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 Microsoft Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool. It has been compared to other digital photo editing software packages such as Adobe® Photoshop®, Corel® Paint Shop Pro®, Microsoft Photo Editor, and The GIMP.
Simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface
Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance. In order to handle multiple images easily, Paint.NET uses a tabbed document interface. The tabs display a live thumbnail of the image instead of a text description. This makes navigation very simple and fast. The interface is also enhanced for Aero Glass if you are using Windows 7 or Vista.
Extensive work has gone into making Paint.NET the fastest image editor available. Whether you have a netbook with a power-conscious Atom CPU, or a Dual Intel Xeon workstation with 8 blazingly fast processing cores, you can expect Paint.NET to start up quickly and be responsive to every mouse click.
Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.
Active Online Community
Paint.NET has an online forum with a friendly, passionate, and ever-expanding community. Be sure to check out the constantly growing list of tutorials and plugins!
Updates are free, and contain new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Upgrading to the latest version is very simple, requiring only two clicks of the mouse.
Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting. 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.
Paint.NET includes simple tools for drawing shapes, including an easy-to-use curve tool for drawing splines or Bezier curves. The Gradient tool, new for 3.0, has been cited as an innovative improvement over similar tools provided by other software. The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. 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.