It might be popular, but Photoshop isn’t exactly the cheapest piece of software around and for the people that need to do light editing, it’s also overkill. We take a look at Paint.NET, a rather oddly named graphic editor that carries many of the most commonly used tools of Photoshop and other commercial image editors without the hefty price tag.
Installation and Setup
Paint.Net installs to around 8MB, very small for an image editing program. The program tends to use around 30MB of RAM when idle, although this will increase if you’re trying to load very large images into the program. Paint.NET can deal with images of most sizes although it does slow down somewhat when you load up really large images.
Ease of Use
Paint.NET carries many of the tools anyone who has used an image editor will be familiar with. You can use the program to do a various amount of ‘light’ editing tasks such as image resizing, photo retouching and cropping. You can also add a variety of different effects to a picture such as blurring and embossing although these are more limited in scope than what you’ll find in most commercial software.
Paint.NET is more than just Microsoft paint with a more features though – you can see from only a few minutes of using the program that you can do most of your basic editing with Paint.NET and much more besides.
Features you’ll normally only find in major programs are available with Paint.NET and unlike many other image editors you’ll find in the freeware market the interface actually helps you find what you need quickly rather than hiding it away in menus and submenus. You can also customise the interface which is great for people who are used to having certain menus in certain places.
The great thing about the interface of Paint.NET is that it makes sense – you only have to push a few buttons and use the program for a few minutes each day in order to understand where everything is.
With a small footprint and no price tag but still carrying great features like layering, blending and unlimited undo support, Paint.NET is a great choice for anyone who needs to edit images but doesn’t necessarily need all of the more advanced features of Photoshop.