We all know and love Microsoft’s Paint program; it’s a simple (very simple) graphics program that has been bundled with Windows since at least Windows 3.11; there – you know how long I have been playing with computers. But how many know about paint.net; Paint’s big brother?

Paint.net is the same program but developed further with all manner of bells and whistles and, best of all, it’s free of charge without any hideous embedded advertising. You should, of course, donate to support its continued development. It is a serious contender to Photoshop for those who cannot afford the real thing. It does layers, masks and has lots of good quality tools to go with it. It has a relatively simple interface so you can go as deep as you like or need to get the results you aspire to.

Have a look at www.getpaint.net but beware of misleading ‘download’ adverts that want to direct you to the wrong product! Make sure that you don’t pay for it but do donate to support the development. From the website:

Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for PCs that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the Microsoft Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool. It has been compared to other digital photo editing software packages such as Adobe® Photoshop®, Corel® Paint Shop Pro®, Microsoft Photo Editor, and The GIMP.