Most of you know by now that Paint.NET is one of my favorite image and photo editing solutions.  Of course it’s free which is part of the reason, but the big reason it ranks high on my list is because it’s basic yet offers some advanced, more powerful editing features.  To boot, it’s easy to understand and to use which is important. Yesterday they launched Paint.NET version 3.20 (no beta) with several new features, and of course the typical bug fixes. You can get it one of two ways – if you already have a version of Paint.NET installed, you go go to the Help menu in the program and click “Check for Updates.” If you don’t have it installed, you’ll want to go to and download it there.

The last beta release that we mentioned was version 3.10 which came out back in August. At that point, they introduced new features like the “soften portrait effect” and the “ink sketch effect” which makes a photo look like it was sketched by someone. Between then and now, they must have been working pretty hard because there are yet more new features to add to the list. Here’s what you’ll find in this final version:

  • Choose between a fixed ratio or a fixed size when you use the Rectangle Select tool
    paint net version 3
  • Look for the selection combination mode which is accessible from the toolbar
  • “Flood mode” for the Magic Wand and Paint Bucket tool are accessible from the toolbar (continuous or global)
  • Effects menu has been reorganized and all effects are classified under sub-menus
  • Enhanced “frosted glass” distortion effect
  • Enhanced “twist distortion” effect
  • and more…

The list of changes is actually quite long and if you’re interested in seeing exactly what all has been changed, just check out the Paint.NET blog. While this release adds all kinds of new features, I’m most excited for Paint.NET version 4.0 which is still a long ways away.  They say it’ll be released maybe in early to mid 2009 but it is going to be completely rewritten which according to their site “should enable such features as layer masks, adjustment layers, effect layers, composite layers, effect and adjustment chaining, soft selections, scripting and recorded actions, a completely new brush system,” and more. I can’t wait!