Feature Prioritization

This is roughly how the core development team plans GIMP evolution. Note that this does not mean we are not interested in contributions in other areas. Since GIMP is developed as a community, all it takes to revise priority is for anyone to contribute.

The bottom line is that GIMP is what we all make of it. There is no single company or entity heading the software (code admission is based on quality and merit, not dictated by business).

ℹ️ Below roadmaps are not “holy truth”, they are flexible and evolving.

GIMP 2.10.x (Stable branch roadmap)

The 2.10.x series coexists with the ongoing work to port GIMP to GTK+3 and cleanup obsolete API.

We try to backport fixes and new features to 2.10.x when we can.

This branch is considered pretty stable and our focus really shifted on GIMP 3.0. It is still possible that new features appear in further 2.10 releases, yet expectation is low.

Feature Status Comments
High bit depths Yes Released in 2.9.2
Preview filters on canvas Yes Released in 2.9.2
OpenCL support Yes Released in 2.9.2, more plugins need OpenCL version
Turn the IWarp plug-in into an on-canvas tool Yes Initial version released in 2.9.2. Improved version released in 2.9.6.
Merge basic transformation tools Yes Unified Transform tool, released in 2.9.2
Canvas rotation and flipping Yes Released in 2.9.2
MyPaint Brush tool Yes Released in 2.9.4. No brush create/edit support (bug 768772 )
Support the XDG Base Directory Specification Yes Released in 2.9.2
Symmetry painting Yes Released in 2.9.4
Layer modes rewrite Yes We need to support both legacy, gamma-corrected, and linear modes, sensible UI is missing
Better support for image metadata Yes Released in 2.9.6
Support layer masks on layer groups Yes Released in 2.10
Cleanup libgimp Yes We need to go through the API with a fine comb and check to deprecate all functions which are not suitable for 3.0.
UI themes Yes Released in 2.9.6
Icon themes Yes Released in 2.9.6
Icon size minimal support Yes Released in 2.9.6
Color management fixes and improvements work in progress Changes released in 2.10.x, more coming in 3.x
Support for gamma encodings other than the sRGB TRC Yes
Support for RGB working spaces other than sRGB Yes currently being worked on in babl, more to be done
Fix compositing part of blending modes Yes

Milestone 2.10 in Gitlab

GIMP 3.0

The focus of this version is to complete the GTK+3 port and reduce technical debt in used technologies.


  • Better maintained version of GTK+
  • Better Wacom support
  • Better handling of HiDPI displays
  • Wayland support on Linux
  • Refactored code, easier to build new features upon
Feature Status Comments
Port to GTK3 nearly done GtkAction→GMenuModel port remaining
Port away from intltool done We are now full gettext
Port to meson build done Extensive testing phase. Autotools build still available as fallback
Redesign API for scripts/plug-ins work in progress GObject Introspection introduced, along with refactoring, no wire protocol redesign in the end, big API improvements still worked on
Wayland support work in progress Various bugs still happen, especially in window management area (broken sizes and positions), color management…
Space invasion work in progress Various color management improvements, CMYK support (not as core image format, but import/export and picking/choosing/viewing)…
Multi-layer selection nearly done Most tools are multi-layer aware, some code still need to be improved (Alignment tool, GEGL filters, plug-in API…)
Extensions management work in progress Core work mostly done; website and platform still need to be done
Paint Select tool playground Released as experimental in 2.99.4, needs work
Less “floating selection” nearly done Discussed on the gimp-gui mailing list , transform tools still create floating selections

Milestone 3.0 in Gitlab

GIMP 3.2

The focus of this release is going to be on non-destructive editing. Note that both adjustment layers and layer effects/styles are the terminologies currently used in requests by users. We haven’t yet assessed, how exactly non-destructive editing is going to be implemented.

More features e.g. from the ‘Future’ section can sneak in, but that will depend on the availability of developers.

Feature Status Comments
Filter/Adjustment layers No Needs complete GEGL port first, API for stacking GEGL ops on a layer will be available in 2.10
Layer effects No bevel/emboss, drop shadow etc.
Core animation work in progress Animation plug-in is dropped, this is being rewritten as a core feature
Script recording and playback work in progress #8 This has somehow started through the 3.0 API rewrite in 3.0 which will make macro support a stroll in the park
Smart objects work in progress #453
Bi-direction core ⇆ plug-ins communication work in progress !120 Allow core to send signals for plug-ins to react

Milestone 3.2 in Gitlab


Many of these features can be implemented in a branch and merged into the main development branch as we go, especially since we aim to loosen up the “no new features in stable releases” policy. Please talk to us, if you want to work on any of those.

Feature Status Comments
Seamless Clone tool playground Released as experimental in 2.9.2, needs work
N-point deformation tool playground Released as experimental in 2.9.2, needs work
Particle selection tool No See comment on issue 2912 The Foreground selection interaction should be reworked as a tool to select particles or object borders
Automatic layer boundary management work in progress #32
Auto-anchoring of floating selection Being discussed See gimp-gui mailing list discussion
Optionally save undo history in the XCF No #89
Brushpack support No
Support SwatchBooker file format for palettes and gradients No
High-end CMYK support No As a backend pixel storage. Also see the main GIMP FAQ for details
Better text handling No See Improvements in the text handling , #35
Shape tool No Easily create circles, rectangles, N-side polygons, stars etc.
Vector layers work in progress !551 Back-end exists since 2006, UI is missing.
Better window management No Rather than a SWM vs MWM, both able to do some things the other can’t, we should have a single window mode which can do everything
Graph view Being discussed As an alternative to the layer view, a graph-based view is regularly discussed
Auto-save No Implementation details are still being discussed; it might pass through a new XCF version based on GEGL buffers
Improve resource creation No Dedicated GUI to create brushes, patterns, or other resources would be welcome
Milestone “Future” in Gitlab