Paint.NET is a free image and photo editing software for Windows PC. It features a simple user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and other powerful tools. One of the interesting ability is Layers-layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience, which usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software. Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included.
Unique 3D Rotate or Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting is also included. Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image’s brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned. It features simple tools for drawing shapes, including an easy-to-use curve tool for drawing splines or Bezier curves. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.
Download and install Paint.Net from getpaint.net.
First look at the main window, the paint.net user interface is numbered into ten areas. Check one by one.
- Title Bar – This shows the name of the image open on the canvas (or “untitled” if unnamed) and the paint.net version number.
- Menu Bar -This area houses seven menus on the left and six utility icons on the right.
- Tool Bar – Below the Menu Bar is the Tool Bar. This houses several buttons and controls for executing common commands and accessing various paint.net features.
- Image List – Each image that is open shows a thumbnail in the image list. These work much like the tabs in a web browser.
- Canvas – This is where the image is shown and edited. All drawing, selecting and other editing actions occur here.
- Tools Window – This window is where the paint.net tools are activated or chosen. The active tool is highlighted in the Tools Window.
- History Window – Every editing action performed on an image within the current session is listed in this window.
- Layers Window – Every image contains at least one layer, from here can add, remove, access and manage layers. Layer Properties can be accessed by double-clicking on a layer.
- Colors Window – This is the primary area for selecting and managing colors. It contains several controls for adjusting colors and opacity.
- Status Bar – This area is divided into several sections. On the left, it displays quick help and status information. In the center, it displays rendering progress.
To auto adjust colors
Click ‘Adjustments’ from the top menu and select ‘Auto-Level’ from the drop down list. To adjust Hue/Saturation, click ‘Adjustments’ from the top menu and select ‘Hue / Saturation’ from the drop down list. You can adjust the color levels to improve the image.
In paint.net, you can simultaneously open multiple images and uses a tabbed document interface just like a modern web browser. The image tabs can be reordered with drag-and-drop.
You can easily reduce Noise from photo by selecting ‘Effect’ from the top menu and select ‘Noise’ and ‘Reduce Noise’ from the drop down menu. There are different effects avaialble, that you can apply to your images like, Artistic, Blurs, Distort, Sharpen, Soften portrait, etc. To sharpen the image, select ‘Photo’ and ‘Sharpen’ ‘ from Effects’ top menu.
Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody changes their mind. To accommodate this, every action you perform on an image in Paint.NET is recorded in the History window and may be undone. Once you’ve undone an action, you can also redo it. The length of the history is only limited by available disk space.
Another trick is, you can easily crop photos, to do it, open a photo in Paint.NET, select ‘rectangle select’ in Tools box (shortcut key ‘S’). Select the area in the photo that you want to crop. click ‘Image’ from the top menu and select ‘Crop to selection’ from the drop down list (shortcut ‘ctrl+shift+X’). You can easily resize photos, to resize photo, open a photo in Paint.NET, click ‘Image’ from the top menu and select ‘Resize’ from the drop down list (shortcut ctrl+R). A resize option box will opens up. You can resize by percentage or by absolute size. To maintain aspect ratio, select ‘Maintain aspect ratio’ check box. You can adjust canvas size, flip images vertical/horizontal, rotate images by using ‘Images’ top menu. You can play with layers using ‘Layers’ top menu.
Working with Layers
Layers allow an image to be composed from a stack of images that are blended together. paint.net supports many layer blend modes, layer transparency and reordering of layers with drag-and-drop. The Layers Window provides shortcuts to the layers which make up an image. There is always one active layer. It can be identified by the highlighting in the Layers Window. Drawing operations are only applied to the active layer. No other layer will be affected. You can shift the active layer status from one layer to another. For that, click on any layer’s name in the Layers Window to apply the active layer status to that layer. Layers can have their own opacity setting. Opacity is applied to every pixel in the layer, so it acts like layer-wide transparency setting.
To adjust a layer’s Opacity setting, highlight the layer in the Layers Window (see above – the Active Layer) and press the F4 key. The layer Properties dialog will open. Opacity or Alpha values range from 0 (completely transparent) to 255 (completely opaque). To change the value, click and drag the slider control or type a new value into the numerical value box. You can see the complete layer related tips here.
Supported file formats
paint.net supports numerous common file formats: PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, TGA, DDS, and TIFF. The native paint.net image type (*.PDN) preserves the layer structure of a composite image and is lossless, meaning no data is lost when saving in this native format.
Don’t forget to share your Paint.NET experience with us. If you are having tips and tricks to share with us, you are welcome.