Editing digital photographs or working with other types of image file need not mean working with a large, complicated and expensive editing package. Paint.NET was originally intended to be a replacement for the basic Paint tool which is bundled with Windows, but into a program in its own right. The program has a beautifully clean and uncluttered interface, with tabbed files access making it easy to work with multiple images at the same time. Although the program is comparable with the likes of Paint Shop Pro and even Photoshop, it is not only free of charge but also lightning fast - but system requirements remain low.
With support for layers, a wide range of image formats and image editing plugins, everything you need to get started with image editing can be found here. A selection of filters and special effects are built into Paint.NET, and these can be used to enhance image or to get creative with your artwork. The program includes everything you would expect to find in an image editing package, but there are plenty of surprises when you consider that this is free software. The gradient tool is powerful and easy to use, and unlimited levels of undo make it possible to try out several ideas without worrying about losing the original image.
Paint.NET is the personification of what free software should be. The program is of a very high standard and features and automatic update facility so you can always be sure you are working with the latest version - and with a dedicated team of developers, updates are fairly frequent. The program has a large and active following, and there are a range of helpful hints, tips and tutorials to be found in the Paint.NET forums. This may well be the on.ly image editor you ever need.
Paint.NET 2.5.11 ships with these new features/fixes:
- Fixed: The Gaussian Blur effect was incorrectly calculating alpha values for non-opaque pixels.
- Improved performance of the Sharpen effect by about 25%
- Improved performance of the Median effect by about 30%
- Improved performance of the Fragment effect by about 40%
- Improved performance of the Unfocus effect by about 100%
- Reduced memory usage when many selection manipulation operations are in the history/undo stack
- The built-in updater now supports upgrading to paint.net 4.0 (once it’s available)