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GIMP, aka GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free, open source photo editing program with many of the advanced features and functions you would expect to find with pricey image editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

It features photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted. GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.

Features include:


  • Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
  • Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
  • Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
  • Supports custom brushes and patterns


  • Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
  • Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time

Advanced Manipulation

  • Layers and channels
  • Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
  • Editable text layers
  • Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
  • Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
  • Foreground extraction tool


  • Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
  • Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
  • Over 100 plug-ins already available


  • Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
  • MNG support
  • Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)

File Handling

  • File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
  • Load, display, convert, save to many file formats

GIMP is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

For a detailed overview please take a look at GIMP: Free, Open Source Photo Editing Software for Mac, Windows, Linux. GIMP also offers a detailed user manual in 10 different languages that can be found here (English user manual).

Review by Jared Moya

GIMP has an average rating 4.0 out of 5 based on 72 user ratings.


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