How to Create Editable Text in Paint.NET

Use the Paint.NET editable text plugin to reposition or revise text

Paint.NET is a completely free raster image editor for Windows. Although it lacks an option to edit text that has been previously added to an image, there is a free plugin that makes it possible to create editable text in Paint.NET.

Instructions in this article apply to version 4.2 of the Paint.NET image editing software, not to be confused with the website of the same name.

How to Install the Paint.NET Editable Text Plugin

Unlike some other graphics applications, Paint.NET doesn't have features in the user interface to manage plugins, so you have to set up plugins manually:

  1. This pack contains multiple plugins that add new tools to Paint.NET including custom brushes.

    Download the free plugin pack for Paint.NET.
  2. Close Paint.NET if you have it open, then open the ZIP file you just downloaded.

    Close Paint.Net if you have it open, then open the ZIP file containing the plugins.
  3. Copy the Effects and FileTypes folders inside the ZIP file.

    A screenshot of the Paint.NET ZIP file with the Effects and FileTypes folders highlighted
  4. Locate the Paint.NET folder in your Program Files and paste the folders you copied inside.

    Locate the Paint.NET folder in your Program Files and paste the folders you copied inside.
  5. The next time you launch Paint.NET, you'll notice a new sub-group in the Effects menu called Tools. It contains most of the new features that the plugin pack added.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Tools menu item highlighted

How to Use the Paint.NET Editable Text Plugin

To create editable text with the Paint.NET plugin:

  1. Go to Layers > Add New Layer, or click the Add New Layer button at the bottom left of the Layers palette.

    You can add editable text directly to the background layer, but adding a new layer for each section of text keeps things more flexible.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Add New Layer command highlighted
  2. Go to Effects > Tools > Editable Text and a new Editable Text dialog will open.

    A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Editable Text tool higlighted
  3. Click in the empty input box and type anything you want, then select OK.

    A screenshot of the Paint.NET Editable Text window with the OK button highlighted
  4. If you want to edit the text later, select the text layer in the layers palette and go to Effects > Tools > Editable Text. The dialog box will open again and you can make whatever changes you like.

    You may find that the text is no longer editable if you paint on a layer that contains editable text.

How to Reposition Text With the Paint.NET Editable Text Plugin

Paint.NET also provides controls that allow you to position the text on the page and change the angle. Select the Move select pixels tool in the toolbox and drag the text to reposition it.

Make sure only the layer containing the editable text is select in the layer palette.

A screenshot of Paint.NET with the Move tool highlighted

You'll see that the position of the text moves in real time. It's possible to drag the move icon outside the box and move part or all of the text outside the document. You can also change the angle of the text on the page.