After such a long span between the releases of 3.36 and 3.5, many had thought that the days of meaningful change to the Paint.Net application were over. Some people who had been proponents of the program had decided it was time to return to older favorites like GIMP. One look at the newest versions of MS Paint in Windows 7 showed that it was not going to please anyone familiar with Paint.Net.

Then the last five months has given a run of 3 releases of the program, all showing fixes and steps forward along the path that the developers are describing to major revision 4.

From the project website, there is a fair list of changes –

Paint.NET v3.5.2 Download, released on January 4th, 2010

This update resolves some feature disparities in the Text tool between GDI (XP) and DirectWrite (Win7/Vista). It also improves overall performance, as well as the correctness and quality of the Move Selected Pixels tool, the Image->Resize function, and the Hue/Saturation adjustment.

  • All font face variants (e.g., Arial vs. Arial Narrow) are now available with the Text tool in Win7/Vista with DirectWrite.
  • Bitmap font types (e.g. Courier, Terminal, Fixedsys) are now available with the Text tool in Win7/Vista.
  • Fixed some bad text kerning with the Text tool at small font sizes when antialiasing was turned off.
  • For the Image->Resize function, the quality, correctness, and performance of Bilinear and Bicubic sampling modes have been improved. Super Sampling also has some performance improvement.
  • Improved the rendering quality for the Hue/Saturation adjustment. Also made a new icon for it.
  • Fixed many subtle rendering issues with the Move Selected Pixels tool. These were apparent when flipping or rotating a selected area.
  • Fixed: The Line/Curve tool was applying pixel snapping to the curve nodes, which caused lines to “bend” when using the Shift key to constrain the angle.
  • Fixed some extraneous CPU usage related to unnecessary or redundant thumbnail updates.
  • Fixed a few dialogs that looked wrong with Aero glass with Remote Desktop or Virtual PC.
  • Fixed a nasty memory leak with Flatten followed by Undo.
  • Fixed some issues related to effects that took awhile to cancel. As it turns out, drag-and-drop was enabled at this time, which easily lead to crashes or hangs.
  • Some Win7 systems could not detect that .NET 3.5 SP1 was installed, even though it was. A fallback detection function has been added.
  • For plugin authors, the Effect class now has a pollable IsCancelRequested property. This can be used to improve responsiveness for expensive OnSetRenderInfo() implementations which are otherwise non-interruptible.
  • For plugin authors, the Surface.FitSurface() method is now optimized to use multiple threads, which improves performance.

So, some great fixes, moves to making the project work better with Windows 7, and other small changes to keep the program moving forward on the newer platforms.

The changed version seems to have no problems with Windows XP, for it is working fine on my system (this one) with nothing giving any difficulties.

With the next major revision being planned as a big one, this may be the last non- developmental build for some time. The site gives a target date for version 4.0 as 2011.

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I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.

– Voltaire