paint.net version 4.0.9
|Original author(s)||Rick Brewster|
|Initial release||May 6, 2004|
4.1.4 / November 4, 2018
|Written in||C#, C++|
|Operating system||Windows 7 SP1 or later|
|Available in||23 languages|
|Type||Raster graphics editor|
Paint.net (stylized as Paint.NET or paint.net) is a freeware raster graphics editor program for Microsoft Windows, developed on the .NET Framework. Paint.net was originally created by Rick Brewster as a Washington State University student project, and has evolved from a simple replacement for the Microsoft Paint program into an editor with support for layers, blending, transparency, and plugins.
Paint.net 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. In contrast, version 3.35 has approximately 162,000 lines of code. The paint.net 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 Paint.net while he was a student at WSU. As of May 2006 the program had been downloaded at least 2 million times, at a rate of about 180,000 per month.
Initially, Paint.net was released under a modified version of the MIT License, with the exclusion of the installer, text, and graphics. 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. 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, paint.net became proprietary software. Users are now prohibited from modifying it.
Starting with version 4.0.18, paint.net is published in two editions: A classic edition remains freeware, similar to all other versions since 3.5. Another edition, however, is published to Windows Store (now called Microsoft Store) under a trialware license and price tag of US$9. 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.
Paint.net 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.
Paint.net 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#. These are created by volunteer coders on the program's discussion board, the paint.net 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 Paint.net in version 3.10.
Hundreds of plugins have been produced; such as Shape3D, which renders a 2D drawing into a 3D shape. Some plugins expand on the functionality that comes with Paint.net, 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. 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.net 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. This project had partially ported Paint.net 3.0 to Mono, an open-source implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure on which the .NET Framework is based. This allowed Paint.net to be run on Mono-supported platforms, such as Linux. This port is no longer maintained and has not been updated since March 2009.
In 2010 developer Jonathan Pobst started a project called Pinta, describing it as a clone of Paint.net for Mono and Gtk#. Pinta reused the adjustments and effects code from Paint.net but otherwise is original code.
|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.|
|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 paint.net 4.0|
|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 will be installed automatically if needed) 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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|4.0.10||July 8, 2016||Added "overscroll" to the editor.|
|4.0.20||January 9, 2018||Updated for .NET Framework 4.7.1. Dark Theme support added.|
|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.|
- Image editing
- Comparison of raster graphics editors
- List of raster graphics editors
- List of free software
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Chris Sells interviews Rick Brewster, Tom Jackson, and Craig Taylor about their project, Paint.NET v2.1.
- "How to Install Paint.NET Plugins". BoltBait Dot Com. 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
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