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Gimp is 25 years old today (gimp.org)
618 points by constantinum 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 259 comments

GIMP is such a strange tool. I actually have used it, semi-frequently - since the 90s! The overall experience of using it has only changed a little in that time. And it gets the job done. I guess that makes it successful! What else has been so stable?

But of all the software I have ever used, GIMP is the most difficult to learn. I memorized a few tutorials, this must have been around Y2K, to do the a couple things. And basically I have never figured out how to do anything else in it. After twenty years. Sometime, more than a decade ago, they made the tool icons both harder to recognize visually more unpredictable in their toolbox layout, and that still slows me down, too.

I just can't think of anything else I've had this kind of relationship with - other tools, I either master, or I move on from. GIMP is an odd one.

The way I would put it is: GIMP has features, not workflow.

There are a lot of things that are possible, but not by combining the basic tools and metaphors in sensible ways: each time is more like diving into the command line options of a GNU tool, finding the exact thing, and if you really, really need to automate it, it goes in a script where it can be safely forgotten.

Which is, certainly, a way of doing, but not one conducive to pleasurable use or professional scenarios where you need to have it pass through multiple hands.

Actually, the way I would put it is that GIMP is the perfect example of why companies hire UX designers. GIMP is textbook example of how software can technically have all the same features, but be insanely hard to use and utterly confusing to anyone without a guide. Compare it to Photoshop which does more or less the same things but anyone can naturally pick up and use.

Can they though? I'll admit it's a long time since I've sat in front of a Photoshop window, but I remember it being just as complex to use.

Is this just partially a "what you're used to is easy & anything different is hard" thing?

What exactly makes Photoshop easier to use in your opinion? This is a genuine question - I see this asserted so often, like it's a truism, but nobody ever seems to give specific examples.

I still remember that time I tried selecting something and moving the pixels of my selection, rather than the whole layer in GIMP. I ended up having to google it and it was a 3-key combination shortcut. I don't remember how to do it in photoshop, but I'm pretty sure I didn't have to google "how to move a selection" that time I used it.

Audacity has this in spades. Every annoying thing has a bizarre undiscoverable keystroke to invoke a sensible not-broken alternative.

Why they don't make the reasonable implementations the first class defaults is way beyond me... (I haven't read the mailing list/bug report threads enough to find out, if someone has insight I'd love to know. It's like they know something is what people don't want to do 99.9% of the time, they fix it, then they hide the fix; ie deleting some audio without shifting everything over - I have never wanted to shift things on delete. Not once, never. Not a single time. Why is that default?)

What's the Photoshop to Audacity's GIMP?

Sound Forge

In GIMP you can just cut it and paste it, and ctrl-x ctrl-v works, which are pretty much universal in every application. It creates a temporary layer for the selection, and when your cursor is over the selection you'll get the universal 4-axis pointer that means move, and when your cursor is not over it, it will turn into an anchor (whose meaning you can guess.)

Fair. I think you’re expected to float the selection into a new layer and then move the layer, but this is such a common operation for people to want that it ought to be directly available from the Move tool.

This is how I've been doing it since forever and and at the very least didn't have to Google it.

I did not know another way existed... which also just illustrates the point.

It doesn't really, because you don't know how to do it in Photoshop either. I've been recently learning Photoshop for the first time after being a long term GIMP user, and I don't find it intuitive at all. If you didn't need google or books to use Photoshop, somebody should tell the enormous industry of websites and books sold to teach it.

Your comment seems disingenuous, because the predominant user interface paradigm in all sorts of programs (file managers, vector editors, text editors, ...) on all sorts of platforms is that when you select something, you can click and drag that selected thing.

This is a thing that is different in GIMP: that the selection specifies an area of the image which is affected by operations, rather than an object to manipulate.

"I did not know another way existed" seems outlandish. I mean, launch any paint program developed for any platform in the last 40 years; chances are you can select a rectangle and just drag it.

There is a rhyme and reason to the way GIMP does it, and you can learn it quickly, but it's going to cause complaints.

It could be that 99% of the anti-GIMP ranting is caused by this one issue.

>Your comment seems disingenuous

Your comment seems like you missed what was being talked about. In fact you appear to think I was arguing a point antipodal to what I was actually saying.

