Many people have a need to create or edit images but can’t afford the cost of the Adobe suit of products for creating and editing images. Fortunately there are alternatives out there. If you are looking for a program that is a free alternative to Photoshop that can be used to edit photos and create graphics then the program that you should look at the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP).
There is a slight learning curve to using GIMP. Especially if you have used Photoshop before. Things are in different places when compared to photoshop which is to be expected. There is a version of GIMP called GimpShop which emulates the look and feel of Photoshop if you want to make GIMP look more like photoshop. Be careful with the install of GimpShop as there are add on programs that it will install if you do not read the install directions carefully and do the Custom or Advanced install. Then you may accidentally install something you do not want. If you do accidentally install one of the add on programs you can go to your programs and features in Windows and remove them. If you are doing the install from gimp.org then there are no add on programs and you can do the normal install.
I have not tried the install in Linux yet so not sure if there are add on programs there. I do not own any Apple products so I can not try it there. If you do install it on an Apple product let us know in the comments how it goes.
Easy Download Easy Install
The download is relatively small. If you download it from gimp.org the download is less than 90 MB. If you download from GimpShop there is a 9k installer that runs and does the download. The download for GimpShop is probably slightly larger than the standard install of Gimp. Both installs took about the same time. The download and install took less then 15 minutes in both cases.
The first time you start up Gimp it has to go through some file searches. It takes about twice as long to start up the first time compared to the times after. After GIMP is open the response times are very good. It takes a little longer to apply a filter than it does with Photoshop but not enough to make it a hindrance.
The biggest problem for me coming from Photoshop was the differences in the layout of the program. Floating windows have always been uncomfortable for me but once you get used to it the Floating windows are quite nice because you can make your canvas larger. Being able to see more of the image you are working on can help quite a bit.
GIMP Alternative to Photoshop?
Does GIMP replace Photoshop? Not if you are a professional photo editor. But it does come close and keeps on getting better with every update. . If you are new or just need an inexpensive alternative to Photoshop. Or you just don’t want to give your money to one of the large software companies. Then GIMP is more than capable of doing what you will need it to do.