Gimp 2.10

What you need: Win­dows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1 or 10 (64-bit only)

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This pop­u­lar open-source im­age-edit­ing pro­gram has a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing com­pli­cated – let’s just say it’s more Adobe Pho­to­shop than Mi­crosoft Paint. But, while Gimp of­fers many pro­fes­sional-level fea­tures, such as layer-based edit­ing and sup­port for plug-ins, it’s also well de­signed and straight­for­ward enough for any­one to use.

Ver­sion 2.10 rep­re­sents Gimp’s first ma­jor up­date in more than five years, and it in­tro­duces a raft of im­prove­ments and ad­di­tions, in­clud­ing a whole fresh look. The new de­fault dark theme looks smart but also helps draw your eye to your sub­ject – the pho­tos them­selves. The pro­gram now sup­ports high bit-depth im­ages and ad­vanced GEGL (Gen­eral Graph­ics Li­brary) fil­ters, which let you preview and com­pare your changes with the orig­i­nal im­age. An en­hanced Trans­form tool, mean­while, makes it pos­si­ble to carry out sev­eral dif­fer­ent ac­tions – re­siz­ing, ro­tat­ing or cor­rect­ing per­spec­tive, for ex­am­ple – at the same time. These are just a few of the many new tools and im­prove­ments. For a full list, visit

There are a cou­ple of things to bear in mind when down­load­ing Gimp. The first is that ver­sion 2.10 only sup­ports 64 bit ver­sions of Win­dows. If you’re run­ning a 32 bit system (check un­der Set­tings, System, About), then you’ll have to stick with an older ver­sion of the pro­gram.

Also, when we down­loaded Gimp on to one of our test PCS, our antivirus falsely iden­ti­fied the in­staller as mal­ware and quar­an­tined it. The in­staller is safe, though. If you can’t down­load the in­staller by click­ing the ‘Down­load GIMP 2.10.0 di­rectly’ but­ton on the page we’ve linked to above, then click the ‘di­rect down­load here’ link be­low the down­load buttons, then click the ‘gimp-2.10.0-x64-setup.exe’ file in the list.

1 Gone are Gimp’s colourful tool icons – al­most ev­ery el­e­ment of the new in­ter­face is monochrome. You can switch back to colour tools by click­ing Edit, Pref­er­ences, Icon Theme, Color and click­ing OK.

2 To ac­cess the new Trans­form tool, click Tools, Trans­form Tools, Uni­fied Trans­form. Sev­eral dif­fer­ently shaped han­dles will ap­pear around the edges of your im­age along with a Uni­fied Trans­form box, top right.

3 Move your mouse over or around the han­dles to see a mes­sage be­low the im­age ex­plain­ing what ac­tions are avail­able. Click­ing and drag­ging a han­dle will dis­tort, shear, ro­tate or scale the im­age.

4 To ap­ply a GEGL fil­ter, click Tools, then GEGL Oper­a­tion and select a tool from the drop­down menu. You can tweak the set­tings in the box that opens. Select “Split view” to com­pare with the orig­i­nal.

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