"I did not know another way existed" was referring to a second way to do it in GIMP.

Well moving the selection is the 3rd thing you can do, what you meant probably is moving the content of the selection. It's controlled by 3 buttons on top of the tools window, and this plus a few other things are worth spending a bit time to learn the basic concepts.

Which is a good advice for PS as well, btw.

i do remember figuring out how to move my selection without moving what's in it. it felt a little bit like gimp was playing a prank on me

Photoshop has a whole industry around teaching how to use it.

They have photoshop conferences, books and magazines. Not something you expect for a piece of software that’s intuitive.

So does Microsoft Word. I think you're missing the point. Yes, Photoshop has a lot of more advanced options, but the power of UX is being able to balance basic features and advanced features. Sure someone may not be able to do insane tricks, but doing basic stuff is far more discoverable and intuitive to do.

Also in addition to other sibling comments--note that OT mentioned having been using GIMP for 20 years and still being unable to figure out anything new aside from the tutorials he studied. So being "used to" GIMP is evidently (although currently sample size 1) not enough for it to be "easy to use".

Edit. I'm not saying Photoshop is easier to use--it might be just as difficult but with better resources available people might be able to learn it better.

Back in the late 90s when I used Photoshop as part of my Project Support / Sysadmin 50/50 position, I used books that taught me how to do certain things. I think it's just that Photoshop is that much more popular so has orders of magnitude more people writing books and HOWTOs.

I disagree, I picked up photoshop at the age of ~13 and did most things mostly naturally. I've tried GIMP 4 or 5 different times at various ages and I've never been able to achieve anything without hours of effort and guides.

I used PS and many other 3D graphics apps commercially for over 10 years, Gimp is sadly not a patch on it. UX is a thing, and Gimp doesn't have that. As a now software engineer, I can see the thought process behind the application, but it's workflow is treacherous. I switched out to Affinity a few years ago, because PS became too bloated/heavy, and Gimp just doesn't cut it for real work imho. I mention this because it was easier to pick up Affinity after a couple of hours than wrestling with Gimp. Same goes for Blender Vs Max/Maya. I hate to say this, because I would like these tool to be more accessible to all

>Is this just partially a "what you're used to is easy & anything different is hard" thing?

I woulnd't say so. Some programs are plainly more confusingly designed.

Been using gimp for 20 years, every couple years I try and fail to do even the most basic stuff in photoshop. Then I give up and go back to gimp.

Photoshop doesn't have a great UI, it was just very early, good enough, and targeted at professionals. GIMP is better in every way for me so far (I've just recently become a Photoshop user), except that CMYK doesn't work well or seamlessly yet on GIMP, making it unusable in a professional context. Other proprietary photo editors that worked with CMYK from their beginning are passing the GIMP as photoshop competitors.

Honestly, I wouldn't pick Photoshop as a particularly shining example of UX. It's probably better than GIMP. But it's also a product that has accreeted features and ways of doing things over the years and is pretty squarely targeted at people who use it all the time professionally. There are lots of different ways of doing the same or similar things.

Having many ways to do a thing is arguably better than GIMP, where there's exactly one way to do a thing and you need to find the right option from the right menu under the right icon to use it.

>technically have all the same features

>does more or less the same things

Photoshop has way more features than GIMP. GIMP has some severe basic wholes like lacking CMYK support after 25 years. I think they rather wait for printers to be obsolete than actually spend time implementing the color mode.

>> GIMP is the perfect example of why companies hire UX designers.

Whole I agree that this is UX design, but I suspect that UX can be (and often is) a product of the type of organisation producing it moreso than the "UX designer hired to do UX." UX for something like Gimp is very hard. The metaphors have to encompass a ton of stuff and the UX needs

A web app created by a bank, electric company or somesuch will tend to be different from an app created by an SV-ish company in a pretty predictable way. Similarly, Gimp seems like a relative of other GNU/OSS software... Calibre comes to mind.

