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Why GIMP is Better than Adobe Photoshop

- - 67 comments
I’m no graphics professional, but like probably most of you, I do need to edit photos from time to time. I used Adobe Photoshop before since it is the most widely used image manipulating software. But when I started using Linux, things changed.

Since GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is included by default in most Linux distros, I had no other choice but to try it. I then became more and more comfortable using it that I completely forgot about Photoshop. I know that I can still install Photoshop in Linux through software virtualization, but no thanks.

Here are my reasons why I made the switch and why I think GIMP is better than Photoshop:

1. GIMP has a simple and easy to use Graphical User Interface compared to a more cluttered working environment in Photoshop.

2. GIMP has a way lighter footprint than Photoshop. You don’t need plenty of disk space to install GIMP. The size of Gimp’s installer is less than 20MB; Photoshop could be around 600MB.

3. GIMP is wicked fast. The minimum recommended RAM requirement to run GIMP is only 128MB. The latest version of Photoshop will probably need 512MB at minimum.

4. GIMP has the right amount of essential features that I need. I think Photoshop is way too bloated and some of its included features are unnecessary.

5. GIMP can read and write most Photoshop native PSD format files, but Photoshop does not support GIMP's native XCF file format.

6. GIMP has a more powerful automation than Photoshop.

7. GIMP's open development model means that it is much more readily available on more operating systems, plugin development is not limited by developers and as such has no need to compete with Photoshop; by comparison, access to Adobe Photoshop's SDK requires authorization.

8. GIMP is available at no cost compared to Photoshop’s hefty price tag.


How about you? Do you also feel that GIMP is better than Adobe Photoshop?

67 comments

  1. I still miss the CMYK support in GIMP...

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  2. I have Photoshop CS2 running pretty perfectly on Ubuntu using Wine. Yet I still prefer Gimp. It starts super fast. Photoshop even on Windows is a pig about starting up. Next is it's much better integrated into Gnome and Ubuntu. Recently I've even discovered hordes of free tutorials on how to use advanced filters with the Gimp, and the Python-scripted filter stacks are quite a wonder if you're willing to investigate deeper.

    In the Photoshop world, I guess there are free tutorials but the rule is that you pay for extras like filters and educational courses. With Gimp, the social ethos of sharing and freely giving out techniques and plugins is the rule and that's just so easy and refreshing. The long and short of it is I figure out how to do cool things much easier and for no money. The limitations of Gimp are that there is no 16 bit per pixel support and no CMYK. I don't actually miss that.

    What I do actually miss is the resolution-maintaining 'smart objects' in PS which you can use to be able to resize image elements without hard-resampling. You can adjust the size at any point without it degrading the image. That's about it really.

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  3. Thomas AllenMarch 26, 2008

    1. No. One window is more manageable than three. I don't think that the most aggressive of Gimp fans would consider it to have a better UI.
    2. The PhotoShop app itself on my computer takes up ~200MB. And it takes up more space because it is far more capable.
    3. That doesn't explain all the times GIMP used to freeze up on my when doing simple (but heavy) operations in Linux.
    4. Well, you're no graphic designer. GIMP does not meet my needs, and I'm a professional designer.
    5. PS doesn't support GIMP because it really has no need to (no demand). GIMP absolutely mangles PSDs.
    6. I agree, but that doesn't make up for its inherent functional limitations.
    7. GIMP indeed is friendlier to plugins.
    8. It costs more because it's ridiculously better.

    You said "GIMP is Better than Adobe Photoshop," but your needs are limited: "I’m no graphics professional, but like probably most of you, I do need to edit photos from time to time." In other words, you're in no place to make your post title's assessment. For simple needs, it's a little less than equal than PhotoShop because PS has better basic facilities as well, but GIMP is plenty competent for non-professional users.

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  4. I use the Gimp and understand it enough, but I'd say its real benefit is the GPL license, which is pretty much what you said in points... eh, 7 and 8?, and maybe others also.

    Gimp does all that I need it to do; if I learn all of that and I still need more, I'll consider looking at another program (or just some addon scripts) :) I do wish i understood Krita better tho

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  5. Thank you all for the comments.

    CMYK is indeed not supported in GIMP, but RGB(A) and greyscale simply works for me. Like ArtInvent, I don’t miss CMYK and I don’t need 16 bit per pixel support.

    About PS’s resolution-maintaining 'smart objects', I agree. I hope GIMP should have that basic feature soon. However, I mainly prefer hard-resampling when adjusting image size just for accuracy. So, I still don’t miss those smart objects.

