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The developers behind the freeware image editor GIMP have finally released a new version, GIMP 2.8. Users have been rewarded for their wait by a huge list of new features and improvements.

The most obvious new feature is the new “single window” view. GIMP has always opened as a cluster of windows – the main image editing, the toolbox and tool options. Depending on user settings even more sub-windows might appear. Users can still open GIMP in this way if they choose, but users can also now enable a single window view that’s similar to the interface competitors have offered for years LiveBrush - A Versatile Freeware Image Editor That Lets You Draw Like An Artist LiveBrush - A Versatile Freeware Image Editor That Lets You Draw Like An Artist Read More .

Layer grouping is another important addition. Building complex images in GIMP was sometimes difficult because layers could not be categorized. That disadvantage has now been rectified with tree-structure groupings that can be scripted via GIMP’s API How To Use Scripts & Plugins in GIMP How To Use Scripts & Plugins in GIMP Read More .

Users will also enjoy a new graphics library for smoother rendering, on-canvas text editing that removes the need for a second window, “dockable” dialog windows for easier organization of tools and a better definition between the save and export options.

Currently an installer is only available for computers running Windows XP SP3 or later. Mac and Linux users can obtain GIMP 2.8 by compiling the stable source code or can wait for installers to become available on the developer’s site.

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Source: Ars Technica

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