Friday, December 22nd, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

The GIMP Team releases GIMP 2.9.8

The GIMP Team has released GIMP 2.9.8, the latest update to the open-source image editing tool.

The release, which builds on the major 2.9.6 update earlier this year, makes it possible to design colour gradients directly on the canvas, and further improves support for Photoshop PSD files.

Building on the new layer architecture and multithreading from GIMP 2.9.6
Since we wrote about the start of the GIMP 2.9 release cycle back in 2015, the development team has introduced some quite major new features to GIMP.

The 2.9.6 update, which came out this August, overhauled the layer system, adding support for linear as well as perceptual colour space.

One consequence was a number of new blend modes previously only available in tools like Photoshop, including Linear Burn, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, Hard Mix, Exclusion, Merge, Split and Luminance.

The update also introduced support for the Lab and Lch colour spaces, plus preliminary support for CPU multihreading and icon scaling for display on Hi-DPI monitors.

New in 2.9.8: on-canvas colour gradients, improvements to PSD import
GIMP 2.9.8 isn’t quite as big an update, but it does introduce a couple of neat features: notably the option to design colour gradients directly on the canvas, rather than using the old Gradient Editor dialog.

Gradients also now remain editable after they have been created.

Support for the PSD file format has also been improved to properly handle Photoshop files with deeply nested layer groups; and the software can also now import digital elevation data in HGT format.

There are also a number of other smaller features – including a neat Paste in Place option similar to that in Inkscape or InDesign – and under-the-hood changes, which you can find via the link below.

System requirements and availability
GIMP 2.9.8 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux under a GNU GPL licence.

The entire 2.9 release cycle is officially beta software – the last stable build is 2.8.22 – but compiled binaries are available to download from the Development Downloads section of the GIMP website.

Read a full list of new features in GIMP 2.9.6 on The GIMP Team’s blog