[Windows] Paint.NET is a free, feature-filled image editor

When it comes down to cutting, cropping, or editing one of your favorite images, the default Windows Paint software isn’t enough to get these basic tasks done. This is where Paint.NET comes in, a software that saves you from installing large programs like GIMP or buying Photoshop.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Paint.NET is all about making it easy for users to edit their photos with basic and advance tools that are mainly found in expensive or overly complicated photo editing programs. Above everything, ease of use is the main reason you will use this. Experience disappointment, you will not.


  • Easy to use
  • Basic to advance special effects
  • Lots of powerful tools
  • Unlimited history


  • Slows down with heavy use
  • Unable to open PSD files
  • Does not support RAW images
  • Forces the user to install plugins for GIMP and Photoshop like functionality.
  • Requires .NET Framework


If you are out searching for a high quality free photo editing tool to use to bring your amateur graphic design skills to life, you may want to give Paint.NET a run. The software is not intended to tickle the fancy of those who are highly skilled in graphic designing but rather the average persons, and it does the job pretty well. One of the thing that would have you returning to Paint.NET is the simplistic user interface. Many users fear advance photo editing programs because they get totally lost in the UI, but not so with Paint.NET.

Paint.NET supports common image file formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and many more. However, the program does not support high definition RAW and PSD images files, which is a real shame. Not everyone uses RAW images, but for the folks that do, they will find a problem with it being missing from the feature set. PSD, obviously, is very commonly used.

It is clear the developers thought of everything when it came down to installation. The program manages to install the latest version of Microsoft .Net Framework if needed, along with the latest version of Windows Installer. This is quite handy, as it doesn’t force the user to seek out these needed prerequisites that are vital for the program to work.

Users can extend the features of Paint.NET with its robust plugin system. While the reasoning for the plugins is obviously to keep the core software less bloated, it gives the user extra work to seek and find relevant plugins to download. It can be hassle, one that could have been avoided.

Conclusion and download link

There’s no denying it — Paint.NET is great to use, but the inability to open PSD files allows the program to fall short of true greatness. If you are an amateur, at graphic designing, this will be right up your street. However, if you are advanced, it is best you spend the money and purchase Photoshop.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 3.5.10

Supported OS: Windows  XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

Download size: 3.56MB

Paint.NET homepage

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