Paint.NET originated as a student project, aiming to provide an alternative to Microsoft Paint. Over time, it has evolved into a highly competitive online photo editor, recognized for its multifunctionality and utility in addressing diverse photo editing tasks.

Key Features

Customizable Interface:

Paint.NET offers a user-friendly interface with numerous convenient functions that maintain simplicity without overloading the computer. This is a significant advantage, particularly for beginners. The program supports hotkeys, enhancing usability and efficiency.

Acceptable Toolkit for Pixel Editing:

As a pixel photo editor, Paint.NET not only enhances photo quality but also facilitates original and creative changes to images. The software provides additional settings when selecting tools, allowing users to choose modes for multiple selections such as Combine, Intersect, Subtract, or Invert.

Simple Basic Editing:

While initially designed for drawing, photographers now use Paint.NET as a photo graphic editor. The Adjustments menu includes essential tools like Hue/Saturation and Curves, commonly used by professional photographers and retouchers. Paint.NET allows layer overlay, mixing, and easy navigation through various editing stages.

Layered Editing With Layers:

Paint.NET supports layered editing, enabling users to create, move, merge, and modify layers with options to adjust opacity, rotation, and placement. While lacking layer effects, the Effects menu offers significant options like Bevel and Emboss. The program supports RGB and HSV color spaces but not CMYK.

Art Effects:

The Effects menu provides a comprehensive set of functions for basic photo editing. Users can experiment with sharpness, vignetting, glow, blurring, and artistic effects to simulate different mediums like oil, pencil, or ink. Additionally, noise and fractal effects can be applied.

Third-Party Plugins:

Paint.NET supports third-party plugins that extend standard photo editing capabilities. These plugins, typically in .dll format, can be added to the Effects folder for additional features. This flexibility allows users to enhance the program according to their specific needs.

Weak Export Opportunities:

Paint.NET primarily uses the .pdn format, but it supports saving files in other formats such as TIFF, GIF, and JPEG. However, it lacks the ability to save files in RAW format for future editing or configure EXIF settings.


Paint.NET is a free application offering a range of image editing functions. While it ranks below some resource-intensive alternatives like GIMP, it remains a valuable tool for users seeking a balance between functionality and resource consumption.