The Linux Advocate is dedicated to the honest and open discussion Linux and Open Source software and projects. You probably won't like what I have to say, but hey, I'll probably be right.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

GIMP vs. Photoshop - What still needs to be done?

We all know that the GIMP is more or less the de-facto standard for image editing in Linux, where Adobe Photoshop is the standard on the Mac and Windows (and some Linux boxes using Crossover Office) The question is the following: Does GIMP have what it takes to dethrone Adobe Photoshop as the standard?

Right now, the answer is no.

But there is that distinct possibility in the future. This brings me to the point of this article. What needs to be done to bring GIMP to the forefront of the industry, and overthrow Photoshop in the same way that OpenOffice is starting to overthrow Microsoft Office?

Lets start at the biggest problem facing GIMP:

The Name:
Ok, sure, calling it the GIMP back in the early days of Linux was cute. It was an easy to remember package name. But now that the GIMP is starting to garner attention from professionals, and gaining professional-level tools. the name has to go. I don't care what it's called, but naming a professional level graphics tool after the derogatory term for a person who can't walk is not smart business. Linux purists will certainly balk at this notion, however, if one steps back from the community to look at the big picture, it becomes plainly obvious that this is an inappropriate name. One would argue that Google is a silly name, or even Ubuntu, but at least those have a meaning behind the name. For example Google is a misspelling of the word "googol" which means 10 to the 100th power, which is a play on the number of search results you'll get, or more recently, the amount of money Google has.
GIMP however, is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It basically is trying to be called GIMP. Change. The. Name.

Many professionals who work with Photoshop in a production environment use the CMYK color space on a daily basis. Any pro-level tool without this is destined to fail. It needs to be added, and I'm sure it's on the list for inclusion. Actually, It might already be, but I havent tried the newest version recently.

Vector-Based Shape/Text support:
This was one of the BIGGEST additions to Photoshop in terms of productivity enhancement. I know for a fact that vector support is being added to the GIMP, but its inclusion needs to be added soon for designers to really start taking GIMP seriously. The ability to freely scale vector shapes and text would be a huge help.

Layer Effects:
This is another tool in the Photoshop users cookbook that needs to be added to the GIMP. I know the GIMP doesn't want to be a Photoshop clone, but the ability to add non-destructive layer effects like bevels, drop shadows, and glows without adding additional layers to already bloated projects is a god-send for Photoshop users. This should be yet another feature high on the list for GIMP inclusion.

Resizable Brushes:
Here's a biggie. I shouldn't have to keep 50 of the same brush in my brushes swatch just so I can have different sizes. Each of the brushes should be independantly resizeable at any time, possibly using the [ ] keys as hotkeys for resizing, similar to Photoshop. It will make painting with a mouse instead of a tablet much easier.

That's my list of the biggest issues facing the GIMP. As you can see, it's a fairly short list. If those few things can be solved, the world will finally have a free / open source replacement for Photoshop, which knowing the development base of the GIMP, will probably surpass Photoshop in a few years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree! But I don't think they will change the name, it's to popular, but...maybe that will happen someday :)

And again, I definitely agree to have more powerfull tools, like Photoshop.

One thing I hate at GIMP, they don't have a shortcut for Screenshot; if you go to Keyboard shortcuts, you will NOT find anything about Screenshot option.
I know I can make screenshots with Ksnapshot and I even have a script for ImageMagick to make screenshots.... but in my job, there are many cases when I only have GIMP, so I have to go everytime to File > Acquire > Screen Shot...

7:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they really want to beat the king of graphic industry,they should first focus on running on Mac OS X without the so inefficient X11.

8:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a manual. Photoshop is important to the serious pro, but most people using it aren't full time graphics artists. Many of us learned long ago from other Photoshop users. A clearer manual, and maybe a GIMP for Photoshop users guide would open up a huge user base.

12:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looked at Krita lately?


3:40 AM

Anonymous pw said...

Unfortunately GIMP has no Fade filter option. It is the big issue for me.

5:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice dreams... we all know what we need badly, but Gimp is being developed with a glacial speed. Even a Photoshop 5.0 is a zillion times more advanced than the current Gimp version.

6:42 AM

Blogger Justin said...

I have taken a couple of passing looks at Krita, but it is even farther behind in development than GIMP. What I left out of the article, is that GIMP seriously needs a corporate backing to get some money flowing to the project and so that the project can be accountable to someone. Trust me, if lets say Sun Microsystems, or Novell, etc, waved a couple million in front of the developers faces, and said: "you get this if you fix this list of problems with your software" you better damn believe it would get done.

11:55 AM

Blogger g said...

GIMP needs something akin to Photoshop's Actions tool where it's really easy to "record" often used steps/ processes.

i know about script-fu, but i can't figure out how to use it. i know that it's more "robust", and has "more features" (according to the sites i looked to for help), but it's really difficult for the average user to set up and use.

12:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One simple thing gimp can do is "steal" the shortcut keys from photoshop. It would make the transition much easier for photoshop users.

12:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot the most important issue: 16 bits per color support.

12:50 PM

Blogger J said...

In "Pulp Fiction", The Gimp is a sadomasochistic guy. The GIMP happens to be a good app... for sadomasochistic users.

A Linux user.

12:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After "I havent tried the newest version recently." I stopped reading.

12:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After "I havent tried the newest version recently." I stopped reading.

12:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except for the name issue (I personally don't care what it is called as long as it works) I agree with this.

I had two of the artists at my firm evaluate GIMP as a possible alternative for some of the developers that have no need for CMYK support. Even simple compositions took substantially longer in GIMP than in Photoshop. Non-destructive blending effects and GIMP's pathetic excuse for text entry were their two biggest complaints.

From my personal experience I noticed that color adjustments didn't work as well in GIMP either. Brightness and contrast adjustments in particular seemed to degrade the image substantially.

Even Photoshop Elements (Adobe's value version) is light years ahead of GIMP.

12:56 PM

Anonymous liquidat said...

One word about Krita and something being behind GIMP: Krita features CMYK, L*a*b, OpenEXR HDR and bit depths from 8 bit till 16 or even 32 bit.

Yes, it is not as mature as GIMP, but the features are made with a more professional user in the mind. Also, the development is visible and the features in realistic development are also promising: perspective grids, scripting support, etc.

However, Krita will not be a real alternatiev until KOffice 2.0 is released which will be build on top of Qt 4.2. After all I read that will make the life of the Krita developers much easier.

So, as an advice: keep in touch with Krita, but do not expect it to be on the same level as Photoshop atm.

12:57 PM

Anonymous me_likes_Xaraxtreme said...

the biggest problem is the user interface, it is just made by the Devil. gimp team is naive when it comes to this topic

1:03 PM

Blogger Beam Me Up said...

I have used PS for years. I have explored GIMP on a few occasions. It seriously lacks some of the tools that I find essential in every day use. Those that are there are poorly documented and difficult to utilize. I question the sentiment that GIMP doesn't want to be an adobe clone. That's wrong. Why is it that only the people that can shell out several hundreds of dollars get quality, feature rich software? I have started using many open source packages, but only when I felt that I was on a even par with similar commercial packages.

1:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The addition of the LAB colorspace would be a huge step forward. Both RGB and CMYK are device (printer, monitor, ink, etc) dependent. LAB is based on an objective international standard for color. It is unambiguous and is a superset of both CMYK, RGB, Pantone or any other color set. Thus, it is an excellent base system for color space interchange.

1:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Color space support. ICC profiles are used extensively in the print industry to ensure what the artist is seeing on their screen is what will be printed. Without ICC/ColorSync profile support - its all just a guess. This has been supported for quite some time in Photoshop.

1:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that you understand "Gimp" to be slang for a person that can't walk. This meaning is new to me, and I'm absolutely sure I'm not alone.

1:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about something as simple as holding down the space bar to immediately pan around an image?

1:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GIMP simply isn't an option for image editing professionals, nor will it ever be. If the GIMP project is aiming at that it needs to re-think its target audience, because there is no way it will ever de-throne Photoshop as an industry standard.

There is a reason Photoshop is the number one requested port to Linux ( ). GIMP is a design program that was built and designed by programers. It's like getting in a car that was build and designed by shipwrights. You find everything is in the wrong place, it's all a bit alien and it doesn't do half of what you need it to do.

The biggest thing that's standing in GIMPs way however isn't the program itself. It's the fact that no one want's a Photoshop replacement. Everyone wants Photoshop itself.

1:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

personally as a web designer i have to keep open either putty, cuteFTP, my editor and so forth - the major problem i ran into with GIMP and why i don't use it is...

I'm not a fan of how it opens each pallete as a window on the taskbar - I've already got too much open and running and need to be able to easily scroll thru each app i need quickly to get my deadlines done - but thta's just me :)

1:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your list, although I'm not sure I would say OOo is de-throning MS Office.

It IS a short list, but a short list of big features to add.

Can we start a competition to rename GIMP to something better?

1:23 PM

Anonymous Sp`ange said...

While, some of these additions would help move GIMP to the professionals, it will not ever come close to being used in the studio without a suite of other tools that are up to par. There is honestly no other apps that come close to touching the power of Adobe's Creative Suite standard. Even Quark doesn't hold a flame to InDesign these days. Though there is a debate on which vector app is the best, illustrator or fireworks, they still work together beautifully.

Being able to move between layout and illustration and photo editing and have it all integrated is HUGE deal for me and my other designers. A complete workflow solution is needed. Maybe the GIMP, Inkscape and Scribus people can get together and make an open source suite. Call it Open Suite. :)

1:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think GIMP needs some sort of corperate sponsorship from a linux company like Novell. It's windows version also needs to have one main window with floating windows, rather than seperate floating tool windows.

1:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone points out that the GIMP isn't supposed to be a photoshop clone... but why not? Why doesn't someone branch off and make a Photoshop clone?

Insofar as OSS is developers "scratching an itch", they should do whatever they want. Insofar as you want to replace photoshop, but the reason it's not taking over much of Photoshop's market is that it's not Photoshop. Graphic designers find the interface confusing, and it's lacking some features.

A free photoshop clone, if it does a good job cloning Photoshop, would do well. Nobody WANTS to spend $600 on Photoshop, but $600 that lets you get your job done is better than "free" that doesn't let you get your job done.

1:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with CMYK. but it involves paying people like pantone to get it implemented, right?

about the rest of the list. sorry, but you don't know shit.

1:38 PM

Blogger Bob Wallace said...

A new name. This week.

By the end of the week pick a name.

Then fade it in like the Datsun/Nissan transition.

Use "GIMP (soon to be Whatever)" for a while. Then switch to "Whatever (previously known as GIMP)".

1:38 PM

Blogger jpez said...

I use the GIMP, but only because I'm too poor to afford PS and too moraled (or perhaps lazy) to pirate PS. As a non-professional, I'd say the number one problem is the interface being OMGWTFBBQ all over the place. GIMPShop attempted to rectify this problem, but it has not been integrated into the latest GIMP-builds, sadly.

1:38 PM

Blogger Steve K. said...

I think GIMPshop was a step in the right direction.

1:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From someone who's tried the latest version of The Gimp, and who works in a production environmenmt for both print and screen-based work on a daily basis, I'd say GIMP is about 10 years behind. And yes, I've worked with Photoshop for 10 years. For anyone who works in professional print, CMYK is completely essential. Working in RGB is just not an option.

So if you need Photoshop anyway, why would you use The GIMP? That's always been my issue with The GIMP.

It does great for entry level work, or when you don't have your copy of Photoshop handy in a pinch. It may even be capable of winning the photoshop contests on, but it's just not ready for the big time.


1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, can you folks at least write more than two paragraphs before you go whoring yourself to Digg?

My grocery list has more words than these blurbs that pass off as articles.

1:47 PM

Blogger Bob Wallace said...

Start two parallel versions, one for photographers and another for folks working with 'graphics'.

Create a user base by offering a very easy to learn photo editing program that can grow as the individuals skill base grows.

Build an interface for photographers that starts with only a very few tools on the editing page and let people add tools as wish.

One of the problems with learning PS/PSE is that there is so much 'stuff' on the page. It's overwhelming to many people.

Make the tools very easy to use. (I've got a bunch of ideas here.)

If you have an easy entry program you will get a lot more users and users can mean money.

Want layers/whatever? OK, when we get x dollars donated we will set aside the time to include layers/whatever.

There are a lot more people taking photographs who want an easy to use and affordable program than there are people who take photographs and are willing to pay for PS/PSE.

1:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out Pixel Image Editor @

1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One word - Folders. I use them all the time to group my layers. Professional designers have hundreds of layers. I also agree with the above poster who mentioned layer effects.

1:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until they get rid of the x11 for osx and start releaseing a aqua version I wouldn't dream of recommending it to anyone. Why do they bother making a application that simply will never be used.
Telling the average user who cant afford adobe photoshop and would love to try using a oss graphic program that they need to install x11, then a ton of other stuff just to use a application that they usually cant even find and none of their usual shortcuts work with is beyond reason.

2:05 PM

Anonymous Carfaa said...

Professionals and people who need CMYK to do magazine ads and covers can afford Photoshop, they are not the target market for GIMP. What GIMP needs is to work better for ordinary people, people who do a bit of drawing on a photo for a web page, chart for a research paper/presentation, or want to retouch photos. Layers that work better, and the Healing brush and Patch tool are the essentials. Things that make useful ordinary tasks easier, not perfectionist color matching that only pros need. The image stitching tool that can make panoramas or reassemble scans of 2 pages into one (from Photoshop elements) would also be nice.

2:07 PM

Anonymous steve said...

your points are quite good, though i do expect that the preferences of the end user far outweigh anything else - most adobe users highly customize the interface, much like gimp users. and, just a note, Mr. L. Advocate: please correct "dorogitory;" it is spelled "derogatory." with the visibility of this post on digg and elsewhere, you are doing the community a disservice by ignoring spell checkers' incredible ease-of-use.

2:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like J's thinking, and in accordance with other posters, I just don't know how far GIMP will go without some serious backing. The Adobe gang has a gaggle of very sharp/very experienced developers, not saying anyone who has worked on GIMP isn't smart or experienced, just saying adobe is paying well and works in numbers.

I'd be sad if GIMP had a name change, but if they make it a viable competitor at some point in the future, hey, I won't complain.

2:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the accursed interface! It it the least intuitive system ever. And why do the keyboard shortcuts seem to have been selected to be as different to photoshop (or any other sensible convention) as possible?

2:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think its been mentioned yet but theres a handy version of the Gimp available on called Gimpshop. It's just a layout hack but makes it easier to transition for PS to Gimp for those who don't wan't to pirate any more.

Personally I find the gimp a lot less intuitive to use then PS and the Gimpshop hacks goes some way to help with that. Theres also a workaround of the above mentioned problem of too many task bar items.

The Gimp wont replace PS any time soon but for value for money it's a no brainer.

2:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The workflow just isn't there with GIMP. Beyond the gawdawful interface, it's really difficult to actually DO something with.

2:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

People like you simply need to drop dead.

Merry Christmas!

2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, without more depth than 8-bit it cannot compare with Photoshop for the professional user (at least these days).

I hope that any development in this area will be flexible enough to imagine an arbitrary dynamic range (not just 16-bit, but double floating point).

3:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I kept reading this article, even after realizing that the author was too lazy to use a spell checker. I kept reading after the author revealed that he hadn't actually tried the newest version. I finally stopped reading when I realized that there were members of the intended audience who didn't know that "gimp" was a common synonym for the word "cripple." Do I have anything else derogatory to say? Yes, but I'd rather not continue wasting my time.

3:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus the UI is unbelievable disgusting and not effecient.

3:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a lousy dumb blog!

3:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Text Tools are weakly supported in Gimp

3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is that the developers and a couple of since-the-beginning-of-time-users are vetoing any sane ideas (say, like context menus being contextual instead of all-encompassing) that could make the Gimp work for the normal user. They need to be dragged (kicking and screaming if needs be) into 2006.

If Microsoft had been run by these guys, we probably would have been running 3.11 still, and be told how much greater it is in some arcane way while Linux and Macs would be about where they are today. Just a handful people has been blocking the Gimp from being good for years.

The solution? A fork could work, or maybe it would be easier to simply start from scratch. After all, most of the stuff is available in Gtk+ itself, and the rest can be lifted from Gimp and other places. A realistic image format could be used too, maybe something like that of ImageMagick instead of the almost completely hopeless (to work with in code) .xcf. An open standard would be good.

There are things happening all the time with the Gimp, like perspective editing I think is on the way - but there just never will be even close to enough with those backwards porch-sitting old coots in charge.

