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GIMP 2.8.4 FINAL tweaks UI, promises more responsive drawing tools

07 February 2013, Nick Peers

Popular open-source image editor GIMP 2.8.4 FINAL has been released for Linux and Windows, with a Mac binary build due for release imminently. Version 2.8.4 is a minor stability release, but does contain a number of interesting improvements, including more responsive drawing – particularly with the brush outline tool – plus better names for the default filters when saving or exporting.

GIMP 2.8.4 will also be the second OS X release that runs natively on the Mac – 2.8.0 and earlier required X11, and many improvements in this release are aimed specifically at that platform.

Aside from the improved responsiveness and filter tweaks, other user interface changes include GIMP now remembering the maximized state of windows across sessions, allowing the text tool to start on a non-layered image and various other fixes for text style attribute handling.

Further improvements to the text tool have been made in GIMP 2.8.4.

Plug-in improvements include better default values being set in the Drop Shadow script and a major round of bug fixes for the BMP plug-in.

Platform-specific improvements concentrate on the OS X platform – the gimpdir has been moved to the user’s Library\Application Support folder, while the system screenshot tool is now used when creating a new image from a screenshot. Plug-in windows should now automatically appear on top, and users can now select their chosen language via GIMP’s Preferences dialog.

One addition to the Windows installer is the addition of a Brazilian-Portuguese translation.

The stability update builds on the major 2.8.0 release from last year, which saw GIMP radically overhaul its user interface with such elements as a new ‘single-window’ mode, multi-column Dock windows, a brand new Cage Transform tool and the ability to organise layers into groups.

GIMP 2.8.4 FINAL is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows, Linux and – coming soon – Mac OS X.

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