GIMP emerges from three-year hiatus

It has been three years in the making, but the latest version of GIMP has finally been unmasked, revealing a host of new features.

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is an open source image editing application equally happy running on Linux, Windows or Mac OS X, if X11 is installed.

It sports a customisable interface with a comprehensive set of retouching and colour correction tools and filters. All the major image formats are supported, and the software automatically compresses files whenever an archive extension (zip, gz or bz2) is added to the filename.

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Brushes are now scalable so they can be set to any size and Photoshop’s ABR format is supported so its brushes can be imported.

The selection tools have also been completely rewritten to enable resizing of existing selections and the creation of rounded corners for rectangular selections.

The crop tool is also new, with resize handles that actually resize the crop rectangle instead of providing both resize and move functionality.

Selecting individual objects on images has been made easier with a new foreground select tool for masking unwanted areas. Objects can now be arranged automatically with the new Align tool, rather than by hand as before.

There is a new top-level colour menu that accumulates most tools, including Curves and Levels, plug-ins and scripts that adjust colours in RGB or greyscale mode and colour palettes in Indexed mode.

GIMP also provides full support for colour profiles allowing precise color modification throughout the whole ‘digital darkroom’ process.

GIMP 2.4 is a free download from gimp.org.

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