3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And oh, who the fuck cares about Mac users and their whining about X11? They are all way up I-want-to-pay-a-lot-of-money-and-can-I-have-a-lot-of-DRM-and-other-bondage-too-thank-you-massa-Steve creek.

3:51 PM

Blogger jiblet said...

The trouble with all these comparisons is that these are complex software packages. You can spend years using Photoshop and only touch 10% of the features. Even seasoned veterans will tend to lean towards certain areas. Photographers, Print Designers, and Web Designers use the program completely differently.

To make a really good comparison you'd need someone (or more likely a panel) of people who really make use of everything. Then you'd have to make sure they've spent enough time with GIMP to really evaluate it on its own merits. I question whether a true Photoshop and GIMP expert even exists.

Personally I just don't have the time to learn GIMP. Photoshop may be expensive for a hobbyist, but as a professional its much much cheaper than spending the time to learn another tool. That said, I don't rule out GIMP for the future. I think open source will eventually win out in all the commodity software categories of which graphic manipulation is an outlier.

3:56 PM

Anonymous Andrew said...

When I saw "I havn't tried the latest version" I stoppped reading. Justin at that point lost any credibility he may have had.

3:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why I have to keep Photoshop:

Ability to process RAW (or DNG).

Unsharp masking as good as Photoshop in the luminance layer.

Ability to apply curves.

3:58 PM

Anonymous Rob said...

Yeah, "I'm not using the latest version" stops me right there.

4:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imho, the gimp could use a more windows-like gui if it wants to get used by non linux users. it's find that your single app has a kazillion different and non interconnected parts, but that's not exacly how i'm used to work in windows. hence I'm sticking to Paint.Net atm even tho it has less features than the gimp.

4:11 PM

Anonymous Bela Glosz from Hungary said...

I strongly agree that the name GIMP is terribly lame. The CMYK feature is a must also. But how about USABILITY and APPEARANCE? Designers ALWAYS concerns the look of their tools not just the look of their work.

bela.glosz >> gmail

4:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest version of Photoshop vs old version of The GIMP does not a fair comparison make...

Blatent digg whoring.

4:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Photoshop = Must be some application for working with pictures.


The name should say something about what the program does. A new name should be given after a massive change in the program.

When I first checked out GIMP about 6 years ago, you, you could have said Photoshop has got some competition along the way. But like it has been said, they are moving slow.

I look at projects like Blender3D and Jashaka and just see so much coming out way in free multi media software.

GIMP needs some serious help to be taken seriously. One would be, like mentioned in the article, massive financial backing. Another would be to work on some large scale project with digital artist. The program really needs to be made for these people. Look at the last major release of Blender. A lot of progress was made due to the fact that a lot of features were needed by the Orange Porject (team assembled to create a 3D short).

As a semi professional photographer, the GIMP would never work for me. I need a program that will support RAW, and I have not even been able to find a free or open source solution that would be able to work for me under Linux.

Don't get me wrong, I see pleanty of hope for the GIMP, but there really needs to be some massive change.

But also, let us not forget that this is an open source project. These guys are not getting paid to work on this all the time, which could be something that as a porton of the public that uses open source can come in and help. Look at the Blender Foundation. Maybe what can be developed is a community foundation to raise money to grant funds to open source projects like the GIMP, Jashaka, and Blender. Lets face it, some of us might be wanting to use these programs in ways that will bring in some money for us.

4:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this for a new name, Photo-imp?

4:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp has been forked several times. All of them have died on the vine due to lack of involvement and support.

If someone is going to "improve on the GIMP", then a code fork has to involve 3 things:

Selection of a team of people who can actually understand user issues and deliver code. Why? GIMP crew have repeatedly refused to add and change features to accomodate new users, and have also refused to merge new code that would change the basic way in which it operates. Anybody competing with them will have to energize the community with their transparency and openness to new ideas.

Selection of a team of designers who are primarily artists and graphics people. I can't stress this enough as a trained artist that became an expert at the GIMP- it has tools that could be considered more powerful and configurable than what photoshop offers, but nobody will ever use them due to their inherent complexity. The UI should cater to people with an arts/graphics background, and take into account the workflow of creative (rather than analytical) people. However, Gimp's crew once again shoots themselves in the foot on this issue; the attitude is still "if you want it fixed, code it". Nice attitude, but it doesn't help when your users can't edit a fix because they can't figure out how the tool should work in the first place (I'm not talking about myself on this point, but on my experience of trying to evangalize the GIMP to numerous artists and designers, some who are quite gifted coders). Hell, picasa for linux has a better interface.

The last thing is extensibiliy. This is the GIMP's strongest suit, but without some kind of easy to start with kit/gui/tutorial to get the novice underway, it continues to be underutilized. Again, team GIMP falls flat on it at this point - their policy is to provide more ways to skin a cat, not a better way to do it. This causes more of a long term problem for a lot of professional users, because even if they successfully adopt GIMP, they then have to learn at least one new computer language to interact with the scripting features, and more to fully support them. This is unacceptable for most artists/designers. But, in spite of this, or because of it, GIMP again does not change.

And when I say "does not change" or "falls flat on it", its because I followed just about every fork that never merged back, and every attempt to drag the core team into a new way of doing things fail. There was an industry supported version of the GIMP, but they could not get enough help from the core team to implement their features (yes, movie studios wanted to merge code back into the GIMP, and the GIMP team basically said no), and so had to fork. The fork eventually died, because of code compatibility changes written into core GIMP shortly after and a lot of developers sitting on the fence rather than get involved in a new version.

Personally, I have stopped using the GIMP and its derivatives. I am pretty much waiting on Krita to come up to speed, dual booting for Corel as needed, and doing most of my basic editing work in ...sigh... picasa for linux. Now, its really sad when google comes up with a better basic editor than the guys who have had about a decade to get it right.

And before anybody wants to suss me out for not fixing the problem- I'd be happy to. Give me significant funding (which I can take as a 501c3 tax deductible donation) or jobs for two core coders that will allow me and my partner to code on the clock and it will get done. The GIMP got its start from a group of college students that had the funded time to make it happen. Any significant changes that they DON'T or WON'T support will require the same. That's basically what it would take to get a start on fixing the GIMP. Unless people are willing to band together to fix these issues, they will never be resolved, until some other group like the people who code Krita overtake the GIMP in the near future.

5:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must support:

Adjustment layers!!!!!!!!!!!
LAB colorspace
A billion other things.

GIMP will *never* get there.

It already is, however, already a great piece of open-source software that is useful to a whole bunch of people. It will never unseat photoshop though.

5:30 PM

Blogger GraphicArtist2k5 said...

or you could give up this whole "the gimp is the shit" mentality and realize that photoshop will only keep getting better and better, and most likely every single graphic designer on the planet will want to use photoshop because of all the kickass features that photoshop has, and will potentially have in the near future. i've tried the gimp, and even gimpshop, and i didn't like either one of them in comparison to photoshop. it can't hold a candle to what photoshop can do.

5:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp sucks, Linux sucks, you all suck, get used to it!


6:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i used deluxe paint on the amiga since i was 4. i paint, i sculpt. i learned ray tracing and rendering. i think photoshop sucks. sure it has features but gimp is also ghastly. we are left nowhere. we just eed new heroes.

new name

how about "the imp"?

or "Gnu Imp?"

support Gnu Imp re branding!

there that sorts out the subject of your next post. you're welcome.

6:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've tried GIMP and I must say I really don't like it. Staying with Paint Shop Pro.

7:05 PM

Anonymous PhoenixP3K said...

All you mention is great. But the name has to stay, re-branding is not easy and does not always mean increased popularity. Of course, all current GIMP users can move on to the next name but the first step is to bring the original name out there.

7:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so all the angry users have
flamed, and all the serious users
have debated and opined - but not
one mentioned another effort that
might help everyone called
Gimpshop, I wonder why that is ?

Do a search for Gimpshop, or better
still, look here:

Bigger is NOT always better, and
speaking from my own POV, I refuse
to put any program in my own PC
that is as hoggy as Adobe makes

I did find a nice, repackaged (hot)
version of PS/CS that is 100% green
and portable though - which makes
me wonder why these huge companies
cannot or will not do what a bunch
of users who are pissed over their
hoggy programs can do to make huge
programs behave better ?

The list of portable apps is
growing, and these companies need
to wake up and smell the coffee....


7:18 PM

Anonymous Mario said...

Well to be honest "The Gimp" will never overcome Photoshop, just doesn't have the charisma to do it.

