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The GIMP: Free Alternative to Photoshop

Ray Dotson - October 29, 2006

12312412312.jpgHow much does it cost to buy the latest version of Photoshop? As of this writing, you’ll have to pay almost $600. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of change for me. The good news is that there’s a free alternative available: The GIMP.

The question always comes up (and with good reason) about the name. What the heck does it mean? It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GNU part refers to the licensing of the software and just means that the software can be free or for sale, but must include the source code or access to it so that users can modify it if they want to.

The GIMP is available free for Windows, Mac, and Unix systems, but the Windows version was used for this review. Installation was simple after downloading the installation package. Before the program itself can be installed, though, a separate file containing necessary libraries must be downloaded and installed. Each of these files installed in just a couple of minutes without trouble on my test machine.

When opening the GIMP for the first time, it will take a few minutes to start up as it searches for and catalogs the fonts on your system. After this is finished, you’re ready to get started. The interface consists of several windows and numerous toolbars. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go into any advanced functionality here, but suffice it to say there’s a learning curve involved.

The interface isn’t the most intuitive, but the software is able to do most of what can be accomplished with Photoshop. One quick tip to help you get started is to remember that most important menu options are available by right clicking the image you’re working on. Don’t forget to download the manual when you get the program.

If you’re looking for a less expensive, but full-featured image manipulation program, check out the GIMP. It’s a great value.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 29th, 2006 at 10:17 pm and is filed under Main. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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One Response to “The GIMP: Free Alternative to Photoshop”

  1. Gimp Tutorials Says:

    Nice gimp tips. thanks..

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