GIMP is a free, open source tool that lets you create and edit images.
GIMP has been around for over two decades and development has been stable over the years. The newest update for GIMP gives a slew of new features and a glimpse into the future for this incredible open source image editor.
All the features of GIMP are still present. You can create your own images with tools for airbrushing, penciling, cloning, and creating gradients. Power users can create their own brushes and patterns to use later. GIMP also allows users to manipulate images imported into the program. You can crop, add text, resize, and create nested layers. There is even a way to animate your creations.
GIMP has now been updated with many user interface tweaks to make the application accessible to newbies. The biggest interface addition is the ability to edit in a single-window. GIMP versions of the past drew criticism for their confusing interfaces, but the developers are addressing many of these issues in this newest version. While single-window mode is great, it is also disappointing that there is no way to view multiple projects side by side.
Other updated features include easier text editing, nested layer groups, and a shift to using the Generic Graphics Library (GEGL), which is a more sophisticated image processing framework. GEGL was introduced a couple of years back in a developer version and has now made its way into the sable, consumer version. GIMP developers hope to move entirely to GEGL by version 2.10. One of the major advantages of GIMP using GEGL is the ability for non-destructive editing and high bit-depth images.
GIMP now only saves to its own XCF format to retain layers and other file manipulation information. Users can still choose to save in formats like JPEG and PNG but will have to "export" the project instead of saving. This follows in the footsteps of Adobe Photoshop.
Mac users will be happy to know that GIMP 2.8.2 is the first version of the program to run natively in OS X, without requiring the installation of X11. This takes one annoying step out of the installation process.
The latest GIMP is better than ever. Its developers are taking the user experience into serious consideration and are speeding up development for this already great photo editor.
- Runs natively in OS X. X11 is no longer required. For full changelog, please visit: http://git.gnome.org/browse/gimp/plain/NEWS?h=gimp-2-8
- Version 2.8.4:
- Move the OSX gimpdir to "~/Library/Application Support"
- Better names for the default filters in save and export
- Make tool drawing (esp. the brush outline) much more responsive
- Remember the "maximized" state across sessions
- Simplify the splash image code a lot, makes it appear immediately again
- Allow the text tool to start on an image without layers
- Various fixes for text style attribute handling
- Set unconfigured input devices to eraser if GTK+ says they are erasers
- Make language selectable in Preferences on OSX
- Make libgimp drawable combo boxes aware of layer groups
- Make sure plug-in windows appear on top on OSX
- Fix item width in GimpPageSelector (used e.g. in PDF import)
- Better default values in the Drop Shadow script
- Fix a whole bunch of bugs in the BMP plug-in
- On OSX, use the system's screenshot utility
- Add Brazilian-Portuguese translation to the Windows installer
- Source and build system:
- Many improvements to the OSX bundle build system
- Support automake 1.13
- Lots of bug fixes
- Lots of translation updates