GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.
GIMP is released under GPLv3+ licenses and is available for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
Lifewire reviewed GIMP favorably in March 2019, writing that “for those who have never experienced Photoshop, GIMP is simply a very powerful image manipulation program,” and “if you’re willing to invest some time learning it, it can be a very good graphics tool.”
GIMP’s fitness for use in professional environments is regularly reviewed; it is often compared to and suggested as a possible replacement for Adobe Photoshop. GIMP has similar functionality to Photoshop, but has a different user interface.
GIMP 2.6 was used to create nearly all of the art in Lucas the Game, an independent video game by developer Timothy Courtney. Courtney started development of Lucas the Game in early 2014, and the video game was published in July 2015 for PC and Mac. Courtney explains GIMP is a powerful tool, fully capable of large professional projects, such as video games.
The single-window mode introduced in GIMP 2.8 was reviewed in 2012 by Ryan Paul of Ars Technica, who noted that it made the user experience feel “more streamlined and less cluttered”. Michael Burns, writing for Macworld in 2014, described the single-window interface of GIMP 2.8.10 as a “big improvement”.
In his review of GIMP for ExtremeTech in October 2013, David Cardinal noted that GIMP’s reputation of being hard to use and lacking features has “changed dramatically over the last couple years”, and that it was “no longer a crippled alternative to Photoshop”. He described GIMP’s scripting as one of its strengths, but also remarked that some of Photoshop’s features – such as Text, 3D commands, Adjustment Layers and History – are either less powerful or missing in GIMP. Cardinal favorably described the UFRaw converter for raw images used with GIMP, noting that it still “requires some patience to figure out how to use those more advanced capabilities”. Cardinal stated that GIMP is “easy enough to try” despite not having as well-developed documentation and help system as those for Photoshop, concluding that it “has become a worthy alternative to Photoshop for anyone on a budget who doesn’t need all of Photoshop’s vast feature set”.
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