8 Reasons to Use Paint.net as FREE Alternative to Photoshop for Image Editing


Putting piracy issue aside, not many of us can afford Photoshop application. Most of the times, we just need to perform minor modification on existing images such as entering text, highlight important areas or adjusting tone of the image. Paint.net can easily complete most of the simple tasks and it even includes features which are only available in big players. This article shows you 8 reasons you should use this mighty image editor.

1. Lightweight

We are using Paint.Net 4.0.13 and the whole setup package is just 6.7MB in size.

2. Unlimited Undo

Some cheap drawing tool don't even bother to provide you the "Undo" feature. Paint.Net, however, allows you to undo your actions in unlimited way just like heavyweight paid applications.

3. Support layering

Can you imagine that "Layering" - one of the most important features in Photoshop is also available in Paint.net? The feature allows you to create additional layers for easier modification. For example, instead of typing directly onto background image, you may create a layer and enter your text in the new layer. In case you change you mind later (e.g. remove text), you can just delete the layer you just created.

4. Useful tools with gentle learning curve


If you are used to tools in Photoshop, then you should have no problem in using Paint.net tools. "Shapes" and "Text" are two common tools we use when we would like to highlight something on screenshot images (even though we found it a bit difficult to adjust text once entered). "Move Selected Pixel" is an extremely useful tool to move objects around. Guess what? The fancy "Magic Wand" in Photoshop is here as well.

5. Canvas image

Most simple image editors only allow you to resize images. "Canvas image", on another hand, allows you to extend/reduce image width/height without stretching existing objects. We found it useful when merging two or more images into one. 

6. Special Effects


Paint.net is a rare freeware tool providing "Effects" feature out-of-the-box. Blur, sharpen, vignette, noise reduction/increment, and pencil sketch are just few useful special effects in Paint.net.

7. Active online community

It is one of the few freeware providing a forum for users to discuss usages and problems encountered by them. 

8. Free

Last but not least and probably the most important one - it is FREE. If this app is useful to you, please consider donating to the author.

Paint.net can be downloaded from http://www.getpaint.net/index.html

About the Author


CheeWah (Waco) has more than 10 years working experience in IT fields, especially in software development and testing. Some of the key projects included software development and support for production/R&D, software test automation, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). He is a food lover and has a food blog at www.noweating.com. Little CPU acts as his IT knowledge sharing hub.