Best Free Photoshop Alternative: GIMP
Adobe Photoshop is a household name, and is widely regarded as one of, if not THE best photo editing and image manipulation suites around.
Basically, it’s an industry leader, and if you work in a professional industry that relates to photography, publishing, design or any other simiar creative sphere, chances are it takes centre stage.
It’s useful in a non-professional capacity too, however, being a much more powerful editing suite than things like Microsoft Paint.
But the problem is, it’s expensive. You have to buy Adobe Photoshop and it costs a fair bit to do so. Hardly surprising that quite a few alternative software packages have emerged over the years for those on a budget, or for those who don’t want to pay a penny.
For this article I could have quite easily put together a list of multiple different free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, however, from my years of dabbling with what’s available there’s only one I can really say is worth bothering with – Gnu Image Manipulation Program, aka GIMP.
So why does GIMP win out above all others? Simple really, it’s the only one that is completely comprehensive and has all the same features as photoshop (even if they’re organised a little differently). Plus there are no catches here – no subscription services, no accounts needed, it’s not web-based, there are no paywalls for certain features. It’s an entirely one-stop piece of completely free software with pretty much everything you need. No tricks, no surprises.
GIMP is an open-source project, and is also cross-platform, available on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and macOS. The fact it is open-source means it is constantly evolving and has a dedicated community behind it ensuring it is updated with brand new features, adapting it to new versions of different operating systems, and making sure it’s free from bugs and malware.
“Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done. You can further enhance your productivity with GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins,” says the GIMP official page.
The latest version of GIMP is 2.10.0 and it can be downloaded direct from the official website. The latest version has a brand new and much-polished UI with a dark theme and support for HiDPI. Users can now select from four themes and four icon sizes.
A full changelog can be found here.