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Paint.NET 4.0 New Feature List


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This is a list of all of the new features in paint.net 4.0 that have already been implemented.

I couldn't find a consolidated list of new features in paint.net 4.0, and thought that it might be useful for people who don't want to dig through the blog.


Let me know if I missed anything, and I'll add it in.


Now updated for beta 4.




This is all from the blog. Any undocumented changes are not mentioned.

I looked at all of the blog posts from the beta 3 release all the way back through around july 2010. Any features that were written before then and somehow were never mentioned again are not included.

As most of the entries after beta 1 (Build 5152) were fixes, they are not included (I did get allowing rotation no matter where the mouse cursor is (1st bullet for beta 3 (build 5226))).



I cut out most of the "fixed" entries (ex: fixed selection tool not recognizing elephants) as they are more of making things they way they should have been, not something additional added in. Additionally, I can't tell when the problem arose, if it was just in a previous alpha or beta or actually in 3.5.11, and is therefore something "new".



Updated for beta 4

Added UI slider decoration



A small selection of new features:

  • Greatly improved performance

  • New UI

  • "Fine-grained" history (Can undo/redo every change, not just those that commit pixels to the layer)

  • New shapes tool

  • Live adjustment of many features (tolerance, sample origin, rotation origin, etc)


Full feature list

  • Improved performance

    • General

      • Performance scales much better for multi-core systems (multi-threaded rendering engine)

      • Performance scales much better with larger images

      • Hardware acceleration implemented

      • Lower memory usage

      • Lower battery usage

    • Specific feature performance:

      • Greatly improved selection rendering and manipulation

      • Saving of .pdn files

      • Shapes and Line/Curve tools

      • Reduced CPU usage of animated UI elements, especially when not the active application or when the user has disconnected (locked workstation, Remote Desktop)

  • General features

    • Selection now has anti-aliasing (toggleable in toolbar)

    • Tools may now draw directly with a blending mode (configurable in toolbar)

    • New "fine-grained" history system implemented for all tools (Can undo/redo every change, not just those that commit pixels to the layer)

    • Smoother mouse input for drawing tools (Pencil, Eraser, Recolor, etc.)

    • Soft brush support/ "Hardness" setting for brush tools (Paintbrush, Eraser, etc.)

    • Color picker has configurable sampling radius (6 preset sizes)

    • Color picker, Magic Wand, Paint Bucket can sample from current layer or whole image

    • Magic Wand and Paint Bucket have live adjustment of Tolerance and Origin (press enter to finish)

    • Paint bucket supports anti-aliasing

    • Recolor tool can use the color of the pixel you click on as the color to be replaced (or it can use the secondary color, as how it works now) (toggleable)

    • Eraser tool uses alpha value of current color

    • Clone stamp uses alpha value of Primary color (secondary if you use the right mouse button)

    • Gradient tool

      • New "Spiral" gradient type

      • Allows configuration of repeat mode (none, repeat, wrapped)

    • New "Shapes" tool

      • replaces Line/Curve, Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, and Freeform shape tools

      • 30 shapes currently available

      • Bezier curve added

      • Can rotate, move, re-size, and change other properties(color, outline color, etc) of shapes before committing it to the layer

      • Can change rotation point

    • Text tool

      • Colored fonts now supported in Windows 8.1 (e.g. Segoe UI Emoji)

      • Smooth, Sharp (Modern), Sharp (Classic) rendering options

      • OpenType/Adobe fonts now included in font list

    • Move tool

      • No longer resets "angle" displayed in status bar when mouse button is released

      • Angle now absolute, as opposed to relative to the beginning of the drag operation\

      • Can use arrow keys while mouse button is down (allows for precision control over rotations, moves, and scales)

    • Rotation (Move, Shapes) allows you to use the right mouse button to rotate, no matter where the mouse cursor is

    • "Edit-> Copy Merged" added (copies the pixels from all layers, not just the current layer)

    • Edit->Copy includes PNG format (Allows applications like Office to paste with full transparency information)

    • Image->Resize has improved supersampling quality

    • When opening an image (e.g. JPEG), the EXIF orientation/rotation metadata is now applied

    • Added a "Finish" (aka commit) button in the toolbar. It looks like a green check mark. This makes it much easier to discover how you finish a shape and then draw another one, for instance. Most of the non-brush tools support this (e.g. Move, Gradient, Magic Wand, Paint Bucket, Text)

  • UI

    • More languages (woo!)

