Paint.NET

Windows – Version 4.1.6 – Size 8.44 MB essential tools needed in a modern image editing suite and completely blows Microsoft Paint out of the water.

Paint.NET has got to be one of the nicest surprises for a freeware image editing program. It comes packed with all of the most essential tools needed in a modern image editing suite and completely blows Microsoft Paint out of the water. Despite the name, the two programs are not comparable at all.

If you’re a Photoshop user who’s used to using layers within a working document, then you won’t be disappointed when using this freeware application because layers remain the foundation of Paint.NET along with applying filters and effects to specific layers. Transparency is also supported.

The community around this program is definitely a plus because users help users and provide tutorials and a growing list of addons, the addons make applying unique and cool effects easy as pie.

Like Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET can also apply adjustments to your images such as auto-levels, contrast, invert, colour levels, hues, posterize and many others. Standard effects available out-of-the-box are standard blurs, sharpening, photo effects (red-eye removal, photo softening), a list of various distortions and more. To be clear, Paint.NET includes almost all of the standard Photoshop effects and adjustments in a very familiar places.

Performance-wise, this program has been optimized for systems running Windows 7 (but older platforms are also supported) and works flawlessly on some of the slowest systems (like netbooks) to some of the fastest systems with multiple cores. The fact that it contains so many features and tools, yet runs so much faster than paid-for rivals is very impressive. The program ran when we tested it along with many other applications and the executable used virtually no unneeded memory or CPU power.

Another point worth mentioning is the fact that Paint.NET offers users the ability to undo and redo any action from within the history window.

Paint.NET’s online community has a wide range of different Paint.NET tutorials available on different forums and newsgroups.

Paint.NET is definitely better than Corel Draw and certainly rivals Adobe Photoshop when it comes to standard and basic features. If you’re not a professional and don’t require the absolute power of Photoshop, this image editor is definitely worth installing before forking out hundreds of dollars for a commercial image editing suite.

Paint.NET can add text to an image, apply special effects to a picture, create PNG graphics and create web graphics.

Features and highlights

  • Loads of special effects
  • Power tools for drawing shapes
  • Curve tool for splines and bezier curves
  • Automatic updates
  • Magic wand tool