A new development version of GIMP is available to download and it carries some interesting new features.

While this isn’t a new stable release — GIMP 2.10.28 is the most recent stable release (and the version you’ll find in Ubuntu 21.10’s archives) — the release of GIMP 2.99.8 is yet another brick in the road to the long-fabled GIMP 3.0 release.

And it’s a fairly substantial brick, at that.

All of GIMP’s clone tools (i.e., clone, heal, and perspective clone) now work when multiple layers are selected. While the exact mechanics behind this change go over my head the changes, on paper at least, stand to extend the creative possibilities users have while using these tools.

New JPEG-XL export options

Wayland users will be pleased to hear that the selection cue (aka the visible selection boundary) is working again, and that a number of ‘huge memory leaks’ have been plugged (though GIMP devs decline to take credit for those).

Other changes include returning focus to the canvas by clicking anywhere on the toolbox or drop area, support for JPEG-XL files (including saving), and the ability to handle .psd files larger than 4GB.

WIndows Ink

Windows users also benefit from improved graphic tablet support in this revision thanks to the inclusion of Windows Ink support in GTK3 by Luca Bacci.

GIMP says “this is a huge milestone for artists using Windows since more graphics tablets or touch devices come with Ink support as a default whereas the legacy Wintab interface requires specific drivers”.

Those running GIMP 2.99.8 on Windows will find an option to switch between Wintab and Windows Ink in the Preferences > Input Devices page.

Download GIMP 2.99.8

GIMP 2.99.8 is free, open source software. You’ll find downloads on the development downloads page of the official GIMP website (where Linux users will find links to Flatpak builds).

As a development release you run the risk of bugs, crashes, or unexpected behaviours if using it, so keep that in mind (and save often) when working on important projects.

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