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03 May 2012, 17:44

GIMP 2.8 arrives with single-window mode

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Zoom Single window mode and on-canvas text editing in GIMP 2.8 under Ubuntu

The GIMP developers have announced the immediate availability of the latest stable version of the open source graphics editor on the project's home page. GIMP 2.8 arrives with several key improvements such as the long-awaited single-window mode and layer groups. GIMP 2.8 also includes the ability to edit text directly on the canvas, doing away with the previous pop-up window.

All tools in GIMP 2.8 are now drawn using Cairo, making it possible to have semi-transparent tool tips and UI elements on top of the drawing canvas. Additionally, many of the new tools now use the new GEGL graphics library and can take advantage of hardware accelerated graphics processing. The developers have already announced that they are planning to use GEGL for all of the application's graphics processing by the time the next major version is released. When saving images, GIMP now also clearly differentiates between "saving" and "exporting" an image, a distinction that should make it clearer to users if they are saving their image in GIMP's native .xcf format or exporting a .png, .jpg or similar file. Users can only save .xcf files, whereas exporting loses information such as layers and editable text objects.

The new release also includes several other tweaks to the UI and more improvements that have been introduced since the last stable release of GIMP, which was version 2.6.12 from February. A full list of changes is available in the official release notes. GIMP 2.8 is available to download from the project's web site and is licensed under the GPLv3, with some exceptions and some libraries being licensed under the LGPL.


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