Using GIMP- Why GIMP Is A Photoshop Alternative

photo shop alternative gimpThere are a lot of reasons why I like Gimp and a few that I don’t.  One reason GIMP appeals to many is the lack of expensive subscription fees.  Adobe CC is fantastic; Corel Draw has it’s fans as well. This services have nice features and are accessible from anywhere.  Some services and plans also provide storage.  Both Adobe and Corel have monthly subscriptions.  Some plans are too expensive for new bloggers and online businesses. Unless you are a full-time designer with deep pockets, the higher price subscriptions might not fit your budget.  Because all those little (and big) monthly fees for web, advertising, SEO or other services you need in addition to your graphic design needs add up fast.  That’s when a few free tools in your back pocket help.  Free graphics tools like GIMP offer great graphic design features and quick editing at a price that is easy on the budget.  As a popular free design tool, GIMP provides downloadable versions for Windows, Linux and Mac users.  Just go to to get the version you need.

Newbie Learning Curve

Like many feature rich graphic design programs, the learning curve for GIMP can be intimidating for newbies.  However, if you need beautiful graphics and looking to control costs, the time it takes to learn GIMP is well spent. Once familiar with GIMP’s interface, you’ll be creating stunning logos, letterhead, presentations, infographics, vector designs, 3d effects and more.   As with any software, the more you use it the more you’ll think of ways you can use it.

GIMP has a large support community;  GIMP’s site, Reddit and many GIMP forums provide help for newbies and pros alike.

GIMP does some things exceedingly well that online editors can’t and don’t do.  Let’s face it.  Good editors, online or downloadable, crop, resize, and manipulate images or graphics in file formats like jpg or png.  The editor is useless without those basics.   So looking beyond basics explains why GIMP has a large following.

GIMP Perks- Covert different file formats quickly

GIMP creates vector graphics, 3d and special effects that many online editors don’t (with the exception of paid software like Adobe CC and Coreldraw).   Plus,  GIMP uses scripts (written in python) to create really cool graphic effects within seconds.  If you don’t know python, no problem free scripts are available;  simple copy and paste them into GIMP’s folders.  The scripts are available within GIMP using programs like script-fu or python-fu.

I started using GIMP when I needed my files in different formats that what they originally were available as. While GIMP special effects make images and custom created graphics unique, this program is handy for converting files.  Any blogger, marketer or crafter that needs to open and re-save EPS, AI, PSD files into a different format.   GIMP easily converts one file type into another; although currently  GIMP does not recognize SVG files ( I use Inkscape for those).

Since that first using GIMP I’ve slowly been integrating many of the other useful and amazing features that GIMP offers into my work.   I’m not a “one tool for all needs” blogger simply because some of the online editors I use are fast and easy for small jobs.  However, GIMP is a mainstay in my arsenal;  there are many free image resources when used with GIMP can make eye catching graphics for web, social media and printed needs.

GIMP Fonts, Backgrounds, Gradients and Patterns

In particular, print on demand products require cool and unique graphics;  GIMP’s ability to use locally installed fonts, image backgrounds, gradients, and patterns allows for creative graphic designs.  Some online editors like Picmonkey, Canva and a few others I mention in my article ”     ” support local fonts, but few can resize, transform or “fit” fonts into shapes and 3D images.  GIMP does that.

GIMP Cons For Mac Users

There are always cons to tools and GIMP has a few.  For one it can be challenging to learn.  While provides a downloadable manual some of us prefer online support forums where hopefully a real person can answer our questions and help with issues.  GIMP user forums are available (Reddit, Slack and a few other sites offer those) where help with using GIMP as well as debugging issues can be communicated.

GIMP is feature rich; that means it has a lot of options.  On the downside, GIMP has a lot to configure.  That too is a challenge at time.  Particularly support for GIMP on Macs is not as well documented as for Windows or Linux.  In fact  my gripe is that installing and configuring GIMP on MAC is a  more difficult.   But once set up, GIMP is a great tool and worth the effort.

While GIMP is called the GNU Image Manipulation Program, it could just be considered the free version of Photoshop.

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