Different types of organisations or ways of doing things have different strengths and weaknesses. Th

Calibre may not be pretty but for a CRUD app it is usable. People who have complaints about Calibre generally have issues with its chrome and dated layout but nobody dislikes it because it is hard to use. A default GTK style UI always looks terrible on Windows and Mac, both of which have much higher requirements for user interface defaults. This is especially so with Amazon and iBooks setting differing expectations for how an eReader should look like. The issue with GIMP is with both its UI and its UX. Trying to get work done in GIMP is difficult and challenging. It is not a mere CRUD app like Calibre.

People like Calibre. I'm not saying it's bad. I'm just using it as a type example. Gnu-ish software is different in a recognizable way from Google, MSFT, etc. Different enough that both strengths and weaknesses are different.

With Calibre, most users won't feel like they have a grasp of what the software is and what you can do with it... compared to an Apple product. But, it's super powerful and the answer to a lot of "how do I X?" queries is use calibre. Without calibre, the operative answer would probably be "you can't."

While I like and appreciate Calibre, its a fantastically useful piece of software and I use it all the time, its UI veers closer to outsider art than what could be considered best-practice interface design.

GIMP, however, is more like when an ecosystem is cut off for millions of years and there’s no natural predators so things evolve in strange and highly localised ways.

GIMP is the duck-billed platypus of software.

> Compare it to Photoshop which does more or less the same things but anyone can naturally pick up and use.

Trolling is not appropriate in HN.

How is that trolling?

Feeding the flame war with obviously false bullshit.

"People are born with the ability to use the program that I offer in contrast to the impossible-to-use crap being discussed. Literally anyone. Even babies who couldn't latch on to a boob for the first two months of their life can use it, whereas that other monstrosity requires a Ph. D. in computer graphics or signal processing."

Come on; it's not 1995, and this is not comp.sys.os.advocacy.

While I didn't claim anything close to that, and the evidence I have is only anecdotal between me and a dozen peers, I myself learned to use Photoshop at the age of 13, yet the half a dozen times I had to use GIMP, I spent over an hour every single time trying to do basic things such as moving pixels around and doing basic transformations.

Look around the thread and you will hear dozens of similar stories.

I'm sorry but I didn't know telling my own experience counted as trolling.

In GIMP, selection works in a way that runs counter to the predominant user interface paradigm. A selection isn't an object that the user can pick up for direct manipulation. Rather, it's a delimited region of the image which confines the effects of editing. Thus, you can't just select a rectangle (or whatever) and then drag it to move the pixels. So yes, that will perplex the average user. Scratch that, probably every user. In Gimp, the move tool selects the entire layer which contains the pixels that you're pointing to, and moves that. The selection "cross-cuts" through layers. So that is to say, you can make a selection in one layer (say by picking out a shape), and then switch to another layer where that original selection is still in effect and delimits the edit operations.

The way you move pixels in GIMP, though it doesn't conform to certain well-established user interface conventions, is learnable (and even discoverable). By the time you used it half a dozen times, you should have picked it up on it.

The way you're evaluating these programs is the equivalent of comparing cars by kicking their tires, slamming the door, and honking the horn.

> I didn't know telling my own experience counted as trolling.

Exact words: "Compare it to Photoshop which does more or less the same things but anyone can naturally pick up and use."

That doesn't at all look like telling one's own experience.

Also, your experience consists of evaluating use cases from Microsoft Paint on advanced image editing tools, then it's not relevant enough.

Your comment amounts to what HN calls "shallow dismissal".

>The way I would put it is: GIMP has features, not workflow.

very well said. totally agree with this

I really, really wish there was a paint.net clone for Linux. Paint.net is windows freeware, closed source since an early release, which is both feature rich and a pleasure to use. It covers 99% of use cases ordinary people have.

I believe the author closed the source after some other projects tried to use it commercially. It still gets regular updates.

There's an attempt at a clone, Pinta, which was based off the early open source version but it didn't get much further than mspaint functionality.

Yeah, I switched from GIMP to PaintNET and loved it for my simple needs, but because Pinta wasnt what I hoped it would be nowdays I just use http://www.photopea.com on any system, its basically PaintNET in the browser.

It's funny because GIMP is one of the tools I hate the most. It's really hard to describe how quickly I want to say no to just about everything that it does. I'm quite open[0] but I'd rather write perl script with imagemagik than use gimp.

[0] i can love both emacs and vi and even ed, I've used just about any 2d/3d program ever

> It's funny because GIMP is one of the tools I hate the most.

