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MichaelGIMP is much more than a free Photoshop alternative. It is a graphics powerhouse!

A review by Michael

GIMP, also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is open-source software used to retouch and edit images. Unlike many other raster graphics editors, GIMP is free software. It was initially released on February 15, 1996, under the name “General Image Manipulation Program”, and it is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. These are the main features of GIMP:

Window Mode

Nowadays, the software can be used in two different forms: multiple or single window mode. The advantage of using the multiple-window mode is that all functionalities will be displayed on a set of windows.

Brainstorming Group

Users can send suggestions about how the user interface should be improved using the brainstorming group that has been created for GIMP. This has helped to make the software extremeley user-friendly especially considering how complicated other image editors (I’m looking at you, adobe!) can get.

Image Editing

GIMP comes with a large variety of different tools that can be used to edit images. Besides the common ones, like pencil, eraser, paintbrush, airbrush and so on, GIMP brings some smart tools too. These kind of tools helps users do things that without them would be almost impossible to accomplish. Some of the smart tools are: Perspective Clone Tool, Healing Brush, The Smudge Tool, Dodge and Burn Tool, Clone Tool, and Blur and Sharpen Tool.


Colors are arguably the most important element of all images. GIMP provides a built-in color chooser. This includes CMYK, Water-Color and RGB/HSV selectors. Color spaces like LAB, CMYK, and HSV are supported using decomposition, while RGB color spaces and index color are supported due to GIMP’s native support for them.

Layers, Channels, and Layer Masks

Editing an image in GIMP might mean that you will use many transparencies (also known as layers) in a stack, just as The GIMP Development Team suggests “A good way to visualize a GIMP image is as a stack of transparencies”. In an image, every layer consists of several channels. For example, there are 3 or 4 channels in a RGB image: blue, red and green channel. Beside these 3 channels, there might be another one, layer mask (or alpha channel). GIMP does a great job visualizing these layers and allowing you to edit individual layers, lock layers, change layer opacity etc. in a user-friendly way.

Generic Graphics Library

Also known as GEGL, the Generic Graphics Library is used to perform high bit-depth color operations. It is a beneficial feature in the hands of a professional image editor. With its help, users have the chance to bring images to life with better quality and details.

File Formats

The raster graphics editor has a native format (XCF – eXperimental Computing Facility), which is designed to store the pieces of information GIMP can hold relating to an image. The size of an XCF file is extended to more than 4096 MB. Besides XCF format, the software supports a large number of various file formats.


This graphics editor is unique due to its useful features, but most importantly because it is free and open-source software. This means that with the help of its users, many significant improvements can be added. My personal opinion is that GIMP is an excellent program which can come in handy anytime. Definitely worth downloading for any graphics editor or hobbyist!


GIMP, an abbreviation for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a powerful, free and open-source image manipulation tool. It is considered as a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop, as both of these software share common features.

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Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10