    • Selections now outlined with "dancing ants"

    • Move tools have better UI for scaling, moving, and especially rotation

    • Indirect UI sliders now support "decorations" (ex: show gradient on lightness slider bar)

    • General UI

      • Utilities, Window, and Help menus simplified, moved to top-right corner

      • New settings dialog

      • Zoom slider moved to bottom right corner of status bar

      • Updated theming to a white, blue, flat motif

      • Choice between Light and Blue color schemes

    • Image thumbnail list

      • Now left-aligned

      • Doesn't move when you switch between certain tools

    • Main window, settings dialog now works in High Contrast mode on Windows 8/8.1

    • Each open image has a thumbnail preview (can be disabled in settings)

  • Controls

    • Drag-and-drop implemented for:

      • Image thumbnail list

      • Layers

    • Shift+Backspace fills selection with secondary color (Backspace fills with primary color)

    • Ctrl+Click on the Move Layer Up/Down buttons will now move a layer to the top/bottom

    • Can use the middle mouse button for panning at any time

    • Settings dialog can be accessed with Alt+X

    • Removed legacy Ctrl+Alt+0 keyboard shortcut for View->Zoom to Actual Size, as it was preventing some characters from working in the Text tool

  • System Requirements:

    • Windows 7 SP1 or newer is now required.

    • .NET framework 4.5 required (installs if needed)

    • Multi-core CPU highly recommended

  • Various bug fixes

  • Misc.

    • New exception/error dialog

    • Now shows up in "Default Programs" control panel so you can configure its file type associations (woo!)

    • UI text honors user's control panel settings for ClearType and anti-aliasing of text

    • Settings->Diagnostics includes "Copy to clipboard" button and "Open crash log folder" link

    • Improved remote desktop workflow (better drawing, some other stuff too)

    • Non-active images no longer update their thumbnails when you make changes in another image which affect them (e.g. if you leave an uncommited shape on image 1, then switch to image 2 and change the color)

Edited by Ultrapotassium
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Nice list!  It's a great starting point.


Paint Bucket has options to apply a blend mode.


Color Picker has six preset sampling sizes.


Recoloring Tool has two sampling options.


Fast Forward and Rewind buttons have been dropped from the History Window.


I'm sure there are loads more.

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Fast Forward and Rewind buttons have been dropped from the History Window.



I, for one, am thankful for this.  Nothing aggravates me when I accidentally clicks on the rewind button and have to wait until I reach the very beginning before I have to hit the fast forward to get back to where I was.

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Indirect UI slider controls now support "decorations":


Would be nice to provide a how to.


I can see some new ControlInfoPropertyNames


        SliderSmallChangeZ = 24,

        SliderLargeChangeZ = 25,

        UpDownIncrementZ = 26,

        SliderShowTickMarksZ = 27,

        Footnote = 28,

        RangeWraps = 29,

        ControlStyle = 30,

        ControlColors = 31,


and a




So I expect


       configUI.SetPropertyControlValue(sliderPropertyName, ControlInfoPropertyNames.ControlStyle, SliderControlStyle.XXX);


will activate the decorations


But how to set the colors?


And what does ControlInfoPropertyNames.Footnote mean?





midoras signature.gif

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Hardware acceleration makes stuff actually happen faster using different physical bits of your computer.  Think of it like a road you drive on.  Hardware acceleration is an extra lane going your way.

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Oh wow, it's been 4 years since I've been here (time sure flies by) and now there's paint.net 4 (coincidence? :D). I hope this post is alright, but I'm really happy you guys are still working on this software. I really prefer it over Photoshop and GIMP (ugh, I really hate that one tho).

Looking at the feature list, I'm surprised there's so much new stuff (here I thought paint.net is already stuffed with great features).

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