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Paint.net doesn't work!

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I was told of paint.net because I needed to make a gif transparent. That worked fine so I thought I'd explore paint some more. However, I can't seem to make anything work. The eraser does nothing, recoloring does nothing, I can't get new photos to go to a new layer, on and on. I'm opening pictures in the jpg format - is that the problem? Is there something more I need to do to activate paint?

I'm using Windows 7 Home premium on a one year old HP desktop.

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There are a number of things that could be going wrong here.

It's tough to guess.

Try this:

Open a .jpg image.

There should be only one layer showing in the Layers window.

Click on the Eraser tool icon, then scribble-erase on the image.

Nothing changes?

It doesn't erase?

Edited by Sarkut
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Sorry I'm such a dunce. I ahven't used Photoshop so some of the techniques are new to me. Is there a useres manual anywhere?

On a separate topic, how do you get a photo to reside in a new layer? I open a photo, then add a layer and open a second photo but the second one and the first one are both labeled as backgrouind.

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