    @ Thomas Allen: Thanks for telling us your opinion. You do have a point. Most Graphics professionals will still want the extra features in Photoshop. But, I think GIMP is pretty much capable in producing professional looking works or projects. Have you seen the computer-generated short film Elephants Dream? GIMP was used along with other open source software in creating its stunning graphics.

    @ Lefty Crupps: I totally agree with you.

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  6. Personally, I'm a fan of the multiple window idea for the program interface on the many graphic programs I use, both 2D and 3D (and I can understand why the developers continue with this layout); it allows one to easily spread and rearrange windows to one's liking on extended desktops (2-3 monitors). As I always work on multiple windows of the same and other images, it seems rational to have all such windows unlinked to any tools etc. windows (and closing all images does not quit the program). If this setup were so odd, why would Cinepaint (as a good example), persist with such an interface?
    There have been for me personally, many reasons in the past as to why I would not use Photoshop even today (cost is not an issue, and I've been editing 32bpp images for a lot longer than CS2 has been available); I remember making comparisons betw PS and Opalpaint way back, to prove a point. (Opalpaint, for those of you whom do not know the name, was a real-time 24bit graphic creation/manipulation appl for the Amiga in the early to mid-nineties).

    "Well, you're no graphic designer. GIMP does not meet my needs, and I'm a professional designer."
    ... graphic designers used to tell me that Macs were a high-end graphics platform and looked blank when we spoke of 'SGI'.

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  7. Hello,
    I made the same operations on the same images both on PS and GIMP.
    GIMP win in web graphics, because it's born for web: more effective compression, higher quality, more web related operation.
    PS win in big pictures mgmt, its algs are 10 times faster, ad you notice that on 50,000x20,000 px image, and its CMYK support is intended for hi-end and gigantic paper publishing.
    Conclusion: They are quite not comparable,because their different target.

    PS: multiple windows are not a problem in linux: you can block them "always on top" and adjust to best suit your need, varying from moment to moment. Just an opinion.

    Price is the final argument for web devs: they usually simply cant afford a complete proprietary workstation: I estimated (on the basis of illegal installed workstation) 20,000 to 35,000 USD to have a complete proprietary workset (office, vector, raster, dev language ide, web page-site dev, dev web server, dev database, video editing, appropriate hardware for extreme resource demanding... so on...)

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  8. Photoshop on the Mac uses three windows. No Mac users complain about it; it's what they have been using for the past 15 years.

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  9. "You said "GIMP is Better than Adobe Photoshop," but your needs are limited: "I’m no graphics professional, but like probably most of you, I do need to edit photos from time to time." In other words, you're in no place to make your post title's assessment. For simple needs, it's a little less than equal than PhotoShop because PS has better basic facilities as well, but GIMP is plenty competent for non-professional users."

    thomas, take into account that many (can I say most?) users of PS are not professionals, just users that need to edit some images for whatever reason...

    I think he is in a perfectly good position to make his statement that GIMP is better than PS, even if a sector says it isn't

    GIMP does it's job very well.. it does most things PS do, you only have to learn how

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  10. I have written an answer to this in my blog/videopodcast "Meet the GIMP!". ( http://meetthegimp.org/is-gimp-better-than-photoshop/ )

    Summary: It depends on who you are. There is some stuff in Photoshop that I would love to have. But GIMP does the job for me.

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  11. Huzzah for the Gimp's triumph today. I'm still using Photoshop CS3. And enjoying it much more than I ever enjoyed using the Gimp. As a web designer, I realized long ago that for professional graphic design, Photoshop (and/or Illustrator) is the way to go.

    The Gimp simply does not produce as good quality images as Photoshop - the most obvious example here is in font anti-aliasing and other typography-related design.

    To everyone who insists on using the Gimp, I say good for you, I hope you can use it well. But I'm staying with Photoshop. There are people that say "it's not the tool, it's how you use it" and there are other people who say "only the best tools will get you the best jobs". I am residing in neither camp. Both tools and skills contribute to the quality of our work and it's productivity. So I hope no one thinks the "Gimp vs. Photoshop" debate is the biggest deal in the world.

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  12. Yea, I really love the GIMP. I was very, very well school in photoshop before switching to Linux for ideological reasons. At first it annoyed me, and I still wish that I could choose to dock individual dialogs together so gimp didn't take up so much toolbar real estate. I understand and respect why it is the way it is, but it sucks when I open up 2 or 3 .xcf's and have firefox open and suddenly there's 8 or 9 tabs on my toolbar.

