Completed GIMP vs. Paint.NET Review in 2021

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 as well as some similarities. So, it can be pretty tricky for you to distinguish the best option.

When it comes to selecting an image editing software, there’s plenty of things to consider. However, for many individuals, it is a matter of deciding between a free software or a paid program. If you go for a 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? Well, honestly, choosing free software is a much wiser and safer option in this case. However, if you are looking for something with more power, more options, and professionalism, a paid software would do. Whichever the fact is, trying out a free software first is better. If it doesn’t provide what you expect, you can switch for paid software. 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 deciding to go with 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 the options are good and they come with plenty of features, which one should you prefer? In fact, 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.

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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 of them.


Basically, GIMP is an abbreviation. It represents the term GNU Image Manipulation Program. Many of the users consider GIMP to be 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 artworks, soften noise, and perform many other tasks. Developers of GIMP usually offer updates constantly, and the software is advancing day by day. Many of the Photoshop plugins work seamlessly with GIMP. All these characteristics make GIMP fantastic software that can edit images. In fact, it can be placed ahead of many paid expensive image editing programs.

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

Pros of GIMP

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

Cons of GIMP

  • It comprises of substantially fewer features and tools compared to Photoshop


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

You can learn it pretty conveniently, and it comprises of 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. Before 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. It is true that this image doesn’t have sophisticated features like Photoshop. However, it has some really cool features that can get a good job done at the end of the day.

Pros of Paint.NET

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

Cons of Paint.NET

  • A limited number of brushes
  • 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 to be 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 (developer’s). 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 just 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 to learn GIMP’s features.

2. The interface of the software

When you take a look at the interfaces of both of these programs, there is a significant difference. In fact, 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 developed to be compatible with other platforms as well.

As a matter of fact, the interface has become more of a decisive factor when selecting one over the other. Especially when GIMP opens up its features in multiple Windows, things look pretty complicated. However, it is now stacked into a single-window mode as well. Still, the interface can be broken into several parts if you prefer it. Well, if you are a Windows user, however, GIMP comes with a relatively complex and unfamiliar feel. Because of this factor, novice users might take a considerable amount of 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

When it comes to 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 the functionality called layers, which is very handy in image editing. In addition to that, both of these programs comprise of necessary image editing tools. Because of the inclusion of these tools, they are perfect for regular image editing tasks.

With that said, take a 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 of 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 a good alternative to Photoshop.

But, again, Paint.NET too has pretty much all the basics required to do a basic image editing. As long as 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). There are plenty of filters, special effects, and image adjustment options included in Paint.NET.

Both of these programs comprise of 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 assures that it can create original photos more effectively.

4. Plugins

In fact, 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 of a large range of plugins as well. In Paint.NET, there is a large library of plugins which comprises of plugin packs as well as individual plugins. To install some of these plugins, you should only drag and drop them into the respective folders. 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 a try.

5. Performance and user-convenience

When you edit an image and process graphics, that can impact hugely on the processor. So, you can expect better performance from your image editing software if your computer has high-end specifications. With that said, when you compare the performance of the two software programs, Paint.NET is a winner. That is because it has a lightweight interface. Paint.NET can work smoothly even on the 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 the accessibility, however, Paint.NET stays ahead. GIMP requires users to spend some time learning its features, functionalities, and menus. However, once you have mastered all those tools, you can make the best use of what you have learned. In other words, it will pay you off 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 a relatively fewer number of 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 offer fair amounts of updates in a timely manner. They address the issues very quickly and improve the performance of the software on a regular basis. That is exactly why they are maintaining a good reputation.

GIMP too offer very frequent updates, and they are famous for it. They also offer an insight into the future developments of their platform.

Well, that’s our GIMP vs. Paint.NET comparison. We hope that this article comprises useful information. Please leave us a comment if you have any doubts. Also, learn more about  Inkscape Review from here.