How to Open, Edit and Save PSD Files with Paint.NET

When it comes to editing images the first thing that comes to our minds is Photoshop – at least to the generation that grew up in the first decade of this century. But there are many other alternatives to the very popular commercial software from Adobe. For example, the open source GIMP is as good as Photoshop if you do not mind a slightly difference interface. The free Paint.NET software is also very good and provides with all the expected image editing functions.

Even though GIMP and Paint.NET are gaining popularity among the Windows’ users, the Photoshop still dominated the image editors. It is because of this, the PSD file format has become a de-facto standard for interchanging multiple layer images across various image editors. Unfortunately, the Paint.NET does not support this PSD file format by itself.

Paint.NET PSD Plugin

So does it mean that you would have to purchase the Adobe Photoshop software just for the sake of accessing a PSD file? Absolutely, no. In fact, you can install a plugin designed for the Paint.NET and give it the ability to view, edit and save the PSD files.

The plugin is called Paint.NET PSD Plugin. You can download it from its CodePlex web site. You have to extract the PhotoShop.DLL file from the downloaded archive into the FileTypes sub-folder of the Paint.NET installation folder. For most of the users, it would be the C:\Program Files\\FileTypes folder.

Paint.NET PSD Plugin

Once this file is in place, you can re-launch the Paint.NET once again. You can now open the PSD files, edit multiple layers of the PSD file, modify it as you like, save it as PSD or save it in any other image formats.

You can download the Paint.NET PSD Plugin from