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Text tool redux... and some other stuff.


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Couple things I was thinking about while using Paint.NET to design images for my website...

  • [*:61d59]Text Anti-Aliasing:
    Apparently the text tool currently implemented in Paint.NET utilizes the Windows ClearType text renderer to anti-alias the text. If the ClearType render is disabled, you get plain, raster text. Would it be possible to make an in-program anti-aliasing engine that anti-aliases better than ClearType, or at the very least anti-aliases with or without ClearType enabled?
    [*:61d59]Text Independence:
    Like in Adobe Photoshop, text is first recognized by the program as an indpendent, editable object. Until the user rasterizes the text, it is fully editable and transformable. Would it be possible to implement a similar feature in Paint.NET?
    [*:61d59]The Other Stuff:
    Object scaling is a lot smoother in applications like Adobe Photoshop. When I copy images into Paint.NET, and resize them to fit, they tend to look out of place and "unsmoothed." Would that feature be possible?

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1. Text AA -- First, one must recognize that there are 3 AA settings in Windows XP/2003: off, normal, and ClearType. We use the second ability (normal). ClearType refers to a method of anti-aliasing that takes advantage of the physical layout of RGB sub-pixels on LCD screens. So, we do not use ClearType. However, you are correct in that if AA is disabled in the Windows setting, or if you are using Paint.NET via Remote Desktop / Terminal Services, then you get no anti-aliasing. This is something I've been unable to find a documented workaround for using GDI, and for a future version we're going to look into using something like FreeType 2. For now we have information in the Help file telling the user that they should enable the setting globally in Windows, but of course that sucks. [The undocumented workaround I have refers to using the CLEARTYPE_NATURAL_QUALITY font smoothing setting; it's only available in Windows XP or later, and doesn't work the way it sounds (it doesn't use ClearType), and it also doesn't get you AA while in a RDC / TS session. And since it's not documented, I'm not actually sure that it's doing what I want it to do and I can only call it a 'workaround' based on empirical evidence.]

2. Yes, it would be possible, but not for awhile. There's a lot of plumbing work that would have to be done in order to accomplish this. We'd love to do it, and it's something we've had on "the list" for awhile, but it will take time. The release of .NET 2.0 includes some added features to C# that will make this much more possible.

3. We use bilinear resampling when you transform pixels using the Move Selected Pixels tool. We use nearest neighbor resampling while you are interacting with the selection, for enormous performance reasons. We could use bicubic, but that is much more complicated and we just didn't have the time to figure it out and implement it for v2.5.

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

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

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