I believe that the team behind the gimp would have to make a new GUI, add so many features to it and of course get a better name or really really get a big marketing event behind it to success like other programs in the same category.

It would be just too much and by the time they finish one thing, the photoshop team will have something new that will take users by storm.

8:08 PM

Anonymous Brad Allen said...

Some random name ideas:


8:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote: "CMYK:
Many professionals who work with Photoshop in a production environment use the CMYK color space on a daily basis. Any pro-level tool without this is destined to fail. It needs to be added, and I'm sure it's on the list for inclusion. Actually, It might already be, but I havent tried the newest version recently."

How about doing your research before writing an article?

9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think maybe it's not about making money or becoming bigger than photoshop.

they made a sweet program that i use alot.

9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CMYK is only a side-effect of GIMP's core problem: no color management and no ability to do conversions between colorspaces. This is where Photoshop rules. Just having CMYK colorspace will be worthless without serious conversion ability. Just look at Photoshop's RGB>CMYK conversion, it has almost infinite flexibility to create your own conversion profiles. This is all based on proprietary algorithms and tons of research with real-world printers and artists, which is precisely what GIMP will never be able to duplicate. The standard set by Photoshop cannot be surpassed by mere programming.

9:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp does allow you to resize brushes, they just do it in a stupid way.

You first have to create a new brush. This brush will have a little blue arrow in the brush select pallette to indicate it can be changed.

Then you have to go to Gimp's key bindings and bind ']' to increase brush size and '[' to decrease brush size.

Its rather inconvenient but can be be done, like most things in The Gimp.

9:34 PM

Anonymous monkeybrainz said...

I am not a professional designer, but i do use photoshop quite a bit. It is just simply easier to get going and keep going with Photoshop.

A couple of points for easier adoption:

1. Change the name.
2. Make it easier to install (Mac binary etc).
3. Improve the documentation.
4. A bit more self promotion.

9:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK here's the deal.

The vast majority of us open source developers have no need and no understanding of what graphics people need for good workflow. Honestly, I find myself usually bulk processing my pictures using scripts and command line because I don't draw or paint on my pictures.

Frankly, I have no clue how to use the gimp well but I also have no idea how to use anything in photoshop either. It seems equally impenterable to me. But since the windows aren't usually floating around like the default gimp setup, less annoying.

1) understand us most oss devs don't know what you want, because this isn't our field of work.
2) as open source promoters you need to understand that you have to do more than lip service and actually help out
3) understand the purpose of the various functional units of the gimp to tell the devs how to lay it out in a sane work flow. the programmers can work on optimizing code but you need to help a lot! with the layout.

You guys are the pros on this. Please help the dev community by taking the time to detail how the workflow is different, what needs to change. what features you need etc. (remember that if you make things too much the same, adobe will pop up with the lawsuits)

In conclusion:
1) Start a webpage. You'll just get buried if you file bug reports. Sad but true.
2) list the features/workflow/sketches of ui wanted. tweaks you have to adobe's flow even ;)
3) the devs can work towards that pretty easily
4) remember that oss is about community partnership to produce community goods. So you have to contribute if you want to see changes.

10:02 PM

Anonymous Marc J. Driftmeyer said...

Read this to see what has been addressed:

10:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you cut photoshop in half you get GIMP.

10:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don know what the hell that you are talking about, Gimp totally supports CMYK???!!!!

10:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

IDK... all i no is that W1ND0W5 15 FUC1NG G4Y!!!!!!!! I H4T3 W1ND0W5!!

10:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you get when you cut off Photoshop's arms and legs? GIMP!

11:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone tried CinePaint ???

11:44 PM

Blogger Justin said...

Thanks for flaming me on my spelling and grammar issues (sarcasm). If you don't like this blog, I'm not holding a gun to your head to read it. Feel free to go elsewhere. To be honest I didn't really think anyone would actually READ it. And I'm really thankful for those of you who did and left positive comments. Support, comments, and arguments are always welcome here. Flames are not. I'll try harder in the future to hold my spelling and grammar to a higher standard. As for the issue of my not trying the latest greatest version of the GIMP, that all lies with the fact that I use Ubuntu Dapper. I use the version of GIMP that comes preinstalled, and currently there is no upgradeable version available to me without whipping out the command line and going through a bunch of steps that I simply do not want to do. This is a problem I will address one of these days, but please do not flame me for it. When Ubuntu Edgy is released I will be sure to try the new version of GIMP that will come with that as well.

12:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Single workspace. Everything else is tolerable/worth waiting for.

3:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just chop the G off and call it IMP, or is that taken?

4:26 AM

Blogger Ajay Karat said...

This is a little out of the topic, but is there any way you/anyone could help/guide me on how to approach the open source community to make a vector animation software just like flash?

6:14 AM

Anonymous Virgilio Vasconcelos said...

Well, some people had stop reading when he said that he "didn´t use the latest version", about the CMYK support.

Had you REALLY read until there? Is there support for CMYK in the latest version? Don´t talk about GIMP 2.3, because it is a "development version". From their website: "This is an unstable development version of the GNU Image Manipulation Program. (...)If you need to get work done, please use the stable version, GIMP 2.2."

I work in a pretty decent and professional design studio (, and I REALLY want to use only open source apps (Blender, Inkscape, Scribus and Gimp) in it. I´m the only geek who tries to do it but, despite all my efforts, sometimes I HAVE to use Photoshop to do some things.

GIMP isn´t a professional app yet, but it has some cool features. Some complains in the comments aren´t fair, but others are. For the CMYK support, I use Krita. It´s quite painful to use The Gimp for professional work, though.

Beside all that, I STILL BELIEVE that it has future. =D

7:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, one should look into GimpShop. Its a hack/skin rearange that makes it Much more photoshop like in layout at least. I couldn't get my brain around the number of differences for a longtime untill I found this. It helps in a lot of ways, and is at least worth looking into.

7:16 AM

Anonymous Mellissa Dalby said...

GIMP is a very good graphics tool, but I wish the pallette editor was easier to use. I have had many occasions when I've needed to change colors of oscilloscope screen shots and it's far easier in Paint Shop Pro than in GIMP (at least for 8-bit color any way).
I tried unsuccessfully to find a way to do that in GIMP. I finally gave up and reverted to the other program.
In all other respects I found GIMP to be a top-notch grphics editing program.

7:50 AM

Anonymous Felipe Leão said...

I do agree with de vector part... but I don´t think that te name would really make a difference... history says that even though the name helps to sell a product, for example strong names such as Firefox, the really strong programs make their on name, by getting usual in a day-to-day basis, making we think that the name is strong, since the program is strong.

8:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MDI-like would be perfect?

9:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp is very powerful and does most of what most people need to do. But the user interface sucks. Try putting it infront of a novice user and asking them to load animage, crop it down some and save it for web use.

I know there are better tools for this, but this simple operation is a real pain in Gimp. Basics first folks!

9:12 AM

Anonymous Stian said...

A lot of people complain about the interface with too may dialogs. The reasoon for this is that GIMP was developed mainly for *nix platforms where one have several workspaces. This works perfectly for me on linux where I always have one workspace for just GIMP. I would say this is limitation of Windows/Mac and not GIMP. It looks like OSX.5 wil fix this for mac though

10:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Photoshop is perfect for
people who spend all their
days pushing pixels around. We
don't need another PS. What
we need is a image tool for
folks who poke images a couple
times a month and don't want
to fight with PS (or find a
windows box) just for that.

What we need is a updated
version of XV.

11:48 AM

Anonymous Pimguim said...

Gimp always atualize, ps die....wharever

12:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GIMP will never dethrone Photoshop. There, I said it.

And I'm sorry, but the notion that Open Office is really replacing MS Office is a bit silly. For the average joe home user, that may be correct. But overall? There are thousands of corporations that use Microsoft software (namely, Office and Windows) as the backbone of their documentorial and communicatorial functioning.

12:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've occasionally talked on the Gimp mailing lists and Bugzilla about the importance of mentioned dynamic layer effects. They often cut down the amount of time spent in creating something or fixing tiny details. They also support the crafting style of image composition, which fits many tasks awesomely.

I'll make a brief summary of the responses I have got: "STFU","Feel free to implement it yourself","You suck","Yeah but we need the library XXXXX first, it's coming so let's wait" (after some 5 years of waiting we are still waiting).