You've obviously not tried to replace Adobe Illustrator with Inkscape ;)

(edit: a flippant comment backed by much frustration. If you're creating SVGs for laser cutting then the inability to nicely use mm as a unit of measure is infuriating.)

I use purely mm for most Inkscape projects (not for laser cutting, but some are for my plotter). Set the units in Document Properties and it just works, IME.

Yes. I get when people criticize Inkscape for it's UI (personally I find it annoying to re-arrange the side windows), but feature-wise there is nothing left to be desired (except maybe CMYK not sure about that). But whenever I need something to be printed, it goes into Scribus anyway, and there we have CMYK.

> there is nothing left to be desired

Pretty much every time I’m working with vectors, my shapes have borders, and I want to control whether the borders are inside, on top of, or outside the shape (similar to eg box-sizing in CSS terms). As far as I can tell, inkscape still doesn’t support that :(

Good point, that seems indeed not to be implemented. I get the use case for inner borders, could probably be tricked via clipping. But yes, that's definitely another exception.

There is a major hole in its lack of support for animation.

> If you're creating SVGs for laser cutting then the inability to nicely use mm as a unit of measure is infuriating.

I do this all the time (for my mechanical plotter).

InkScape is an incredibly useful tool that can do some things that Illustrator chokes on (doesn't always load standards compliant SVG correctly and/or does weird proprietary shit) -- and vice versa, but I think there could actually be reason to install and use both.

The same here :) I love to work with other software considered user hostile by others, but Gimp... WTF. It's like they took the most horrible stuff from Photohop s horrible UI and mixed it with more horrible ideas... But PS manages to be horrible and still productively usable and had all the required features, like non destructive editing smart objects etc.

Something like Affinity Photo is the other end of the spectrum, with nice and intuitive UI for almost everything... Though it stills falls short of old Corel Photopaint's nice and intuitive UIs

I think GIMP kinda suffers the same fate as intel. I remember a lot of efforts went into creating the underlying core for image processing (GEGL ?) but then nothing happened. It's stuck at the blender 2.7 way of life.

They may try to revamp ergonomics and performance. But that's their choice.

Gimp has script fu / python / scheme. It is quite capable of automating and generating images. Gimp is the kind of software you may hate at first but then start to love it for how extensible friendly it is.

I tried to automate a simple workflow (resize, reduce color to grayscale) using GIMP just last week. I would want to run this on ~100 files in a folder.

This takes a few lines of calls to imagemagick/gm or ~10 lines of python + Pillow.

Do you have any resources how to do this in GIMP?

After googling for a good while, I could not for the life of me figure out how to even get started with this.

I don't want to write an extension for GIMP - I want to use GIMP like I would an image manipulation library.

Why do you want to do it in GIMP? I like and use GIMP, but imagemagick sounds like the right tool for the job, and what I'd use there. For almost any batch processing, Python or bash-scripted imagemagick gets the job done. If you need some complex feature of a GIMP plugin, that's another story.

I simply found that GIMP produced very good results when dithering to 4bit grayscale (I'm converting images to be displayed on an e-ink display).

I'm sure I could get any other lib to produce the same results, but only after an hour of tweaking. That is what I ended up doing after all, because learning how to automate GIMP was harder.

I also use a 4 bit e-ink display, and there are sometimes large areas of the same color where you can't see any details. After several hours of tweaking I managed to improve the quality, but it's still not perfect.

Do you have some tips / links that could help me improve the dithering even further?

I've not investigated very deeply into it.

For my use case (a digital picture frame), I've simply rejected images that looked very bad after dithering, and that's very often

- (a) generally dark images,

- (b) very gradient-based images (banding appears) and

- (c) art with a color spectrum that's very narrow in lightness, but wide in value (i.e. most colors map to the same level of gray after converting to grayscale)

Besides using Floyd-Steinberg dithering, I have not tried anything fancy.

As I mentioned above, the exact quality of differing varies by a large amount depending on the tool. I would recommend comparing the quality of GIMP vs. other tools on a single example image.

I did this very long ago. It's possible but the documentation was nearly non-existant, it took me a long time to figure it out.

