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PaintStar – a full featured free photo editor

by Timothy 6 October 2012 One Comment

Introduction to PaintStar

PaintStar is a photo editing software. It is small in size but very powerful, packed full of features that will satisfy 95% of people. People who have tried it will tell you that it is versatile and as comprehensive as Adobe Photoshop hence, making good (budget friendly) alternative.

It is suitable for retouching photos, creating images and authoring them. It can also be a great help if you want to morph images, capture screenshots or display image thumbnails in windows explorer menu. Because of these functions, a number of tools and filters are incorporated within it to enable it function efficiently and more effectively. And in addition: alpha, layer, path and various editing techniques are supported.

This program is therefore as good as any other commercial program designed for editing images. So, if you want to do something to make your photos look nice, consider doing it with this free tool.

What makes PaintStar different?

PaintStar is smaller and simpler than most image editing tools – but it still has all the important and useful features that you will likely need. It is meant for people who are in need of a simple tool to use – but need it to be powerful and efficient. Only a professional image editors and graphic designers might want more than this tool offers. It has a good interface that an average or experienced user can work with without too great a learning curve.

Key Features

  • Contains a complete set of painting tools that includes paintbrush, eraser, pencil, filter brush, airbrush, colour retouching, and smudge, cloning and sharpening.
  • Image thumbnail in Windows Explorer context menu
  • Has a number of transformational tools including rotate, scale, shear, perspective, flip and wrap.
  • Gradient fill tools also features here. Linear, radial, square, conical (asymmetric and symmetric). Multiple colours supported.
  • Selection tools are also available that includes rectangular, elliptical, free, fuzzy and paths
  • Multiple Undo and Redo, Screen capture and color conversion features supported
  • For digital cameras and scanners, TWAIN features are supported.
  • Different paths are supported. One can do addition, deletion, point insertion to the curve or point adjustment on the curve.


This is what PaintStar looks like on first view
A view of PaintStar's options

Reliability and Performance

PaintStar uses very few system resources, and is very stable. It does not interfere with other applications on your PC. We tested the download link below to verify that the supplied executable is free of virus and malware.

Authority and Credibility

PaintStart has won a couple of “editors choice” style awards due to it’s popularity. It is not as widely known as other image editing freeware (such as GIMP), so you don’t see it referenced as often as it probably deserves. At the time of writing, the ‘home page’ for PaintStar has the following statistics:

Number of domains linking to PaintStar 45
Number of individual links to PaintStar 80


  • It uses very little in the way of system resources – good for older PC’s as well as new
  • It is very full featured for a piece of freeware software
  • It is significantly easier to use than GIMP (another freeware image editor)
  • Supports different layers and it easy to use
  • There are tutorials available for the tools (also for free) here


  • It has it’s own distinct layout of functions – and this can take you 20 minutes or so to get used to. Once you spend a little time with this tool, this will not be an issue, it can just make the ‘learning curve’ a little longer.


PaintStar is a great tool for all sorts of image editing. It is useful to all especially students and those people who want to better their skills but are limited by money (cannot afford commercial applications). It’s an easy to use tool. We have tested it and it works. We therefore recommend it.




One Comment »

  • Niefer said:

    Last updated in 2006. Seems abandoned.

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