Software Review: Paint.NET

Overall Rating: 4.2/5

Paint.NET is a graphics and image editor available as a free download. It is based on Microsoft’s .NET framework, and is therefore not an open-source application. I first learned of Paint.NET a couple of years ago and I have used it off and on ever since.

Compatibility: 5/5

As a graphics and image editor, Paint.NET can open and save to most popular image formats including Bitmap (BMP), GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and Targa (TGA). Additionally, Paint.NET can open and save DirectDraw Surface (DDS) files and the proprietary Paint.NET (PDN) format. I have also ran into a PNG on occasion which Adobe Photoshop refuses to open. Whenever this happens, I have been able to open the file in Paint.NET without any problems.

Cross-Platform Availability: 2/5

Since Paint.NET is based on Microsoft’s .NET framework, it will only run on a Windows-based platform. Since I primarily work on a Mac, I have not used it as extensively as I otherwise might.

Extensibility: 5/5

On the Paint.NET Web site, there are several plug-ins to extend the program’s usefulness. I have not actually tested any of these, but there is quite a large selection created by members of the Paint.NET community.

Support Quality: 4/5

Unfortunately, all the help files for Paint.NET are Internet-based. Along with the help files, there is also a forum and several tutorials to help the beginner.

User-Friendliness: 5/5

Anyone familiar with a Windows-based application will be able to understand Paint.NET’s user interface. The menu items are easy to find and the labels are pretty self-explanatory. The program also includes tool-tips, which appear when the user mouses over a tool or menu bar item. The interface is simple and easy to navigate.

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