"Powerful yet intuitive free photo editor"
Dec 6, 2019 by Jane

Are you looking for a solution that is more powerful than Microsoft Paint, but not as complex and expensive as Adobe Photoshop? Then is you answer. This tool was originally designed as an alternative for Microsoft Paint, but then became one of the most feature-rich yet intuitive free photo editors for Windows.

Key features

Paint.NET can be used to retouch images, make various color corrections, eliminate red eyes effects, apply filters and effects, and work with multiple layers of a picture. The software allows you to create drawings from scratch using a set of brushes and simple objects.

Moreover, Paint.NET comes with an unlimited history which allows undoing any action. It features scaling options as well as brightness, color, and contrast adjustments. The photo editor supports the ability to add new functions via multiple plugins and has an active community with tutorials. Paint.NET works with all common graphic file formats, including BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, PDN, TIFF, TGA, and DDS.


Even though Paint.NET has great image enhancing options, it still bears weaknesses. Its default install comes with no layer masks. The program is also noted for having limited brush options. Moreover, you can edit only a single image at a time and you won’t be able to make any text corrections after applying other effects.


The most well-known alternative programs for Paint.NET are Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, and GIMP. Even though the main screen of Paint.NET looks very similar to the Microsoft program, Paint.NET is a more feature-rich option since it has a much wider array of photo manipulating tools and effects.

Adobe Photoshop is an incredibly powerful image editor that is available for Microsoft, Mac, iOS, and Android, while Paint.NET offers only a core set of features and supports only Windows. However, Photoshop is rather expensive, resource-intensive and requires a steep learning curve.

Just like Photoshop, GIMP is a cross-platform and feature-rich image editor. Moreover, it comes for free, but is notable for unintuitive GUI, especially for Mac users, and the lack of adjustment layers.


It goes without saying that Paint.NET is not a perfect solution. You can’t overlook a number of limitations in features that can be found in other photo editors. But for the average user, even without plugins, Paint.NET is a great raster graphics editing option. Well just think about it: numerous functions, a friendly community with support and tutorials, free access, a wide range of editing tools, regular updates, and an intuitive interface.

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4.2.7 (Nov 25, 2019)
Runs on:
Windows 10,
Windows 8.1,
Windows 7
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#Microsoft Paint alternative
#free photo editing software
#raster graphics editor
  • A wide range of effects and editing tools
  • Layer support
  • Unlimited undo
  • Multiple plug-ins
  • Active and friendly community
  • Allows editing only one image at a time
  • No option to edit text after applying other effects
  • Only available on Windows
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