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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very old version of Photoshop. I've been looking at photo editing programs that would work for creating book covers and ran across a free one called Gimp. Just wondering if anyone here uses it and how it compares to Photoshop?
 

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I've never used Photoshop, but I like Gimp very well. For a free program, it's actually kind of incredible. Takes a lot of playing with to learn, but there's lots of info online.

One major thing I found, though, is that it takes up huge CPU, so when I am using Gimp that's basically all my computer can handle at the time unless I want everything to go very slow and get very cranky.

Certainly worth downloading and trying to see if you like it, IMO.
 

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When I have both available to me, I tend to swap between the two a fair bit. Some things Photoshop does better (or more easily), some Gimp does better. Definitely worth a few test runs.
 

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Naomi, what do you find Gimp does better? I'm a die-hard Photoshop person and have never considered using Gimp. I might if there are features worth using.
 

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Hmm, I was not aware of Gimp, but now that I am I may have to start using it.
 

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I am so used to Photoshop that I found GIMP pretty difficult to use. The interface definitely isn't as intuitive, but for free you can't expect tons of polish. For someone who isn't used to another program it might be easier to pick up, and for free it doesn't hurt at all to try out.

There's another option with a really powerful suite of photo editing tools for free out there, but it's kind of odd that you actually work with the programs in your browser. It may be worth looking into though. http://www.aviary.com/
 

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I haven't worked with Gimp a whole lot...but it is good.

Another alternative is to pick up a copy of Corel PaintShop Pro. I bought version X several years ago at a retail outlet. It usually runs around $100 or so, and in my case I got it with a rebate and while it was on sale, so it ran about $30. In terms of functionality, it is a professional level tool and on par with Photoshop. I don't know how good the latest versions of the product are, but version X was really good.
 

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MGalloway said:
Another alternative is to pick up a copy of Corel PaintShop Pro.
Seconding this. I got my Paint Shop Pro on ebay, still new and in the package for about $50, since I didn't need all the bells and whistles of the newest version it was a good deal.
 

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I use gimp and I love it. I'm not an expert, and I've never used Photoshop, but I haven't had to pay for Photoshop either. I can play with color values and brightness/contrast, crop, scale, insert text, draw, use masks and transparency to combine different exposures of a scene for an HDR image. I haven't really even started to use all the features. The only place I know that it lacks is dealing with CMYK colorspaces, and I believe there are some addons that may address that. If you have photoshop and love it, fine, but if you are starting without a photo editing program you should consider gimp. There is also a version that is set up specifically for editing successive frames from movies/videos but that is a whole other issue.

Just this afternoon I used Gimp to reduce this image from 4288 by 2848 pixels to 600 by 399 and inserted the text. It took only a couple of minutes to do, but I have had practice.


To make a banner would be simple once you were familiar with the Gimp and had the images/text you wanted to insert into it. I found it very confusing at first, but googling what I wanted to do got me off to a good start and now I feel reasonably comfortable with most of the image manipulations I want do.
 

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davidhburton said:
Naomi, what do you find Gimp does better? I'm a die-hard Photoshop person and have never considered using Gimp. I might if there are features worth using.
I'm having trouble remembering, to be honest - sorry! ;D It's been ages since I've had access to Photoshop. I think handling layers might have been one of the things I found easier with GIMP - basic 3D effects too, maybe? There are a large number of GIMP plugins available free, but I need to re-research them.

I distinctly remember Photoshop's text handling being better, though. If I'm doing a cover in GIMP, I generally put in one letter per layer, so that I can do the spacing manually.
 

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nomesque said:
I'm having trouble remembering, to be honest - sorry! ;D It's been ages since I've had access to Photoshop. I think handling layers might have been one of the things I found easier with GIMP - basic 3D effects too, maybe? There are a large number of GIMP plugins available free, but I need to re-research them.

I distinctly remember Photoshop's text handling being better, though. If I'm doing a cover in GIMP, I generally put in one letter per layer, so that I can do the spacing manually.
There is a letter-spacing widget for the text tool in GIMP, though it will more or less uniformly adjust it for all the letters of the current text object. (I don't know PhotoShop, so I don't know if it's easier to adjust it letter by letter with it? And I'll be the first to admit that GIMP's user interface can be lacking in intuitiveness.)

 

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NogDog said:
There is a letter-spacing widget for the text tool in GIMP, though it will more or less uniformly adjust it for all the letters of the current text object. (I don't know PhotoShop, so I don't know if it's easier to adjust it letter by letter with it? And I'll be the first to admit that GIMP's user interface can be lacking in intuitiveness.)
Thanks! I know of it... but it's more the autokerning ability that I sometimes need, and miss.
 

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Recently started learning Gimp (heard about it on KB, I think). Never used Photoshop so can't compare, but it is taking some time playing with it and reading chunks of the manual to figure it out. It seems like it's gonna be soooo worth it though. Takes some patience and time to learn, for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update....

First, like I said in the OP I've used Photoshop for years, so I'm very familiar with it.

Gimp doesn't do text boxes nearly as well as Photoshop does. It also can't handle CYMK images, as has been stated. I also hate the layer feature where you have to tell GIMP to create a new layer from what you cut or paste - Photoshop automatically creates the layer which is much handier IMO. Not sure why you would want a "floating layer" since it doesn't seem that you can do much with it while it is floating (but that could just be because I don't know the program very well.) There was also one image that I copied and pasted into the new image, and it would not create a new layer - kept giving me an error message and I wasn't sure what the matter was - the error didn't seem to make sense with actuality.

Anyhow, for my advice, if you are used to Photoshop, you will be frustrated with GIMP. I'm going to keep my eye on Craigslist for a cheap copy of a newer-than-what-I-have-but-older-version of Photoshop.
 
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