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November 17, 2009 / Adam + Dan

Is there a free alternative to Photoshop?

After reading this months Which! magazine, we saw a small section commenting on a ‘viable alternative’ to the £615 Adobe Photoshop masterpiece. We loved the fact that there may be a free program so decided to give it a try! GIMP stands for ‘GNU Image Manipulation Program.’ Apparently.

It calls itself “a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring

The program seemed pretty easy and slick to use with the majority of features appearing on Gimp that you would see on Photoshop. It uses the same similar process of Layers, Channels and Paths and allows you to modify and infuse images together making it an OK-to-trusty graphics manipulation package.

It has a customizable interface similar to the Photoshop palettes. It’s hard to describe how Gimp is different to Photoshop as they are both typically the same. However it just doesn’t seem as good. Everything seems to take twice as long to achieve and a little more frustrating in Gimp. Maybe it’s because we only gave it a day’s trial when we couldn’t get to one of our computers with Photoshop on. It might take a long time to get used to like a lot of things, however initially the look of it looks a little daunting.

GIMP can more often than not accomplish most of the same tasks as Photoshop however it’s not as easy to achieve your desired result. If you want to go A to B, then go Adobe. If you don’t mind going A to C then back to B, get Gimp.

If you want a free download try it here –

We think in conclusion that Gimp could be a free alternative if you can’t be bothered to fork out the money for Photoshop (Gimp is perfect for students) but if you can afford, it’s well worth going Adobe. Plus we don’t like the name.

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