The GIMP project has announced the release of the most awaited version 2.8. This version brings the much talked about single-windowed mode. The new version has come out after three years.
GIMP 2.8 introduces an optional single-window mode. You can toggle between the default multi-window mode and the new single-window mode through the Single-window mode checkbox in the Windows menu. In single-window mode, GIMP will put dockable dialogs and images in a single, tabbed image window. The single-window mode setting is of course preserved if you quit and start GIMP again. This was a much awaited features as it makes the life of a designer easier. I am a heavy GIMP user and the single-window mode brings and end to my troubles dealing with multiple windows especially when handling more than one image.
Save vs export
One slightly annoying change is saving and exporting images. It will take some time for muscle memories to retrain themselves. But on the other hand it is a positive change as at times I wished I had saved a xcf file of the image to make changes later. No, hitting ctrl+s saves the image in xcf format. In order to save image in .jpg, .png or other formats you will have to hit the ctrl+e button which invokes the export option instead of saving it.
According to GIMP release notes, "There are some optimizations for alternative workflows such as opening a jpg, polishing it, and quickly exporting back to the original file. This conceptual change has also allowed us to get rid of the annoying dialogs that warned about the flatting of images when saving to non-layered formats."
We will be publishing a detailed review of GIMP soon, in the mean time if you are an *Ubuntu or Linux Mint user you can easily install GIMP 2.8 using a PPA. Just keep in mind if you are using gimp-plugin-registry you will need to remove it first before adding the PPA and installing GIMP. I will recommend un-installing the previous version of GIMP before installing the new version using the PPA to avoid any dependency conflict.
Install GIMP 2.8
Open terminal and run this command
sudo apt-get remove gimp
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp
You should now be running the latest version of GIMP.