Friday, May 4th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

GIMP 2.8 released

The app itself may still be one you either love or loathe, but GIMP 2.8’s new single-window display option brings the UI of the open source image editor closer to one many users will find familiar. Video by Pixovert.

The GIMP development team has released a major update to the open source image-editing package.

GIMP 2.8 features a completely redesigned – and very much more Photoshop-like – UI, including an optional single-window mode and the power to dock dialogs in multiple columns.

The Layers palette now supports Layer Groups; text editing is now peformed on-canvas rather than in a separate window, and supports baseline and kerning adjustments; and there is a new Cage Transform filter.

The brush dynamics engine has been overhauled, making most brush properties controllable via a response curve, while tablet users get a new widget to make brush properties more readily adjustable with a stylus.

Saving a file in GIMP’s native XCF format and exporting it to other formats have also now become two separate actions. Previously, a file could be saved in any format via the ‘Save As’ command.

On a personal note
Speaking as a long-term GIMP user for whom hitting [Ctrl]+[L] to bring the Layers palette to the front of the screen has now become a muscular tic, even when working in Photoshop, all I can say is: ‘About time, too’.

The single-window mode and on-canvas text editing look likely to remove many of the main daily irritations of working in the GIMP, and if Cage Transform becomes a replacement for the Liquify-alike IWarp filter and its pointlessly tiny image preview, so much the better.

The GIMP 2.8 source code is now available for download. The GIMP team doesn’t officially provide Windows binaries, and as yet, GIMP for Windows hasn’t been updated on SourceForge, but we imagine it can’t be long.

Read a full list of new features in GIMP 2.8

Download GIMP 2.8