GIMP 2.10.6 launches with major improvements
A new version of the popular cross-platform image editor GIMP was released yesterday. GIMP 2.10.6 features a number of important changes and improvements including new filters and other enhancements.
While the new version of GIMP was released yesterday officially, builds for Windows and Mac OS X devices were published today.
The new stable version of the image editor can be downloaded from the project's website. It is provided as a direct and torrent download for Windows and Mac OS X, and as a Flatpack or source code release for GNU/Linux.
Windows users can install the new version over existing installations; customizations and choices made during installation of the initial version are preserved when the new version gets installed.
GIMP includes a modified file dialog that does away with the two file format lists that previous versions had.
The new dialog displays the location selector on the left, the list if matching files in the middle column, and a preview of selected items on the right. Below that is the new file filter which you may expand by clicking on "select file type".
The default is "automatically detected" but you can switch that to any of the supported types instead to filter the file listing at the top based on your selection.
Saving works similarly but with added options to create a new folder or change the target folder for the image.
You may check the "show all files" box in all dialogs to display all files in the file list.
As far as editor related changes are concerned, there are some. If you work with a lot of layers and relatively large images regularly, you will notice that responsiveness in regards to scrolling the list or hiding/showing layers improved significantly in GIMP 2.10.6 thanks to switching to asynchronous rendering.
GIMP introduced a new Horizon Straightening tool in GIMP 2.10.4 and with GIMP 2.10.6 comes vertical straightening support.
The Straighten mode is set to auto by default; when used, Straighten will "snap to the smaller angle to decide for vertical or horizontal straightening" but it is possible to override this by selecting horizontal or vertical from the measure tools panel.
Press Shift-M to launch the Measure tool in GIMP or select Tools > Measure from the menu at the top.
GIMP 2.10.6 includes two new filters that users can make use of:
- Little Planet, which you find under Filters > Map > Little Planet,Â takes the image (preferably a panorama image) and turns it into miniature planets.
- Long Shadow, which you find under Filters > Light and Shadow > Long Shadow, creates long shadows using several visual styles.
The new version of GIMP introduces vertical text layer support next to all that which is particularly useful for East-Asian writing systems that use the orientation but also for design.
The text tool supports the following options in GIMP 2.10.6:
- From left to right.
- From right to left.
- Vertical, right to left (mixed orientation).
- Vertical, right to left (upright orientation).
- Vertical, left to right (mixed orientation).
- Vertical, left to right (upright orientation).
GIMP 2.10.6 improves DLL handling on Windows further to avoid what is commonly known as DLL-hell. The new release improves the handling which should result in fewer conflicts and issues. The upcoming version 3 of GIMP requires that plugins put files into their own directories which version 2.x does not.
The development team teased a new central extensions manager in GIMP that improves management of any content -- plugins, brushes, gradients -- in GIMP. The feature has not yet landed in Stable but it will make an appearance in future 2.10.x versions of GIMP.
Closing Words and verdict
GIMP 2.10.6 introduces new features and improvements to the image editor. While most of them are quite specialized and only useful for certain use cases, improvements to the load and save functionality are certainly welcome by the majority of users.
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