Sadly, Gimp isn't worth *anything* as a professional tool before the feature is implemented and has a superbly working chaining system.

12:56 PM

Anonymous Nik said...

I think CMYK support is the #1 thing keeping The GIMP from professional use. Yes, there's tons of workflow enhancements like layer effects, actions, and vectors, which are reasons to buy Photoshop, but are not reasons why The GIMP cannot produce professional output.

In fact, CMYK is such a deal breaker, that Adobe omitted it (and few other features) from Photoshop Elements, and is thus able to get away with only charging $80 for Elements, which does 90% of what ANYONE would want to do with Photoshop.

1:10 PM

Blogger xodiaq said...

I've always equated the name "GIMP" with the crippling interface. I've tried 3 versions and each one was like trying to write with my feet. Its possible but it ain't pretty.

I despise the software companies who try and say their interface is better than the OS base, because they NEVER are (3D apps pop up as a major offender) nor do they come close, and *IX apps are always under interfaced, mostly because the idea is to be über flexible, but it really ends up chaotic and entailing a much higher learning curve per app. GIMP is not different in this respect, though I think thats more of an existing problem with *IX windowing environments, though, and their inexplicable "inspiration" from Windows...

Do I think there is a need for free or low, low priced imaging software? And for entry level stuff, there is. And Yes, there is a need for equally functional professional level alternatives to PShop, but ever since xRes was boiled down into Fireworks, Deneba Canvas and the GIMP have really been the only options and neither are quite as comprehensive or functional.

The day may come where PS is so massively over-bloated it requires a dedicated machine, but I don't see it soon and until then its the only app that can handle the massive files (usually well over 1.5-2 gig each) I work on daily. Im a pretty firm believer that its not the software companies that are so much the problem as the development teams. They decide they KNOW what we want and need, often they're wrong and ignore the real users (raster transparency as an always-on default feature in a vector drawing program? WTF people!?).

Start a movement to whip Illustrator into line, though, and I'll be on that one with a quickness!

1:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the name Gimp, I would prefer it stay.

1:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the idea that OS X support is crucial, far more important than changing the name, a successfull product will eventually 'own' the name.

4:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all those who have been brainwashed by the Bill Gates Interface design as being user friendly, it just ain't so.

The original GIMP WIMP interface follows the PARC defined standard which was designed as an open standard using children and cognitive psychologists, not a proprietary do it our way and get locked in company.

The idea of pop up menus was to minimise mouse travel, an important feature on a standard 19" screen, and being able to pin them in place meant even more productivity.

The Bill Gates design of pull down menus was designed for 12" screens where mouse travel was so small as to not be considered unproductive, but who uses 12" today. Regards Stomfi

10:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp is also a type of nail...

But I think adobe will release a linux version of Photoshop before serious designers go for Gimp.

12:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few quick points here:

1) Adjustment layers are well underway. For more details perform a Google search for GEGL.
2) I try to keep up with the latest releases of the Gimp. I thought that with the most recent releases CMYK support was included.
3) To the fellow that finds Picassa to be more useful than the Gimp, you seriously need to pick up Akkana Peck's Gimp for Beginners book. It will walk you through all aspects of the tool (including scripting in various languages, should you need such power). The Gimp blows Picassa's photo editing capabilities so far out of the water that it isn't even funny.
4) For the poster that claimed it was so hard to open and crop an image, I would recommend *using* the Gimp. All I ever do is drag an image to the Gimp, select the crop tool, select the region with the tool, and I'm done. Next time you level a criticism, please try to aim for something loftier than terminally lame.
5) For the poster that claims that mere programming will never make the Gimp as good as Photoshop, I say yes, you must be right. Everyone knows that the latter is formed with lots of pixie dust, belly button lint, and the first dew on spring daffodils. Yeah right. Since PS IS MERE PROGRAMMING, this is one of the most inane things I expected to read here.
6) As far as the UI ... I guess I'm missing something critical here. I've seen screenshots of PS and it is pretty and all, but Gimp isn't exactly a command line interface. It has menus and icons, and with a little bit of work it is fairly easy to remember where everything is at. As far as the lack of MDI ... someone correct me if I'm wrong but it was Microsoft that deprecated that approach a long time ago (though its use will never die).
7) Sounds like a lot of people are carping that Gimp can't be used as a serious tool by the photo enthusiast. I am just such a person and I've found that the Gimp not only helps breath life into my photos, but also allows me to make complex compositions. I am definitely excited about the possibility of adjustment layers though.
8) For the couple of authors that were clueless about OpenOffice in the broader world, OO is gaining ground fast. And the reason is because it offers huge benefits in an area one poster described as 'documentorial and communicatorial functioning'. Even Microsoft is adding support for its document format to their suite. That ought to tell you something.




12:15 AM

Anonymous BlueSky said...

All I can say to this article is: "What a bullshit!"

First: The name is perfect. Short, easy to remember, sounds friendly. Because we call it just Gimp, not G-I-M-P.

As for the features: You may have noticed that these things are getting better and better with each version. One day, I hope, Gimp will have them all.

The interface (as some comments complain about): It's exactly the interface why I use The Gimp. When you work on more images at a time and have two screens or more desktops, this becomes wonderfully useful and efficient.

I don't think somebody's trying to dethrone Photoshop from it's position. The competition of these two programs is somewhere else.

6:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree with the name change, many other packages have done this to good effect.
Many years ago Adobe were lobbied heavily to port photoshop to Linux and declined though they were told that the Mac version ran on Linux under the Mac emulator Executor. This is where GIMP tried to fill the void and kudos to their efforts, but Rome was not built in a day, so I am loathed to criticise where it has got to today, but look forward to improvements to come. Instead of pointing out its deficiencies against photoshop, perhaps those who can help materially would get down to submitting code, even efforts like gimpshop are positive contributions.
There was an article some months ago, in a school in Australia, the teacher got half the class using GIMP and the other half using Photoshop, then for the second half of the term he got the groups to switch. The GIMP group thought Photoshop was rubbish and likewise the Photoshop group thought the same of GIMP, so perhaps there is a lesson there. Whats more I don't think the GIMP developers are that blissfully unaware of what it needs, they are building Rome block by block as there is no shortcut to a good end result.

7:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with many of your points, but not the name thing. I'm not usually a fan of "realpolitik" but look, if someone calls you a gimp (or a GIMP) and you're offended by it, you simply need to toughen up. Speaking as a gimp. I mean, what's next? Renaming /dev/tty (pronounced "titty") in case it offends women? Typing "person person" to read the FM of FM's to avoid offending feminists?

7:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should try the latest version (or read latest news) before posting.

GIMP was allotted students for the Google Summer of Code, and many of the things you mention are in there:
* Vector Layers
* New Brush System
* UI Improvements

plus others...

9:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While we're wishing why not just wish for a Linux version of Photoshop? It's probably just as likely to happen as it is that gimp will ever catch up to photoshop.

10:05 AM

Blogger Binny V A said...

Better Layer selection. In photoshop its easy - you right click the area and all the layers in the area will be show and you can chose one.

In Gimp it is very hard.

I also would like a universal shortcut system - if the user presses a key, the shortcut should go to the full app. Now if you have activated the layer dialog and press 'n' to get the pencil tool, the key event will be captured by the layer dialog - very irritating for me.

Inspite of these difficulties I use GIMP - since I am using Linux almost exclusively.

10:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:52 AM

Anonymous Stian said...

BlueSky's comment on the separete dialogs is indeed very true. I use two screens and GIMP's user interface is far superior to PS's dated MDI in this case. I think when OSX now comes with multiple desktops PS will convert to the GIMP-way.

12:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, there might be a reason GIMP doesn't have CMYK support - those reasons might be patents. Patents are such a wonderful thing for corportations, once they got them nicely corrupted away from what they originally actually were.

5:47 PM

Blogger Renan said...

I would like to see:

CMYK and Pantone
Compatibility with Adobe formats (there are LOTS of Photoshop brushes/plugins/actions out there)
Layer effects and styles
Action recording

6:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

run over to home of ImageFX, this is the Amiga's Photoshop killer. If only they would opensource this!

Imagine a fully reporgramable interface?, point and scripting? able to deal with nearly any file format?, trancode from any format to another?, One of two apps I would BUY to use under linux... oh I've bought the one already, see

11:11 AM

Blogger Pj said...

Changing the name is absolutely critical. For people with physical disabilities, it's the equivalent of calling the program the n-word.

