Regardless of the skill level of users, everybody needs to have a graphic editor installed on their computer. Experts commonly prefer Photoshop, provided they can afford to purchase a license, or they can try a freeware app called paint.net.
Without trying to replace Adobe's software, this utility brings almost all the features one might require to generate professional-looking designs and attractive projects.
Before installing paint.net, one needs to make sure they have a recent version of .NET Framework installed, otherwise, the setup process will also include it. There are two modes of installation, Quick and Custom, the first one advisable for the beginner users, while the latter is more likely to be chosen by the experts.
Structured GUI and creating file associations
Users are met with a clean and well-organized interface, which requires some getting used to in order to operate it successfully.
File associations can be easily made, thus making paint.net the default software for opening and, subsequently editing graphic files on the computer. It should be mentioned that even if it is not the default app, all supported formats can still be processed from within the main window of the application.
Options you can take advantage of and tweak
Novices surely appreciate the multitude of buttons that can perform both basic functions like cut, crop or rotate, as well as more advanced ones as color picking, clone stamping or inserting a new layer.
One of the features experts find especially handy is the full keyboard support, meaning that all actions can be completed by pressing dedicated hotkeys, thus reducing the time it would take locating the appropriate menu or button.
Experimenting with the menus reveal additional adjustments and effects which can be applied to enhance any artistic project: layer editing, invert colors, posterize, image sketch, blur or sharpen, distort, emboss or even fractals.
Performance and conclusion
The amount of resources necessary for this app to properly run is quite insignificant, while the response time is good. The environment is feature-rich and simple-to-handle, and our tests did not reveal any errors, crashes or hangs.
To wrap it up, paint.net is quite an efficient and reliable piece of software, which comprises a long list of editing options and tools.
- This update adds the ability to install custom shapes, is updated for Windows 10, and fixes some minor bugs and crashes:
- New: You can now create and install custom shapes for the Shapes tool.
- New: Updated to work better with Windows 10.
- New: Increased the maximum brush size to 2000.