paint.net

documentation

Revision Date: 10 January 2016

Adjustments Menu

The commands in the Adjustments Menu modify the colorization of pixels. Many common photo editing adjustments are available and all have associated keyboard shortcuts.

Adjustments Menu
Adjustments Menu

Note

The examples on this page show the adjustments being applied to an entire image. It is easy to restrict the adjustment to a sub-section of the image simply by making a selection.  If a selection is active when the adjustment is run, the effect will only be applied to the selected region.

Adjustment applied to an active selection
This image shows a Hue / Saturation adjustment being applied to an elliptical selection. The region outside the selection remains unchanged.

Tip

The controls shown in the effect dialogs operate in much the same way; drag the slider left or right, type in a numeric value in the text box or use the up/down arrows beside the text box to change the current value.  The keyboard arrow keys can also be used to alter the value of a control once it has the focus.
Multiple controls can be used in isolation or combination. If more than one is altered, the cumulative effect will be shown.

Adjustments Auto Level icon Auto-Level

Auto-Level is used to equalize the range of colors in an image.

The adjustment attempts to bring images which are under exposed or over exposed (overly dark or bright) back within normal range.  Auto-Level has no configurable options and does not display a dialog.

Tip

The Auto-Level adjustment is equivalent to using the Levels adjustment and clicking the Auto button.

Example - Adjustments > Auto-Level

Adjustments > Auto-Level

Before (left) and after applying Auto-Level (right).

Adjustments Black and White icon Black and White

This adjustment desaturates an image, removing all color information and rendering the image in grayscale.  The resultant image will be reinterpreted in black, white & shades of gray.

Black and White has no configurable options and does not display a dialog.

Example - Adjustments > Black and White

Adjustments > Black and White

Before (left) and after desaturation with Black and White (right).

Adjustments Brightness and Contrast icon Brightness / Contrast

This adjustment is used to make an image brighter or darker (Brightness), or to expand / contract the degree of difference between color tones (Contrast).

Brightness

To increase the overall brightness of an image, slide the Brightness control to the right. The image will appear lighter.

To decrease the overall brightness, slide the control to the left. The image will appear darker.

Example - Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast

Increased Brightness

Increased brightness.

Contrast

Contrast determines the range of tones in an image. To make the color tones more similar, decrease the Contrast value by sliding the control to the left.  The colors will appear more dull.

To increase the Contrast, slide the control to the right. The colors will appear more vivid.

Example - Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast

Increased Contrast

Increased contrast.

Adjustments Curves icon Curves

The Curves adjustment is used to adjust the luminosity and/or RGB (Red, Green & Blue) color curves of an image.

Curves dialog
Curves dialog

This powerful adjustment is covered in detail in the Curves section.

Adjustments Hue and Saturation icon Hue/Saturation

This adjustment is primarily used to change the saturation, or vividness, of the colors in an image.  The gamut of hues can also be rotated to render the image in a different palette while maintaining the same levels of contrast.

The adjustment also allows the modification of the images lightness, which is similar to the Brightness adjustment (see Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast above).

Hue

The Hue control rotates the colors used in the image. If you imagine the entire color range placed around the circumference of a circle, this control allows the current palette to be cycled around the circle. The differences between the palette colors will be retained.

Example - Adjustments > Hue / Saturation

Adjustments > Hue  / Saturation + Hue adjustment

Before (left) and the modified image (right) showing Hue rotated to 157.

Saturation

This control makes color tones more or less vibrant. If you're familiar with the color wheel in paint.net's Colors Window, this control changes colors as if they were selected from a larger or smaller color wheel.

The starting value of the Saturation control is zero. Increasing the value increases the saturation which makes the colors more vibrant.  Decreasing the value reduces the saturation, making the colors look more washed out.

Example - Adjustments > Hue / Saturation

Adjustments > Hue  / Saturation + Saturation adjustment

Before (left) and the modified image (right) showing Saturation increased to 136. The colors are more vibrant.

Lightness

Lightness acts in a similar way to the Brightness adjustment (see Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast above). Use the Lightness control to alter the apparent exposure of an image.

The initial value of the Lightness control is zero. Increasing the value increases the Lightness and makes the image brighter.  Decreasing the value reduces the Lightness, making the colors look dimmer.

Example - Adjustments > Hue / Saturation

Adjustments > Hue  / Saturation + Lightness adjustment

Before (left) and the modified image (right) showing the image being dimmed with a Lightness value of -18.

Adjustments Invert Colors icon Invert Colors

This adjustment is very similar to a photographic negative. Colors are swapped for the hue found on the opposite side of the color wheel.  Black become White and vice versa for example.  Applying the adjustment a second time restores the original image coloration.

Invert Colors has no configurable options and does not display a dialog.

Example - Adjustments > Invert Colors

Adjustments > Invert Colors

Before (left) and after color inversion (right).

Adjustments Levels icon Levels

This complex adjustment is used to adjust the color range and gamma index of an image.

Levels Dialog
Levels Dialog

A detailed discussion of this adjustment can be found in the Levels section.

Adjustments Posterize icon Posterize

This adjustment reduces the number of color values that each pixel can use. The effect gives an image a "posterized" or even a retro or "faux dithered" look.

Normally, each of the RGB (Red, Green & Blue) color channels has 256 possible values (0 through 255).  This adjustment limits the range from as few as 2 to a maximum of 64 possible values.

Example - Adjustments > Posterize

Adjustments > Posterize

Reducing the range of colors with Posterize.

The RGB color channels can be manipulated independently if the ☐ Linked checkbox is unchecked. If the ☑ Linked checkbox is checked (as shown above) the controls are forced to use the same value.

Adjustments Sepia icon Sepia

This adjustment mimics an aged photograph by rendering the image in black & white, and adding a sepia tone. This can be used to give images an "aged" look.

Sepia has no configurable options and does not display a dialog.

Example - Adjustments > Sepia

Adjustments > Sepia

Before (left) and after applying the Sepia filter (right).