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Original author(s)Rick Brewster
Developer(s)dotPDN, LLC
Initial releaseMay 6, 2004; 17 years ago (2004-05-06)
Stable release
4.3.2 / October 4, 2021; 54 days ago (2021-10-04)
Written inC#, C++, C++/CLI
Operating systemWindows 7 SP1 or later[1]
Platform.NET Framework[1]
Size9.2 MB
Available in25 languages
List of languages
English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian[1]
TypeRaster graphics editor
LicenseFreeware[2] (stylized as Paint.NET or is a freeware raster graphics editor program for Microsoft Windows, developed on the .NET Framework. was originally created by Rick Brewster as a Washington State University student project,[3] and has evolved from a simple replacement for the Microsoft Paint program into a program for editing mainly graphics, with support for plugins.

History[edit] originated as a computer science senior design project during spring 2004 at Washington State University. Version 1.0 consisted of 36,000 lines of code and was written in fifteen weeks.[4] In contrast, version 3.35 has approximately 162,000 lines of code. The project continued over the summer and into the autumn 2004 semester for both the version 1.1 and 2.0 releases.

Development continues with one programmer who worked on previous versions of while he was a student at WSU. As of May 2006 the program had been downloaded at least 2 million times,[5] at a rate of about 180,000 per month.[6]

Initially, was released under a modified version of the MIT License, with the exclusion of the installer, text, and graphics.[7] It was completely open-source, but because breaches of license, all resource files (such as interface text and icons) were released under a non-free Creative Commons license forbidding modification, and the installer was made closed-source.[8] Version 3.36 was initially released as partial open-source, but Brewster later took down the source code, citing problems with plagiarism. In version 3.5, became proprietary software. Users are now prohibited from modifying it.[8][9]

Starting with version 4.0.18, is published in two editions: A classic edition remains freeware, similar to all other versions since 3.5. Another edition, however, is published to Microsoft Store under a trialware license and is available to purchase for US$7. According to the developer, this was done to enable the users to contribute to the development with more convenience, even though the old avenue of donation was not closed.[10][11]

Overview[edit] is primarily programmed in the C# programming language. Its native image format, .PDN, is a compressed representation of the application's internal object format, which preserves layering and other information.[12]

Plugins[edit] supports plugins, which add image adjustments, effects, and support for additional file types. They can be programmed using any .NET Framework programming language, though they are most commonly written in C#.[13] These are created by volunteer coders on the program's discussion board, the Forum. Though most are simply published via the discussion board, some have been included with a later release of the program. For instance, a DirectDraw Surface file type plugin, (originally by Dean Ashton) and an Ink Sketch and Soften Portrait effect (originally by David Issel) were added to in version 3.10.

Hundreds of plugins have been produced;[14] such as Shape3D, which renders a 2D drawing into a 3D shape. Some plugins expand on the functionality that comes with, such as Curves+ and Sharpen+, which extend the included tools Curves and Sharpen, respectively.

Examples of file type plugins include an Animated Cursor and Icon plugin and an Adobe Photoshop file format plugin.[14] Several of these plugins are based on existing open source software, such as a raw image format plugin that uses dcraw and a PNG optimization plugin that uses OptiPNG.


paint-mono[edit] was created for Windows, and has no native support for any other system. With its previous open-source nature, the possibility for alternate versions was available. In May 2007, Miguel de Icaza officially started a porting project called paint-mono.[15] This project had partially ported 3.0 to Mono, an open-source implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure on which the .NET Framework is based. This allowed to be run on Mono-supported platforms, such as Linux. This port is no longer maintained and has not been updated since March 2009.[15]

Newer Mono runtime 6 versions are able to run original Paint.NET releases up to 3.5.11 almost perfectly.[16]


In 2010, developer Jonathan Pobst started a project called Pinta, describing it as a clone of for Mono and Gtk#. Pinta reused the adjustments and effects code from but otherwise is original code.[17]


