Paint.net is a basic raster graphic editor for Windows which uses an unobtrusive nagware distribution model. It was first released on 2004-05-06, and has seen constant upgrades since then. It has some of the capabilities of a professional raster graphics program, but it missing a lot of the high-end features.
A co-worker of mine suggested Paint.net after I complained about wanting a high-quality free graphics program to replace Corel Photo-Paint, but was annoyed by the horrible interface of Gimp. I installed it and found that it had some decent features, but was by no means a replacement for a professional graphics program. However, because it has a lot of basic features, I tend to keep it installed as a backup.
- All of the basic features you would expect from a raster graphic program are present. You can paint, draw primitive shapes, flood fill, type text, resize and reshape the image, and perform a variety of special effects.
- Paint.net supports multiple objects (though it uses the stupid Adobe term "layers").
- It supports the more common raster image formats including PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, TGA, and the newer WEBP as well as its custom format.
- The program is by no means strong enough to replace a professional graphics editor. Of course, it's free, so you shouldn't expect it to.
- The various tools (toolbox, palette, layers, history) crowd the interface and are not dockable.
- Paint.net only supports plain RGB and grayscale color models, and, even then, you don't get much control over how the color data is stored. You can't use CYMK, Pantone, HSL, or any other common models.
- The program doesn't take advantage of all the special features present in many of the image formats it supports.
- The UI uses the backward Adobe zoom system where you have to hold CTRL on the keyboard to zoom with the mouse wheel, and using the mouse wheel without CTRL scrolls up an down.
- The installer drops a shortcut into your root Start menu each time it upgrades, and there is no option to prevent it.