The native paint that ships with Windows is good for very basic jobs that nobody needs that much today. Years ago, another project started as a final year project by a college senior backed by Microsoft and later came to be known as Paint.NET. It was so popular when it was launched that millions of people were attracted instantly to this project. It elevated the original concept of Paint to another level. You shouldn't be surprised if I tell you that it is comparable to products from other elite companies, both paid and open sourced. The concept was so new when it was launched that probably it could have become the industry standard for photo editing application if backed with much more funds and resources.
- It was probably the first tool to provide the concept of layers, where you can keep working on the one you have selected and switch between the others instantly. It preserves the content on other layers while allowing you to work on any one at a time.
- It allowed unlimited undo so that you can revert back a number of changes in the past and continue once again.
- It was a fully featured Photo Editor with a lot of effects and filters to change the overall appearance of your photo or just make some corrections to enhance its look.
There are a lot of other powerful tools and features which you can understand and appreciate only when you explore it yourself.
It started as a college senior project, but eventually attracted so much attention that a lot of people built forums and communities to support its development. Currently, it is managed by some of the alumni that originally created this project. There is growing the population of users who keep posting tutorials, tips and provide support for other newcomers.
Windows Only Initiative
This was an exclusive project backed by Microsoft and hence it was built only for Windows. Since then it has evolved a lot but has been constrained for Windows only because of its core engine as it was believed that it will replace the dumb Paint that still ships with Windows.
Finally, paint.net is a simple to use photo editing tools, but is packed with many powerful features that sets it apart from any other ordinary photo editing application comparable to other flagship products.
Changes on the new version: paint.net 4.0.11 - This update adds the ability to configure the Rounded Rectangle shape's corner size. It also fixes issues with scrolling and panning, effect rendering performance, high DPI, and a rare system hang caused by WPF.
New: Rounded Rectangle's corner size ("radius") is now configurable New: Overscroll can now be disabled from within Settings Fixed: The Zoom tool was broken in 4.0.10 Fixed: Auto scroll will no longer engage overscroll. This prevents the image from shooting off in all directions when drawing on it or when making a selection. Fixed: Panning with the middle mouse button would sometimes be "sticky" Fixed: Effect rendering performance had significantly regressed in 4.0.10, by as much as 50%, on Intel CPUs with HyperThreading. Fixed: Selecting the entire image and then using Zoom to Selection or the Zoom Tool would align the image in an awkward manner Fixed: In rare cases, Settings -> Plugin Errors was hanging the whole system (bug in WPF?). This UI is now implemented in WinForms instead of WPF. Fixed: Some more high-DPI issues, especially when using multiple monitors with mixed DPI, or when using Remote Desktop