GIMP 2.10 screenshot

A new version of the hugely popular GIMP image editor is available to download.

GIMP 2.10.4 is (despite the number) the second minor release of the editor since the GIMP 2.10 arrived back in May and is packed with major improvements.

Asynchronous font loading

As changes go I’ll admit that asynchronous font loading sounds a trifle dull. But this change has a big impact on GIMP’s startup time (especially if, like me, you basically have entire Google Font archive stuffed in your fonts folder).

GIMP no longer has to wait for all your fonts to be fully loaded before it can load the rest of the This means faster startup times and faster workflow as you can start editing images right away using non-text tools/effects.

The relative downside to asynchronous font loading (as you’ll see in the video above) is that not all of your fonts might will be available right away should you try to use the text tool the moment the app appears.

This caveat is temporary and GIMP will let you know when it’s finished loading your fonts.

Font Tagging

Another font-related change in this release is the ability to tag fonts in the same manner as gradients, brushes and patterns.

As mentioned, I have a tonne of fonts on my system (I make a lot of banners and graphics for this site, and don’t like things to look “samey”) and font tagging allow me to label them based on style or tone, e.g., “comic book”, “thin”, “official company fonts”, for faster finding later.

Auto Straighten

GIMP Auto Straighten

Have you ever taken a really nice photo of a landscape, sunset or event only to later notice that you took it at an angle?

If so GIMP’s new auto-straighten option is at hand to help.

To rectify and auto-rotate your misaligned images just select the Measure tool from the tool picker,, measure the angle of the horizon on your image, and then click the new “Straighten” button to have GIMP adjust your image accordingly.

Other Changes

The improvements referenced above aren’t the only changes in GIMP 2.10.4:

  • Apply multiple transformations simultaneously in the transform filter
  • Dashboard widget can now show detailed memory usage
  • Better support for PSD files saved using “Maximize Compatibility” option
  • Selective Hue-Saturation
  • New tool option manager

You can find a full change-log for this release attached to the GIMP mailing list announcement.

Get GIMP 2.10.4

Ubuntu 18.04 ships with a much older version of GIMP in its archive (GIMP 2.8.22) so to benefit from all the changes and improvements in the 2.10.x series you’ll need to do look elsewhere.

The best place is on Flathub, where the latest version of GIMP is always available to install. Bonus: this is an officially maintained package, too!

GIMP on Flathub

If you’re an Ubuntu user you can add Otto Kesselgulasch’s GIMP PPA to upgrade to the latest release. Just run this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt update && sudo apt install gimp

Alternatively, you can tackle the task head-on and build GIMP from source.

Finally, if you’re in no rush to run the latest release you can wait for the unofficial GIMP AppImage (currently on v2.10.3) to be updated.

Thanks Tim

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