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Is Paint.net right for me?

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Hi all,

This is my first post, so I'll try to be brief - I'm looking to get a free program for editing digital photos for personal use only. I'd like something which allows me to do all the very basic stuff, such as crops, rotations etc, and also adding filters and effects. I'm not really looking for anything in the area of graphic design or similar. I've heard Paint.net get great reviews, but so does PhotoFiltre, the Gimp (although I'm a beginner and I've heard this is hard for newbies), PhotoPlus 6, and others been heavily praised too.

So, if possible without being biased, do you think Paint.net is right for me, or would I be best with an alternative (I'm probably most tempted by PHotoFiltre, of the alternatives).

Thanks very much for any replies!

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I would recommend Photoshop if it were for the professional use I'm thinking of. If have a tablet and a good artistic mind, go for GIMP . It's the closest thing to Photoshop you can get, but it has a very bulky interface. I've hardly heard of PhotoFiltre... or PhotoPlus.

Go for Paint.NET

"The greatest thing about the Internet is that you can write anything you want and give it a false source." ~Ezra Pound

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My recommendation would depend on what kind of filters and effects you're going for. If you just want basic photo manipulation, management, and effects such as sepia, tints, etc. I'd say go with Google Picasa. If, however, you're wanting to do advanced edits to your pictures, I'd highly recommend Paint.NET. One thing to keep in mind is that not all image editors/managers are the same or have the same purpose, with that thought in mind, it may not be a bad idea to download a couple different ones and give them a try, if you like it, keep it, if not, try another. I'd recommend you start with the above two and make your way from there.

Hope that helps!

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I tried to use GIMP a while ago before I ever even heard of Paint.NET and I could not get the hang of it. I was stuck trying to do simple things like draw lines and flood fill. Paint.NET is very easy to pick up and things are categorized very well for easy navigation.

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I think PDN would be a good fit for you. It's lightweight, fast, and free. If nothing else, you can try it out, then uninstall if you find it's not what you're looking for.

It can handle those simple editing tasks with ease, and you can Brightness / Contrast or Hue / Saturation adjust to your heart's content. Then there's the Plugins that many users have created that apply effects to your images, such as BoltBait's Portrait effect or Rick's own Glow effect.

Of all the programs you listed, I've only used 2: GIMP and PDN.

If you're planning on getting more heavily into graphics editing, then learning The GIMP's interface wouldn't be a waste of time. I've used The GIMP professionally (read: to do my job) for the last couple of years. It's a great piece of software, but there is a learning curve involved.

If all you need to do is rotate, crop, and color-adjust photos, PDN will suit your needs with boatloads of features to spare.

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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