While you groan away, here’s some things to like about Paint.Net. Despite being Windows only (and requiring .Net 3.5), it supports layers, contains an automatic updater (which, in a moment of what can only be described as clear thinking, good design and sheer sanity, can be made to install the update once you’ve finished using the program), and a plethora of effects.
While it may not (yet) be as sophisticated as PaintShop, or GIMP, it is rapidly gaining ground on both. Professional designers may require the more sophisticated features of more established programs, but there is little missing that the casual user needs, and with an interface designed with the graphically challenged in mind (a category in which I firmly place myself) it’s quite easy to use. One interesting (and potentially invaluable) feature is the disk-based undo. Essentially, that means that the undo levels are infinite (or, at least, limited by the size of your hard drive). Which has made my life easy when scanning photos – click back on the history and suddenly, you’re back. No worrying about the undo stack being cleared because you’ve run out of memory, meaning you have to rescan all ten photographs again!
And unlike the other two we featured recently, this one is a lightweight – in download size, I mean – weighing in at only 3.5MB. Being .Net based, the same installer covers 32 and 64 bit versions, as well as 9 languages, including Russian, Chinese and Portuguese!
A final point, for coders like me, is that it handles DirectDraw surfaces. Now all I need is the graphics, an idea, a crash course in DirectX programming and a small heap of motivation and I can write a game now!