The Gimp has long been considered the best free graphics editor. In the past, when trying the program, I was turned off by the interface that consisted of several floating windows. This issue has been addressed in the new version 2.8 with the Single-Window Mode, which can be enabled in the ‘Windows’ menu. This constrains the program to a single main window as is the norm with most programs. This new interface is pleasant and slightly cluttered. Another welcome change is the Text Editing, which now is done on canvas (in-line). Previously, text was edited in a separate window. The Gimp is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
My enthusiasm for the program quickly evaporated when I tried to get some work done with it. Much of this program is not intuitive; I spent more time reading less-than-helpful help files and the more useful forums than actually testing the program. If you are experienced with other photo editors, The Gimp will be very frustrating. Simple functions, such as ‘deselect’ are not where one would expect them. Other things, such as ‘Adjustment Layers’, are absent. There are seven selection tools, but not a plain ‘Select’ tool. The ‘Heal Tool’ performs as a ‘Clone Stamp Tool’. It seems that non-standard things have been done just to be different.
Positives include a good selection of tools, most of which have plenty of options. It comes with a nice selection of filters. The new Single-Window interface is a welcome change. The Gimp performed well and was stable.
– – – – The Bottom Line – – – -
This is a powerful program with a steep learning curve, and you must be willing to put in a lot of work to master it. I can’t recommend The Gimp for most users, but if you are looking for a challenge, The Gimp may fill the bill.