Paint.NET is a free advanced graphic editor, with a multitude of tools.
It's possible that at some point we wish to edit a picture or create a drawing using the computer. There is a multitude of graphic editing programs and tools. Some of them are very sophisticated and expensive, and some are very basic and free of charge. For example, Windows includes “Paint” tool, which allows us to create and edit images in a very basic way. The next program can be used in a professional way, thanks to a large number of tools, and despite the fact that it's a free program.
Paint.NET allows us to make a lot of edits and changes in images or photographs. In addition to the typical tools of this kind of program (pencil, select, draft, etc.), it includes a large number of filters that provide a distinctive touch to the image we are editing. Some of the filters included are sketch pencil, oil paint, blur, blur zoom, dents, crystal frozen, polar inversion, pixelated, enhancement, embossed, remove red-eye, smoothing portrait, add or reduce noise, and more.
In addition to filters, we can apply the typical Adjustments: auto-level, black-and-white, brightness and contrast, curves, invert colors, hue and saturation, levels, posterization, and sepia.
When we select a filter or adjust, a window appears with a series of parameters that we can modify to influence the final result of the filter or adjust. As we modify the parameters, we will see how the changes are applied to the final image, so that it's not necessary to apply the filter or adjust to see the end result.
The program brings a large and clear interface. In the central part of the window, we'll see the picture that we are going to create or edit. In the left part, there is a window with all the editing tools at our disposal: selection, magic wand, paint bucket, draft, zoom, pencil, brush, color detector, clone stamp, etc. In the bottom left is a window that contains palette tools, where we can pick a primary and secondary color. In the bottom right there is a window with image layers, where we can select those layers that are visible. In the top right, there is a history with all the actions we've been doing, being able to undo or delete any of the actions carried out.
As is usual in this type of program, we will be able to access tools, filters, actions, etc., using the mouse, or by using keyboard shortcuts. This last option is the most convenient for those who make use of the program frequently because that greatly accelerates the process of editing and creation. In the software's manual help there's a list of all the available keyboard shortcuts.
The program includes the option to capture an image from a camera or scanner that's connected to the PC. In this way, we'll edit directly the desired image, without having to use an intermediary program.
Paint.NET can be considered a tool intermediate between Photoshop and “Paint”, as it includes more tools and options to “Paint”, but without reaching the level of Photoshop. On the other hand, this program is totally free, which makes it a great option to be used as a graphic editor if we don't need more advanced editing tools.