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Simple/Advanced mode?


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Looking at some of the requests here, it's clear in my mind, that they will move Paint.NET away from the ease of use/keep it simple philosphy.

Paint.NET is simply too good, people want all their stuff they have in Photoshop and Paintshop Pro, Rick, it's all your fault :-)

Perhaps the install should prompt and default to basic mode, where only basic functionality is available, (Paint + a few other essential bits), everything else hidden in an advanced mode, which could be turned on during install, or at a later date somewhere in the basic UI, unlocking all the goodies.

My concern is that, whilst Paint.NET is currently an excellent tool for my Mum, it's quickly turning into a power-tool which would scare the likes of my mum...

Thoughts????

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I don't think so.

The basic, simpliest tools are displayed on the "tool"bar, and in the tools window, for advanced features (like curves & so) you need to search in menus and sub-menus, so you can just ignore them.

Edit: Moreover, several versions will add confusion.

No. Way. I've just seen Bob. And... *poof!*—just like that—he disappears into the mist again. ~Helio

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I am not a programmer, but I think making more then one version will make paint.NET a lot more complicated to maintain.

It is all about making the user interface for the new features as intuitive as possible. And I think Rick has done that, a lot better then many commercial programs.

But, truth, as more and more features get added, there might bee the need to be able to customize some parts of the user interface.

My DA: http://leif-j.deviantart.com/

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Well, you say "it's quickly turning into a power-tool which would scare the likes of my mum" but you're not qualifying that by pointing out which parts are becoming too complex or more difficult, for instance.

I personally dont believe Paint.NET 3.0 is more complicated than 2.xx. In fact I think it's simpler. The biggest UI change is the shift to MDI and for those people who want to open more than one image the UI is much easier to navigate than a horde of taskbar buttons full of Paint.NET icons. For people who still only want to open one image, they just end up with a preview thumbnail in the top right of the UI.

The other major noticable difference is the color palette in the Colors window. I don't think this adds to complexity, because it's very obvious what it is and how to use it. They're colors, you click on them :) The Tools window is less cluttered and schizophrenic now that the bottom portion of its functionality (the colors stuff) has been moved to the Colors window.

The toolbar has become context-dependent in a way that I think helps the user. If a certain button or drop down is not relevant, it is not shown. The user does not have to guess if Tolerance or Alpha-Blending are going to have any effect on what they want to do.

For a user who wants to open an image, and do a quick resize / crop / adjustment, the UI hasn't become any more cluttered or difficult. It's probably easier now that Adjustments is a top-level menu. The File menu is also shorter in 3.0 than it ever was in 2.xx. So if you just want to resize an image ... File->Open, choose image, then Image->Resize, type in numbers and press OK, then File->Save and complete. Same exact workflow as in 2.xx.

There are also several dialogs and prompts in Paint.NET which have shifted to using the "task dialog" style instead of the old MessageBox style. These dialogs end up being simpler to figure out. For an example, look at the "unsaved changes" dialogs when you exit without saving.

There are only two places I'm really concerned about right now. The first is maybe the Effects menu. It's possible to clame that is is becoming more 'cluttered.' However, that's not necessarily a bad thing if we can keep the organization logical, which I think we have managed to do so far. Plus, people love having tons of effects to play with.

The second is that the Language selection has been moved to the Help menu, and it may just be harder for a non-English speaker to find it. This is mitigated by language selection being very easy during installation, and also by the relatively high technical barrier to installation that currently exists for language packs.

Lastly, having "basic vs. advanced" mode is self-defeating. You get users installing in basic mode wondering where all the good features are, and then you get basic users self-qualifying themselves as advanced users and then being overwhelmed by the advanced UI. http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archi ... 54583.aspx

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

Donations are always appreciated! https://www.getpaint.net/donate.html

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