Download of the day: Paint.NET

Our daily pick of the best free Windows software – a powerful editor for retouching your photos in seconds

Paint.NET is an incredibly advanced free photo editor. It includes layers, filters, advanced color adjustments and a wealth of automatic tools for retouching and perfecting your pictures.

Download Paint NET

Paint.NET includes all the essential tools you need to get your pictures looking great, including automatic red eye removal, a clone stamp for removing blemishes, and one-click optimization of levels, brightness and contrast. Alternatively, if you'd rather get hands-on, its advanced options give you complete manual control – the choice is yours.

Why you need it

With Paint.NET you can sharpen unfocused images, remove noise, fine-tune colors, smooth, crop and zoom to achieve professional-looking results. There's also a powerful magic wand tool for selecting and editing areas of similar colors, dramatic zoom blur effects, and a unique 3D perspective tool.

Paint.NET's interface will be familiar to anyone who's used Adobe Photoshop or other premium photo editors, but it's intuitive enough for complete newcomers to grasp quickly. All the common tools are presented as icons in panel on the left, with filters and other adjustments in simple drop-down menus along the top.

Once your photos are looking good, you can get creative with Instagram-style vintage effects using the vignette and sepia filters to give a retro look. Paint.NET also supports user-created plugins, which add even more filters and functions. We're particularly fond of the Liquify extension, which lets you warp images just like the Photoshop tool of the same name and is ideal for fine-tuning portrait photos.

Best of all, Paint.NET records every change you make in a list that's only limited by the space on your hard drive, and lets you undo and redo as many changes as you want at any time.

Key features

  • Layers
  • Automatic photo-enhancing tools
  • Plugins and extra filters
  • Unlimited undo list

Works on

Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10

Price

Free

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cat is TechRadar's downloads editor. She's been a tech journalist for six years on magazines including PC Plus, Official Windows, PC Format and Windows: Help & Advice (with a brief stint in PR for the nuclear industry in between). If you have a question about software, drop her a line!