    As a student aiming to become a serious professional, there's only a few things really missing for me. One thing is CMYK support, another is Spot Color support (although I've accepted it will never happen and can live without it). We also need a Color Dodge layer setting, and finally we desperately need adjustment layers. I could probably get dozens of people to switch to the gimp if only it had those 3 main things (excluding spot colors)

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  13. You can dock most of the dialogues to the Toolbox. So you have only two windows open, Toolbox and the image. Look at my video at "Meet the GIMP!" or search for "GIMP" and "docking".

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  14. I use GIMP & Hugin and sell panoramic photographs for real $$. Does that make me a professional or am I just an amateur since I do not use PS? I've never even so much as seen PS let alone clicked any of its buttons. What the heck is a CMYK anyway? I suppose if you are stuck with the extremely limited desktop functionality of Windows or OSX then multiple windows might be an issue. As a desktop Linux user I am accustomed to ultimate configurability and as such have never seen too many open windows as a hinderance. It is not uncommon for me to have 30 plus windows open at once. If your current desktop offering does make this a hinderance perhaps it's time to step into the 21 century and consider something other than the tired and limited desktop paradigm known as Microsoft Windows.

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  15. /**********
    * @ RON S *
    **********/

    You are right. I'm tired to receive update about these comments,

    You, and the 98% of desktop's users (both personal and professionals) simply don't understand the meaning and the importance of free software.
    I'm ready also to pay for good free software, opensource, as Suse and Linspire, that offer the best quality at reasonable and affordable price, even if I prefer to find "no-$" solutions.
    But the problem is freedom, liberty.
    As it seems you can't imagine the damages that proprietary software is doing to democracy, liberty, and human rights, and I'm not here to help you. Do it yourself.

    /*************
    * @ everyone *
    *************/

    Please focus the conversation about not only technical concerns. Free software VS Proprietary is the "problem". See Free Software Foundation.
    Do you want to be controlled or to have control? In EVERY aspects of your life! Because software is anywhere.

    And please be worry about patent pending about software, medicines, and genetics.
    You could discover that your life is not too safe, not as you could believe.
    ______________

    The end

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  16. Clouseau, in your last comment which you directed to RON S, you have given statements that, strangely, also seem to be directed to "everyone" aside from the statements which you gave for everyone. What I would like to say is that, it would really be close-minded of you to say that 98% of desktop's users (both personal and professionals) simply don't understand the meaning and the importance of free software. Let me ask who would not want something, if not everything, for free? Statements like the one you gave seem discriminating. Are you implying that these 98% of desktop users are lesser minded than you are? That they do not know what and how it is to be free? If that is how the 2% think (and i hope I'm wrong), then i guess we may have a problem there...it would go beyond the Photoshop and GIMP discussion. Everyone knows what's good and what's not. But I think we should not force others to bend to our will. Instead, we should respect their will as long as it is not interfering with the will of others. Let them have the freedom to choose! If you advocate freedom, then give others the freedom to decide which kind of things they want, whether open source or not. And I think that is the bottom line to all of this.

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  17. "Dude my stock Honda Civic totally kick your fully equipped Porsche Carrera ass."

    This my friend is the only thing i could think off after reading your article, then i busted out laughing...

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  18. AnonymousJune 06, 2008

    What nonsense!
    Speaking from a serious digital imaging perspective, the GIMP is, unfortunately, practically useless. Your comparison just reiterates this: Points 1 to 4 state basically the same thing, i.e. compared to Photoshop the GIMP is conspicuously devoid of tools!

    My basic workflow is this: 16bit (linear) RAW -> Colour profile assignment -> Colour profile conversion to Prophoto gamut, linear gamma -> conversion to 32bit -> colour, tone adjustments and other editing. All in a fully colour managed working environment. To even wonder if the GIMP is capable of *any* of this is laughable.

    If all you need of your graphics app is some simple twiddling with 8bit web images then fine - enjoy the GIMP, it'll probably meet most of your needs, but saying that makes it better than a serious tool is surely a joke? To paraphrase your argument, a sextant is better than GPS 'cos you don't have to press any buttons.

    That said, your sixth point has some merit. Photoshop has a handy assortment of automation tools: droplets, actions, javascript, etc, but none of them solves all your likely automation requirements and they don't cooperate well. In fact, the whole frustrating mess seems very poorly thought out and executed. Perhaps the GIMP does have the edge here?

    It's not all bad for the GIMP though... the dev's have, at long last, grasped the nettle and integrated the GEGL engine! Yey! GEGL has the potential to utterly trounce Photoshop (as we know it now) ...but years of GIMP development are needed before we start to reap the rewards. I wish the GIMP team had had the courage to make the jump sooner - after the initial pain, the GIMP may by now have become something more than a cute little toy. Instead they seem to have blindly wandered up some cul-de-sac, in a state of mass denial and are only now at the beginning of the true development path, with much needless retooling to perform.

    I hope it all goes well for the GIMP, it does have potential, and current development looks VERY promising. Maybe I'll be able to make the switch when CS5 is superseded. Fingers crossed ;-)

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  19. two words.....


    paint.net

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  20. AnonymousJune 24, 2008

    As the two previous posts say, GIMP is just a toy for playing with simple sRGB images. Think of it as GNU's version of MS paint or (as stated above) paint.net and you'll be making a fair and favourable comparison but comparing it with Photoshop is just silly.

    The GIMP's developers have a total lack of interest/understanding in serious imageing. Despite recent positive noises about GEGL, I can't see them making any serious prgress any time soon. It's taken them since 2001 to get round to beginning to work on it! lol

    Sadly, the only two decent image tools for GNU/Linux are (and for a very long time are going to remain):
    Cinepaint - A 7 year old branch of GIMP with additional professional capabilites. It was abandoned when the GIMP people started talking about GEGL but luckily has been independently developed ever since and is actually quite good.
    Or:
    Photoshop under Wine. CS2 works perfectly for me, CS3 isn't far away.

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  21. Yes! GIMP is Great, but if you have difficulties with GIMP interface then maybe you can try GimPhoto.

    GimPhoto is GIMP modification with:
    - based on GIMP 2.4.
    - new menu layout like PS.
    - new shortcut like PS.
    - CMYK separation.
    - Layer Effects.
    - new brushset and gradientset.
    - packed many plugins to fill missing PS function on GIMP like Save for Web.
    - packed with many photographic filters like Noise Reduction, B/W and IR.

    http://www.gimphoto.com

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  22. Gimp rocks!!!

    I never bothered with graphics editors before I tried Gimp, they were always too cluttered and looked far too complicated. It was always hard to work out which icon did what, but now I am using gimp, I have never turned back. I have used inkscape and blender to, but I stil haven't figured those out yet, while I am almost pro at gimp.

    Yes...Gimp is great.

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  23. "jan said...
    you have given statements that, strangely, also seem to be directed to "everyone" aside from the statements which you gave for everyone. ... Let me ask who would not want something, if not everything, for free?"

    And you proved his point. "Free" here means "having freedom," not "without cost." Free software is sometimes called libre software.

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  24. As a professional graphic designer who has used Photoshop and GIMP, I can say with all confidence:

    GIMP sucks.

    No CMYK support makes it USELESS for print design. And that's just the start. (The differences are well documented other places on the internet.)

    Photoshop does not have a single superfluous feature, by the way. I earn my paycheck using Photoshop everyday and have used every feature before. They are all -- ALL -- useful. Photoshop is incredible.

    I don't mean this harshly, but this article is clearly written by a non-professional.

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  25. "this article is clearly written by a non-professional."

    the author is a professional, IT pro to be exact. points included here are mentioned in general: Desktop users of all age, profession, etc.

    *penguins rock!!*

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  26. "Why GIMP is Better than Adobe Photoshop"

    someone who makes such as statement is one who has not explored PS to its fullest.

    like saying a subcompact car is better than a midsize, or cheap denim is better than designer jeans.

    z

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  27. I guess its pointless arguing here. Certainly Gimp has some good points to it, but this article is undoubtably biased and from a unqualifed source to really offer any concise opinion.

    Yes you might be a professional in IT, but thats a world away from anything us Graphic Professionals do. I have been using photoshop for a very long time, (I still have the original install disks for v2.5).
    I am also been a beta tester for some Autodesk software.

    Speed and efficiency are my concern, yes photoshop takes time to start up, but this is by far offset by a streamlined and well considered interface and usability, this is my main reason aside from the obvious lack of features (re: lack of cmyk support and other proper colour management)

    But to those that use gimp good on you. I'm sure for some people it meets all their needs. I hope the best of luck to the gimp, maybe with the open source community it will one day become a contender for photoshop's crown.
    Photoshop has come a long way in the 16 or so years I've been using it, gimps future is bright if it can manage some of the same.

    I look forward to future developments of both programs.

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  28. As a graphics professional that has seen/used most pixel manipulation/paint packages since De Luxe Paint II, I can happily confirm that though it has its UI quirks, the GIMP is perfectly adequate for any type of image manipulation related to the web or other screen-based image display.

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  29. You are talking about one image editor being better than another one. But what does it actually mean "better". I have been thinking about it a few weeks ago and here is what I ended with: http://tan.staafl.net/2008/12/powerful-software/

    Maybe it will give some of the arguments in proper perspective.

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  30. Yes Gimp is a great free program, not better than Photoshop just different and perfectly suitable for most graphic manipulation needs.
    Thanks for posting this a bringing it to more public attention.

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  31. I used PS for a long time, and I liked it a lot. Moved to Ubuntu and started using all the FREE apps including GIMP. It has a different approach to editing graphics than PS. Now, I'm good using both of them - I'm not a professional graphics editor. I wonder how much better GIMP could be if all the 'gimpers' would do a one-life-time donation of $50 or so.

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  32. let's see it make 3d pictures PHOTOSHOP FTW

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  33. AnonymousMay 02, 2009

    As a screen printer, I use photoshop all of the time. I have never had success with Gimp except for the most basic tasks. I would love to see improvement, but it's not up to speed yet.

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  34. AnonymousMay 10, 2009

    /*Why GIMP is Better than Adobe Photoshop"

    someone who makes such as statement is one who has not explored PS to its fullest.

    like saying a subcompact car is better than a midsize, or cheap denim is better than designer jeans./*

    I think the author in the first paragraph stated his position and opinion. Then List the reasons why HE thought GIMP was better than PS for HIM..not graphic professionals...

    Why would a short person get a mid size car instead of a compact OR a farmer get designer jeans to work in the fields instead of cheap jeans.

    That is his point. He didn't say he prints so he doesn't need CMYK nor any of the other things professional uses. He is looking for what he uses and compared the two and came to his conclusion.

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  35. Studio Heroface (coming soon)May 13, 2009

    I agree with the previous poster... this is not a factual article.. it's an overly opinionated blog piece.

    If you took a full list of features from the latest versions of each program you will see clearly why photoshop is worth over $1000!

    The author himself states that he only occasionally needs to edit photos and so himself renders the rest of the package useless.

    but when it comes down to the better more advanced program there is NO contest.

    Gimp is no better than any of the free photo editors that come with your new camera or scanner.

    Take a features list from both programs and hold them next to each other. You'll need a ladder for the photoshop one.

    also, I am a qualified graphic artist/designer, I have been working professionally straight after college for 8 years now and I don't htink there has been a tool in the program I HAVEN'T used (even in the first 6 months of working) I even download 1 or 2 new tools absolutely free every week... will be getting CS4 very soon, I've been saving

    Well done me :P

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  36. AnonymousMay 18, 2009

    While the GIMP may not be for everyone and may not have the CMYK the PS users need, this might help get them pointed in the right direction:

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/03/8-handy-tweaks-to-make-gimp-replace-photoshop/

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  37. YES! Gimp is better than photoshop for all those reasons!! I ****completely**** agree with every last detail of them.

    The speed, GUI...EVERYTHING!!

    ._____________.
    / . O . . O . \
    | . . . . . . |
    | .\ . . ./ . |
    | . \____/. . |
    |_____________|

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  38. AnonymousJune 16, 2009

    3. GIMP is wicked fast. The minimum recommended RAM requirement to run GIMP is only 128MB. The latest version of Photoshop will probably need 512MB at minimum.

    I have 2 GB of RAM, Standard for today. Photoshop uses as much as it gets and this is good, because it uses the RAM efficiently and it computes MUCH faster on heavy computations.

    What do you do with all your RAM? 128MB for GIMP, 64 MB for all the processes, a few MBs for Music and Browser. I'm happy when a program uses my RAM, if it uses it efficiently and speeds up my workflow.

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  39. I personally use The GIMP for all graphics designing I do and am quite happy with it. I agree with some of your points. However, I do feel that Photoshop is still better than the GIMP, but not for reasons such as functionality or features. While both are equally capable of accomplishing most graphics design related tasks, it's much simpler in Photoshop than in The GIMP. For example, in Photoshop it is pretty easy to apply a gradient of more than just two colours chosen by you, but in The GIMP, you must use the Gradient Editor [which is somewhat complex] to first create and save the gradient you want, and then perform the blend/gradient action.

