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GNU GIMP 2.8.0 Free Image Editing Tool Review for Windows 7

GNU GIMP is a freeware photo editing or image manipulation program which allows you to view, edit and enhance your photos. It is a feature rich software which can perform number of tasks. It is a customizable and open source software which is expandable and extensible. It can perform from basic to complex photo manipulation tasks. GNU GIMP has an interface which is not very much user friendly and for beginners, it may take some time to get used to this program as it may be a bit complicated. It has almost all the basic tools that are required in a photo editor software. Installation of this application is simple and its features are explained below in detail.

What is new in this Version?

  • Single window mode has been added along with multi-window mode
  • Mutli-Column dock windows
  • Layer Groups
  • Save and Export feature
  • On-Canvas text editing can be done now
  • Tools have been ported to Cairo
  • Keyboard shortcut improvements
  • Enhancements in size entry widget
  • Improvements in brush system and tool preset
  • Cage transform tool has been added
  • Resource tagging and file plug-ins have also been added

1. Painting and Image Editing

A complete suite of painting tools is available for image editing. These tools include:

  • Paint brush, airbrush, pencil, eraser and ink tools used to create new or blended pixels.
  • Bucket fill and blend tools are used to change large regions of space in an image and can be used to help blend images.
  • The blur and sharpen tool is a brush that blurs and sharpens the image.
  • The dodge and burn tool is a brush that makes target pixels lighter.
  • Transform tools include the align tool, move, crop, rotate, scale, shear, perspective and flip tools.
  • Selection of smart tools like clone tool, which are tools that use a more complex algorithm to enable a user to do things that otherwise can be time consuming.

2. Advanced Manipulation Features

  • Layers are an integral part of image editing. Layers are used in digital image editing to separate different elements of an image. An image can consist of many layers resting in a stack, these layers can be compared to a transparent sheet on which imaging effects are applied and placed over or under an image.
  • GIMP has full alpha channel support which measures opacity where a whole or part of an image can be completely visible, partially visible or invisible.

3. Tile Based Memory Management

Unlimited number of images can open virtually at one time but it has tile based memory management, so image size remains limited to available disk space.

4. Automation

  • GIMP has more than 150 standard effects and filters.
  • Advanced scripting capabilities like Scheme, Python, Perl; operations can be automated with scripting languages like Script-Fu and Python-Fu.
  • Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters, over 100 plug-ins already available.

5. File handling

  • GIMP supports importing and exporting with SVG path.
  • Supported file formats include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others.
  • GIMP can load, display, convert and save to many file formats.

6. Animation

  • GAP is a GIMP animation package which is an extension to GIMP.
  • GAP can save animations in various formats including AVI and GIF.
  • Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format.
  • Frame Navigator, Onion Skin and Bluebox is included in GAP.

7. Selections and Paths

A selection is a list of items on which a user perform operations e.g text selection is associated with cut, copy, paste operations which can be performed with cursor, caret navigation or touch. Similarly, image editing is another selection. Tools used for creation of such selections are rectangular and circular selection tool, free select tool, and fuzzy select tool. GIMP has more advanced selection tools like select by color tool and scissors select tool. Paths can be used to create complex selections around natural curves.

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