GIMP 2.6.1 Review and its Future

Gimp is an image editing program.  It has support on on the most moder operating systems including Unix (Linux), OS X, and Windows. If you can’t afford Photoshop (or don’t want to steal it), GIMP is the best alternative out there – I encourage you to at least download it and try it.

For those that have tried GIMP before, the most recognized new feature is that GIMP is now in one window. It isn’t exactly how the GIMP community wanted it (more like inkscape) but it is much better than it used to be.
Some other new features are that the toolbox menu has been removed, it has been replaced with an empty image window. The empty image window acts as a natural window pane and is the place where you edit your images.
The most useful feature is that you can not edit your image by panning over the border. This creates a less constrained atmosphere and makes the designers job faster and easier.
There are even more changes which you can see over at the GIMP website.

The major problem with GIMP version 2.4.2 and below was that it was not one window.  This made it very hard for people to go to Photoshop on a Windows box to GIMP.  The GIMP GUI team listened to the many complaints and finally attempted it. It wasn’t exactly what people wanted but it gets the job done.
With the new release GIMP users are finding more things to complain about. The first complaint was that Wilber (GIMP mascot) was taking up too much space – it is fixable.
Another hard thing to adjust to when moving from Photoshop to GIMP is the animation editor. GIMP’s animation editor works but it has a high learning curve. You can’t use Photoshop ideals for animation in GIMP.
What GIMP does need is layer folders/groups/tree. It is very hard to organize layers without them. This should be a very simple and easy fix for the next official release (3rd-party script-fu plugins are available but they are far from perfect).

The new version of GIMP is much better than its predicesors – but it still has a long way to go. GIMP has enough features now that Photoshop is finding it hard to compete. Adobe CS4 is coming out with a feature that GIMP already has a plugin for. GIMP is setting itself up for secess by being a GNU project and making itself free software that any designer can edit or change to their liking. Now, perhaps someone might actually make a good GIMP tutorial website.


6 thoughts on “GIMP 2.6.1 Review and its Future

  1. Sheel

    Do you know if this application is packaged into .deb yet? Or would I, if wanting to “upgrade” have to compile and install the source myself? This update seems nice and to be honest I am one of those users who wasn’t very pleased with their individual window way of sorting GIMP.

  2. Drew Douglass

    I love the GIMP, it is great for the open source movement etc. However, if you really think GIMP is as powerful as photoshop, go ahead and GTFO of web design and development. GIMP cannot even come close to photoshop’s power. I used to use GIMP myself, until I discovered how much photoshop kicks gimp’s ass. Sorry GIMP guys but its really no contest.


  3. ://

    @DrewDouglass: Wow. Never saw this…
    I agree.
    I started off using Photoshop under XP. When I switched to Linux I did not want to run wine so GIMP was one of my only choices. It was very hard for me to switch to GIMP – it basically made me stop designing for about 6 months… I got over it though and it IS possible to design in GIMP.
    GIMP can basically do all the main features Photoshop users can also do. Unfortunately, it takes more than twice the time. If you care about fast results (most professional designers) then Photoshop is right for you. If you are just a casually designer who can’t afford Photoshop (or has morals and does not want to steal it) then use GIMP – it has come a long way.

    As of writing this comment I am now using Photoshop under XP and sometimes OSX. I am planning on buying a new computer and then I will most likely only use OSX – hackintosh though ;)


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