The following is intended as an introduction to Paint.Net and an explanation of how to use the main tools. It is not meant as a guide to fixing images, because I am still very much a beginner in this area. More information can be obtained from the material in the Help file, and the tutorials and helpful hints in the on-line Forum. Those of you, who have already done some editing with Photoshop or other imaging programs, will find it much easier than those just starting out. If you don’t want to do any more than a slight tweaking, straightening and cropping of your photos then a program like Picasa is probably all you really need. If you want more control over the results, you need an imaging and photo manipulation program like Paint.Net.

Open the program by clicking on the Paint.Net icon on your desktop or go to Start>All programs>Paint.Net
The program opens with a blank page and 4 floating utility windows – Tools, History, Layers and Colors. If you don’t see these, go to Windows in the menu bar and select them from the drop down menu. These palette windows can be made translucent by ticking that option in the drop down menu. I recommend that before you look at the following projects you familiarise yourself with the menu and tool items and their functions. Click on Help in the Menu bar and then on Help topics or you can hit the F1 key on your keyboard. In the help pages, clicking on any of the items listed on the left-hand side will present you with a page explaining what the item is and its use. When you select any of the tools in the tools palette a brief tool tip will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the main window giving you the name of the tool, what it does and how to use it. I have put together a Step-by-step guide for 3 projects to show you how I have used the program. As with any computer software there is always more than one way of doing things.

Download pdf A Guide to Paint.Net