GIMP Adds New Interface and Nested Layer Groups in Version 2.8

The GNU Image Manipulation Project, more popularly known as GIMP, has just released version 2.8; the first complete GIMP overhaul since 2008. For those who don’t know (and there probably aren’t many) GIMP is famous for being a slightly more complicated (and a lot more free) alternative to Photoshop with fewer features. And it seems that, right on cue with the Adobe CS6 release, GIMP is trying to close the gap between the two products that’s been widening these last 4 years.

Ars Technica has a detailed review if you want to get into specifics, but the most significant improvements you’ll find in Version 2.8 include: layer groups, a single window mode, canvas-based text editing — all highly-requested features — and a layout overhaul to make the whole experience much easier and more user-friendly. Unfortunately, the Mac port of version 2.8 isn’t ready yet, but Windows users can already start fiddling with the new GIMP.

Of course even the newest version of GIMP can’t compete head to head with Photoshop; but if you don’t have 75$ to spend month to month, or upwards of $699 to spend right away, then GIMP Version 2.8 is definitely better equipped to hold you over until you do.

(via Ars Technica via Life Hacker)

  • Bua


  • Odysseus

    I’ve done all my work; website graphics, print graphics, magazines, posters, etc with the combination of Gimp (with Separate+) and Inkscape (and RawTherapee) for more than 8 years now. Running them completely on Linux Fedora.

    Therefore I can really say that there is NO NEED whatsoever to go and buy a VERY expensive and VERY clumsy “tabbed” Photoshop.

  • Carsten Schlipf

    As a long term GIMP user, but also owner of a Photoshop license through my company, I never got friend with Photoshop. Yes, I am biased, but GIMP offers all the basic things, plus there is a very powerful plugin community – all plugins for free, where you have to pay for most Photoshop plugins a lot of money in addition to the Photoshop price.

    Context Aware Fill? Take the Resynthesizer plugin:

    And then there are even quite some great plugins, where I haven’t found a Photoshop equivalent.

    For example Focus Blur for a better tilt shift:

    Or the great Wavelet Decompose for retouching skins:

  • Joakim

    Nice at last support for 16 bit, not a day to late even tho they just say that function is a minor update.

  • Pat David

    I just had to drop in quickly to say a) thanks for the link – I also have not found a good replacement for Wavelet Decompose in PS…

    and b) wow – thanks for the great tilt-shift link with FB!  I had previously manually masked things using a similar technique, but it’s great to see that writeup!