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Computer dummy considering Paint.NET-questions

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I'm not very well versed in computer or photography technology. I am just looking for a simple (free) photo editing software. From the different reviews I've read, this sounds ideal for what I'm looking for. I don't know anything about "layers" or different terms used in describing fixing pictures. I have my first digital camera (Canon Powershot SX20 IS). My laptop has "Intel Duo Core 2" and Windows Vista. I just like taking pictures, downloading them to the computer and sharing with family. Just looking for something with simple features like fixing red-eye or blurs, color/contrast, etc that is easy for a "non-expert" to figure out. Question: Is this a software that I can download to my computer and use offline, or do I have to be connected to the internet at all times during use? If it is a "must be connected" situation, than would I be uploading pictures to the website, or am I running everything off my computer and able to save on my hardrive/or only have access if I sign on to the internet? Will I ever have to pay for using any features, or is everything free? Sorry if these have already been asked in the forum, but I couldn't find exactly the same question in the searches I did. If anyone has any other suggestions, I would welcome it! Thank you so much for any help anyone can provide.



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The program is free, and can be used offline.

It can do everything that you have said you'd like to do.

Fixing blurs has its limitations regardless of what program

you use, but there is the ability to sharpen to a degree.

It is easy to use, once you learn how, and help with

learning is readily available here on the forums.

Edited by Sarkut
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You should have a very relaxing time using this software. It is completely free (and has no viruses if you're worried about that, the great community and the fact that the program has been around for years should be enough to prove that).

It is a program you download from the internet, and then use solely on your computer. You do not have to be on the internet while you use this program. I often find myself stumbling onto PDN (Paint(dot)NET the software) whenever my ISP or modem are having difficulties, just to toy around with random images.

I do believe there is a red-eye removal tool that comes with the standard program. If it is not there, I have a plugin for it that I got off these forums. If you need help finding or installing it, you can definitely ask here for help.

Color and contrast adjustments are definitely tools that come with the standard program.

As Sarkut mentioned, fixing blurs isn't perfectly possible. You can make a blur less noticeable, but you won't be able to just take a blur out of the photo and have what should've been there appear out of thin air.

Layers are a handy feature of PDN (and most useful image editing softwares). I always explain it by asking someone to think of one of those bulky projectors you can often find in schools. In my math classes back in middle school, my teacher would place a gridded piece of transparent film (plastic that you can write on with erasable markers), to use as an XY-coordinate graph. He would then place a blank sheet of transparent film overtop of this gridded film, and write on the blank sheet. At any time, he could remove the XY-coordinate graph below it, and could keep what he wrote on the other film. Or he could take off the "blank" film, put on a new one, and eventually go back to the old film to bring up a point from earlier in the lesson. That's in essence how layers work.

If you still don't quite understand layers, another analogy I can think of is window markers. You can treat the window as a layer on top of the background (whatever is outside, like trees and the sky), and you can write anything you want on the window without changing what is outside.

By using layers, you can put some words on top of an image, and if you don't like where you put them, you can just slide that layer around and change where it is, rather than having to redo all your work in a different spot.

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