GIMP, More Awesome Than I Remember

For what seems like decades, GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program) has been the de facto standard image editor for Linux. It works well, has many features, and it even supports scripting. I always have found it a bit clumsy, however, and I preferred using something else for day-to-day work. I recently had the pleasure of sitting at a computer without an image editor though, so I figured I'd give GIMP another try on a non-Linux operating system. See, the last time I tried to use GIMP on OS X, it required non-standard libraries and home-brew adding. Now, if you head over to the GIMP site, you can download a fully native version of GIMP for Windows, OS X and Linux.

I'll be honest, just being able to install GIMP with a simple drag and drop on OS X was an improvement worth noting. When I actually started using it, however, I found that it's truly as powerful as Photoshop for the things I do. Granted, Photoshop likely has features advanced users might need that GIMP doesn't have, but everything I do with images was fully supported without exception. In the screenshot (from an OS X machine), you can see an example of me "painting" my Volkswagen using nothing more than the auto-selection tool and a virtual airbrush.

If you're looking for a great graphic editor and want to be consistent across platforms, GIMP is truly hard to beat. And if you tried it years ago but didn't really care for it, I urge you to give it another try. I'm shocked at how well it works, even on platforms other than Linux!

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.