Quick Preview of GIMP 2.8

By | 2010/11/26

GIMP 2.8 is not far away on the horizon. I snatched a recent build from this excellent PPA to give it a spin.

For some background, here are the release notes and open bugs.

The main answer everyone wants to know: Yes GIMP 2.8 image processing is still 8 bit, though with GEGL 16 or more bit-ness should be here soon.

This version featured is a snapshot from the above ppa:


Single Window Mode
Yes I say ‘mode’ because you can switch from either the standard GIMP interface, or a new single window mode as desired.


Drag to resize
In the single window mode, you can simply drag to resize both side bars as desired. This works quite well, and elements in the window automatically resize to fit their space dynamically.



New Tool Options
The Tool Options layout and function has been completely re-written. Included is also a new Dynamics menu to add more brush functionality.


Also within the Tool Options, you can now simply click in the orange and white area to specify tool sizes and other options. This is actually pretty nifty!


File > Save -> XCF only
The save dialog has been simplified to save as .xcf. A new export menu (more below) is now used to export to other file types.


File > Export
GIMP 2.8 has a new export option to then export a copy of your file as another format.



Options to use GEGL are available under View and Colors.


Export to PDF
Yes you can now export images to a multipage PDF. This is still under development. This option is located in an odd menu location, but perhaps that will be adjusted for the final release.



New Text Tool
The text tool allows you to type directly on the canvas, instead of relying on a separate pop-up window.


Layer Groups
A new option for creating layer groups is present. This raises the bar of GIMP’s capabilities in more complex documents.


Final thoughts

GIMP 2.8 is looking sweet! Of course this blog post is just a quick drive-by preview. Tons of additional features and bugs have been worked on for this release.

A lot of people may be upset concerning the lack of 16 bit image processing, though that feature looks to be coming very soon. All of the many new features in 2.8 are fantastic. I had originally been against the single window argument, but after using the single window I find I prefer it now!