If you like quality free software, you’ll love Paint.NET

As a software developer myself, I appreciate quality software when I see it.   As evidenced by the recent deployment of the U.S. healthcare website, quality software is not easy to develop and it’s certainly not inexpensive to develop.  There is often a massive disconnect between the stakeholders of the system and the “heads down coders” that are doing the work.

The success (or lack thereof) of the healthcare website roll-out is actually quite typical in the software world due to some very real software development laws in play.  That system never had a chance for a smooth roll-out.

That said, there is some quite amazing software available (most of which has had many years of iterations to bring to where it stands today).

And today, I’ll discuss one of my favorite applications that is 100% free (no cost, no ads, no toolbars, and no malware… as long as you click the right link).  I am in no way associated with this project other than the fact that I’ve been using it for a few years now and I rush to download each free upgrade as soon as it’s available.


Paint.NET is quality free software for basic and advanced image editing.  If you are a computer user (and I’m getting that vibe from you now), you’ve surely had a need to manipulate an image at some point.

Some have compared it to Adobe Photoshop (which is quality software for a cost).  If I were in the graphics business for the long-haul, I might be discussing the non-free options.  But I’m more of a Jack-of-all-trades kind of guy and that lends itself well to preferring the amazing free stuff instead of the more amazing costly stuff.  You might want give the equally free Gimp a try, but right now I’m squarely a Paint.NET guy.



Simply put, you can download it from here:  Get Paint.NET!

warning Just be careful to click the words “Paint.Net” on the right hand side.  Don’t click the big green download button.  That’s an advertisers trick (I really wish they wouldn’t do that)



If you’ve ever used Microsoft Paint that comes standard on all Windows computers, then you’ll be fairly comfortable with the basic features.


Learn the concept of Layers, and you’ll be a step above the average guy when it comes to creating, manipulating, and later editing any graphic or photo.  Once you get the hang of Layers you will LOVE what it brings to the table.

Don’t forget the plugins!

One more thing:  Some really smart and generous programmers have developed some very useful plugins and offer them to you for free.  You’ll definitely want to download some of the Plugin Packs.  Don’t miss out on these.  This will kick it up a notch.

You’ll find some of the best plugins here on the official forum.  There are some instructions on that forum describing how to install, but it’s as simple as copying the downloaded .dll file to Paint.NET’s “Effects” folder.

I’ll leave the rest to you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

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