GIMP 2.7.3 adds Single Window Mode
GIMP 2.7.3 has added one of the most requested features in the program’s history: a single window mode. Version 2.7 is part of the development branch, so unfortunately, the feature won't hit most distro repositories for a while.
As I said, because 2.7 is a development branch, most distributions won’t add it to their repositories, and this means that you’ll have to build it yourself. It’s a shame, in a way, because the new window mode might be viewed as a ease of use feature that less advanced users would appreciate. According to this page, it looks like version 2.8 should arrive in about November.
If you want to have a sneak peek at the new development features, you’ll probably have to compile from scratch. As it’s a development version, it depends on some up to date libraries which you may have to add by hand. Fortunately, if you’re an Ubuntu user, you can use this excellent guide to find all the bits that you’ll need.
The one window mode is activated by selecting the option in the Windows menu. So, people who prefer the old way of working still can. It handles multiple open documents with an iconified tab bar that runs along the top of the screen.
The single window interface. The two questions are: What will long term users make of it? Will new users find it more appealing?
Personally, I’m sure that this is how I’ll be using GIMP from now on. I’ve used the program a lot of over the years, despite an interface that I always considered to be rather awkward. As for gauging how a new user would take to the program, it’s difficult to be sure. For a start, it should look more inviting than the old interface and reminiscent of other programs with a similar purpose.
Let me know if you spot any promising looking custom repos, PPAs or packages for 2.7 series, and I add them to the post.
[User bartman2589 has spotted a PPA that he has successfully installed. See comments.]
The gimpusers.com guide to compiling the development branch on Ubuntu. It’s not that difficult and the guide should work as an aid for people working with other distibutions.
A summary of all of the changes to 2.7 series so far.
The download page with direct links to the 2.7.3 tarball.
UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.