PaintTool SAI for Windows

  • Trial version
  • In English
  • V 1.2.5
  • 3.4

  • (25424)
  • Security Status

Softonic review

Dinkar Kamat
Dinkar KamatUpdated 2 years ago

Compact graphic design tool

PaintTool SAI is straightforward graphic design software that is powerful but light in weight. It gives you access to simple vector tools and works with touchscreen devices enabling you to draw with a digital pen. Digital artists can use a variety of art tools provided in the program to make illustrations, including cartoons and anime. SAI is a standalone program with features that help users to create digital artworks.

Color is key

SAI is a popular product among online artists communities, including DeviantArt. One of the reasons it has earned so many fans is because it offers full digitized support. It works on Windows, and tablets and mobile devices. Anyone who likes to get expressive with their digital pen can be creative with this program. Picking up the way it works and the different tools is easy, so the learning curve is a fun experience instead of a challenge.

The choice of colors is excellent, which means if you can imagine it, you can create it. You can change the appearance of a color by adjusting saturation. There is also an option to change the luminescence. Different effects are achieved by using different brushes when drawing, including airbrush, watercolor, and pen. You can adjust the pressure of the brush, so it responds differently to your touch.

Creative capacity

As well as the main tools for adding color, SAI also has features for adding and editing layers and selecting areas of your artwork. This enables you to erase a layer, move it to a different part of the drawing, or lock layers together. There is an eraser tool that takes on the properties of the different brushes. It’s useful for adding the finishing touches before saving your piece, as you can soften any hard edges.

The interface of this paint tool is easy to navigate, so finding the tools and functions you need takes no time at all. That is down to the fact that there isn’t an extensive number of features. The main focus is creating new artworks so it isn’t suitable if you are looking for a tool that will also give you photo-editing capabilities.

There are also limits on what you can add to your canvas. SAI works well with creating textures and colors, but adding text or gradients isn’t included. It is a compact and lightweight program after all. It also lacks the ability to print directly from the app, although you can export your work to PSD or BMP files.

Try it for yourself

Fortunately, you can find out if PaintTool SAI has the right features for you. There is a free trial of the program available for 31 days, which lets you access all features. After that, you can obtain the license for SAI with a one-off purchase.

If your focus is drawing and painting, this program has plenty to offer. The canvases are customizable, and you can save your color palette with your mixed colors, so you can pick up where you left off. PaintTool also provides anti-aliasing, which minimizes any distortion and jagged edges of your digital images.

Arty alternatives

Painttool SAI has some excellent tools for drawing and painting, but it is not the only software available. If you don’t get on well with the product or are looking for more advanced features, here are some other options for graphic design.

For free access to powerful software, artists can experiment with the paint tools in Krita. It is an open source illustration tool. You can adjust the workspace to suit your needs and explore the different brushes and textures, including packs made by other artists. The level of detail and quality that you can achieve is remarkable.

A popular raster-based graphic design program is Corel Painter. It is great for those just getting started in digital art, as well as experienced amateurs and professionals. The latest version has launched with a clean and easy to use interface that is still packed full of useful functions and features. Like SAI it offers a smooth experience when painting and minimal lagging.

Many artists require a full suite of features, and for that reason, they opt for the industry-standard program Adobe Illustrator. When it comes to vector drawing, you can achieve a professional design with this application. It includes many brush types, gradients, filters and special effects that can be applied to achieve the finished product that you are looking for. Other alternatives worthy of mention are GIMP and Paint.NET.

A smooth and enjoyable experience

PaintTool SAI has enough features for amateur and professional artists to create digital artworks. Its appeal lies in the fact that it takes up little space, it is easy to learn how to use, and it is fast and smooth with no lagging. It is aimed at those who want to paint and draw rather than edit photos or create collages.

The latest version of SAI has added features and fixed some bugs. The issues with the lasso tool, opening PSD files, and converting symmetrical shapes have been fixed. A symmetric ruler has been added, which helps users achieve symmetrical lines and shapes.


  • Lightweight program
  • Good choice of colours
  • Easy to use
  • Export to different file formats


  • No direct print option
  • Limited photo editing

Older versions

Program available in other languages

PaintTool SAI for PC

  • Trial version
  • In English
  • V 1.2.5
  • 3.4

  • (25424)
  • Security Status

User reviews about PaintTool SAI

  • Luna Anne

    by Luna Anne

    It wasn't until I used Paint Tool SAI, that I had fun learning to use my XP-Pen Deco tablet to draw. That's because the program is compact, with just  More

  • Nikki Sayer

    by Nikki Sayer

    this is my exact issue



    I like this software, but i have one glaring issue... While in the middle of working on something my free trial ended and i cant save my work and don' More

  • Matt Smith

    by Matt Smith

    not a scam

  • Reddix67

    by Reddix67


  • Rachael McDonough

    by Rachael McDonough

    I would recommend this software to any artist looking to grow and improve on their skills! The layout makes this software very easy to use. It's reall More


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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.