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Paint.NET 4.2

Powerful, free and popular image editor gets first major update in years

by Nick Peers

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Based on 6 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8
Requirements:

.NET Framework 4.5 or later (will install automatically if not present)

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 14 July 2019
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 17053
Developer: dotPDN LLC
RSS News Feed: http://blog.getpaint.net/feed/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paintdotnet
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Paint.NET
Paint.NET is one of the most feature-packed freeware image editors available

The days of having to spend big to edit photos on your PC have long gone. Now you'll find all the functionality you need exists in free software, and one of the pioneers of this growing market was Paint.NET. It's been years since it received a major update, but now version 4.0 is here at long last.

The program has a beautifully clean and uncluttered interface, with tabbed files access making it easy to work with multiple images at the same time. One immediate advantage over commercial rivals such as Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements is that it's also lightning fast, although from version 4.0 you'll need a dual-core processor to go with Windows 7 or later to run it.

With support for layers, a wide range of image formats and image editing plugins, everything you need to get started with image editing can be found here. A selection of filters and special effects are built into Paint.NET, and these can be used to enhance image or to get creative with your artwork. The program includes everything you would expect to find in an image editing package, but there are plenty of surprises when you consider that this is free software. The gradient tool is powerful and easy to use, and unlimited levels of undo make it possible to try out several ideas without worrying about losing the original image.

Paint.NET is the personification of what free software should be. The program is of a very high standard and features and automatic update facility so you can always be sure you are working with the latest version - and with a dedicated team of developers, updates are fairly frequent. The program has a large and active following, and there are a range of helpful hints, tips and tutorials to be found in the Paint.NET forums. This may well be the only image editor you ever need.

What's new in Paint.NET 4.2 (see the changelog for more info)?

- New: Support for loading and saving HEIC images (Windows 10 v1809+ and codec installation is required). Please note that the "Quality" slider when saving is limited to a value of 90 (out of 100) while Microsoft investigates and fixes a crash in their codec.
- New: Keyboard shortcuts for changing the current layer. You can see these in the Layers menu with the "Go to ..." commands. Alt+PgUp/PgDown will go to the layer above/below, and Ctrl+Alt+PgUp/PgDown will go to the top/bottom layer.
- Fixed: Optimized rendering engine to remove huge lag spikes (30+ seconds) when zooming or panning very large images (e.g. 32K x 32K pixels).
- Improved: BMP now supports saving in 32-bit (with alpha!) and 8-bit indexed.
- Improved: Added DIB and RLE file extensions to the BMP file type.
- Improved: PNG, JPEG, and TIFF now support loading and saving of much larger images.
- New: PNGs can now be saved as "interlaced".
- Improved: JPEG now has configuration for the chroma subsampling mode (4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0). The default is now 4:2:2 instead of the unconfigurable 4:2:0 of older versions. This may result in larger file sizes, but higher quality, as compared to previous versions.
- Improved: TIFF now supports saving at 24-bit and 8-bit color depths.
- Improved performance of saving for file types where "Auto" bit-depth is supported but is not the current choice.
- Improved temporary memory usage when saving images at 8-bit color depth.
- Improved: TGA images now load about 4x faster (thanks @null54!)

Verdict:

Few programs are as pleasing to use as Paint.NET - the updates are all welcome, and the long wait has been well worth it. Install today.

Your Comments & Opinion
 

Install error with build 5628

Posted by: MARC NEGRON, 08 June 2014 14:51

With this build - 5628 - I keep getting an error message "Can't initialize plugin directory. Please try again later" every time I try to install it. I'm running it on a Windows 8 64-bit machine as an admin. Hopefully this is fixed by the final release.

Paint.net forum admins are the rudest.

Posted by: Ivo Shoen, 08 June 2014 01:48

I have never been treated so rudely as I was when posting on their site. Total jerks. I advice against using their software and fine one of the many other products out there.

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WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

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