Free Graphics Editor Alternative to Adobe Photoshop

GNU Image Manipulation Program - GIMP, its been a round for a while now, but just recently in version 2.4 we have seen a jump in quality, interface and features.
Its not surprising that the Adobe Photoshop culture out there is looking closer at GIMP and even switching over. I know I did. I've been using Adobe Photoshop since version 5 and when I saw GIMP for Ubuntu last year, I never looked back and since then I have installed it on Windows XP and Vista aswell.

What makes this tool attractive is not only the price (oh ya did I mention its free), but the interface, features and support. Being able to install this on practically any OS and in any language makes this a tool anyone can use!

Its true, still GIMP is a light wieght version of Photoshop, I found all the options I needed to the job easily. I also loved the fact I could open my Photoshop PSD files and reuse them in GIMP, keeping all layer information. This was truly a powerful graphics editor when I realized that many filter and image manipulation options I had in Adobe where also available.

Here is a complete features list that sold me on it:
  • Painting
    • Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
    • Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
    • Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
    • Supports custom brushes and patterns
  • System
    • Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
    • Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
  • Advanced Manipulation
    • Full alpha channel support
    • Layers and channels
    • Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
    • Editable text layers
    • Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
    • Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
    • Foreground extraction tool
    • Advanced path tool doing bezier and polygonal selections.
    • Transformable paths, transformable selections.
    • Quickmask to paint a selection.
  • Extensible
    • A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in Script-fu
    • Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
    • Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
    • Over 100 plug-ins already available
  • Animation
    • Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
    • MNG support
    • Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
    • Onion Skin (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
    • Bluebox (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
  • File Handling
    • File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
    • Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
    • SVG path import/export
Watch my video walkthrough installing GIMP on Windows.

Download GIMP for your Operating system from here.

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