Completed GIMP vs. Paint.NET Review in 2024

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GIMP vs. Paint.NET

Why Do We Need This Full GIMP vs. Paint.NET Comparison?

If you are looking for a free and powerful image editor, both Gimp ad Pain.NET are top contenders.

However, if you compare GIMP vs. Paint.NET, you can spot some significant differences and similarities. So, it can be pretty tricky for you to distinguish the best option.

When selecting an image editing software, there are plenty of things to consider. However, for many individuals, it is a matter of deciding between free software or a paid program. If you go for paid image editing software, you should be prepared to pay a high price.

In general, none of the image editing software programs come with cheap price tags. So, choosing free software is always safer than purchasing the software.

If you are not a professional image editor, but you need to get a few images edited, what’s best? Honestly, choosing free software is a much wiser and safer option in this case.

However, paid software would do if you are looking for something with more power, more options, and professionalism. Whichever the fact is, trying out free software first is better. You can switch to paid software if it doesn’t provide what you expect.

But if you purchase software as the first step and it is too complicated, that’s an expensive mistake. So, as a general recommendation, we say trying out a free image editor would be a very smart approach.

After choosing free software, you will find two options called GIMP and Paint.NET. Both of these software tools are free, and many users across the globe widely use them.

If both options are good and come with plenty of features, which one should you prefer? This is the exact question we are going to answer. In other words, we intend to compare GIMP vs. Paint.NET so our readers can get a clear idea.

PS: You will learn more about the best face makeup editors.

Part 01: Introduction to GIMP and Paint.NET

Before we read the comparison between GIMP and Paint.NET, let’s take a look at a brief introduction to them.



GIMP is an abbreviation. It represents the term GNU Image Manipulation Program. Many users consider GIMP one of the most powerful free image editors in the industry. It is a great free alternative to professional software like Adobe Photoshop. You can use GIMP to change the looks of a photo in various ways.

For instance, GIMP can correct colors, apply gradients, create collage artwork, soften noise, and perform many other tasks. Developers of GIMP usually offer updates constantly, and the software is advancing daily.

Many Photoshop plugins work seamlessly with GIMP. All these characteristics make GIMP fantastic software that can edit images. It can be placed ahead of many paid, expensive image editing programs.

For many reasons, GIMP can be considered a strong contender to Adobe Photoshop. The combination of many tools and features makes it an exceptional choice. As mentioned before, it has the great advantage of constantly being updated by the developers.

Pros of GIMP

  • It is completely free
  • This product is packed with a broad range of features and tools
  • It can change the functionality
  • It is compatible with different file types
  • Constant support from the developers
  • A very friendly user interface, even for beginners
  • No ads to disrupt the user experience
  • Open Source Code

Cons of GIMP

  • It comprises substantially fewer features and tools compared to Photoshop



Paint.NET is another free image editing platform that supports Windows OS. This was earlier introduced to be a substitution for Microsoft Paint. This handy software has become popular today, particularly among image editors.

You can learn it pretty conveniently, comprising various photo correction tools. It helps you enhance the quality of an image while retaining the quality. If you have just begun your career as a photographer, Paint.NET can be a great option to consider.

Trying a free tool like Paint.NET is wiser than investing in expensive software packages like Adobe Photoshop; trying a free tool like Paint.NET is wiser. After considering all the features associated with this software, we suggest this to be a good image editor.

One of the most noticeable features of this software is that it has a relatively convenient user interface. Indeed, this image doesn’t have sophisticated features like Photoshop. However, it has some cool features that can get a good job done at the end of the day.

Pros of Paint.NET

  • It is free
  • Convenient user-interface
  • Comprises of number of effects and features
  • Various plugins
  • The neatly organized UI design
  • Plenty of tutorials to find
  • It supports different file formats

Cons of Paint.NET

  • A limited number of brushes
  • It doesn’t have a burn and dodge tool
  • Cannot correct text once the effects are applied

Part 02: Comparison of GIMP vs. Paint.NET

As mentioned before, the purpose of this article is to compare GIMP vs. Paint.NET to give a better idea. With that said, now let’s compare the features of each of these image editors for your convenience.

1. Basic Details

Although Paint.NET is considered a successor to the tool called ‘Microsoft Paint,’ it has some advanced features. This program is developed to be compatible with Windows. You can download the program from their websites (developers).

In addition to that, you can easily buy the same through Microsoft Store. However, going for the paid program is optional. If you don’t want to pay, that’s fine with them.

When it comes to GIMP, it is available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS as well. It comes with high power, and many individuals consider it a superb alternative to Adobe Photoshop. However, it requires you to learn a bit. If you are an absolute beginner, you may have to spend some time learning GIMP’s features.

2. The Interface of the Software

When you look at the interfaces of both programs, there is a significant difference. Paint.NET comes with a classic Windows appearance.

However, on the other hand, GIMP comes with a more complex and off-putting (but dynamic) appearance. This is probably because GIMP is also developed to be compatible with other platforms.


The interface has become a decisive factor when selecting one over the other. Things look pretty complicated, especially when GIMP opens up its features in multiple Windows. However, it is now stacked into a single-window mode as well. Still, the interface can be broken into several parts if you prefer.

