GIMP stands for the term GNU Image Manipulation Program.
It is a free open source application used by many people all around the world, primarily for image retouching.
GIMP is so popular as a raster graphics editor because many users get the help of this application to convert images for different formats, free-form drawing, and many other specific tasks.
Further, GIMP supports various operating systems like Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, and so on.
Also, it comes under the licenses of GPLv3+. So it allows you to distribute the software freely.
There is so many similar software out there on the internet. You can distinguish the GIMP from it the official logo of “Wilber.”
What is GIMP?
In Layman’s terms, GIMP could be introduced as a graphic designing software.
It has similar functionalities to Photoshop, but the GIMP interface is way different from Adobe Photoshop.
GIMP is much more than an image editor because you do not have to spend huge subscriptions as you spend on Photoshop.
So it gives you the option to create your own Artwork from scratch absolutely for free.
Further, if you have any prior experience with photoshop, it will not be difficult for you to get the basic knowledge at first.
However, Gimp photo editor is relatively easy to understand and learn when you compare it with Photoshop.
So if you are willing to learn it, this may be the last graphic designing software that you will ever use.
If you remember the video game “Lucas the Game” in 20014, the developer Timothy Courtney used the GIMP image manipulation program for almost all the arts in that game.
The single-window mode feature of the software was first introduced in version 2.8, and Ryan Paul of Ars Technica said that it had improved the user experience.
Further, it comes with various plug-ins for different uses. Some are coming along with the software, and some of them you can download separately and integrate with the main application.
GIMP is growing day by day because there is an active community behind the application, and they take quick measures to improve the tool and fix bugs.
Application Package Information
|File Size||171.31 Mb|
|Supported Operating System||Windows, Mac and Linux|
|System Requirement||Windows 7 and above|
How to Download and Install GIMP?
The GIMP photo editor toll is mainly for PC and Mac. the downloading and installation process is so simple.
Lets get it step by step!
Firstly, you have to determine what is your operating system and know the bit version of it. (i.e 32-bit or 64-bit)
Then head over to the Download section of this page and click on the Download button.
So it will directly take you to the official website’s download page.
There you have to choose your operating system and select the bit version accordingly and then download the setup file.
After that, double click on the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
Then go to the Windows apps list, and there you will find the installed GIMP application. That’s all.
How to Use GIMP?
There are plenty of tutorials where you can learn all the features and how to draw Artwork from scratch.
Also, if you get stuck somewhere in the application or you have issues to sort out with regards to the use of GIMP, you can always put your concerns to one of the communities, and they will instantly help you out.
Moreover, there you may be able to some of the good live image editing teaching session via apps like TeamViewer.
Apart from that, there are recorded video tutorial hosted on many related site and you can download them in a compressed format and extract them using a tool like WinRAR or 7-Zip to get the data out of it.
Further, you can get the help of GIMP official support as well.
So you have more than what is required to learn this image editor software.
GIMP Image Editor Tool – Options Review
You have different options when it comes to using colors in GIMP, such as palettes, color selection parameters, and using the eyedropper tool to choose colors on the canvas.
Following tools are included in the built-in color choosers,
- RGB/HSV chooser
- CMYK selector
- water-color selector
- color-wheel selector
Hexadecimal color codes will also give you the option to select colors in the tool.
Usually, GIMP supports indexed color and RGB color spaces.
When it comes to other color spaces such as CMYK, LAB, and HSV, GIMP supports them using the decomposition method.
So in that method, each channel of such color spaces turns into a black-and-white image.
You can use the Blend tool of the software to mixing and blending different colors to make a unique color.
So, when using the blending tool, you have to use GIMP’s color modes to apply a gradient on top of an image.
You can also find the gradients in some of the other tools like the brushing tool.
There are many ways that you can use gradient in GIMP. Also, there separate plug-ins available for the main software to use gradients.
Selections and Paths
There are several selection tools available in the GIMP, such as circular selection tool, fuzzy select tool (some people call it as the Magic wand), rectangular and free select tool.
Also, some of the application’s advanced selection tools are contiguous regions’ color selector tool and scissors select tool.
Those advanced tools could be called as semi-automatic tools because you can manually intervene as you prefer.
With GIMP, you can use the brush tool to color your selected area. This method is also known as the quick mask mode.
You can use the foreground select tool to extract foreground elements separately.
A foreground element is an object in the focus area of your image.
The path tool of the application will help you in creating vectors. You can also use this tool to create complicated selections, such as around natural curves.
You can use various tools such as Pencil, Brush, Eraser, Ink, and so on to edit images in GIMP.
When you need to fill a selection with a color or pattern, you can use the Bucket fill tool to complete it.
Also, as mentioned in a previous section, you can use the Blend tool to fill up a selected area with a color gradient.
You can use color transitions for different selections. So it could be a large region or a smaller area.
Some of the other advance GIMP image editing tools may be a follow,
- Clone tool – you can copy pixels using a brush
- Healing brush – it can correct the tone and color of copied pixels.
- Perspective clone tool – this feature is similar to the clone tool, but it can correct distance changes.
- Blur and Sharpen tool – with this tool; you can sharpen and blur images using a Brush.
- Unsharp mask tool – It is an excellent option to sharpen the target results of an image than the standard sharpening tool.
- Smudge tool – It will help you to smear a selection as it stands.
- Dodge and burn tool – You can make a target pixel lighter or darker using a Brush in this tool.
Layers and Channels
When you are editing an image, you might have to use different layers in a stack. This is the same case in Photoshop as well.
