Paint.COM image editor (Paint.NET wannabe?)

paintcom_icon Yet another (keep them coming) suggestion from my Skribit widget “compare the new RealWorld Paint.COM with older free image editors” by Anonymous. In my opinion calling software around old is good way to get your… executable kicked.

So Paint.COM claims to be free image editor with above average functionality and name that is somewhat similar to Paint.NET. Let’s see how it lives up to claims.

Installation

Home page has a brief introduction (lots of smart words, who would even consider downloading image editor without gamma-aware blending and color gradient interpolation) and download link. While link says MSI in file name actual file is EXE. Which is pretty good sign of malware so I spent few extra minutes running it through VirusTotal – came up clean. I was not first to submit file by the way.

Setup package kept crashing, showing DOS window with cryptic “doesn’t fit in memory” error so I had to unpack it with Universal Extractor.

Update: it seems that file downloaded is supposed to be MSI and works fine but for some weird reason it gets renamed when I download it with my copy of Opera.

Interface

Interface is generic with sidebar and numerous toolbars.

paintcom_interface

Toolbars can be toggled and dragged around but that’s about it. Plenty of buttons to press. Good for first impression, bad for productivity.

What I need

I am no image editing expert so I focused on what I need most – functions related to screenshoting.

  • selection set of tools – good;
  • some border effects – nice;
  • canvas size tool is – extremely bad;
  • no history – deal-breaker.

Overall

Aside from installation problems Paint.COM suffers from poor targeting.

  • Novice users are hardly interested in advanced color manipulation and Photoshop filter support. They could really use good history function and cleaner interface instead.
  • Advanced users will go and pirate buy Photoshop.

Solid freeware app, but simply being solid is not enough to stand out among image editors. It is a tough niche.

Home&download http://www.rw-designer.com/image-editor

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18 Comments

  • For simplicity, I prefer Paint.NET simply because it’s really lightweight, and you’re right, as far as screenshots go, coupled with Evernote’s screenshot app (lets you set boundaries) it’s a great way to put together some nifty screenshots without resorting to popping open Photoshop.

    However, as far as more powerful image editing applications go, I doubt anything will be able to push Photoshop out of the top spot.

  • @Angelo

    Yeah, average user is kinda missing in image editing. People need either something very basic – and it is really hard to put together app easy to use for novice. Or they are pro and need high-level stuff.

    By the way Paint.NET is not really lightweight. :) Relatively small distribution size but it’s (relatively) resource hog itself, especially when working with multiply images.

  • I still use the freeware version of FastStone Capture for all my screen-capturing needs, including minor edit (arrow, label and such). Is there something I’m missing if I’m not using Paint.NET?

  • That’s definitely true, but it lies somewhere between Paint and Photoshop, which is exactly what I need most days :P

  • @MK

    I use FSCapture myself and wrote about it in screenshoting series. :) They complement each other: Capture is awesome screenshot grabber, Paint.NET is good and easy to use editor. It is easier to work with image compression in Paint.NET as well.

    @Angelo

    Probably farther from Photoshop. Paint.NET is what Paint should be. :)

  • Right now i am using pirated Photoshop CS3

    Will also check this.

  • @Nihar

    Check Paint.NET one. :) This review was done on suggestion, not something I use daily.

  • .msi is actually a bit safer than .exe
    You can learn about it for example here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Installer

    It is strange that you had problems installing it, there might be something wrong or non-standard with your Windows…

  • @Vlasta

    I am aware what MSI is, I was referring to mismatch between link and actual download.

    Strange or not I hadn’t problems installing software for months (and back then it was Java-related). And I try a lot of apps. :)

  • That really is suspicious – did you download it from the homepage or from another source? Maybe someone has tampered with it…

  • @Vlasta

    Yep, downloaded from home page (and re-downloaded). I also mentioned that I had checked it with VirusTotal and it was in database so it’s unlikely that file was corrupted.

    I don’t have much love for MSI by the way and when that gets stuffed in EXE I suspect things can get wacky.

  • hm, I downloaded it with Firefox, IE, Opera and G-Chrome and I always got .msi. If I manually rename it to .exe and run it, I get the error you mentioned in the article. Are you using some kind of download accelerator that can be blamed for the renaming?

  • @Vlasta

    Checked in Firefox, got msi. Still getting exe in Opera. Most weird.

    I have trouble imaging what can cause such, really strange redirect directive on server?..

  • Hm, it might be due to mime type (application/x-msdownload) sent by the server… Maybe Opera is changes the extension by the mime type, but who knows for sure?

  • @Vlasta

    Maybe, only I use 9.63 and hadn’t ever problems downloading MSI files. So weird anyway.

  • That it is. I had 9.51 and it worked correctly and after upgrading to 9.63, it still works correctly ;-).

  • @Vlasta

    Well, let’s conclude that server doesn’t like my Opera. I’ve updated post.

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