How to add a drop shadow in Paint.NET

Drop shadow adds a shadow effect to text and selected objects. The freeware Paint.NET image editor doesn’t include a default Drop Shadow option, but you can add it to that software with a plug-in pack. So this is how you can add drop shadow to text and selected image objects in Paint.NET.

First, open this page and press Download now to save the plug-in pack’s Zip. Then open the Zip folder in File Explorer and click Extract all to unzip it. Open the folder you extracted it to, and click Install to open the plug-in’s installer window. Press the Install button to add the selected options to Paint.NET.

Open Paint.NET and click Layers > Add New Layer to set up a new layer. Select Tools > Text and enter some text into the new layer. Click Effects, Objects and Drop Shadow to open the window shown directly below.

drop shadow

Now you can apply a drop shadow effect to the text. First, select a color from the color palette circle. Then drag the Offset X and Y bars to move the shadow left or right and up or down.

You can further adjust the shadow effect by dragging the Widening Radius bar. Drag that bar right to expand the radius of the shadow. The Blur Radius bar increases or decreases the amount of blur, and Shadow Opacity adjusts the shadow effect’s transparency. Click OK to apply the effect, and then you might have output comparable to that shown below.

drop shadow2

You can also add this effect to new objects added to layers. Trace out an object from an image by removing the picture background as outlined in this Tech Junkie guide. Click Layers > Import From File and open the image you removed the background from. Then you can click Effects > Drop Shadow to add a shadow effect to the foreground object as shown directly below.

drop shadow3

Or you can add the drop shadow effect to shapes on new layers. You can click Tool > Shapes to add shapes to layers. Select Shape draw/fill mode and Draw Filled Shape to fill the shape with a color. Click Tool > Rectangle Select to select the shape, and then you can click Effects > Drop Shadow to add a shadow to it as below.

drop shadow4

Overall, drop shadow is a great effect to add to text and shapes. It applies an almost 3D effect with an offset shadow that adds some extra depth to the picture.

Posted by Matthew on August 19, 2016

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