GIMP: Free, Open Source Photo Editing Software for Mac, Windows, Linux

GIMP: Free, Open Source Photo Editing Software for Mac, Windows, Linux

Versatile image editing program, considered an open source competitor to Adobe Photoshop, features detailed image retouching, photo enhancement, free-form drawing, and advanced features like desktop icon creation and animated images; countless user submitted plugins make it even more powerful.

GNU Image Manipulation Program, otherwise known as GIMP, is a free, powerful open source photo editing program for Mac, Windows, and Linux that is considered an excellent alternative to expensive image editing programs like Adobe Photoshop. GIMP can perform basic image editing tasks such as resizing, editing, cropping photos, and format conversion. It has a number of built-in advanced features like layering, masking, and the ability to create animated images and desktop icon in addition to countless user submitted plugins that help to ensure an ongoing feature-rich experience.

Windows Version

Photo Enhancement

“Numerous digital photo imperfections can be easily compensated for using GIMP. Fix perspective distortion caused by lens tilt simply choosing the corrective mode in the transform tools,” note developers. “Eliminate lens’ barrel distortion and vignetting with a powerful filter but a simple interface.”

Channel mixer, barrel distortion, perspective transform and colorize are but a few of the many ways GIMP allows you to enhance your images and affords you the flexibility and power to turn ordinary photos into great photos.

Digital Retouching

GIMP has a number of advanced retouching features gives users the ability to remove unwanted details via the clone tool or to touch up details with the healing tool. Clone images that take perspective in consideration with the help of the perspective clone tool.

Layers, Layer Masks and Channels

This is something usually only seen in expensive image editing programs like Adobe Photoshop, and definitely not with the likes of MS Paint. This feature, for the unfamiliar, allows users to stack images atop one another and hide or show portions of them to create a unified image.


GIMP can be used to create animated images that can be saved in several formats including .GIF and .AVI. GIMP uses the layering feature to make this possible, treating each layer as though it were a single animation cell and then placing and rotating through the layers based on the time constraints you create. The GIMP Animation Package (GAP) can be found here.

Icon Creation

GIMP enables you to create your own customized icons to spice up your file and folder views.

Advanced Brushes and Tool Presets

These are geared towards artists and graphic designers that are looking for additional tools and ways to speed up repetitive tasks. The GIMP Paint Studio (GPS) can be found here.

Linux Version

User Submitted Plugins

This is what really makes GIMP a great open source photo editing program. Rather than having to rely on the software developer to roll out new features and functions the community creates them to satisfy their own demand, and shares them with other GIMP users in the GIMP Plugin Registry.

One example of a GIMP Plugin that users ought to take a look at is the National Geographic Script. The script simulates a high quality photo like the ones found in National Geographic.

Another is a compilation of photo effetcs that include: Cartoon, Color pencil, Conte crayon, Cutout, Drawing, Inkpen, Note Paper, Paint dot image, Palette knife, Pastel, Stamp, Water paint effect, (plastic) Wrap effect. Angled strokes, Crosshatched, Chrome image, Cross light, Funky color, Soft focus, Solarisation, Brick wall, Patchwork, Stained glass, Texturizer, High pass, and more.

Mac Version

So taken altogether GIMP is an amazing free, open source photo editing program that is a compelling alternative to the high-priced likes of Adobe Photoshop and others.

Stay tuned.

[email protected] | @jared moya


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