New Paint.NET 4.0 alpha adds Bezier curve, tweaks status bar

Two months after the initial alpha release, dotPDN LLC has released a brand new build of Paint.NET 4.0 Alpha, its free image-editing tool for Windows. Build 5105 of this pre-release software includes a number of tweaks, improvements as well as the usual flurry of bug fixes associated with pre-release software.

Only one new feature is added to build 5105: a Bezier curve can now be applied using Paint.NET’s Shapes tool. Users should also find both line and curved shapes now work when the rounded line cap styles is applied.

Tweaks include the status bar updating the selection measurement information when an image’s resolution is changed. The move tool also no longer resets the angle displayed in the status bar when users let go of the mouse -- this measurement is now absolute rather than relative as it was previously.

The Move tools also permit users to use the arrow keys even when the mouse button is depressed, which makes it possible to control rotation, move and scale operations with finer precision. The settings dialog box can also now be quickly accessed via the [Alt] + [X] keyboard shortcut.

The setup application now installs a later version of the .NET Framework if required (4.5.1 over 4.5), while the program’s download size has been reduced by 116KB. Windows 8 and 8.1 users will also be able to use the main window when in High Contrast visibility mode.

Notable fixes include the text tool now correctly rendering strikethrough characters, while it no longer misinterprets keyboard shortcuts such as [Alt] + [9] as the [Home] key. Certain effects no longer display an empty progress bar in the status bar.

Other fixes include the Language dropdown under Settings no longer displaying blank information, plus a "pseudo-crash" that occasionally occurred when a user immediately clicked and dragged after a pasting operation. One final exit crash -- related to Direct2D and WARP -- has also been fixed.

Paint.NET 4.0 Alpha Build 5105 is available now as a free download for dual-core (or better) PCs running Windows 7 or later. The usual warnings about using pre-release software (particularly alpha software) apply: don’t rely on the program for day-to-day use and back up any image files before editing them in the program. The latest stable release -- Paint.NET 3.5.11 -- is available for PCs running Windows XP or later.

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