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Paint.NET 3.5.11 prepares the ground for 4.0

19 August 2013, Mike Williams

Rick Brewster has announced the availability of Paint.NET 3.5.11, the latest edition of his excellent image editor. As you’d expect for a minor version update, the “changes” list is rather short, but there are still some welcome tweaks here.

The Undo data for your selection manipulations is now saved to disk, for instance, reducing memory usage during lengthy editing sessions.

Performance tweaks mean some filters (Sharpen, Median, Fragment, Unfocus) run much faster than before.

If you’ve had problems with the Gaussian Blur effect, an issue where it was incorrectly calculating alpha values for non-opaque pixels has now been fixed.

It looks much the same, but Paint.NET 3.5.11 can now automatically update to version 4.0 – and that’s very different indeed

But the main reason for getting Paint.NET 3.5.11 is the update engine, which now supports upgrading to version 4.0.

This next major update promises a “brand new, asynchronous, fully multithreaded, hardware accelerated (via Direct2D) rendering engine”, apparently, for much better performance with even the largest images. There’s new support for soft brushes, an extended Shapes tool with many more shapes, enhanced selection rendering quality, pressure sensitivity support (maybe), a revamped interface, and more.

Perhaps the real benefit is that many of the core tools have also been reworked to simplify their use.

If using the Paint Bucket tool doesn’t deliver the results you need right now, for instance, you’ll click Undo, change the tolerance and try again. And again, and again.

But in version 4.0, you’ll be able to use the Paint Bucket, then update the tolerance, or move the point where you first clicked, and see the results right away: no Undo, no starting again, just a much easier and more natural approach to editing.

When’s it due? Brewster says “soon”, but that vagueness suggests “not for a while”, months rather than weeks. Whatever the truth, you’ll need Paint.NET 3.5.11 if you want the program to upgrade itself automatically, so we’d recommend you grab a copy immediately.

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