I do some volunteer computer work with for nonprofits that assist the disabled, and the only reason I don't install it on these machines (I routinely install openoffice) is because of the name.

4:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gimp will never go more mainstream or get renamed... but with any luck somebody will branch it, make a mainstream version. This happened with Mozilla (Firefox) and to some extent with Debian (Ubuntu).

The (relatively) small group of people who develop and use the Gimp can carry on doing so. The (likely) large group of people who want a more mainstream 'Gimp' will finally get what they want.

And in a minute I'll wake up and realise it was all a dream...

5:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One thing I hate at GIMP, they don't have a shortcut for Screenshot; if you go to Keyboard shortcuts, you will NOT find anything about Screenshot option."

Turn on Dynamic Keyboard Shortcuts in the preferences. GTK apps let you redefine shortcuts by hovering your mouse over the menu item and pressing the desired shortcut combination.

4:10 PM

Blogger Jon said...

Right behind you on the resizable brushes. Tried the gimp a couple of times cus i'm not a big user and i wanted to stay legal instead of "borrowing" the latest photoshop from a friend of a friend. But got put off because it didn't even have something as obviously useful as a brush size slider, while Photoshop CS2 has had this since like version 1.

7:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe that so many people have a problem with the gimp interface! I use both gimp and photoshop in my job and I find the gimp interface far superior. But that being said, I was raised on gimp and only started using photoshop later in life.

11:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said:
One thing I hate at GIMP, they don't have a shortcut for Screenshot;

They do...:
Check "Use dynamic keyboard shortcuts"

Then, just choose an action in menu, let your mouse on it and type a keyboard shortcurt. This shortcut will be assigned to the action.

This feature rules!

11:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the points discussed here are valid, except perhaps the name - Gimp. Its easy to remember and pronounce. Gimp (and gimpshop) is no way as user freindly as Photoshop. If.. If ever they add the features like layer effects etc.. and make the program userfreindly, may be it would be a photoshop competitor. Having said that, I think that will NEVER happen - gimp is as annoying as it was 6 years ago.

10:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I havent tried the newest version recently."

Nice. Are you the gimp?

3:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the most frustrating things I find about GIMP is having 3 or more windows floating around and randomly appearing and disappearing when one presses the tab key. Very unfriendly for first-time users crossing over from photoshop.

7:50 PM

Anonymous DASii said...

I have 'never' seen so many superlatives – superlatives are dangerous in this industry. Two major issues emerge from this discussion: Adobe and Pantone. These two monopolies have tried to hold on to their golden gooses for too long and their empire will crumble like all empires before. The GIMP, or some other successor will emerge to return the intellectual property back to society - in the same way that patents expire. In a sensible society, people contribute to education through taxes, we reward effort to those who create by protecting their creativity - for a time - and then expect those who benefited to give back to the very society that gave them the freedom to create in the first place.

6:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see an automate/batch process function available. Unless it's already there and I haven't found it yet. I usually like to batch process my high res photos when I need to resize them all to an email size.

That's on my wishlist for Gimp. Other than that, it's an awesome program.


4:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah, I think the name should be called Pimp. Something casual and interesting?

Photo Image Manipulation Power

3:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read the article, and comments I come to the conclusion that I will most definitely need to run a Windows mount so that I may have access to Adobe tools. Hopefully one day Adobe will actually port to Linux so that this is not necessary. That is the necessary end result to this delimma because Adobe Photoshop is the defacto standard for professional image creation and editing. If GIMP truly wishes to be taken seriously then they need to dump this silly notion that they shouldn't strive to become an Adobe Photoshop clone. Once they are the clone they can then seek to surpass that which they strive to emulate. Until then they are just a pathetic tool to replace the Windows Paint program.

12:27 PM

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11:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice GimpShop being mentioned several times. It's a bugfest. I tried ran for two days, then crashed and wouldn't even start up.

I am a mod on We get a number of people on there who have problems with GimpShop and want help with it. Aside from its buggy-ness, it is also a problem to trouble shoot problems with something that has a completely different menu system. Also, it is based on an older version of Gimp, so is missing some features/bugfixes.

Perhaps Gimp has its limitations in comparison to PS. However...PS has, at least for me, two MAJOR problems. One...the ridiculous price. And two... I would either have to invest in a MAC to run it or put up with the abortion known as Microsoft Windows (or the latest..Vista) in order to run it. Of the two, the mac option would be more acceptable, except now the price just went up, since I have to spend not only for the software, but new hardware in order to run it. Totally unacceptable.

1:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classifieds for our community. Buy, sell, trade, date, events... post anything. Adquity Classifieds.

6:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

try gimpshop, it's a mod of gimp

and the rest of the complaints and answers can be found at the grimthing he seems to have an answer for most the complaints found here...

1:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems like everyone has a complaint or 2 about gimp -- here get involved and help them out

1:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

playing on someone's new name suggestion of gimp to pimp...
here's an addition gPIMP - GNU Photo Imaginging Manipulation Pro

2:00 AM

Anonymous Schalken said...

Yeap, I wish GIMP had better path editing. It's just so unclear as to what key to press to select/make corner/drag handle etc. Take a lesson from Inkscape, whose vector editing I think surpasses even Illustrator. Well, for the basic stuff at least.

6:03 AM

Anonymous Franc M. said...

First: credentials:
I am a professional photographer (since 26 years: I'm 50 now)
Second: facts:
I am now using the Gimp instead of Photoshop (despite some limits in Gimp)
Third: the reasons:
To carry on with recent photoshop DRM-shit and -more generally- with proprietary software (Mac/Windows) is simply too expensive. I switched to Ubuntu. Lot of benefits, some minor disadvantages (like using gimp instead of photoshop).

On a cost/benefit base, I would say that switching to linux/gimp from mac/photoshop (windows/photoshop would be the same, if some photographers should really use windows instead of macintosh) has HUGE advantages and only MINOR disadvantages for any small enterprise (like mine).

Note that I began still keeping a dual boot xp/ubuntu JUST to use photoshop.
I switched to ubuntu total in december. I may have used windows three or four times this year (for gaming, not for photoshop.

Guess what: once you get accustomed to it, you can pretty much do with the Gimp whatever you were doing in photoshop, only cheaper :-)

11:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be joking about GIMP. It's as bad as they come. The name is irrelevant: it's the UI and the rendering that sucks. I've tried turning a transparent png into something else and I was shocked, SHOCKED at what GIMP did. Not to mention watching my beautiful clean font work turn into muddy and grainy debris. People who do GIMP should be locked up in a room and made to pay for their mistakes.
Yes, Adobe has expensive stuff, but at least it's good. You get what you pay for. Anyone willing to do professional work has to be MAD, MAD I tell you, if they think GIMP is worth the devil's spit.
I've also been using inkscape for some time now and am going to give up and try Illustrator. No open type font support, among other things, is limiting my projects considerably. Not to mention it's been crashing like the Bush administration.
It's not so much the fancy stuff I want from open source software. It's the basic things: good rendering, good support for all types of fonts, good UI and good drawing capabilities. The BASICS!!! Until open source programmers stop thinking like autistic geeks and start thinking like USERS, open source will never amount to anything but ideological hype.
I've tried several stuff for 2 years now. Ready to move on, thank you.

2:04 PM

Anonymous brent said...

I like some FOSS, but I must say that advocates like yourself, who suggest that Linux or Gimp will ever "dethrone" Windows or Photoshop, are delusional.

Go ahead and keep telling yourself otherwise. You are only fooling yourself.

I assume that you don't work in an office environment.

I cannot imagine the look that my boss would give me if I suggested that we replace Photoshop with Gimp. I doubt he'd be giving me a raise anytime soon.

12:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to state yes Gimp isnt comparative to PS but its not really meant to be... Yes some things could be better I agree and really the people debunking it saying when you can get ahold of photoshop why bother. Many of us cant get ahold of photoshop by "legal" means and dont want to get it illegally or we dont have windows or OSX and use Linux and dont have crossover office.... Gimp works for most of the work alot of us tend to do with it.

I find alot of what i need to do with Gimp is actually a bit more of a joy in some ways..... Alpha channel handling in photoshop is messy and to be honest i end up using photo editing for alot of alpha work so its just not an option when i continually get a white halo around an image without having to load up plugins and other stuff and then trying to explain how to do all of this to someone who hasnt used photoshop before is just somewhat absurd to be honest.

