GIMP is a free photo editing suite that is an alternative to Photoshop. The program is open-source, and it has been preferred by Linux users for many years. GIMP is compatible with most Photoshop files, and its most recent updates have seen helpful changes to the program's interface. There are versions of the program for all major operating systems.
- Edit photos in multiple file formats
- Filters and enhancements to make photos look great
- Free with no monthly subscription required
- Free to download and use
- Compatible with most Photoshop files
- Simple interface
- Poor text tool
- No adjustment layer
GIMP has been around for many years, but it is only recently that the program has mounted a strong challenge to the dominance of Photoshop. This can be credited to software improvements and the availability of the program for Windows. Linux users have always been aware of the program's usefulness, and it is even packaged with some Linux distributions. The UI for GIMP looks very familiar to Photoshop. Individuals with Photoshop experience will have no problems making the transition to GIMP, and doing so could save them hundreds of dollars each year. With that being said, the Adobe purist will still become frustrated with how GIMP handles some of its features. Panels are used to display features like brushes, palettes, and paths. There is also a separate panel for tools. Users can customize the panels to their own liking by removing some features and adding others, but the process is far less intuitive than it is with Photoshop. The menus at the top of the screen are standard. There are tabs for File, Edit, and View in addition to Image and Filters. The Help tab will take users to a large amount of documentation that can be very helpful in learning the ins and outs of the program. One item that users will find missing is a Text menu. This is probably due to the fact that creating text with GIMP leaves a lot to be desired. It just doesn't yield the same results as it does with Photoshop. There are also no adjustment layers in GIMP. This will also be disappointing to some Photoshop users. For what it does, though, GIMP serves users well. It's biggest benefit may be that it provides an opportunity to break free from expensive monthly subscriptions.
I think Gimp is an excellent free alternative to Photoshop, however it doesn't come anywhere near the kind of things that Photoshop can do. I would recommend this if you're trying to save money, however if you rely on this rather than paying the extra money for Photoshop, your work wont be anywhere near as good.