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GIMP 2.8.4 Portable released alongside Mac binary, future plans revealed

13 February 2013, Nick Peers

Popular open-source, cross-platform image editor GIMP 2.8.4 Portable has been released for Windows PCs alongside the Mac binary of GIMP 2.8.4 FINAL. The updates appear less than a week after the Windows and Linux binary builds were released.

The update was a minor one, but many of the changes applied to the Mac build, including the moving of the program’s gimpdir to the ~Library\Application Support folder.

Those upgrading from GIMP 2.8.2 to 2.8.4 will need to open the Terminal application (it’s under Applications\Utilities) and type the following command before launching GIMP 2.8.4 for the first time:

mv ~/Library/GIMP ~/Library/Application\ Support

The Mac binary of GIMP 2.8.4 comes several days after Windows and Linux versions were released.

Once done, you should be able to use GIMP with all existing preferences intact.

The portable build of GIMP allows Windows users to run the application without having to install it. It’s accessible as a standalone portable build, or can be installed through the Launcher, a useful tool for organising and accessing portable apps from a custom Start menu that appears above the Taskbar Notification area.

Those coming to GIMP for the first time may be put off a little by the app’s use of multiple floating windows and toolbars. The good news is that since version 2.8, released last May, a single-window mode is available that groups everything together in a single window for ease of use and access. The option can be found under the Windows menu.

The GIMP community has also revealed a preliminary list of ideas it hopes to work on at Google’s Summer of Code 2013 program should it participate, all of which will appear in a future release, potentially GIMP 2.10. They include improved selection tools, a collection of sophisticated image slicing tools for web designers, a full-featured OpenEXR plug-in and – most critically – the porting of more plug-ins to GEGL (Generic Graphics Library), which supports higher bit depth images and non-destructive editing.

GIMP 2.8.4 FINAL is a free, open-source download for Windows, Mac and Linux. GIMP 2.8.4 Portable is a free download for Windows only.

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