Paint.NET (also knows as Paint dot NET) is a free graphics editing and manipulation software developed for Microsoft Windows. It was created by Rick Brewster, a student at Washington State University, but it has since evolved from a student project into a fully fledged raster editor capable of multiple layers, effects, filters, plugins, and more.
Paint.NET is programmed using C# using the .NET framework. It uses an exclusive file format (PDN) to save documents as serialized objects. These files preserve layers, metadata, and more, much like how Adobe Photoshop handles files. The program was released using a modified MIT license, as the project was initially open source, but due to licensing incompatibilities, the resources included with the program are under the Creative Commons license.
Paint.NET allows users to install third party plugins that enhance the functionality of the program and its ability to manipulate image files. These plugins can be written in any .NET supported programming language, but due to the program itself being written in C#, so are most of the plugins available for download. These plugins are all community developed, although some have been included with the release of Paint.NET. For example, DirectDraw Surface support and Ink Sketch are two plugins that came bundled with the application in a future revision.
- Powerful user friendly interface
- The Graphical User Interface for Paint.NET is tried and tested, and many users will attest to the fact that it is very easy to use. Tabbed document layouts allow the editing of multiple documents and images at the same time, while live thumbnails serve as useful reference points for fast navigation.
- Performance – Over the years, Paint.NET has been optimized again and again to deliver outstanding performance, making it the fastest image editor on the market. It is so efficient and consumes such little processing power that even a lowly Intel Atom processor can run it with ease. It starts up quickly and is always responsive.
- Layers – Not many programs can tout support for multi-layer based graphical editing, but Paint.NET can. Layers blend and shape into complex images.
- Strong Community – The Paint.NET community is HUGE, and it will only get bigger as time goes on. It is packed with cool people who provide the community tutorials, plugins, and services!
- Free Updates – The development of Paint.NET is still continuing to this day. It will always be a free software, and there will always be a steady stream of automatic updates that fix bugs and further optimize the program.
- Filters and Effects – What would a graphics manipulation program be without filters and effects? Paint.NET can blur, sharpen, distort, emboss, and render images with its powerful list of effects, filters, and features. They are incredibly fast and easy to use.
- Powerful Tools – Create gradients, draw shapes, create flawless curves, and manipulate your image into exactly what you want it to be. Anything is possible with Paint.NET’s toolbox chock full of goodies.
- Undo History – Paint.NET even offers an unlimited history, meaning you can press the undo button as many times as you’d like and never lose any hard work. Of course, what would an unlimited undo button be without an unlimited redo button? Anything undone can be redone!