Well, I can't remember where I heard Xara was difficult, the info was just tucked away in my head. However, there are several quotes here to say it isn't, so maybe I'll check it out as an alternative.
There are two main deficiencies with Paint that are becoming more of a problem to me (no doubt there are more) and I don't think any amount of skill (which I don't have anyway) would overcome them.
1) No negative zoom. It's extremely tiresome trying to get an overview of a large drawing, when you can only see one corner of it at a time.
2) No facility for transparency. A major project will be to create simple objects to drop onto maps and they look pretty awful surrounded by white rectangles. I have a version of Paint on one machine that will create jpegs but not pngs, however my latest one won't handle anything but bmps. ????
The problem with over-complex and unfamiliar software is that I have to wade through a lot of stuff I don't need, in order to find the stuff I do need, and that takes time I don't have. It's like trying to find the switch for the mapreading light on the pilot's console of a 747. It's much easier and quicker to find the same switch in a Landrover!
Great if you need all those professional doo-dads, but if you don't even know what they're for, much less how they're used, they're just so much additional clutter and more of a hindrance than a help. A lear jet isn't the transport of choice if all you want to do is pick up your groceries from the supermarket.
The reason I was asking about Paint.net is that it claims to be based on Paint, so I shouldn't have to waste time relearning the basics, just figure out the extra controls I do need - If it has them.
Which brings me to my original question...