Photoshop Elements vs Gimp

The other day, I wrote a small rant about Adobe Photoshop Elements. Once you get it installed, it’s everything that a modern-day developer needs. You can create logos, little graphics, etc. I mentioned that I’d love to find an alternative. Phil Wolf suggested I look at Gimp.

Gimp has been around for a zillion years. I’ve seen it on X-Windows in old versions of Linux, but I haven’t looked it seriously in probably like 10+ years maybe? I wonder if it’s changed?

What is Gimp?
Gimp stands for General Image Manipulation Program. It’s an open source, graphical image editor – like Photoshop. There are just a couple of differences, but I am mostly shocked at how almost-identical this is to Photoshop Elements – even the menu items and names are the same! The window and toolbars are kind of awkward because they aren’t attached to the main window:


it’s pretty cool that the same version is available on Mac too:


Oh – and I also needed to install a separate plug-in to have “layer effects” like Photoshop, but aside from that – this is a completely reasonable alternative to Adobe Photoshop Elements!

So not only is this a very impressive app, there is also a vibrant community around plug-ins for it too. To install a plug-in, you just download the file(s) to a specific directory. You can find what directory by going into Edit –> Preferences:


and the same on Mac:


and you can find all available extensions and plug-ins from:

Where to find it?
Gimp is free and open source, it’s available from:

You can find extensions and plug-ins from:

What does it run on?
Here’s another amazing part of this: it’s runs on everything! OK, well not everything – but it runs on Windows, Mac, and every major distribution of Linux:

Bottom line:
The bottom line for me is that going forward, this is a totally reasonable replacement for Photoshop Elements – plus you don’t even need your date of birth to use it!! I already have a modern version of Photoshop Elements, but as it ages – or if I have any issues with it, I think I will definitely switch over to using Gimp.

Posted in Computers and Internet, Development Tools, General, Professional Development, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers

%d bloggers like this: