Gimp Free Photoshop alternative

Do you want a free alternative to Photoshop?

Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by Christopher G Mendla

Adobe Photoshop will set you back at least 9.99/month. Other plans will cost from $10 to about $80/month. Fortunately there is an open source image manipulation program that is free.

Overview

If you have websites you will probably need a good image editor. Some of the things you might do would be:

Alternatives to Photoshop and Gimp

While a full featured image editor gives you almost unlimited power over your images, the learning curve is extremely steep.

If you want to remove extraneous people and objects from an image, it can be done with Gimp. However, the process is manual and a bit tedious. There are inexpensive alternatives such as InPixio’s Photo Eraser that do a very good job and require a fraction of the knowledge and effort. Photo Eraser specializes in removing objects and does a really good job. But it doesn’t have other features such as sharpen or color adjustments.

Gimp – a free Photoshop alternative

The program is GIMP which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a free, open source application. A majority of the really useful plugins are also free. The GIMP site describes the program as:

GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes.
Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.

You can download a copy for your operating system from the GIMP Download Page.

Gimp has a number of extensions and filters. Unfortunately the plugin registry has had issues and is a static site as of January 2018. That means that the ability to post questions about plugins is not available. Some of the plugins and filters will have their own support on their site.

Hint -You can search for plugins with internet searches such as GIMP montage plugin

There are some things to consider:

  1. The user interface for GIMP is not a copy of Photoshop’s interface. There are a number of reasons for this but the reality is that there are significant differences.
  2. You can import and export files in Adobe’s PSD formats as well as a number of other formats.
  3. The learning curve can be steep but that depends on exactly what you need to accomplish with the application. The learning curve is just as steep for Photoshop. 
  4. You will not have the exact same filters available that you would have in Photoshop.
  5. This is not a tool for novices. Someone familiar with Photoshop should be able to master a corresponding level of expertise quickly.

NOTE – There are discussions and plans to change the name of the application as there are some negative connotations to the use of the word GIMP. 

Gimp Free Photoshop alternative
Gimp Free Photoshop alternative

Summary

GIMP is a great free Photoshop alternative for specific situations. This is true of other open source applications such as LibreOffice. If you are watching your budget, open source applications can be extremely useful. 

GIMP Gnu Image Manipulation Program - A free Photoshop alternative
GIMP Gnu Image Manipulation Program

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