After six years of development, a dedicated team of contributors released GIMP 2.10, a new version of the open source cross-platform image editor.
The new version of GIMP is the first major release after version 2.8 of the software was released nearly six years ago.
GIMP, an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free alternative to programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Photo Paint that is especially popular in the GNU/Linux world.
Users may download the latest GIMP release from the official project website where it is offered as a direct download and torrent. The image editor has a size of roughly 560 Megabytes installed on Windows if you only install the core editor.
Tip: select customize during installation to disable the installation of Translations which take a whopping 277 Megabytes of extra space. If you don’t need Python scripting, disable that too to reduce the size by 31 Megabytes.
GIMP 2.10: what is new
GIMP 2.10 takes a while to open when you run it after installation but the loading is faster on consecutive starts.
The very first thing that existing GIMP users notice when they start GIMP 2.10 is that the interface has changed. The image editor has a new dark theme that supports symbolic icons and HiDPI support.
GIMP 2.10 includes four different themes that you can switch between. Next to dark, there is a gray, light and system theme available that you may enable. Just select Edit > Preferences > Interface > Theme to switch between the four different themes.
Icons are separate from the theme so that you may switch icons or the theme without affecting the other. If you don’t like the symbolic icon theme you may switch to another under Preferences > Interface > Icon Theme.
The default icon size is based on the screen resolution but you may change that to set a custom size. GIMP 2.10 supports four different icon sizes that you may set in the preferences.
Tip: if you want the old look, set the theme to system and the icon theme to color icons
GIMP’s move to using the image processing library GEGL continues. GEGL is used for all tile management in GIMP 2.10 which is a prerequisite for introducing non-destructive editing in GIMP 3.2.
GEGL support offers several benefits:
- High bit depth support
- GPU-side processing
- image editing in linear RGB color space
Note that you need to enable “Use OpenCL” under Edit > Preferences > System Resources to take advantage of some of the features.
The developers integrated color management functionality natively in GIMP 2.10. The feature was available as a plugin only in previous versions. You find color management options under Edit > Preferences > Color Management.
Other GIMP 2.10 changes
- Two groups of blending modes and new blend modes.
- Compositing options for layers are exposed to the user.
- Layer groups can have masks.
- New unified transform tool to make multiple transformations.
- New warp transform tool.
- New handle transform tool.
- Blend tool was renamed to Gradient tool. Default shortcut is G now.
- Foreground select tool supports subpixel selections.
- All colors tools are GEGL-based filters.
- Text tool supports advanced input methods for CJK and other non-western languages.
- Digital painting improvements (support for canvas rotation and flipping, smudge tool updates)
- Digital photography improvements (new GEGL-based filters such as Exposure, Shadows-Highlights, High-pass).
- More than 80 plugins are now GEGL-based filters which offer several improvements.
- GIMP 2.10 can read TIFF, PNG, PSD and FITS files with “up to 32-bit per channel precision”.
- Native WebP support.
- Plugins to edit Exif, XMP, IPTC, GPS, and DICOM metadata.
GIMP 2.10 is a massive update that was six years in the making. It brings plenty of new features and improvements to GIMP. The new theme looks really nice but if it is not your cup of tea, you can switch to the old theme and icon theme easily in the preferences to restore the old look of the application.
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