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Setting paint.net as default editor only


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I only saw one other thread on the topic and it was locked after being largely unproductive.

This is not about the ability to right-click a single image and selecting to edit in paint.net. This is not about setting the default VIEWER (and editor) for images.  This is not about setting the default apps in the standard Windoze UI widgets.  All of those are quite simple.  It's about altering the "root" file association for ONLY the image editor, leaving the default app for VIEWING to whatever you have in place now.

Why would I want to do this?
Because it's the only way to make it so you can select MULTIPLE images and right-click and edit with paint.net.

The other thread seemed to indicate there was an install-time tick box to set the editor - it's been so long since I've done an install I don't know if that's the case or not (or if it alters only the editor and not the viewer as well) but at this time there does not appear to be an option in the settings UI.  As this is a simple refedit I would suggest that as a possible feature enhancement.

There are "apps" to do this "in the wild" (the other thread conveniently alludes to the first hit on Google, a sponsored link - use at your own risk) however the required regedit is astoundingly simple. To my knowledge this works in every version of Windoze since XP......

Anyway - to ONLY change the default image editor:
Open regedit
Search keys only for SystemFileAssociations
Open that key and navigate to image
Open that key and expand down to shell\edit\command
(if you want to be safe at this point right-click the command key and select "export" - save the file somewhere and if you want to reset the edit just double-click the file and run it)
The default value will look like this:
"%systemroot%\system32\mspaint.exe" "%1"
Change that value to:
"C:\Program Files\paint.net\PaintDotNet.exe" "%1"
...or whatever the full path is to the executable for your installation of paint.net (if in doubt you can even search the registry for an existing entry in the paint.net key)

The change is immediate.

Hopefully someone finds this useful.  

 

regedit.png

Edited by Don V
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HyRez did you even read the post?

 

6 hours ago, Don V said:


This is not about the ability to right-click a single image and selecting to edit in paint.net. This is not about setting the default VIEWER (and editor) for images.  This is not about setting the default apps in the standard Windoze UI widgets.  All of those are quite simple.  It's about altering the "root" file association for ONLY the image editor, leaving the default app for VIEWING to whatever you have in place now.


 

@Don V thanks for posting this. While we are generally cautious about recommending registry edits, your solution gives power users another tool they can use.

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  • 1 year later...

Above method works great with paint.net installed in Program File folder. But it does not work with paint.net purchased from Windows Store.

I have tried the full address C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\dotPDNLLC.pain....\PaintDotNet.exe without success. Windows Apps folder require permission and does not work with the edit command.

 

The default apps editor does not work either. "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."

 

Can anyone help?

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  • 7 months later...

There are two solutions for the Microsoft Store version of paint.net.  I've tested both and found them functional.

 

The more complicated yet cleaner method (no popup windows) involves adding several entries to the registry as directed by Siezear:

 

 

The second method uses a batch file.  You change only one line in the registry to call the batch file, but it will briefly open a CMD window for each file you wish to edit.  Change the "(Default)" value at the registry key shown below to point to your batch file, followed by "%1", including the quotes.

 

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\Edit\command

 

To create the batch file, read Elimental's post:

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by JTF7502
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