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Take GIMP to the next level with GIMP Extensions for Windows

11 March 2013, Mike Williams

GIMP is the most powerful free graphics editor around – but you can extend it even further with the right extensions. You’ll need to find them first, of course, because GIMP doesn’t have any built-in mechanism to show you what’s available. But if that’s too much trouble then you could always install GIMP Extensions for Windows, which gives you more than 50 in a single package.

You’ll get GIMP Paint Studio, for instance, which equips the program with additional brushes, patterns, palettes and more.

Plugins include Adaptive Contrast Enhancement, BIMP (Batch Image Manipulation Plugin), Cartoonizer, Focus Blur, GIMP Mask, Image Registration, Liquid Rescale, PAL & VHS, and Save for Web.

The Extensions pack provides more than 100 new filters and effects

Bundled scripts include AnimStack, Fake HDR Effect and Split Studio 3. While GIMP FX Foundry adds more than 100 new options all on its own.

There’s more file format support (APNG, DDS, JPEG XR, WebP).

And you even get animation options via GIMP Animation Package. (The full list is available at the GIMP Extensions page.)

You don’t have to install all of these, fortunately. If you have some already, or just want to decide for yourself, then the setup tool allows you to select the extensions you need, and the ones you really don’t. Whatever you’ve chosen will then be added to your system with a click.

Launch GIMP and you’ll probably find it’s now quite slow to start. Much of this is a one-off, though, as GIMP Extensions’ new tools are installed and initialised. And once the program appears, you can begin exploring its extra powers – the new FX-Foundry menu is a great place to start.

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