Get Graphic with The GIMP
I almost hesitate to offer up any sort of review for the Linux version of Photoshop. Why? I've been using it for so long it almost seems unfair to "review" something so familiar. But then I have to step back and remember that not everyone has given The Gimp a go and most probably don't even realize it exists. It does and boy what an application it is. But what is The GIMP? Gnu Image Manipulation Program is an open source raster graphics editor that started as a project by two Berkley students in 1996. The GIMP has come a long, long way since its original release.
The GIMP is a very powerful application that can handle most any image manipulation needs. Although The GIMP and read and write most every known graphic format, its native format, xcf, is not widely supported. But why would you want or need The GIMP? And who would best fit as a user of The GIMP?
Let's first take a look at the feature list of The GIMP.
- Customizable interface
- Photo enhancement
- Digital retouching
- Wide range of hardware support
- Huge file format support
- Cross platform
- Plugin support
- Scripting language built in
- Built in file compression
- Layer support
- Full alpha channel support
- Animation support
- Profession-level color management
That is just a sampling of what The GIMP has to offer.
As I stated before, I have used The GIMP for quite some time and for a great many projects. I have yet to find anything The GIMP can not do. And every time I use this application I am shocked that more people don't use it. I am pretty sure the main reason why most don't use The GIMP is familiarity. The masses simply do not know The GIMP exists. If they did they would gladly download and use a professional-quality graphics application that came free of charge.
But for those that have dabbled in The GIMP in the past, one of the biggest complaints has been the user-interface. The GIMP is not a clone of Photoshop. The interface is actually different. But is the interface difficult? No. The interface is actually one of the most intuitive interfaces I have used. And not only is it intuitive, it's flexible. If there is something you do not like about the interface, change it! The complaints about the interface became all too obvious with the latest release (2.6). With this release came some minor changes to the look and feel of the UI. For the most part these changes not only made sense, they also enhanced the experience.
For those who are unsure if they would like The GIMP it's a win-win situation. You download the binary for the correct architecture from The GIMP website, you install it, and you try it. It's not a demo that will time out...it's free. And when you find yourself wondering "How can they give this away for free?" you'll know you've found yourself a keeper.
The GIMP can be used by anyone in nearly any setting. It runs on practically any hardware (even older machines), can be employed for home, schoool, business, enterprise, professional graphics, you name it. And anyone that has used a graphics application before (be it Photoshop on down) will quickly figure out the interface.
If you haven't given The GIMP a go you should. If you have a need, on any level, for graphics manipulation or creation, and you want a solid, reliable application (that won't bring your machine either screeching to a slow painful crawl or crashing) The GIMP is where you should look.Advertisement