If you are a Windows user, however, GIMP comes with a relatively complex and unfamiliar feel. Because of this factor, novice users might take considerable time to learn it.

Paint.NET, on the other hand, comes with a simplified and limited interface. It can show and hide different types of tool panels. In addition to that, there are several color schemes to select from. Overall, the interface of Paint.NET is ahead of GIMP in this case.

3. Feature Comparison

Regarding sophistication and power, there is no doubt that GIMP is the winner. However, that doesn’t mean that GIMP is better than Paint.NET. Both of these programs support layers, which is very handy in image editing.

In addition to that, both of these programs comprise necessary image editing tools. The inclusion of these tools is perfect for regular image editing tasks because of the inclusion of these tools.

With that said, look at the menus, toolbars, and other aspects of GIMP. You will quickly realize that GIMP has more of a feature-rich interface. In addition to that, there are plenty of tools that are pretty similar to Photoshop. For instance, take the healing brush of Photoshop; it is available in GIMP as well.

In addition to that, it comprises other tools like a perspective tool. Besides, GIMP is also packed with convenient color correction and level adjustment tools. Path creation, masking, and several other handy tools are included in the GIMP image editing platform.

So, despite the relatively steep learning curve it requires, GIMP is an excellent alternative to Photoshop.

But, again, Paint.NET has pretty much all the basics required to do basic image editing. If you are creative enough, you can make the best use of Paint.NET without much effort.

It supports the layer functionality (but it is essential compared to the layer feature of GIMP). Plenty of filters, special effects, and image adjustment options are included in Paint.NET.

Both of these programs comprise brushes as well. However, in this case, GIMP comes with a better approach. It has some advanced brushes that are pretty similar to Photoshop. You can consider both Paint.NET and GIMP to be image editors. However, the number of tools and features included in GIMP ensures that it can create original photos more effectively.

4. Plugins

The features and capabilities associated with both of these programs can be enhanced by using plugins. Well, when it comes to plugins, both of these tools comprise a large range of plugins.

In Paint.NET, there is a large library of plugins that comprises plugin packs as well as individual plugins. You should only drag and drop some of these plugins into the respective folders to install them.

So, the developers have made things easier for you. However, this option works only if the respective plugin is developed to be compatible with Paint.NET.

When it comes to GIMP, the use of plugins can make it a very powerful software. That is particularly because it supports Photoshop plugins as well.

In other words, you can extend the abilities of GIMP simply by using Photoshop plugins. However, not all those plugins might work to perfection. Still, it is worth giving it a try.

5. Performance and User-convenience

When you edit an image and process graphics, that can impact hugely on the processor. So, your image editing software can expect better performance if your computer has high-end specifications. With that said, when you compare the performance of the two software programs, Paint.NET is the winner.

That is because it has a lightweight interface. Paint.NET can work smoothly, even on older hardware pieces. However, if you intend to make the best use of an image editor, use an updated computer.

GIMP is a superb software that is packed with lots of features. So, it is easy to guess that GIMP requires better computer hardware to work smoothly. When it comes to accessibility, however, Paint.NET stays ahead.

GIMP requires users to learn its features, functionalities, and menus. However, once you have mastered all those tools, you can use what you have learned best. In other words, it will pay you back if you spend some time learning GIMP.

In a nutshell, GIMP has a relatively complex UI, but that is because of the large number of features. On the other hand, Paint.NET has a simplified interface with relatively fewer features. But, again, both of these tools are ideal for getting some basic image editing work done.

6. Updates

When it comes to Paint.NET, it is handled by a single person. Although the development team is rather a tiny one, they promptly offer fair amounts of updates. They address the issues very quickly and regularly improve the software’s performance. That is exactly why they are maintaining a good reputation.

GIMP, too, offers very frequent updates and is famous for it. They also provide insight into the future developments of their platform.


1. Can I use GIMP or Paint.NET for commercial purposes? Yes, both GIMP and Paint.NET allow commercial use. However, Paint.NET requires a nominal fee for commercial licensing.

2. Can GIMP or Paint.NET open Photoshop files (PSD)? GIMP has built-in support for opening and editing PSD files. Paint.NET does not have native support but can open PSD files with the help of plugins.

3. Are there any alternatives to GIMP and Paint.NET? Yes, there are several alternatives available, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Affinity Photo, and Corel PaintShop Pro.

4. Can I use GIMP or Paint.NET on a Mac computer? GIMP is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux. Paint.NET, however, is only available for Windows.

5. Can I uninstall GIMP or Paint.NET if I no longer need them? Yes, both GIMP and Paint.NET can be uninstalled like any other software on your computer.


In the battle of GIMP vs. Paint.NET, both software options have their strengths and weaknesses. GIMP caters to professionals and advanced users with its extensive features and customization options, while Paint.NET provides a more user-friendly experience for beginners and casual users.

Consider your specific needs, budget, and level of expertise when choosing between the two. Ultimately, the right choice depends on the complexity of your editing tasks and your comfort with the software’s interface and workflow.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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