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How to create a custom grid in Paint.net on Windows 10

Paint.net is the version of Paint that Windows users never got. The Paint app is now deprecated which means it’s never ever going to get new features. Paint.net is really what Windows users have left and it’s fortunate that the app is good and still actively being developed. You can use Paint.net for most basic image editing needs and also to create basic images. If you need to create a custom grid in Paint.net, you can do so with a little plugin.

Custom grid in Paint.net

In order to create a custom grid image in Paint.net you need to install a plugin called Grid Maker. You can download the DLL here.

If you have Paint.net open, close it and navigate to the following location on your system. You will need admin rights to paste a file here.

C:/Program Files/paint.net/Effects

If you’re using the Paint.net app that’s available in the Microsoft Store, you need to navigate to the following location where Documents is your documents library.

Documents/paint.net App Files/Effects/

Open Paint.net and go to Effects>Render>Grid Checker Maker. Select this option and a new window will open. This is where you can create your grid. The plugin can create a grid, a checker pattern, and a dotted pattern. To pick what you want to create, grid, checkered, or dotted pattern, open the Grid type dropdown.

To create a proportional grid, select the ‘Same Step H/V’ option. If you need a transparent grid, select the ‘Transparent only’ option.

As you make changes on this window, they will be reflected on the canvas. You ought to resize the canvas before you create the grid. Size it to whatever you need your grid size to be. If you need to center it, open the Draw Mode dropdown and select Centered on lines. Play around with the draw options till you have a grid that looks right for whatever you need to use it for.

The grid will be transparent but it’s up to you to save the final image as a PNG and to make sure there is no fill layer under the grid. You should create the grid on an empty layer so that it’s easy to edit it later. To customize the color of the grid lines you should first select it from the colors wheel/swatch and then open the plugin. It will draw in whichever color is set as the main/primary color.

Paint.net isn’t exactly an app that can rival Photoshop or Gimp in any way but if you ever need to create a grid, it doesn’t get easier than this.

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