GIMP supports importing and exporting with a large number of different file formats,[127] GIMP`s native XCF format is designed to store all the information that GIMP may contain on an image. XCF is named after the eXperimental Computing Facility where GIMP was written. The import and export capability can be extended to other file formats using plug-ins. The XCF file size has been expanded to over 4 GB since version 2.9.6 and the new stable tree 2.10.x. GIMP 2.8 was released on May 3, 2012 with several UI revisions. This includes a redesigned storage/export menu that aims to reinforce the idea that information is lost during export. The Text tool has also been redesigned so that a user edits the text on the canvas rather than in a separate dialog box. This feature was one of the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) projects of 2006. The version number used in GIMP is expressed in a major-minor-micro format, with each number having a specific meaning: the first (major) number is only increased for important developments (and is currently 2).

The second (smaller) number is incremented with each release of new features, with odd numbers reserved for current development releases and even numbers assigned to stable releases. The third (micro) number is incremented before and after each release (resulting in even numbers for versions and odd numbers for development snapshots), with all bug fixes then applied and released for a stable release. The Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) was first introduced as part of GIMP in GIMP version 2.6. This first introduction does not yet exhaust all the capabilities of GEGL; Starting with version 2.6, GIMP can use GEGL to perform color operations at high bit depth. Because of this, less information is lost when performing color operations. [125] When GEGL is fully integrated, GIMP has a higher color bit depth and a better non-destructive workflow. GIMP 2.8.xx only supports 8-bit colors, which is much less than what e.B digital cameras (12-bit or higher) produce. Full support for high bit depth is included in GIMP 2.10.

OpenCL enables hardware acceleration for certain operations. [126] After the first publication, GIMP was quickly adopted and a community of contributors was formed. The community began developing tutorials and graphics and sharing better workflows and techniques. [12] Between 2005 and 2012, the giMP user interface was designed by a team dedicated to design and usability. This team was formed after the giMP developers signed up for the OpenUsability project. [81] A user interface brainstorming group has now been set up for GIMP[82],[83] where GIMP users can submit their suggestions on how they think the GIMP user interface could be improved. The GIMP website contains links to binary installers compiled for the platform by Jernej Simončič. [86] MacPorts has been listed as a recommended provider of Mac versions of GIMP,[87] but this is no longer necessary because version 2.8.2 and later runs natively on macOS. [88] GTK+ was originally designed to run on an X11 server. Because macOS can optionally use an X11 server, porting GIMP to macOS is easier than creating a Windows port. GIMP is also available on Android as part of the Ubuntu noroot package from the Google Play Store.

[89] In November 2013, GIMP removed its download from SourceForge, citing misleading download buttons that can confuse customers, as well as SourceForge`s own Windows installer that bundles potentially unwanted programs. In a statement, GIMP called SourceForge once “a useful and trustworthy place to develop and host FLOSS applications” that “now has a problem with the ads they allow on their websites…”[90][91][92] It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple painting program, as an expert quality photo editing program, as an online batch processing system, as a mass production image rendering engine, as an image format converter, etc. Significant revisions to the user interface and tools were made available with GIMP 2.4.0 on October 24, 2007. Newly written selection tools, the use of Tango-style directives for a sophisticated user interface across all platforms, a leading selection tool and support for the ABR brush file type, as well as the ability to resize brushes, have been some of the many updates. The tools used for image editing are accessible through the Toolbox, menus, and dialog boxes. This includes filters and brushes, as well as tools for transforming, selecting, overlaying, and hiding. GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms.

But basically, the same code also works on Windows and macOS. The new tools included new brushes (and a new brush file format), grayscale and RGB transparency, bucket fill patterns and a pattern selection dialog box, built-in paint modes, frame, spring and color selectors, a pencil and eraser paint tool, Gamma adjustments and a limited layer motion tool. GIMP is presented in two forms, in single and multi-window mode. [84] GIMP 2.10 uses single window mode by default. In multi-window mode, a number of windows contain all the features of GIMP. By default, the tools and tool settings are on the left and the other dialog boxes on the right. [85] A Layers tab is often located to the right of the Tools tab and allows the user to work individually on separate image layers. Layers can be edited by right-clicking a specific layer to display editing options for that layer.

The Tools tab and the Layers tab are the most common dockable tabs. [Citation needed] Text layers can be created using the Type tool so that a user can write to an image. .