pics. When it’s time to reboot the laptop
    or get the blue screen, all those images are GONE! Autosave is the absolute
    #1 killer feature on the wishlist. auto-restore would be great but the auto-save
    is important. thanks for the good work!

  6. Tahrey says:

    Maybe a somewhat odd feature reversion request… if it’s not something enforced by the .NET version, can we have the Alt key letter underlining turned back on in the menus? Or an option to do so in the settings?

    I had no idea that the Acquire function could be accessed by Alt-F-Q, and the buttons within it operated by certain (Alt+)key shortcuts as well until borrowing use of an older version on someone else’s machine. Trying the same shortcuts on the immediately previous version, and this, and they work fine. There’s no Ctrl shortcut for that and a few other things. I expect there’s some “hidden” ones within the actual tool setup windows too. I use the keyboard a lot to speed up work and that one in particular would have save a lot of mouse time recently when doing a bulk load of scanning and editing. And clearly at some point it DID exist but was removed?!

    Also, any chance of a B/W monochrome threshold tool (if it’s not already a plugin, but it’s a fairly standard thing in a lot of other packages)? Achieving the same right now is kind of longwinded, and it might be needed for a lot of those same scans as they’re text and some had to be done greyscale instead of B/W because the scanner was being stupid…

    (and maybe things converted to or loaded in a lesser colour mode than 24-bit being held in memory as that colour depth, even if it locks out a lot of tools, to save memory? With the option to increase back to that depth if needed? It seems a bit unnecessary if I scan, or load, something that’s 8-bit greyscale, or 1-bit monochrome, then have to sit around whilst the computer throws 3x or 24x as much data around as it needs to when handling operations on it, encounters memory shortages and swapfile slowdowns, etc, when it’s just going to be saved out as 8-bit or lower anyway and the rest of that data is entirely wasted…)

    ….and that just made me think of a final thing. Sorry, I only had that one when I started typing! The new quantisation function is quite welcome, but could there also be a choice between regular and error diffusion dither? I don’t think I’ve ever used Median Cut in anger in the last 25 years of converting colour depths (tried it a lot of times, the results were always useless), but there’s plenty of things that work much better either as one of those types or the other, and it suits particular styles more. Regular for retro graphics, diffusion for photos, etc.

    Thanks :).

    • Rick Brewster says:

      You’re asking for a lot of things that are very expensive to implement. Don’t hold your breath.

      As for the Alt+ thing, it still works just fine. It hasn’t been removed. The convention in Windows apps is to show the underlines if the menus are opened using the keyboard. They are not there if you use the mouse.

  7. Tahrey says:

    (should also have mentioned in the use-as-lower-depth thing – that also means we can have an indexed palette tied to the image, if it’s less than 24 bit colour or 8-bit greyscale, and be able to edit it using only the colours in the quantised version, and maybe individually add extra ones to the underlying image if deliberately reduced to less than the actual limit of whatever we’re using it for… right now that’s something that’s conspicuously absent – even when loading an already indexed image. And even the main palette doesn’t show more than about 30 colours, so if you’re using more than that you’re stuffed. Again, maybe there’s a plugin for that, but it’s a fundamental enough feature that it seems weird using a third party add-on… I’ve been reserving those more for e.g. generating 3D text…)

  8. yellowafterlife says:

    Hey, a question – is it by design that PDN draws an accent-colored rectangle behind the title bar text on Win10?

    It is not normally noticeable, but becomes fairly apparent if you are using a custom theme that uses gradients or patterns on the title bar:

    This appears to be drawn in PdnToolbar.PaintBackground if DrawCaptionArea is true; the color is set earlier while drawing the colored slice behind and to the right of the menu strip.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      If you’re using custom theme software, e.g. WindowBlinds, then all bets are off — this isn’t supported. They do all sorts of weird custom things and it’s just not feasible to keep up with what they do and all the combinations that things can be in. Plus, their software is really buggy and is known to cause crashes.

      If you’re only using the built-in Windows 10 theme and color stuff, then this would be a bug. I’d need more specific information on how to reproduce this configuration so that I can fix it.

      • yellowafterlife says:

        The easiest way to observe this with a default theme would be to enable Aero Lite, which misreports its title bar colors while using a bitmap-based background:

        This can also be seen as a 1-frame flicker when the window loses focus – native titlebar repaints quicker than the PDN’s components do: (0.1x speed)

        Painting the rectangle behind the text with a transparent color instead (as the icon does) would suffice.

        • Rick Brewster says:

          Aero Lite isn’t an officially supported theme. You have to enable it with hacks. Therefore, unless you’re actually using High Contrast mode, it’s not supported.

          The title bar taking “two frames” to update is normal. I was not able to find a way to make it update it only 1 repaint frame. It’s just how things go sometimes when you have a complicated custom frame like Paint.NET does.

  9. Monte says:

    Any possible way the screen could zoom into where the mouse is located upon Ctrl+B? It’d probably need to be an option since so many people are used to the current, but I do pixel art, and the constant zooms are killer! The new effect though is exactly what I didn’t know I needed; I’m always doing color corrections and dithering, and this just cut 3 of my extensions and then some, plus offers more direct options to boot!

    The previous option was just monochrome bit-rates. Now I’m playing with Power. Pixel Power.

    Thanks for the Paint! Lemme’ know if the zoom thing ever happens. With the animation tool extension, it’s been my go-to.

    • Rick Brewster says:

      You’re right, it should center on the mouse cursor… I’ve filed an issue over on GitHub to look at this for the next update. Thanks for reporting it!

  10. Tony Maurice says:

    Got the 4.2.16 update awhile back, but started having problems with (Win 10 Edge Chrome) opening a picture file to Photos using double clicks. The image would open in Paint, then when I click on red (upper right) spot it vanished without the usual “SAVE?” .
    This morn, tried to trim an image with ‘Rectangle Select’ tool and “Crop to selection” was grayed out … am uninstalling and re-loading 4.2.16.
    P.S. I have Malwarebytes paid version installed.. it has not flagged anything.

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