    The GIMP has lots of potential, but sometimes I get a bit frustrated when it takes me more effort than is neccesary to complete a graphic design work. The User Interface is simple and clean, and once you start to get a hang of it, navigating through the interface can be done almost unconsciously.

    What GIMP really needs is good competition from another free and open source graphics editor. I don't recall where I read it, but I remember reading the opinion that there is an attitude of "Oh, we have the GIMP. Let's not spend time making a graphics editor." in the open source community and I agree with it. GIMP's only competition is from closed source proprietary graphics editors, and when open source competes with proprietary, there are lots of hassles of dealing with patents and copyrights. However, when open source competes with open source, innovation always takes place and most of the aforementioned hassles start dissappearing due to clever work arounds, clean room reverse engineering and creativity. An obvious example is the Linux OS. I've read countless opinions and articles about how Linux is supposedly useless and no competition for Windows or Mac OS. While Linux may not have the excellent UI and usability of Mac OS, I have found through personal experience that Linux is much better than Windows and just as capable as Mac OS. In fact, I enjoy using Linux a lot more because it's capable of accomplishing the best of jobs even when running on the worst of machines. In fact, Dreamworks created the movie "Monsters vs. Aliens" on a Linux OS, and most of the world's supercomputers run on Linux.

    Recently I learned of an open source editor named Nathive being developed, but it seems the developers are making it only for Linux. However, if Nathive is developed well then it might provide a stimulus to the GIMP to change in some ways. We might even see applications created using code merged from both the projects.

    In the end, all that matters is what suits you. After all, you can only be creative if you're happy and comfortable.

    Varun

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  40. Give me a freaking break! Even the most simple things are hard to do in Gimp. Gimp is the most counter intuitive program I've worked with in my life. And that's saying something if you know Photoshop. I'm using Gimp for now but it's costing me SOOO MUCH time to get something done.

    Marc

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  41. My view as Graphic Designer. Some posts complaining about The Gimp only exposed themselves their lack of versatility and never used Mac version of Adobe Photoshop. Both applications share the base functionality and it is possible to customize keyboard shortcuts.
    For the lack of CMYK support, I use Krita in Linux environment.

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  42. here for those ppl missing the CMYK

    http://cue.yelowmagic.info/softwares/separate.html

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  43. At *Studio Heroface (coming soon)*

    You sound like a pompous a**.

    At *Varun Pramanik*

    You make a good argument.

    ---

    I'm a fairly new user, I've only been using the app a month or two for editing photos and drawing, but I'm starting to question why most people bother to fork out so much for a propriety piece of software rather than download GIMP and customize it with a few plugins.

    I'm actually a student on a gap year at the moment and have no money to buy Photoshop after I deleted from my laptop during a clean-out (I borrowed a friends copy to install it and now that friend is at uni so she can't give me the install disk). So I decided that while I save what little money I have for university and helping with bills, I would try GIMP. I'd heard a couple of friends who had tried it so I gave it a shot.

    Originally I was irritated that I couldn't find the Quick Mask tool, but once I'd found it I felt right at home, and now I just wish it was all in one window on my mac and not running under X11. But it's not a major problem just to click twice instead of once.

    Plus it runs so much more quietly than Photoshop ever did. :)

    Adobe are getting more ridiculous. Why do they keep bringing out new versions of Photoshop when ONE version isn't even stable? Why ask so much for it? The features of the program, as vast as they are, are still not really justification for forking out several hundred pounds every time a new version comes out just to stay up to date and have that TINY new feature that you will probably forget about once you've used it to do what you need to do.

    The program is good, I'll give Adobe that, but I felt a lot of it was overcomplicated the entire time I used it during 6th form, and a lot of the time it crashed without reason (a few times upon launch and several times during my coursework). It took several weeks to learn how to use Photoshop, but GIMP took a few hours, not including the testing of the features and messing around with a photo of a friend so he had a cats head (I giggled immaturely the entire time I edited the image...XD).

    I suppose that is a little biased as I had, by then, learnt how to use image editors better. But GIMP just seems less fussy to me, while others will say getting things done is more fussy.

    I understand some people need photoshop for their work but that doesn't mean the person using it is superior to a GIMP user. If you think that you have your head buried in your colon.