The official GIMP User Manual says that the best way to visualize a GIMP image is as a stack of transparencies.
Each layer of an image that you use in GIMP is created with several channels.
Usually, there are three to four channels consisting of Red, Green, and Blue channels in an RGB image.
Color sublayers seem like gray images. However, when you put all of them together, it displays as a complete image.
Alpha channel, also known as the Layer mask and it is the fourth channels as well.
This can measure the opacity of a part of an image or a whole image.
You can also change the color of and image using the layer mode of each layer.
You can put a text on top of an image using the text layer. Also, you can transform text layers into selections or paths as well.
Automation, Scripts, and Plug-ins
GIMP photo editor has a lot of effects and filters, such as Blur, Motion Blur, Drop shadow, Noises, and so on.
Certain functions of the GIMP operations can be automated with scripts.
There are built-in script languages such as Script-Fu already included in the software. So you can study such scripts and create your own script.
Further, you can use other languages such as Python, Perl, etc. to create a script.
There are two ways that you can add new features to GIMP. Either by using a plug-in or by editing the GIMP core CODE.
Generic Graphics Library (GEGL)
GEGL helps better operation in GIMP. When it is fully integrated with the software, it will give higher color bit depth and better non-destructive work-flow.
GIMP Supported File Formats
GIMP supports various file formats when it comes to importing and exporting files into GIMP.
The default file format of the GIMP is XCF, and it can store all the information that the application has about a particular image.
If you would like to have additional file formats, you can install them to GIMP using dedicated plug-ins.
So supported file type can be shown as below,
- Import and export – You can use image formats such as PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, and HEIF to export and import images into GIMP.
Further, it supports file formats of several other applications as well. So you can use Corel PaintShop Pro images, Autodesk flic animations, Adobe Photoshop documents, and so on.
- Read and Write – You can use X bitmap image, XWD, PostScript documents, and Zsoft PCX file formats only with Read/ Write only option.
- Import only – You can import any raw image formats used in Digital Cameras and Adobe PDF documents. However, you will not be able to save them back to their original format.
- Export only – GIMP gives you the option to export MNG layered image files, HTML, C Source code files, and ASCII Art. However, you do not have the option to import these file formats to GIMP.
As you already know, GIMP is a cross-platform open-source software.
Therefore, many other third-party users have also developed certain features and different versions of the GIMP with the support of the main software.
However, the official developers do not associate with those developers. So, they do not host any of such developments along with the main software on the official website.
Further, some of those variants include GIMPshop, CinePaint, GIMP classic, GIMP portable, GimPhoto, McGimp, Glimpse, and so on.
Also, there are many extensions available for the main software, and many people use them for different purposes.
Such extensions include GIMP-ML, GIMP Animation Package (GAP), Resynthesizer, GIMP Paint Studio (GPS), G’MIC, and so on.
This application has no range.
This means it is suitable for small paint works and quick image editing such as cropping, noise reduction and color adjustment tools, customizable brushes, gradients, and so on.
Also, you can use it for larger-scale graphic designing tasks such as photo retouching, image composition, automatic image-enhancement tools, bezier curves, image authoring, etc.
GIMP supports for both 64-bit version and 32-bit versions of operating systems. Also, it takes only a smaller space in your hard drive to install the software.
Some people think that GIMP may not be good because it is free. That is not the truth.
Even though it does not have a price tag, it has almost all the features os photoshop and is a competing alternative to Photoshop.
Downsides of the Application
GIMP does not have some of the features in photoshop, such as Text, 3D commands, Adjustment Layers, and History.
Some users complain that certain advanced features in the UFRaw converter for raw images are very difficult to use, and sometimes they do not understand them at all.
Another major disadvantage of the application is that it does not have clearly defined official documentation and support system, as you can see in Photoshop.
Also, If you are running the application from a location with non-ANSI characters in the path, you will experience several issues.
History of the Application
GIMP came up as a university project of Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis, somewhere back in 1995.
After that, it took a part of the GNU software collection. With that, supportable operating systems and computer architectures expanded significantly since its first release.
Over time, there were few communities developed, and they took part in developing tutorials and techniques as to how you can best use the GIMP.
Also, for further developments of the application, GUI toolkit names as GTK was introduced. And then, GTK+ replaced the older version with additional improvements.
So that is a brief history of the application.
GIMP Development Procedure
As mentioned above, GIMP is open-source software and a team of volunteers involved in developing the application with the association of GNU and GNOME projects.
Usually, developments work of the app takes place in the different platforms of GIMPNET IRC networks such as Git source code repository, public mailing lists, and public chat channels.
Once there is a new development in the application, such improvements first hosted separate source code branches.
After that, the GIMP development team will merge the latest feature with the main branch once they are confident about the newly developed features.
So there could be new improvements and new features that the team has already developed but not yet released with the main application.
It is due to the reason that they will be publishing them only when they are sure about the improvements.
As you might already understand, GIMP itself is a source code. Therefore, once the source code is released, the developers will publish different versions of setup files or installer files for various operating systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes it 100% safe to download. Techslott lab has verified the application with VirusTotal technology.
Gimp has almost all the features that Photoshop has. However it is up to the user to choose what fits for them.
You will get update notification to the application itself if you are connected with the internet. If not you can check this page for latest updates.
There is a separate version available for Android. so you can get it on your Android device.
Yes. you can open PSD file format in GIMP.
Yes. it is a free open source software. you can download it for free on this page.
Yes. it is license under GPLv3. so it is completely legal to use and even distribute.