Paint.NET PSD Plugin

I currently maintain the Photoshop .PSD file plugin for Paint.NET.

Paint.NET is a powerful and free image editing program for Windows, with over a million active users.  It is much more fully-featured than Windows Paint, and is also lighter-weight and more intuitive to use than Photoshop.  Due to the ubiquity of Photoshop in the graphic design world, the .PSD file format has become a de facto standard for interchanging multi-layer images between programs.

This plugin allows Paint.NET to exchange data with Photoshop, with the ability to both open and save .PSD files.  Full fidelity is maintained for RGB raster images, with lower fidelity for other types of images.  The plugin has been downloaded over 600,000 times since I took over the project in February 2010.

The Paint.NET PSD Plugin is free and open-source.

Go to PSD Plugin


More and more people throughout the world are learning Chinese. The Hanyu Pinyin romanization system is used in the teaching of spoken Chinese, so that students can achieve significant oral fluency even as they’re tackling the much more daunting task of memorizing Chinese characters.  But Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, and Hànyu Pinyin is also a tonal romanization system.  Without those tone marks, Pinyin does not accurately describe Mandarin pronunication.

PinyinTones is a Windows text service that allows you type Pinyin with tone marks into any Windows program.  Just type the tone number (1, 2, 3, 4) after each Pinyin syllable, and the text service will automatically convert it into the appropriate tone mark.  No more printing out and writing in tones by hand, no more searching through lists of symbols, no more copying-and-pasting from composition programs.

Type “Han4yu3 Pin1yin1,” and you get Hànyǔ Pīnyīn.  What could be simpler?  PinyinTones has been adopted by Chinese-language educators in colleges, secondary schools, and primary schools, as well as by Chinese language learners of all ages.

PinyinTones is free and open-source.

Go to PinyinTones


From the Archives: No longer being maintained



UnitStar is a unit conversion program for Windows 3.1 and above.  It is no longer being maintained, but will still work on 32-bit versions of Windows.  Free to try, $8 to buy.

[Read more about UnitStar]