    Photoshop and GIMP are NOT the same program, neither were they designed to BE the same program. But with GIMP showing so much promise to home users, it's becoming more popular and getting more coverage. Maybe one day it WILL be the true competitor to Photoshop.

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  44. I agree with the post above.

    I find it ridiculous to say that GIMP is a Linux version of MS Paint. I can never take those posts seriously, nor can I take a post seriously if someone start to make an analogy about designer jeans.

    GIMP is not the best program for professional photographers, we all know that. No point in arguing about it over and over again. But it has all the tools you need to "Photoshop" your heart out as amateur home user. All the selection tools you need, layers, channels and paths, all the transformation tools, curves and levels and a whole lot more color adjustments, dodge and burn, smudge and blur tools, heal and clone, brushes, filters and free plug-ins with even more filter etc etc. Just to name a few things.

    To people who say that paint.NET is better or comparable. It's not. You either haven have hardly used any of the GIMP fuctions or you haven't even compared the two programs.


    p.s.Is there an equivalent of the ink tool in Photoshop?

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  45. It is a matter of prefference. GIMP is free, while photoshop got a price of 699 dollars.
    Most "photoshoppers" do not buy it, but they pirate it..

    I would rather use a legal program that might not be the top-of-the-line, than a pirated copy.
    And GIMP suits the "normal" amateurs fine. And the pro's will need/get the program at work for a "lesser" fee than private persons.

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  46. I'm using Photoshop cs4,but i"m curious on this gimp?

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  47. I'm writing an evaluation paper on Adobe Photoshop, and how it compares to other image editing based software, and this whole post intrigued me. Although I do find it a bit amusing how many people compare GIMP to Photoshop. I am an avid photoshop user, from 7.0-CS4, and I really don't think there's a comparison here, and if you're going to compare any thing to Photoshop it should be other programs like corel, or any other high end image editors. GIMP may be free, and have a million plug-ins but can it really produce the high end graphics that professionals designers use on a daily basis?

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  48. Mohamed HassanJune 13, 2010

    Linux introduced me to GIMP..for hardware in-compatibility reasons I left Linux. But guess what I didn't leave GIMP

    P.S: A Photoshop user for 3 yrs..now GIMP does it for me

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  49. GIMP is awesome.
    Photoshop isn't.
    End of discussion (:

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  50. People who use pirated photoshop shouldn't have right to discuss on this subject at all.They should buy it for 700$ and then talk about its superiority.

    Personally I am using Gimp and am not familiar pretty much with photoshop.I am trying to be objective.

    Maybe photoshop is better solution if you are a professional graphic deseigner and maybe photoshop is better if you are professional photograph who sell pictures.

    But what about web design.I would like to hear arguments why photoshop is better.With Gimp you can accomplish professional looking graphic and whatever related to web design and web graphic.

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  51. for painting i think i prefer gimp painter + GPS (gimp paint studio) and the smudge tool in gimp is way more fast than photoshop, and cs 5 photoshop mixbrush is so slow compare to gimp mixbrush (gimppainter). For CMYK i used Krita.

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  52. guys.. if a person is really a professional designer, whatever tool he is using he can make things possible if his mind is creative and resourceful. which is which is not important, is HOW we use the tool.

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  53. well i think that if u factor in the prices, GIMP is pretty good free alternative to Photoshop, however, Photoshop is still a better and more powerful program. When i was first beginning graphic designing, i opened GIMP, and was like "Woah, this is weird" when i opened photoshop, i was like "this is cool"

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  54. read this, downloaded GIMP... fucking stupid... does nowhere NEAR the amount of things that PS does, the interface is akin to slamming my head against a wall, and the tools don't work the way i need them to... thank's for the suggestion though.

    just an idea, try putting "why I THINK..." instead of an absolute, abolutes make you look stupid

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  55. Three years and people are still arguing over here. Amazing. Photoshop continues to be the standard amongst interactive designers despite its price tag. That's the reality. If GIMP offered the same feature set (Smart Objects are a big one - that's an unsubtle hint to the developer community), I'm sure designers would be happy to add GIMP to their toolbelts. I suspect you wouldn't hear management complaining when they're not asked to shell out $2,500 per license for the Creative Suite. Oh, that's right - it's a Suite, meaning you also get Illustrator and InDesign (I challenge anyone to produce comprehensive page layout software that comes close to InDesign), not to mention Dreamweaver (no offense to you WYSIWYG haters - I know you're out there), Flash, Flex, Catalyst, Premiere... the list goes on. Sorry, but Adobe's way ahead here. As much as I admire the open source community and what it stands for, the Creative Suite fills a huge need which cannot be adequately met by open source solutions alone. Please, someone show me a design studio that's adhering to a strictly open source policy - then prove to me that this studio can produce quality work on time and within budget.

