GIMP update introduces multiple fixes, improves single-window mode

Open-source image editor GIMP 2.8.6 FINAL has been released for Windows and Linux. This popular -- and powerful -- image manipulation tool, which is also available for Mac, is primarily a maintenance release, but does include some interesting feature tweaks, many of which improve the program’s single-window mode that was introduced in version 2.8.

Chief among these changes is the increase in the supported maximum size of clipboard brushes and patterns to 1,024×1,024 pixels. Also improved is how users switch focus back to the canvas screen in single-window mode, with the [Escape] key now used for that task.

The update also adds a default "Color from Gradient" dynamics and tool preset and includes a Hungarian translation to the installer for the first time.

Fixes to the program core centre around saving  and exporting, with resolutions to saving or exporting compressed files implemented along with the restoration of saving to URIs (uniform resource identifier), which had previously been broken. Other core changes include fixing brush spacing for drawing in any direction and making sure data objects are saved even when the only change is that to their name.

GUI tweaks include preventing single-window docks from shrinking smaller than their requisition and ensuring their right-hand docks retain their size across sessions. Users can now change the spacing of non-generated brushes again too, while the program promises to be "smarter" about dealing with unavailable fonts, which should reduce crashes.

Users can also now close GIMP in single-window mode simply by single-clicking the close button, while the View-close ([Ctrl] + [W]) shortcut now only closes image windows and tabs, leaving docks alone.

One notable plug-in change fixes zealous crops around transparent borders, while the update is rounded off with numerous more bug fixes and translation updates.

GIMP 2.8.6 FINAL is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows and Linux. The Mac build -- currently still at 2.8.4 -- should be updated shortly.

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