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Popular Feature Requests

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In here I will start documenting all of the popular feature requests and possibly status on them. If a feature you want is in this list, do not make a new post asking for it again. Your thread will be locked and/or deleted. The fact that the feature is on the list means that we have heard everyone's requests and pleas: the point of this list is to reduce duplicate and redundant forum traffic. Also, if a feature is on this list, it does not necessarily mean we will be adding it to Paint.NET.

I'll say it again: If the feature you want is on this list, do not open a new thread to ask for it or to discuss it. If it's on this list then either: (1) the feature is so simple or obvious that no discussion is really warranted and I'd rather you find something new and more productive to talk about, or (2) the feature has already been discussed to death and we have no need for any further information -- we've already heard it all and any more discussion is painful.

I will revise this list as I see or remember features that are commonly requested.

* ETA stands for Estimated Time of Arrival. By saying "No ETA" I'm basically stating that we currently have no plan for when this feature will be implemented. This doesn't mean "not gonna happen" but it also is not a promise that it will happen. Please remember that Paint.NET is developed in my spare time, and as such scheduling and planning are not scientific. So everyone, please stop asking what "ETA" means.

Pressure sensitivity for pens and drawing tablets -- This was removed in v3.5, but is now back in v5.0.

"Ribbon" interface like Office 2007 -- Nope, not happening. I have evaluated it, and it just wouldn't fit well enough, and I have other (better :)) ideas for the UI. Also, the ribbon UI isn't something that should just be slapped onto every application. See this blog post for more information, https://www.interact-sw.co.uk/iangblog/2006/05/26/ribboncargocult

Plugin Manager / "Get Addins" -- Looking into this for a post-4.0 release. At the very least we should finally be able to end all the questions of "how do I install a plugin?"

Custom brushes -- This is requested a lot. Implementing this properly depends on having a new rendering architecture which is part of what I'm planning to do for Paint.NET v4.0. For now, you should check out the excellent Brush Factory plugin by Joshua Lamusga. Currently planning this for a 5.x release.

Shapes - Right now only lines, curves, rectangles, ellipse, and crude freeform polygons are supported. I plan on adding support for many more shapes, as well as custom shapes, for 4.0. Update: Added in 4.0 (shapes) and 4.0.6 (custom shapes).

Smudge Tool - Planned for inclusion as a tool at some point, based on pyrochild's excellent plugin. For now, please use his plugin.

Magnetic Lasso - This is requested a lot. No ETA, unfortunately.

Polygonal lasso / selection tool - At some point, yes. Not sure when though (no ETA).

Scrolling past the edge of the canvas when zoomed in -- Right now when you zoom in on the image, you can only scroll to the edge of the image. It can be inconvenient because then you have no space between the image and the scroll bars. Implementing this is dependent on some other "plumbing" work that should be done for the image canvas' rendering, and this will be taken into account when that work is being done. No ETA though, but hopefully in v4.0. Update: The canvas in 4.0 has been completely rewritten, and it is now possible for me to implement thisUpdate: Added in 4.0.10.

RAW file format support -- No built-in support is planned. There are many plugins for this, however.

Support for 1-bit or 4-bit per pixel saving (PNG, BMP, etc.) This was completed for 4.2.13. You get 4-bit support for PNG, BMP, TIFF, then 2-bit for PNG, and 1-bit for PNG, BMP, TIFF.

Ability to re-edit text, or "text layers", or some variation thereof -- This an enormous work item due to other plumbing that must be in place to enable it. This falls into the "yes I agree, and hopefully we'll have it someday." No solid ETA, but planned for a 5.0 or 5.x release. This is getting closer to reality, so hang in there.

Adjustment layers -- I want this too. I have some cool ideas in this space, but no ETA.

CMYK support -- Not gonna happen. If you really need good software for working with images for printing, or need to work at a professional level, then I must honestly point you towards Adobe Photoshop.

Layer "folders", or the ability to organize layers in a hierarchy -- I want this too, and it depends on some major plumbing work being done. This would be a v5.0 / v5.x feature. No ETA.

Auto-Save -- For example, Paint.NET will save every 5 minutes (for example) to better prevent data loss. Technical feasibility is low for the current design of Paint.NET (at least not without really annoying the user), but a future version could enable it. I've started laying the groundwork since 2020, but this would have to be a 5.0 / 5.x feature. No ETA.

Save All -- This was added in 4.2.

Hardware acceleration (GPU) - The canvas in 4.0 has already been rewritten to use Direct2D, some effects were moved over to the GPU in v4.1, and in 5.0 this has been greatly expanded to most effects and adjustments, much more of the main UI, as well as a new GPU-based effect plugin system.

Mac or Linux support - Never. See the FAQ.


Dark Theme - paint.net respects the currently selected Window's theme. Update: Added in 4.0.20.


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