Introducing Inkscape 1.0

Smoother performance, HiDPI support, new & improved Live Path Effects & native macOS app

After a little over three years in development, the team is excited to launch the long awaited Inkscape 1.0 into the world.

Built with the power of a team of volunteers, this open source vector editor represents the work of many hearts and hands from around the world, ensuring that Inkscape remains available free for everyone to download and enjoy.

In fact, translations for over 20 out of all 88 languages were updated for version 1.0, making the software more accessible to people from all over the world.

A major milestone was achieved in enabling Inkscape to use a more recent version of the software used to build the editor’s user interface (namely GTK+3). Users with HiDPI (high resolution) screens can thank teamwork that took place during the 2018 Boston Hackfest for setting the updated-GTK wheels in motion.
Smoother performance & first native macOS application

This latest version is available for Linux, Windows and macOS. All macOS users will notice that this latest version is labelled as ‘preview’, which means that additional improvements are scheduled for the next versions. Overall, 1.0 delivers a smoother, higher performance experience on Linux and Windows, and a better system integration (no more XQuartz!) on macOS.
So many new bells and whistles

One of the first things users will notice is a reorganized tool box, with a more logical order. There are many new and improved Live Path Effect (LPE) features. The new searchable LPE selection dialog now features a very polished interface, descriptions and even the possibility of marking favorite LPEs. Performance improvements are most noticeable when editing node-heavy objects, using the Objects dialog, and when grouping/ungrouping.

This article was taken from the Inkscape Website. Click here to read the entire article on its Website.

GIMP 2.10.20 comes with new features as well as important bugfixes

Release highlights:

  • Tool-group menus can now expand on hover
  • Non-destructive cropping now available by cropping the canvas rather than actual pixels
  • Better PSD support: exporting of 16-bit files now available, reading/writing channels in the right order
  • On-canvas controls for the Vignette filter
  • New filters: Bloom, Focus Blur, Lens Blur, Variable Blur
  • Blending options now built into filter dialogs
  • Over 30 bugfixes

Toolbox updates

We listened to users’ feedback on introducing tool groups in the toolbox in the previous release. A lot of people told us they appreciated the change in general but were quite averse to having to click to open the list of tools in a group. The new release adds the option to show the tool-group menu as soon as the mouse hovers over the toolbox button, without having to click it. This option is enabled by default when the toolbox is arranged in a single column, but it can be enabled for arbitrary toolbox layouts, or disabled entirely, through the Toolbox page of the Preferences dialog.

Additionally, when not using the new behavior, toolbox tooltips now list all the tools in a group, to improve their discoverability.

Basic non-destructive cropping

GIMP now provides a kind of a non-destructive cropping behavior by default. Instead of deleting pixels that you cropped out and thus changing both the layer and the canvas, it will simply resize the canvas. If you export such an image, the resulted file will only have what you see within canvas boundaries.

The benefit of that is (at least) threefold:

  • You can revert to the original uncropped version by going to Image -> Fit Canvas to Layers. None of your edits between cropping and uncropping will disappear.
  • If you save your project as an XCF file, you can close the file and even quit GIMP and still be able to remove cropping and then crop differently at any time later.
  • When you are on the fence about your cropping decision, you can view pixels that you cropped out by going to View -> Show All.

If you want the old “destructive” behavior back, simply tick the ‘Delete cropped pixels’ checkbox in Crop tool’s settings.

The article about GIMP is taken from the GIMP Website blog. Click here to read the entire article on the blog.

Announcement of LibreOffice 7.0

Berlin, August 5, 2020

LibreOffice 7.0: the new major release of the best FOSS office suite ever is available on all OSes and platforms, and provides significant new features

The LibreOffice Project announces the availability of LibreOffice 7.0, a new major release providing significant new features: support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.3; Skia graphics engine and Vulkan GPU-based acceleration for better performance; and carefully improved compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.

Support for ODF 1.3. OpenDocument, LibreOffice’s native open and standardised format for office documents, has recently been updated to version 1.3 as an OASIS Technical Committee Specification. The most important new features are digital signatures for documents and OpenPGP-based encryption of XML documents, with improvements in areas such as change tracking, and additional details in the description of elements in first pages, text, numbers and charts. The development of ODF 1.3 features has been funded by donations to The Document Foundation.

Skia graphics engine and Vulkan GPU-based acceleration. The Skia graphics engine has been implemented thanks to sponsorship by AMD, and is now the default on Windows, for faster performance. Skia is an open source 2D graphics library which provides common APIs that work across a variety of hardware and software platforms, and can be used for drawing text, shapes and images. Vulkan is a new-generation graphics and compute API with high-efficiency and cross-platform access to modern GPUs.

Better compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files. DOCX now saves in native 2013/2016/2019 mode, instead of 2007 compatibility mode, to improve interoperability with multiple versions of MS Office, based on the same Microsoft approach. Export to XLSX files with sheet names longer than 31 characters is now possible, along with exporting checkboxes in XLSX. The “invalid content error” message was resolved when opening exported XLSX files with shapes. Finally, there were improvements to the PPTX import/export filter.

LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite arena, starting from native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) – with better security and interoperability features over proprietary formats – to almost perfect support for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files. In addition, LibreOffice includes filters for many legacy document formats, and as such is the best interoperability tool in the market.

This is a press release from the LibreOffice Website, written by Italo Vignoli. Click here to visit the article on the LibreOffice blog.