Photoshop remains the industry standard for creating and altering images. Still, its high price and high learning curve make it less accessible to many potential customers, especially graphic design rookies. Photoshop is a complex tool geared toward the advanced visual artist or designer, with many features and settings that the average user probably won’t ever touch.
If you can’t work with Photoshop, you should investigate other options. If you’re looking for professional-level functionality without the professional-level price tag, considering Paint.NET is an excellent choice. This program is free-of-charge, robust, and a suitable alternative for newcomers and veterans alike.
We’ll break down Paint.NET to give you a glimpse into the tools and features included with this program and go into a little more detail regarding the interface and usability.
Diving Into Paint.NET
Paint.NET was initially developed to provide an alternative to MS Paint. If you’re looking for an essential tool for simple tasks, there’s nothing wrong with MS Paint, but many users yearn for something more – this is where Paint.NET comes into play.
When Paint.NET was initially created, it had the blessing and support of juggernaut Microsoft, with the understanding that eventually, Microsoft may take over as sole owner. However, it’s currently operated by a single owner and is more along the lines of a comprehensive graphics tool instead of a basic Microsoft Paint-like application.
The elegance of Paint.NET lies in its ease of use. Instead of trying to cram in as many bells and whistles as possible, Paint.NET offers a clean and uncluttered interface that makes it simple to learn and use for picture creation and editing.
However, if you want to make complicated graphics, Paint.NET has the muscle to accomplish what you need it to do, provided you tweak it a bit. Paint.NET can achieve almost as much as professional products like Photoshop, thanks to a robust community supporting the project with third-party plugins.
Downloading Paint.NET won’t cost you a dime if you use Windows. However, it’s not available for other platforms currently.
A Simpler Graphics Solution
With more complicated, expensive tools, you’re able to edit photos like a professional in Hollywood. You have control over every function, lighting angle, color, shade, hue, and level. However, not every graphic artist is this advanced, and working through these intricate controls is incredibly difficult.
Paint.NET provides a cost-free option that’s much more user-friendly, requiring far less sophistication. However, you’ll still enjoy the ability to edit different layers, graphic effects, and other tweaks and changes.
In addition, Paint.NET also comes with a number of different plugins available. After downloading this graphics tool, you can immediately dive into work without forking over any money. However, the developer does take donations if you’re feeling generous.
Let’s look at some of the most prominent features and highlights of Paint.NET.
Highlights and Features
If you’re used to the previous versions of Paint.NET, you’ll be happy to know that the interface hasn’t strayed from the usual user-friendliness you’re used to.
Create layers and take advantage of the multiple image feature, all conveniently identified by easy-to-read tabs.
Gallery of Languages
Paint.NET is supported by an entire gallery of different languages. This makes it user-friendly for users of any background.
Automatically Receive Updates
Stay up to date on the latest versions with automatic updates. These updates are free and also address any potential bugs associated with the program.
Enhanced by Hardware
One of the coolest things about the platform is the fact that the quality grows with your hardware. If you have a higher caliber graphics card and more visual capability, you’ll notice the difference in Paint.NET as the program keeps up with these upgraded specs.
Choose Your File Type
No limits on the type of files you can work with. Paint.NET deals with a seemingly endless number of extensions, such as:
- and so many more!
You’ll also enjoy the advantages of a very active forum and user community. Get tips and interact with other enthusiasts and share work or various tips you’ve picked up along the way.
With the Adjustments menu on the top toolbar, you can easily manipulate the hue, saturation, and how dark or light a photo is. You may access more sophisticated visual effects by selecting them from the Effects menu. Professional-like blurring and distortions, as well as red-eye and sharpening filters, are at your disposal here for further picture manipulation.
You can also connect your camera or scanner if you want to upload from these devices. Connect your scanner or camera to your computer, go to File > Acquire, and Paint.NET will automatically import the picture for you to modify.
If you get stuck, don’t worry; the History panel in the upper right allows you to undo any of your recent activities with a single click. To undo an action, click the Undo or Redo button or choose it from the list of previously performed activities.