I was working with some custom theme files for WordPress and found I needed to be able to edit Photoshop PSD files in Paint.NET and found a plug-in and some instructions on how to get Paint.NET to open Adobe Photoshop PSD files. The original article I found was on a site called Digitizor and I am going to go into a little more detail with my readers than the original post there.
The first steps to opening PSD files with Paint.Net are to do the following:
- Step 1 – Download the Paint.Net Photoshop Plugin
- Step 2- Put this Photoshop.dll file inside your Paint.Net installation folder under the “FileTypes” sub folder.
eg. copy Photoshop.dll to C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\FileTypes
- Step 3 – Start up or Restart Paint.NET
The good news is that Paint.NET understands all of the Photoshop PSD file layers and will show you each layer to make it easier to do edits and make changes, but the bad news is that when you open a PSD file with Paint.NET it will not always have the layers in the right order. If you open a PSD file with Paint.NET that has many layers this can make it very hard to figure out what the original layer order is supposed to be so that you can slide the layers around to get the image to look correctly. If the wrong layers are on top, then underlying layers will be visibly blocked.
Fortunately for the file I was working with, there were only six layers and it wasn’t hard to decipher and re-order the layers so the image was correct. But for people who haven’t purchased Adobe Photoshop Paint.NET is a fantastic freeware image editing tool that most people can get by with without needing the full featured photoshop. This plug-in which allows you to edit or save to .psd files so that you can work with photoshop format files or save to them so you can share in that format only makes it more valuable as a freeware image editing tool.
I have done previous posts on Paint.NET and you can find Paint.NET addons that offer more effects and tools by reading my previous post on such. You can also read why I think the freeware image editing program Paint.NET is one of the best pieces of software for quick graphics design yet you don’t need the power of photoshop or the steep learning curve.