5. What's New in GIMP 2.2?

Here is a brief summary of some of the most important new features introduced in GIMP 2.2. There are many other smaller changes that long-time users will notice and appreciate (or complain about!). There are also important changes at the level of plug-in programming and Script-Fu creating that are not covered here.

Interoperability and Standards Support
  • You can drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste image data from the GIMP to any application which supports image/png drops (currently Abiword and Kword at least) and image/xml+svg drops (Inkscape supports this one). So you can copy-and-paste curves into the GIMP from Inkscape, and then drag a selection into Abiword to include it inline in your document.

  • Patterns can now be any supported GtkPixbuf format, including png, jpeg, xbm and others.

  • GIMP can load gradients from SVG files, and palettes from ACT and RIFF files.

  • Drag-and-drop support has been extended. You can now drop files and URIs onto an image window, where they will be opened in the existing image as new layers.

    [Nota] Nota

    Please note, that Drag and Drop will not work for Apple Mac OS X between GIMP and the finder. This is due to a lack of functionality on Apples X11.app

Shortcut Editor

You can now edit your shortcuts in a dedicated dialog, as well as continue to use the little-known dynamic shortcuts feature (which has been there since 1.2).

Plug-in Previews

We have provided a standard preview widget for plug-in authors which greatly reduces the amount of code required to support previews. David Odin has integrated this widget into all the current filters, so that now many more filters in the GIMP include a preview which updates in real time, and the various previews behave much more consistently.

Real-Time Previews of Transform Operations

The transform tools (shear, scale, perspective and rotate) can now show a real-time preview of the result of the operation when the tool is in Traditional mode. Previously, only a transforming grid was shown.

GNOME Human Interface Guide Conformance

A lot of work has been done on making the GIMP's interface simpler and more usable for newcomers. Most dialogs now follows the GNOME HIG to the best of our knowledge. In addition, dialogs have separated out or removed many Advanced options, and replaced them with sane defaults or hidden them in an expander.

GTK+ 2.4 Migration
  • Menus use the GtkUIManager to generate menu structure dynamically from XML data files.

  • A completely revamped File Chooser is used everywhere in the GIMP for opening or saving files. The best thing about it is that it lets you create a set of bookmarks, making it possible to navigate quickly and easily to commonly used directories.

  • GIMP now supports fancy ARGB cursors when they are available on the system.

Basic Vector Support

Using the GFig plug-in, the GIMP now supports the basic functionality of vector layers. The GFig plug-in supports a number of vector graphics features such as gradient fills, Bezier curves and curve stroking. It is also the easiest way to create regular or irregular polygons in the GIMP. In the GIMP 2.2, you can create GFig layers, and re-edit these layers in GFig afterwards. This level of vector support is still quite primitive, however, in comparison to dedicated vector-graphics programs such as Inkscape.

Also . . .

There are many other smaller user-visible features. A rapid-fire list of some of those features is below.

  • It is now possible to run the GIMP in batch mode without an X server.

  • We have a GIMP binary (GIMP-console) which is not linked to GTK+ at all.

  • Improved interface for extended input devices

  • Editable toolbox: You can now decide which tools should be shown in the Toolbox, and their order. In particular, you can add any or all of the Color Tools to the Toolbox if you wish to.

  • Histogram overlays R, G and B histograms on the Value histogram, and calculates the histogram only for the contents of the selection.

  • Shortcuts are now shared across all GIMP windows.