Version Release date Significant changes
1.0 May 6, 2004 Initial release.
1.1 October 1, 2004 Support for effect plugins.
2.0 December 17, 2004 Many new effects, adjustments, and tools.
2.5 November 26, 2005 Internationalization support; update manager; support for file type plugins.
2.6 February 24, 2006 Use of .NET Framework 2.0, full 64-bit support.
2.72 August 31, 2006 Last version to support Windows 2000.
3.0 January 26, 2007 This major release introduces a new multi-document interface (MDI), availability in 8 languages, a highly requested interactive gradient tool, four new effects, a user-definable color palette, lower disk space usage for scratch files, and a generally cleaner and improved user interface
3.05 March 29, 2007 Added a new effect; improved certain parts of the user interface.
3.10 August 23, 2007 Ink Sketch and Soften Portrait effects added; support for the DDS filetype.
3.20 December 12, 2007 Enhancements to the built-in effects, a re-organized Effects menu, a new and much easier system for effect plugin development, better error handling for plugins, and the ability to draw Fixed Ratio and Fixed Size selections with the Rectangle Select tool. (With this release, Paint.NET is also no longer open source; and even the sources of 3.10 release are removed from the servers).
3.22 January 12, 2008 Adds a new Reduce Noise effect.
3.30 April 10, 2008 This release adds an Italian translation, a new "Fragment Blur" effect, and the ability to save PNG images at 8- and 24-bit color depths. For developers, the IndirectUI system has some new controls, some new constraint rules, and can now be used for file type plugins.
3.35 June 7, 2008 A new Posterize adjustment, a new Intersect selection mode, dramatically improved performance for selection editing.
3.5 November 6, 2009 Improved performance reliability, reducing memory usage, upgrading to the latest .NET Framework version, and refreshing the user interface for Aero and glass (Windows 7 / Vista)
3.5.2 January 4, 2010 Resolves some feature disparities in the Text tool between GDI (Windows XP) and DirectWrite (Windows 7/Windows Vista). It also improves overall performance, as well as the correctness and quality of the Move Selected Pixels tool, the Image->Resize function, and the Hue/Saturation adjustment.
3.5.5 April 26, 2010 Fixes a bug when saving 8-bit images, improves layer composition and Gaussian Blur performance, and is updated to support the new .NET Framework 4.0 in some cases. Dropped support of Windows XP without Service Pack 3, additional support for .NET 4.0.[18]
3.5.11 August 17, 2013 Fixes the Gaussian Blur effect that was incorrectly calculating alpha values for non-opaque pixels. Effects Sharpen, Median, Fragment and Unfocus have seen an improved performance of 25%, 30%, 40% and 100% respectively. Also memory usage is reduced when many selection manipulation operations are in the history/undo stack. The built-in updater now supports upgrading to 4.0. Last version to support Windows XP.
4.0 June 24, 2014 4.0 requires Windows 7 SP1 or newer (including 8/8.1, but excluding XP and Vista), and uses .NET Framework 4.5.1 (it can be installed automatically if needed)[19] This complete rewrite contains a brand new, asynchronous, fully multithreaded rendering engine, antialiased selections, a redesigned user interface, soft brushes, and a new shapes tool. Most Tools now support "fine-grained history" and it can adjust the properties of what the user has drawn before committing to the layer.[20]
4.0.6 August 2, 2015 Updated for Windows 10. Increases the maximum brush size to 2000. The shapes tool now allows custom shapes to be installed and used. IndirectUI-based effect plugins can now provide help text, accessible via the question mark button.[21]
4.0.7 December 30, 2015 Updated for .NET Framework 4.6. Added Swedish translation. Title bar uses the Windows 10 accent color. Custom Shapes XAML now supports cardinal splines via PolyCurveSegment. Shapes tool rendering performance on CPUs with many cores.[22]
4.0.10 July 8, 2016 Added "overscroll" to the editor.[23]
4.0.20 January 9, 2018 Updated for .NET Framework 4.7.1. Dark Theme support added.[24]
4.1 September 5, 2018 Several effects rewritten to use GPU. Copy-and-paste selections. Two new effects: Morphology and Turbulence. Increased maximum zoom level to 6400%. IndirectUI enhancements.[25]
4.2 July 13, 2019 Added HEIF file format support, fixed performance with very large images, and upgraded and modernized the functionality of many existing file types[26]
4.2.1 August 7, 2019 Added JPEG XR file format support[27]
4.2.2 September 18, 2019 Can open AVIF files (but not saved), improved DirectDraw Surface support and 4-bit saving for PNG/BMP/TIFF[28]