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  56. The first time I installed PhotoShop on my computer, I thought I was going back to the 1980s. Why anyone would prefer that ancient pre-NT master window interface? I'm with all those who prefer multiple windows in the interface of Gimp.

    Aside from that minor irritant, transparency and masks are much more intuitive in Gimp than in PhotoShop.

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  57. I like the GIMP, though I miss some features photoshop includes and whiche are not present. The 3 windows GUI is really annoying for me (can't use ALT TAB as easily as I want), it should be configurable (simply a "split windows" option) to my opinion.

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  58. You should rename this article to "Why GIMP is more idiot-accessible than Adobe Photoshop..."

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  59. GIMP is better than PS for me. I don't know why is PS the standard in the industry though I can say that GIMP can make a better high-quality graphics...I've done that...we created a banner for a school website and I was the only one who used GIMP and guess what, my work looked far better than those of PS-made...I hope there is an opportunity for GIMP-using artists...

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  60. AnonymousJune 27, 2011

    I support Open Source and use Linux, Gimp and Apple Mac. Same time I am a professional working atleast 6 to 8 hours everyday in between InDesign/Photoshop/Bridge/Illustrator. I don't agree - "I think Photoshop is way too bloated and some of its included features are unnecessary". If you know how to use, both programs are good. In professional environment, I would stick with photoshop, in my private life I would support Open Source.

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  61. AnonymousJune 27, 2011

    Also, I'd like to add that at work, Photoshop is paid by the company and it pays itself with the work it does. So, cost is not worry when you look at it from professional point of view. As I wrote above, photoshop handles all challenges of the professional environment, and I play with GIMP at home.
    I found comparing two products unnecessary. As Gimp is Open Source, there won't be anyone directly you can get support from. Bureaucracy of professional environment requires this. Photoshop is for professionals (as it works perfectly with other Adobe design programs) and Gimp is good for home enthusiastic and small workplace who can effort to do research and contribute help to community to develop GIMP. My time for GIMP is at home, not effort to have it at work.

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  62. I use Gimp to paint because its free and I can't afford Photoshop, but I'd certainly appreciate having access to more brush dynamics, especially rotating brushes.

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  63. AnonymousJuly 29, 2012

    Pretty sure GIMP has rotating brushes, but I've only used that feature once so I'm not sure of the specifics...

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  64. GIMP is being upgraded!!

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  65. I have been using PhotoShop for over 15 years. I taught it to professionals and some students. The pros say I advanced their learning curve by years. I love photoshop. It did take me years to get really fast with it. Now I teach Gimp to inner city kids. They sure cant afford PS . I use Gimp and Photoshop interchangeably .. yes for professional work. (many thousands of photos per year) They are both very powerful tools. How powerful depends on the “tool operator”. You can get really good results with either. I have many versions of PS from the beginning including the latest stuff. But in this day when computers are changed as often as shoes then Gimp is far more portable. Shifting PS to a new computer is not easy. Then Gimp is a lot easier to teach disadvantaged kids since I can simply give them a copy. (even give them an old computer it will still run on) That gives these kids a huge advantage in school, maybe in life. There are advantages to both and I used to use whatever was best for the job. But I find now that Gimp does nearly everything I need. Sixteen bit is coming for Gimp but i mostly use that for gross initial correcting of badly exposed or difficult photos. Most photos today don't need coarse adjustments. If they do then Gimp has a 16 bit feature even now that works great for that.. If you want a nice feature then it will be in Gimp before long if you ask for it. Still there is a need for some of the features in PS. Never for anything you would do at home but some professional circles demand it. There are still a few features that one or the other does not have but nearly none that a skilled operator cant make both do. I do very complex things with both with equal quality. I have become very fast with both. Complex edits that used to take me 4 hours now take just a few minutes. Gimp now has a single window mode (everyone thinks they want) but the multiple window concept is actually better for some things. Like borrowing details from one window to the other, comparing before and after and using multiple displays. You have a choice in Gimp. Learning photo editing is the important part. Both tools are great for that.

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  66. I am not a huge fan of GIMP..I am a designer and most of my designs are pasted as smart objective in PS from AI..I'm still awaiting for GIMP to introduce smart object in their software...

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