A whole new default icon theme has been created for 2.4. The icons
comply with the Tango style guidelines so GIMP doesn't feel out of
place on any of the supported platforms. Regardless of whether you
run GIMP under Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X or Linux (GNOME, KDE or
Xfce), GIMP provides a polished, consistent look.
New Look of the toolbox in GIMP 2.4
Additionally the icons also have enhanced usability on dark widget
themes, which is a common setting among digital artists.
For artists preferring more desaturated color theme for their icons
is an alternative icon theme available for download
The tool options now include a brush size slider that affects both
the parametric and bitmap brushes. This has been an oft-requested
feature from both digital painters and photo editors.
Scalable brushes in GIMP 2.4
Unlike previous versions of GIMP, regardless of whether you're using
a bitmap brush, parametric brush or even a picture tube (multiple
bitmaps), you can easily set the brush size with either the tool
options dock slider or an external device such as a MIDI slider or
knob or a USB device like the Griffin Powermate.
The selection tools have been rewritten from scratch to allow
resizing of existing selections. Additionally the rectangular
selection tool includes a setting for creating rounded corners as
this has been identified as a very common task among web designers.
Selection tools in GIMP 2.4
The learning curve for the tools has been flattened as the key
functionality is available without obscure shortcuts that confused
GIMP beginners. Most of the existing shortcuts still work, but the
functionality is either available through the tool options or made
obsolete due to the interactive move and resize on canvas.
While the tools have been redesigned to make them easier to
understand for the newbies, all the former functionality is there.
You can still constrain aspect ratios or specific sizes.
Foreground Select Tool
Selecting individual objects on images is easier now with a new
foreground select tool
. It is done in two steps. First, you make
select region of interest which contains the entire object. Then you
paint over selected area with a brush, not crossing object’s border.
Release mouse button when you’re done and look, if there are dark
blue spots on your objects. If there are some, paint with a brush
over them again and release to refine selection. When there are no
more blue areas inside the object, press Enter and there you have a
perfectly selected object.
While GIMP has provided a grid and guideline functionality, the
actual alignment of objects had to be done manually. A new tool
comes at rescue ...
Changes in menus
Most notable is the new top-level Color menu that accumulates most
tools, plug-ins and scripts that adjust colors in RGB/Grayscale mode
and color palettes in Indexed mode. So now you can reach functions
like Levels or Curves much faster than before, unless you define
your own keyboard shortcuts for them using the improved keyboard
In the new version of GIMP, some menu entries have changed their
names and position. It was done mostly to simplify learning curve
and improve user experience. After all, "HSV Noise" and "RGB Noise"
sound more meaningful than "Scatter HSV" and "Scatter RGB", don't
they? And status bar hints for all plug-ins and scripts are quite
Support for file formats
Support for Photoshop ABR brush format;
Improved reading/writing EXIF in JPEG;
Importing clipping paths in TIFF;
Layer masks can be saved to PSD;
16/32 bit bitmaps and alpha-channel support in BMP;
24 bit and Vista icons can be opened and saved.
The fullscreen mode has been improved to not only allow getting a
full scale preview of the artwork, but also allow comfortable
editing. The artist has maximum screen estate available while all
functionality is quickly accessible by pressing the Tab key (toggles
visibility of all docks) when working fullscreen.
Whether painting or touching up photos, fullscreen editing keeps all
the distracting elements out of sight on a key press. It's like
observing stars in a field as opposed to a light-polluted city.
Color Management and Soft-proofing
GIMP now provides full support for color profiles allowing precise
color modification throughout the whole
“digital darkroom” process.
Color management in GIMP 2.4
New Crop Tool
Just like the selection tools, the new crop tool has been enhanced
since the last release. The resize handles actually resize the crop
rectangle instead of providing both resize and move functionality.
The tool behaves more naturally and consistently with other GIMP
tools. For details see Section 4.4, “Crop”.
To move, simply drag the rectangle clicking within the area.
Resizing is possible in one or two axes at the same time dragging
the handle-bars on the sides and corners. The outside area is
darkened with a nice passepartout effect to better get the idea of
how the final crop will look like.
Red Eye Removal
While numerous red-eye workflows exist already, GIMP now features a
very convenient auto-magic filter to remove red eye from your shots.
The healing brush is a new tool, similar in the working of the
clone tool, that permits to quickly fix small defects or
imperfections due to scratching or dust. In fact the tool is smart
enough to being able to understand where and
how to modify an image to cure these defects based on image color
Here is another clone-like new tool that is able to adapt the
destination geometry, instead of color as does the healing brush,
based on preselected distortion settings. As the name suggests,
perfect when copying images blocks with some type of prospective
A very common problem exposing itself especially when using cheaper
lenses is barrel distortion and vignetting. Luckily GIMP provides a
brand new filter to compensate for both problems. Saving
photographer's pocket is our mission!
Various Other Improvements
In addition to all the above, GIMP has been improved in other areas
Better status information for tools in the window status bar.
Various speedups in composing functions and gradient drawing.
Zoomable preview widget for plugins.