4.2.5 October 1, 2019 Added WebP file format support[29]
4.2.6 November 21, 2019 Added a "Native pointer input" setting if a "pointer" device is available.[30]
4.2.7 November 25, 2019 Fixed a crash at startup (FileLoadException) due to 1) the stub for System.Runtime.dll not being updated, and 2) the rigid version binding policy that prevented the older version from working in its stead (which would’ve been fine in this case).[31]
4.2.8 December 3, 2019 This small update fixes a few pressing bugs, particularly for touch and pen input.[32]
4.2.9 January 31, 2020 This update greatly improved performance and significantly reduced memory usage, added two new translations, and fixed a number of small issues.[33]
4.2.10 February 14, 2020 Fixed some important bugs, most notably with installations that directly use the MSI file for deployment.[34]
4.2.11 May 20, 2020 Adds XMP metadata support, 3 new translations, some UI improvements, and several bug fixes.[35]
4.3 September 22, 2021 Migrated to .NET Framework 5, resulting in improved performance.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Brewster, Rick. " Download". dotPDN, LLC. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Brewster, Rick (November 6, 2009). "A new license for Paint.NET v3.5". Blog. dotPDN LLC. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  3. ^ " - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing". Retrieved September 30, 2009. Bottom of the page, below about.
  4. ^ "Paint.NET v1.1 "Beta 2" Download". Archived from the original on 2007-12-21.
  5. ^ "Paint.NET crosses 2 million downloads, and other news". Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2006.
  6. ^ Mook, Nate (February 27, 2006). "Interview: A Look Inside Paint.NET". Betanews. Betanews, Inc. Archived from the original on October 30, 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2006.
  7. ^ - Licensing and FAQ
  8. ^ a b "Freeware Authors: Beware of "Backspaceware"". blog. December 4, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "A new license for Paint.NET v3.5". 7 November 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Rubino, Daniel (September 30, 2017). "Paint.NET is now available in the Windows Store for all Windows 10 PCs". Windows Central. Mobile Nations.
  11. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (October 1, 2017). " lands in Windows Store (but is not free)". ghacks.
  12. ^ "Paint.NET's file format, ".pdn"". Archived from the original on January 2, 2008.
  13. ^ "CodeLab: Paint.NET Plugin Development Environment". August 16, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Plugin Index".
  15. ^ a b Project Paint Mono at Google Code
  16. ^ "Paint.NET". WineHQ AppDB. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  17. ^ Holwerda, Thom (February 8, 2010). "Introducing Pinta, a Gtk+ Clone of Paint.NET". OSNews. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Brewster, Rick (26 April 2010). "Paint.NET v3.5.5 is now available". Blog. dotPDN, LLC. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  19. ^ Paint.NET - Download: System Requirements
  20. ^ " 4.0 is now available!". June 24, 2014.
  21. ^ " 4.0.6 is now available". August 2, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  22. ^ " 4.0.7 is now available". December 30, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  23. ^ " 4.0.10 is now available". July 8, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  24. ^ " 4.0.20 is now available". January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  25. ^ " 4.1 is now available". September 5, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  26. ^ " 4.2 is now available". July 13, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  27. ^ " 4.2.1 is now available". August 8, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  28. ^ " 4.2.2 is now available". September 18, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  29. ^ " 4.2.5 is now available". October 1, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  30. ^ " 4.2.6 is now available". November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  31. ^ " 4.2.7 is now available". November 25, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  32. ^ " 4.2.8 is now available". December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  33. ^ " 4.2.9 is now available". January 31, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  34. ^ " 4.2.10 is now available". February 14, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  35. ^ " 4.2.11 is now available". May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  36. ^ " 4.3 is now available". September 22, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]