Paint.NET is image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool for photo and image editing. The programming language used to create Paint.NET is C#, with a small amount of C++ for installation and shell-integration related functionality.
- Performance in many areas has been substantially improved, and overall memory usage has also been greatly reduced (especially when more than 1 image is open).
- The user interface has been refreshed with new icons, and visual styling has been enhanced for Aero Glass (Windows 7 / Vista only).
- Upgraded to use the latest .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, which has many built-in performance improvements.
- New effect: Blurs -> Surface Blur, by Ed Harvey
- New effect: Distort -> Dents, by Ed Harvey
- New effect: Distort -> Crystalize, by Ed Harvey
- The font manager for the Text Tool has been completely rewritten, resulting in increased performance and better reliability. On Windows 7, the quality of text is much better as a result of using DirectWrite (this also works on Windows Vista if you have installed DirectX 11).
- The built-in updater now has the ability to download updates in the background, and will wait until you exit Paint.NET to install them. In previous versions, the download happened in the foreground, and you had to wait for the entire process to complete before you could use Paint.NET again.
- Now includes a Russian translation.
This is a big update that focus on adding HEIC file format support, fixing performance with very large images, and upgrading and modernizing the functionality of many existing file types (JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and TIFF). Many other quality of life issues have also been addressed or fixed.
If you’re using the Windows Store release, you should get the update automatically within the next 24 hours. You can also force an update check by following these instructions.
For the Classic release, you should be offered the update automatically within the next week or so. You can get the updater soon by going to Settings → Updates → Check Now. You can also download and install it directly from the website.
It’s important to note that HEIC file format support requires two things: 1) you must be using Windows 10 v1809 or newer, and 2) you must install Microsoft’s HEVC Video Extensions from the Microsoft Store which costs $1. This is necessary due to HEVC being mired in licensing and patent royalty costs. If you want to find some HEIC images, look no further than your recent iPhone (7 or newer). Many newer Android devices also support it.
Most of the other built-in file types — BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, and TIFF — have been internally upgraded from using GDI+ to being built on top of WIC (Windows Imaging Component). BMP can now save 32-bit images with alpha transparency, while JPEG and PNG can now load and save much larger images, and TIFF now supports saving at 24-bit and 8-bit color depths ("Auto" is also now included).
On the performance side, I’ve rebuilt the data structures inside of the rendering engine that are used for keeping track of invalidation regions. These hold information about what parts of the image need to be rendered and then redrawn on the screen, either because the image has been changed (like with drawings or effects) or because of scrolling and zooming. In previous versions you couldn’t really work with very large images, starting around 32,000 x 32,000 pixels. Zooming in and out would result in a lot of slow performance, lag, and even complete hangs of the app for seconds — or more (at 60,000 pixels it could hang for 30-60 seconds or more!). Now this should all be completely fluid
Please note that a previous beta, 4.2 build 7121, included functionality that would automatically apply an image’s embedded color profile, thus converting the image to the sRGB color space and "fixing" its colors. The complexity of color management was much higher than expected, and thus it has been removed for now. It may come back in a future update but in a more substantial form. Check out Jeffrey Friedl’s excellent Digital-Image Color Spaces article for a good read on this subject.
Here is the complete list of changes:
- New: JPEG XR file type support (Windows 8.1+ required)
- Fixed: Holding Ctrl when dragging a selection with Move Selected Pixels will again leave a copy behind (but only with the mouse)
- Fixed crashes when saving DDS images
- Fixed VTF file type plugin. It was not working in 4.2 except for images that were an exact power-of-2 size on each dimension.
- Fixed: .BMP files can be opened even if they're not actually BMP images (they still need to be a valid WIC-supported file type such as PNG, JPEG, etc.)
- Fixed very bad performance when opening large images with embedded rotation metadata
- Fixed various crashes, such as when using File->New or Image->Resize, that sometimes happened if the previous update needed a reboot but either 1) it didn't tell you that, or 2) it did but you didn't reboot
- Fixed the problem that was causing the need for the aforementioned reboot in the first place (string resources file was locked by the thumbnail provider shell extension)
- Fixed: Text tool will no longer draw tiny text when an image uses dots-per-centimeter instead of dots-per-inch
- Fixed menu ordering of effect plugins that have duplicate names
- Fixed: The mouse wheel may now be used to scroll the Palettes menu in the Colors window (thanks @AndrewDavid for the suggestion and @toe_head2001 for the fix!)
- Fixed metadata handling that was preventing some images with EXIF tag 330 from being able to load
- Fixed metadata preservation for old images that pad EXIF string values with null terminators
- Fixed title bar text color when using certain custom accent colors in Windows 10
- Fixed title bar accent color when Tablet Mode is enabled
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