How to Bend Text with Paint.NET

Posted by Matthew on November 23, 2018

One neat feature of modern paint programs is the ability to add bended text. Bending text means having text display along a curved line, so that instead of having a straight line of text, you can add it as an semicircular arc, wave, spiral or circle. Different image editing applications have different ways of accomplishing this task. In this article, I will provide a short tutorial on how to bend text using Paint.NET. Paint.NET is a good freeware image editing program that is compatible with recent Windows platforms.

If you don’t already have Paint.NET, you can download it free from the Paint.NET website. When you’ve installed it with the setup wizard, open the program’s window shown in the snapshot below. As you can see, Paint.NET has a built-in Text option on the Tool menu, but that option doesn’t include features for curving text.


There’s a way to rotate individual letters in Paint.NET. With the Move Selected Pixels option you can add a bending effect to text by manually editing it. However, this is not ideal as it can take a while to edit the text.

However, one of the powerful features of Paint.NET is that it supports a variety of plug-ins which greatly extend the software’s options. One of those is the Dpy plug-in pack that adds numerous tools to Paint.NET which allow the bending of text. Dpy includes Circle Text, SpiralText and WaveText tools.

Add this plug-in to Paint.NET before opening the software. You can download dpyplugins8.1.zip on this page. Unzip the plug-in’s compressed folder by opening it in Windows 10 File Explorer and pressing the Extract all button. You must extract the Zip to Paint.NET’s Effects folder.

Now run Paint.NET and click Effects > Text Formations to open the submenu shown in the shot directly below. That includes eight new editing options for text. The ones we’re most interested in are the Circle Text, SpiralText and WaveText tools.

Paint.NET Text

Add a Circular Bend to Text with the Circle Text Tool

Select Circle Text to open the Circle Text dialog, shown in the screenshot directly below. Choose a font from the Font drop-down menu. Then enter some text into the text box, and you’ll see a preview of it on the sheet layer. You can also select some extra Bold and Italic formatting options on the window.

Paint.NET Text2

Perhaps the most essential option here for curving, or bending, the text is the Angle of arc bar. When you first open the Circle Text window, it will be set to 360 degrees by default. Consequently, if you click OK with that angle selected you’ll have a full circle of text as shown below.

paint.net text3

If you want to keep the text more in a line and apply some bend to it, drag the Angle of arc bar further to the left and greatly reduce its value to something more like 60 degrees. If the text then overlaps, drag the Radius bar further right to expand it. Then you could have curved text more like that shown in the snapshot directly below.

Paint.NET text5

If you need to adjust the starting angle of the text, drag the Angle of start bar. Drag that to something like -6o and the Angle of arc to 125.95 with a Radius setting of about 245. Then your text will be much more of a semicircular arc comparable to rainbow as below.

Paint.net text6

Move the text with the Center bars. Drag the top Center bar left/right to move it left and right. Drag the bar just below that to move it up and down the sheet.

Add Multiple Curves to Text with the Wave Text tool

The WaveText tool is one that adds a sine wave effect to the text. As such, with that you can add multiple bends, or curves, to the text. Click Effects > Text Formations > WaveText to open the window directly below.

Paint.NET text7

Now type something into the text box. You can choose another font and add bold and italic formatting with the options just below that. If you then click OK without adjusting any of the default settings for the wave effect, your text will be something like that below.

Paint.NET text8

The longer the text is, the more waves you’ll have. A short snippet of text will probably have just the one bend. The best way to adjust the number of waves in text is to drag the x Pitch bar. That modifies the horizontal width of the bends, so dragging that bar right will effectively reduce the number of waves.

paint.net text9

The y Pitch bar adjusts the height of the waves. So dragging that bar left reduces the wave height and straightens out the text. Drag the bar further right to expand the height of the wave curves.

To add a vertical wave, click the Change x/y check box. Then the text will be vertical and run down the page as shown directly below. You can further adjust the text position with the Center bars exactly the same as in the Circle Tool.

Paint.net text10

Bending Text with the Spiral Text Tool

The SpiralText tool is one that adds a circular spiral staircase text effect. So it certainly adds a lot of extra curve to the text. Select SpiralText from the Text Formation submenu to open its window below.

paint.net text11

Then you can enter some text into the text box and adjust its formatting the same as in the other tools. Overall, it’s better to have a smaller font size so the text doesn’t overlap. The Reduction ratio of the font size bar progressively shrinks the text from left to right unless you drag it to the far left. If you do that, and don’t adjust any of the other default settings, you could have output more like that shown directly below.

Paint.net text12

You can apply a semicircular arc bend with this tool if you only enter a small amount of text. Reduce text spacing by dragging the Division bar further right to a value of about 56. Then if you drag the Pitch bar further to the left to about a four value and adjust the Angle of start bar to -89.50, you can bend the text to more of an arc as below. This is similar output to what you can get with the Circle Text tool.

paint.net text13

The Clockwise check box can completely alter the text’s direction. So if you don’t select that option, the text will be in an anti-clockwise direction. That can give you more of an anchor arc as below.

paint.net text14

So with Paint.NET’s Dpy plug-in you can now quickly add curved bends to text with three great tools. The tools are flexible, and if you tinker with their settings you can bend the text in many ways.

Have any other great suggestions for bending text in Paint.NET? Share them with us below!

7 thoughts on “How to Bend Text with Paint.NET”

stacy says:
this is fantastic thank you so much for creating the ability to bend text. I am struggling with bending a six letter word at 160 size and have even spacing and straighter letters. What am I doing wrong? I lassoed a few of the letters to space and angle them better.
Madi M says:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! I’m new-ish to Paint.NET and it’s been great but the limited text options were really bothering me. This fixed that!
Cinnamon says:
i downloaded the file, unzipped in in the paint.net file as specified, opened paint and there is no new options there, what do i do now?
Leo says:
Inverted italics? Is it possible on paint.net?
Hurkulez says:
High light area you want transparent with selection tool the hit your delete key…
grafis-media says:
Waw….. creative !! but my paint not like this !! i want make curved text in wondows paint ?? 🙁
Kate says:
How to get it transparent?
Wieprzek says:
Just put it on another layer and make it transparent

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