When i can tell someone to start making something by going to filters > colors > color to alpha and choosing white and then making the image on a different layer and have the alpha channel automatically adjust itself its just easier for a novice to doing alpha work to understand.

In some ways gimp wins for me in some ways it loses i'd like to see better alpha support in ps it costing so much better control is just lacking in that light...

I do agree these features would be great to add in but not necessary in either case they both have their strong and weak points...

9:32 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

Layer effects:
I believe that the newest version of GIMP does indeed have that layer effect capability. You are not intelligent enough to talk about this if you don't have the latest version of GIMP.

9:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments, i think that whilst open source software needs to find it's own identity, it should at the same time be looking to incorporate best practices for the people who use it, by adding the features that make people very productive in Adobe Photoshop you will inturn make people really productive in the Gimp.

The name should be changed.....not because there is anything wrong with it...but because it won't suit professionals and having professional onside makes a difference when taking the program to the next level of sophistication.
Have professional rave about your software and actively work with it, too improve it's subtleties makes life a lot easier, it's difficult to rave about a program when it's called "The GIMP" becuase it's hard to take it seriously.

I think an aspect that could be improved on in the GIMP is the user interface, the look of the Icons can be quite guady, consdiering this is a program that is made for graphical editing, its an area that could be improved upon that will help lend a bit more credibility.

1:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GIMP is a load of shit, to be honest.
It's like Microsoft Paint with filters and plugins.

They need to make it good for web designers, like Photoshop, it pwns for web layouts. But GIMP is useless for it.

10:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously never tried the latest Microsoft Office lateley either.

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3:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been trying to move permanently over to linux. Like so many other web developers there are three aps I can't do without (yet) that don't run on linux. Flash, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver. I've spent years trying to piece together the functionality of these aps with a hodgepodge of linux aps, but am not much closer. I've become a very good VI user, but still use Dreamweaver for it's site management tools. I haven't found anything that even approaches this in the linux world. My best hope is a little tool called "Beyond Compare" whose developers say they are going to port to linux some day soon.

Flash will probably never run on linux, and the GIMP, from my research, has serious issues that simply cannot compete with Photoshop.

I'm very sad that these things mean I have to be stuck in the purgatory of Window$ when I've been trying to move to linux for YEARS. Any recommendations can contact me here

3:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for article! Very interesting.

7:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you can write anything else about it? Great article!

4:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who has used PhotoShop for many years (since version 3.0), I am thoroughly impressed with how many features they've packed into Gimp, a (let us understand this clearly) free program.

I recently moved from Windows to Mac and cannot bear the idea of spending the hundreds of dollars required to get a Mac version of PhotoShop. Finding a competent graphics editor that runs under OS X (and so what if it requires X11) was a god-send. I'll still use PhotoShop (which runs in a virtual Windows machine under Parallels) when I need the full orchestra, but I sure will enjoy having the ability to quickly edit a graphic without having to endure the compromises of Windows in a VM.

10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the name:
more so than being derogatory and non-politically-correct, it's an insult to itself. Until I heard an entire podcast on GIMP, i thought it was a "Less than MS Paint" painting program, just because the name implies such. Might as well call it "Nerfed" or "Weiny"

12:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GIMP badly needs CMYK support, then it will be prepared to dethrone PS. CMYK is supposed to be included in version 2.6 (2.4 stable came out last week) $600 is a lot of money for any home user, and the GIMP will remain free. Look at how far the GIMP has come in 10 years, while Adobe claims that PS has been around for 20, just as long as GUIs. Once the GIMP gets more users, it will be a lot better, because more brushes will be available. Also, don't talk about GIMP being the only decent manipulation program on Linux, because Wine was developed by movie makers for the very purpose of getting PS on linux. Rather than switch to Windows or Macs, they developed a whole program just to get their precious PS running on linux. What a tribute to how good linux is.

12:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was forced to use that program's awful UI recently. Nothing was in the right place, I couldn't seem to do half the stuff I needed to, and in general everything took 5 times as long as it should. I was glad to go back to using the Gimp, Photoshop just doesn't do it for me.

How many of the complaints people have about the Gimp's UI are just because they are used to how Photoshop does things?

8:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a crop tool? Jeez, I feel silly now. I've been using the selection tool, and then that menu item "crop to selection." All because I couldn't find the button.

I find the popup window system very irritating. While I've tried to get em to stay on top, when I want to take a break and surf the net, I have to unpin all of the windows. If I don't pin em, I have to scroll through several menu items to find what I'm looking for.

I also have a gripe about the lack of a shortcut for the color no, I know there's a keyboard shortcut, but in photoshop...after you click the brush, you can hold alt and have the eyedropper pop up. No need to select it from the toolbox.

That said, I thought that the selection tools in the new version of gimp was pretty nifty. I really like the dragging handles as well as the fairly accessible quickmask feature. I know that second point is in photoshop...but it's not a simple right-click away.

I dunno, both have things features that I want, but neither has everything.

3:58 PM

Blogger Ritergal said...

This comment is so far down the list it may never be read, but ... I love GIMP, and need to say so.

I'm a photo-editing power user, and I've spent a lot of time exploring GIMP's features, both photo stuff and drawing. The interface is different, but if you know the concepts, it doesn't take long to get around. I actually like having the parts "float loose" and wish I could do that with PS, which I generally use.

Two things have kept me from moving full-time to GIMP: the lack of scalable brushes and adjustment layers. Scalable brushes are here. I'm delighted to hear that adjustment layers are around the corner.
Those who think Photoshop has a great interface have obviously never used Corel PhotoPaint. It was so far superior ... I was a beta tester for version 10, and so many pros who used Photoshop in their business raved about the ease of use.

Is Corel still out there? Probably, but ... Sad to say, I fled the fold. I was given PS as a gift, and although the learning curve for that was hellacious and IMHO, the interface primitive by comparison, the opportunity to save things in a universally recognized format was appealing.

But I'm disgusted with Micro$oft, especially with Vista, and I'm ready to switch to Linux. I switched to OpenOffice a year ago. When GIMP is ready, I'll have all the tools I need. (BTW, Massachusetts switched all state offices to OO recently. OO IS a major force.)

BTW, while the photo tools lag slightly behind, I like the drawing tools in GIMP better than the ones in Photoshop. There are so many things GIMP does better.

Thanks to the great team of developers, and I do hope you are burning the midnight oil getting adjustment layers done!

CMYK will be nice too.


8:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cannot help, but this is realy free something (i dont want be vulgar). Slow, not easy and not usefull interface, not thought out. For example you make a new pic and pasting other selections into it will past everything to one layer automaticaly. Silly. This is just one thing from many. There is user test missing. Fast work with this is something difficult to imagine. If somebody is telling me that GIMP or Open Office are better etc... then their competition he must be really sadomasochistic. It is not true and couldnt be, because the money behind it. Gimp is not even Photoshop like... (What needs to be done is to make group of practical people used to work with Photoshop and help this project, because it seems to me is done by programers and not users...) and if somebody has something against Photoshop he should think what better we have now.

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Anonymous this said...

I'am against changing names. A name is part of the identity of the entity. Changing names is "murks" (german word for if you don't have the right tool and do it anyway. violating something or so.). The GIMP is the GIMP, whatever the word stands for. Changing names is the beginning of the end. Even Software has a soul. Would you change your name just to get a better job? This is stupid and cowardly. Something is professional if it IS profesional, not if its name sounds professional.

My oppinion (angry)

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Were you looking for weight loss solutions? Try Linux.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love linux, I love photoshop, I hate GIMP. Anti-aliasing text in Gimp - that's a joke. Doing anything with text in Gimp - ha!

Took me 30 minutes to get decent text, b/c I had to apply guasian blur to make it look half decent.

Wish I could get away from Windows, but Wine is too slow and GIMP, well, it just doesn't compare.

10:37 AM

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Blogger Jandre said...

So ... Every user of "Gimp" is of course from a country that have English as first language and therefor associates "gimp" with a crippled person ... Not. "Photoshop" is even more stupid in the Swedish translation (fotoaffär) which would be a shop where you can buy photos, or cameras and frames.

It's a name, like Apple and Microsoft (very small and cosy that makes you crave for apples?) and a name only.

5:24 PM

Blogger Casey said...

GIMP needs a "You suck at GIMP" youtube lesson set. Its usage will increase 10-fold.

3:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To many of the people who have posted: Photoshop does NOT have a well thought out, easy to use interface. The only reason you think it does is because you have spent 100+ hours getting used to it. GIMP is great for someone who has never been and never will be an employee of someone else who will pay for Photoshop. Neither GIMP nor Photoshop are easy - if you want something easy, use Picasa. But if you plan to be an independent graphics expert (and never be an employee), GIMP is a fine choice.

7:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Common stupidities revealed

1. "GIMP sucks because it's not like Photoshop". :-) I'm not even going to discuss that - just read it again. (alternatives: GIMP's shortcuts, menues, UI, look and feel, icons, etc... are not like in photoshop)

2. Based on 1: GIMP is hard to use As well as there are ppl who feel more comfortable in linux 'coz they started from linux, GIMP users who started from GIMP have to say exactly the same about Photoshop. Besides, it's not going to take years to get used to it :-)

3. GIMP developers have to do this, have to realize that, have to be killed, screwed, you name it. GIMP is free and as is. FREE. AS IS. There is no your money here so don't tell them what to do.

11:53 PM

Blogger Dave said...

the latest development version of the gimp fixes both CMYT and 16 bit colour restrictions

8:16 PM

Blogger Igor said...

1.Gimp is FREEEEEEEEEEE, to a guy who said that even photoshop 5 is zilion times better than Gimp, try to count how many times photoshop is more expensive than Gimp when Gimp is zero and PS is 632.49 bucks acording to
2.It is like somebody had been using PS for like 5 years and he is good at it, just opens Gimp and says it can do nothing cause he can't do it.
3. Vast majority of us simply won't ever use all those good things in PS cause we remove red eyes effect and maybe do sth with contrast and brightness, maybe signatures.
4. Who can tell me that he has originall PS? And is not a pro (they had cause they r checked).
5.Gimp is a good program for 85% of users, unless u r doing it for a living
u'll be satisfied with Gimp (in near future it will probably change to 99%-100%).

6:37 PM

Blogger Igor said...

ahh sry i was talking abou cs3 version, still PS is much more expensive. Give it a chance it is worth it.

7:06 PM

Anonymous gimphoto said...

Do you like GIMP with Photoshop interface? try GimPhoto

GimPhoto is GIMP modification with:
- 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 such as save for web, slice for web, etc.
- packed with many plugins for photographic filters like Noise Reduction, BW convert and fake IR.

4:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I havent tried the newest version recently.". Why bother writting this if that's the case.

7:59 AM

Blogger Matt said...

Guess what Open source?. Noone cares how free and open source GIMP is - it's still a piece of shit, and it's way behind. Isn't it about time you Linux-heads pulled yourselves into the 21st century, and realised people want WORKING products, not free, cobbled-together ones!!.

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3:29 AM

Anonymous Brad said...

I totaly agree with you on the layer effects - in GIMP it is a pain in the ass trying to add a simple glow on a layer...

2:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GIMP should never be a ps clone. too many photoshop fanboys who look a gift horse in the mouth...

3:39 PM

Anonymous web development said...

i havent tried using Gimp. but im sure its a good one.

1:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

pfft gimp is an acronym.........

6:24 PM

Anonymous Macros said...

Wow, about the only thing thats true on there is the CYMK comment. You don't know anything, why don't you try the new version before you bash it, retard.

1:57 PM

Anonymous Vasant said...

GIMP still doesn't support 16 bit images. Hope GIMP guys make it compatible.

12:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a long time PS user, my recent Linux migration has left me feeling like a Gimp when i try to do all but the most mundane photo editing (like resizing).. everything- including the UI feels awkward, the pan feature (spacebar) is wholly unusable by anyone not spasmodic. Just the basic UI set-up of all separate windows showing your desktop through the empty spots, it just makes it feel broken. who wants the window list in their os to fill up with all the child windows of a program?.

4:02 PM

Blogger Tutoriales, !El Programa para Niños! said...

you have to think in the fact that photoshop has millions of dollars in investiments an GIMP is opensource
it isn't at the same level but it is great in the scripts and some say better than ps
but CS3 is sure better also for the tools bar that is unvonfortable

8:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp is future
PS is present as simple as that.

10:15 AM

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1:04 AM

Blogger BLF said...

Well, interesting list of comments. The ones in the beginning aggressively mention critical features that developpers will need before they can use Gimp like CMYK, ICC profile and 16-Bit, all things that have appeared since then. The latest version, 2.8, will include an enhanced textedit feature, that's great news. All keyboard shortcuts are easy to set up by oneself, so i don't get the point with that reproach.

Then, many of the people who comment are obviously used to PS, and graphic designers, or so. No one asks them to change, but the question would be more: what about younger people who are given the "chance" to test both systems? What about common amateurs like me? In my case i've always loved the idea of having a bunch of people whom i don't know giving away for free a constantly improving program. Because i loved the idea i kept checking the updates, and one day they released version 2.2 which was enough for MY needs, clear, and easy to use. There is a help feature, nice tutorials and a much improved install feature on Mac. It is definitely possible to work with the RAW format, contrary to what i read before, and in some cases i get better results than with Lightroom.

The fact that Gimp is free is another thing. Many people, by definition, are not professionals and honestly can spend the couple of hours learning a complex program if they really care about improving their pics/basic design needs instead of spending a couple of hundred $$$. But it's a fact that it will be ALWAYS easier to be lazy and grab an illegal copy of PS without browsing for alternatives.

So what i notice is that while the interface and ease of use have been greatly improved, maybe a bit of marketing wouldn't harm the Gimp with a detailed list of all the features that are already included as well as a topic on how to use it. There is a confusion here, no need to make a more simple program, but why not just try to find out what most common -transparent- users search in this program and advertise on the feasibility, the fact that it is free, and easy to do, for example apply a texture, do the vignetting, and even have a really nice range of selecting tools?

It's almost nothing and might convince many potential users that they can do whatever they want for free.

Conclusion: thanks to the developers, you do a great job, and please, PS users and other graphic designers who seem not to be able to switch, please keep doing your stuff, that's fine, no one insults you for what you are, this software is just not for you, but there are other people on earth who care about Gimp.

12:25 PM

Blogger DennysFernando - CoSe said...

gimp will never overthrow the GOD photoshop :D

2:20 PM

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9:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimp is fine die THE normale user, it even has Some pretty advanced features. In gimp 2.8 the user interface is greatly improved

3:08 PM

Blogger Angel said...

I have read just about all the comments on here. Bottom line is the price and opportunity for people who don't want to spend the hundreds or thousands of dollars on a program they will only use but 20% of its features. Gimp is no top notch program, it will be years before they can compete against Photoshop, who is currently integrating 3D programs into its culture.

For the price one pays to see if they will become attached to computer graphics or photo editing I would have to say is a good deal. No one should really compare the price to the program, for whats its worth it is a great deal that photoshop it self will never compare itself too. To all the novice I say go for Gimp. To all the professionals I say keep what you paid for. I use both, started on Gimp and upgraded to Photoshop. I teach people with Gimp because they can afford free. I use Photoshop for my business.

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1:34 AM

Anonymous Al said...

Ok, when I read 2006, then I stopped reading.
In any case, most people don't need all the complexity of PS. The lst time i tried to use it, it was too confusing.
The GIMP interface is pretty good, all things considered. I liked the suggestion to separate the photo editing from the graphics creating.

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Blogger Dave Keays said...

As a programmer turned web-designer/webmaster the Gimp does everything I need. The interface needs to be learned, but it was intuitive for me although that doesn't matter now.

4:54 PM

Anonymous Dave Keays said...

As a programmer turned web-designer/webmaster the Gimp does everything I need. The interface needs to be learned, but it was intuitive for me although that doesn't matter now.

I can see the need for CYMK and color profiles but I haven't had that "itch" for years.

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Blogger Alex said...

The name for GIMP wasn't named that way because it was "cute" or named after the word for someone who couldn't walk. It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. And I don't think I ever heard GIMP ever claim to be close to photoshop or even that they are competing with them or trying to be. Yes it has some problems like any program. The one thing have to remember though is that it is an open source program that doesn't have a lot of money to pay people to make huge developmental improvements all the time. It also never claims to be a tool for professionals so why is everyone getting so upset about it? And finally if you know how to write scripts you can make it do just about anything and that was the way it was designed, just like a large number of linux programs. These type of programs provide the major infrastructure and leave the fancier stuff to the general population. And while yes, linux is getting more popular in the general public, believe it or not, it still mostly used by software and firmware engineer types, who know how to write the scripts to do what they want.

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