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Difficulty of learning Paint.net . . . . eg. alpha channels

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I came across Paint.net some time ago when I was looking for something better than M/S Paint, and it certainly meets that requirement! I am also a (relatively inexperienced) user of Photoshop, and Paint.net increasingly seems to be a viable alternative to Photoshop for serious photo-editing. However . . . . .

I am finding it very difficult to get into Paint.net for photo-editing use. I think that the problem is that Paint.net's documentation is relatively thin, and there are no books available which can be worked through slowly (unlike with Photoshop!). I suspect that this is because Paint.net is produced by enthusiasts who would rather be getting on with improving the product, instead of spending weeks documenting what is obvious to those who already have an in depth background knowledge of photo editing. This is understandable, and I'm not sure what the solution is.

I'll give you an example of what I am talking about. I thought that I would use Paint.net for what I thought would be a relatively simple task: editing some icons. I extracted an icon (with some transparency) using Icon Sushi, copied it to the clipboard and pasted it into a newly-created 32x32 image in Paint.net.: However, the transparent areas appeared in Paint.net in black. I think that this has something to do with the alpha channel, but that is as far as my knowledge goes, and I cannot discover how Paint.net deals with alpha channels. I have spent about 2 hours searching the Paint.net forums, and the Web generally, but have come up with nothing that helps me.

So...how can I get into Paint.net?

- I cannot find the meatier topics in the Paint.net documentation,

- It would be wrong immediately to post a question on a forum without trying to find the answer for myself (otherwise I would be deluging the forum)

- I cannot afford to spend a couple of hours a time (unsuccessfully) researching each issue.

I hope that this posting does not come across as a whinge - it's certainly not meant to be. I love the Paint.net product, and I think that the Paint.net team are doing a fantastic job. I really just wanted to share with you the problems being faced by a relative newbie - and possibly see whether there is any way in which these problems could be overcome. (And even, possibly, get a brief explanation of how to handle alpha channels in Paint.net!)

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Many thanks. That is a superb plug-in. It will greatly simply overall the workflow, but I do still have the alpha channel issue.

Instead of loading a .ico file, I am extracting the icon from a .exe file (using IconsExtract), copying it to the clipboard, and then pasting into Paint.net. This gives an image with a black background (which I assume is something to do with the alpha channel), instead of a transparent background.

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