PhotoDemon 8.0 was a massive release, comprising more than 2.5 years of work. Despite all that effort, some bugs and usability issues slipped through the cracks.
Two weeks ago, the follow-up 8.2 release fixed many issues. Today’s 8.4 release brings additional fixes and QoL (quality of life) improvements, including a new startup experience that makes it even faster to start editing with PhotoDemon.
Download the new release
If you already have a copy of PhotoDemon, you’re good to go! The program will automatically update according to your preference in the Tools > Options > Updates menu.
Thank you to everyone who reported issues and shared feedback over the past month. I am indebted to all of you. ❤
And of course, an extra-large thank you to all of PhotoDemon’s Patreon supporters and other contributors, whose donations make this project possible. If you find PhotoDemon useful, consider joining our Patreon campaign or making a one-time donation. Every little bit helps.
What’s new and improved in 8.4
A new start-up experience
One of PhotoDemon’s main goals is to never waste your time. This begins with extremely fast startup time, but I recently realized that a fast app start is only part of the equation. You also need to be able to jump right into editing photos.
To that end, PhotoDemon now provides an improved startup screen:
On the left side of the canvas, a set of four buttons provide quick ways to load images into the app.
On the right, a dynamic column of recently opened images lets you jump into editing anything you’ve recently been working on.
For users worried about privacy, options are provided right there on the page to either erase the recent images list, or prevent it from displaying at all.
Of course, you can still drag+drop images onto the canvas area to load them into the app, or you can ignore this start screen entirely and keep using the left toolbar or main menu to load your images. Whichever method you prefer, I hope this update wastes a little less of your time.
New Dust and Scratches tool
I don’t usually add new tools to stability updates like this… but this time, I couldn’t resist!
I recently read an article by the author of a Chinese-language photo editor, where he tested a bunch of different filters to try and reproduce Photoshop’s “Dust and Scratches” noise removal tool. It turns out that Photoshop’s tool is just a modification of a standard Median filter, and since PhotoDemon already provides a high-performance Median filter, it was trivial to put together a new Dust and Scratches tool that behaves more-or-less identically to Photoshop’s.
The new “Dust and scratches” tool is available from the
Effects > Noise > Dust and scratches menu.
Middle mouse button provides constant access to the Hand (pan/move) tool
Some photo editors (GIMP, Paint.NET) allow you to use the middle mouse button to click-drag around the current image. This works regardless of which tool you are using, so even if you’re using the paintbrush tool, you can press-and-hold the middle mouse button to temporarily activate the hand tool.
PhotoDemon now supports this behavior as well.
New interface preferences for a more personalized experience
PhotoDemon has always defaulted to neutral gray for its canvas background. In 8.4, you can now change this behavior from the
Tools > Options > Interface panel.
This preference applies regardless of your current UI theme settings. If you want a dark UI theme with a hot pink canvas background, no one will stop you!
I’ve also reworked the transparency grid options on the interface page, with a live preview of your current settings and new color presets for the grid, which mirrors similar options in Photoshop.
New single-session preference
Some users like to associate certain file types with PhotoDemon. This allows you to click on e.g. any JPEG photo, and Windows will automatically use PhotoDemon to display it.
In previous versions of PhotoDemon, loading images this way would always spawn a new copy of the program, which could lead to a bunch of parallel PhotoDemon instances in the task bar. I have now added a new preference for “single-instance” behavior, where any images loaded from external sources (like Windows Explorer) will instead share the same app window.
Note that unlike many photo editors, this behavior is optional. You can leave this new preference off to run as many parallel PhotoDemon instances as you want.
Improved stability when working with PNG files
PhotoDemon 8.0 shipped with an all-new PNG engine. (PNG is a popular image file format; for example, all screenshots on this page are PNG files.) The new engine loads and saves PNG files significantly faster than previous versions, color-management is integrated into every aspect of its pipeline, and it uses modern optimization strategies to produce even smaller PNG files when saving. The new engine also supports animated PNG files, which are a critical component of PhotoDemon’s new animated screen capture tool (found in the
Tools > Animated Screen Capture (APNG) menu).
In the 8.2 update, I tweaked the engine to improve some animated PNG features… and unfortunately, I did not test my changes very well, because I accidentally broke some normal PNG behavior. I am so sorry!
In today’s release, I have revisited those decisions and gotten everything back to working order. I apologize for any instability you may have experienced with PNG files over the past two weeks.
Many other minor bug-fixes
I won’t bore you with the details, but many other little annoyances and issues have also been fixed. Thank you again to everyone who submits bug-reports and feedback - your help is invaluable.
I know I said this with the 8.2 release two weeks ago… but this time, I really think it’s time to start work on PhotoDemon 9.0.
As usual, I’ve got my own roadmap of new features and improvements to work on, but I also want to hear from you! What would you like to see in PhotoDemon 9.0?
My contact information is available here. I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Finally, let me plug PhotoDemon’s Patreon campaign one more time. Donations from generous users are the reason I can give away this software for free. Patreon is a great way to help that happen, and as a bonus, you’ll also get access to insider updates on PhotoDemon 9.0 as it progresses.
If Patreon isn’t a good fit for you, one-time donations are also a tremendous help. Thank you so much for your generosity. Together, I think we’re building something pretty darn special.