About this app



Requires OS




Released on

May 6, 2004

Updated on

3 Days Ago



Paint.NET is a versatile, cross-platform photo editing software that caters to both Mac OS X and Linux users. Originally developed in 2004 by Rick Brewster and DotPDN LLC, this lightweight freeware can be easily downloaded from their website. As you venture into the world of image editing, you’ll discover that Paint.NET is equipped with a number of basic functions such as cropping, resizing, rotating, adding text, adjusting colors, and applying special effects, as well as saving files in various formats.

While the software may not include some advanced features found in professional applications, such as filters and layers, you can still use it for simple tasks like altering color schemes, adjusting brightness levels, and sharpening images. With its user-friendly interface and helpful online community, you can confidently make the most of Paint.NET as you explore and develop your photo editing skills.


The concept of Paint.NET originated from a college student’s desire to create a safer alternative to the well-known Microsoft Paint application. While attending the University of Maryland, Michael Wilcox worked on this project during his free time, intending to improve upon the limitations of the original Microsoft Paint developed in the 1990s.

Wilcox utilized built-in operating system tools, such as image importing from file browsers and the Open Clip Art Library, which provided thousands of clip art images. Over the years, he continued enhancing the software, eventually launching the beta version of Paint.NET in May 2010. Initially, the software allowed editing photos in 16 colors and adding text overlays, although it lacked many features of the standard Microsoft Paint.

Paint.NET experienced a significant update in 2012, incorporating layers, undo/redo functionality, color pickers, and more. Subsequently, it introduced the ability to import images from Instagram and Facebook. In 2017, Paint.NET unveiled the Live Brushes feature, enabling users to draw directly on photographs without the need for a separate drawing layer.

Throughout its development, Paint.NET has continually enhanced its performance and incorporated more powerful tools, making it a versatile photo editing software. These advancements, including updates to the rendering engine and improved compatibility with .NET Framework, demonstrate a commitment to providing users with a reliable and efficient graphics editing platform.


As a user of the popular painting program Paint.NET, you may have noticed some significant changes in recent updates. These improvements include automatic updates, easier installation, and better compatibility with Windows 10. However, one major difference between the old and new versions of Paint.NET is that the latest version now costs $19.99 USD.

This change in pricing was made due to the developers’ struggle to sustain the software as a free offering without incurring substantial losses. Despite users expressing interest in purchasing the upgrade, the donations received were insufficient.

To still enjoy the program, the developers have suggested that users can donate directly via PayPal or use the tip jar on their site. Furthermore, they have mentioned plans for future enhancements to Paint.NET, such as custom brushes, layer masks, and color pickers, which will undoubtedly enhance your experience with this renowned software.

Remember, Paint.NET is a free download that you can use on your Windows 10, 64-bit system with GPU resources, meeting the system requirements for Intel and ARM64 platforms.

How to Utilize the Program

To begin working with the application, double-click anywhere within the canvas, allowing you to select and easily resize it. To deselect, simply click the center of the canvas. Should you need to undo an action, use the Ctrl+Z shortcut.

The application features a variety of tools gathered in a palette, each tool represented by a distinct icon and name, making it simple to scroll through them using your mouse wheel. More frequently used tools can also be quickly accessed from the toolbar.

Certain tools, like the Lasso tool, may require additional steps or keystrokes, such as holding down the Shift key while dragging over your image. Make sure to look for any accompanying icons for hints on tool functionality.

With this software, you can conduct a multitude of image editing tasks: cropping, resizing, rotating, and flipping images are just a few examples of the basic adjustments you can make. Additionally, you’re able to apply filters, insert text, and draw various shapes, lines, and arrows to enhance your work.

The program operates with several file formats, including JPEG, PNG, and BMP. To save your work, choose the “Save Image As…” option. If you’d like to utilize your creation elsewhere, copy the entire canvas to the clipboard and paste it into applications like word processors or email clients.

Experiment with tools like hue, saturation, and curves adjustments, special effects, and even connect a drawing tablet for more precision. But most importantly, don’t hesitate to explore the many tutorials available to ensure you’re harnessing the full capabilities of the software.

Remember to take advantage of the user interface, which consists of several helpful panels. Keep an eye on the preview pane for real-time edits, as well as the status bar to stay informed about your layers and canvas size.

Compared to Photoshop

In contrast to the renowned Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET is a cost-effective alternative designed for Windows 10 and Microsoft Surface devices. Despite being a free option, Paint.NET still accomplishes a range of tasks similar to Photoshop, including cropping images, applying filters, adding text, and altering colors.

The key advantage of Paint.NET is its simpler interface and limited features, which benefit users who require a more straightforward approach to image editing. While Photoshop demands a steeper learning curve, Paint.NET is ideal for those who seek to make basic edits with ease and speed.

Keep in mind that Corel is not covered in this comparison but remains another popular image editing software to consider.

In Summary offers a fantastic free solution for basic photo editing needs. Its user-friendly interface and numerous tutorials make it accessible for everyone. You can simply download and test it without any financial commitment, giving you the chance to explore its capabilities firsthand. Its strengths lie in its cost-effectiveness and ease of use, making it a reliable choice for basic image editing tasks.