BIMP plugin for GIMP

Sure, it's extensible but I was speaking on all the other fronts.

As a counterpoint I often hear people make this argument but I've never found that to be the case. I find Gimp to have a simple interface in which it's easy to find all the features.

However I never used Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. I have found that people who cut their teeth on Photoshop seem to consistently find the Gimp UI confusing.

I too used and liked Gimp ever since. I was forced to use the adobe stack for a while and never managed liking it, it still feels like a huge blackbox to me.

IMO not everyone is made for (or rather trained to) understand and use overly complex uis.

Cut my teeth on PSP then Photoshop in college. Soon thereafter started with GIMP and indeed the different naming and menu organization was a hurdle. Though it wasn't too bad. Still Photoshop was always ahead in features and most things were more logical.

Gimp, today, feels like a bad knockoff of what Photoshop was in about 2002.

And Photoshop has gotten a _lot_ more powerful and useable since then.

Adding a second UI to the codebase (with a friendlier, less conflict inducing name) would be a fantastic addition to the project.

Something along the lines of a cooperative fork, I suppose, focused on exposing a minimal set of features but keeping the underlying image processing models.

Fewer buttons. Distilled UI. Having a single rapid workflow for saving an edited PNG.

[...and this is almost exactly what Glimpse is, thank you other commenters!: https://glimpse-editor.github.io/ ]

Glimpse is GIMP minus one brush, one menu item, and GIMP branding, plus Photoshop shortcuts, plus a few popular plugins. That is all it is at the moment.

> Having a single rapid workflow for saving an edited PNG.

You mean instead of two rapid workflows?

1. File -> Overwrite Existing <whatever>.png.

First time it is used, there is prompting. After that, no prompting. Has no hotkey.

2. Or use Export As, which has a Shift-Ctrl-E hotkey.

The first time you use Export As, there is prompting. But after the first use, the "Overwrite Existing <whatever>.png" menu item (for workflow 1) disappears from the File menu and is replaced by "Export To <whatever>.png". This action has no prompting at all, and has Ctrl-E as the hot key.

Workflow 1 has less initial prompting than 2; it goes straight to the Export dialog (for setting parameters) without prompting for a filename or overwrite confirmation; it's good if you're editing many images and saving just once.

Thanks. I feel stupid now.

I guess I would have expected this to be called “save”?

Not same thing, Save implies you want to save the work in progress, so xcf typically (thats the gimp project format, so you can do things like undo stuff etc).

Export is well export "Take this project and make it <Foo> format with <Bar> quality" settings.

It's the way many print/graphics packages split it conceptually.

You just have to read the whole File menu (of every program you use, not just GIMP!)

In GIMP, saving refers to persisting the project in the native .xcf format. Everything else is exporting.

Exporting loses information, that's why it's not called saving. It can use lossy compression, first of all. And then, the target format might not support all the semantics. For instance, it might not support layers, or not support layers with all their GIMP nuances, like layer masks and whatnot.

If you're working on a PNG or JPEG and want to close GIMP and continue later without any loss of data or disruption, you have to save the project as an .XCF.

I feel like this was a behaviour shift at some point within the last 25 years. There was a time when you'd open a PNG, and the default "save" just gave you a flattened PNG. Or maybe it did so but complained about the risk. Either way, it felt off to make XCF default ONCE you specified a file type (either by opening a PNG/JPG/etc.) or trying to save as such once. You've decided you want to save only a final output, not something with the intermediary magic.

"Save" and "Export" used to be under the same function many versions ago. I am guessing they changed it to avoid data loss.

Consider if someone "saved" into a format that does not actually support all the features of Gimp, like PNG. They might be surprised when they open their file and things like layers are missing.

Paint.NET solved this by prompting the user when this particular kind of destructive save happen: This format requires all layers to be merged, are you sure you want to merge all layers? yes/cancel.

But with GIMP's export, you can export a JPEG without merging all your layers. They are merged in the image only. Your default filename (like "myproject.xcf") is not affected; Ctrl-S save continues to save that.

GIMP's export is smart enough not to keep prompting you. You are prompted once to set the parameters, like compression and others. Then you can repeat the export operation with no prompting. You have a Ctrl-E hotkey to do that instantly, and Ctrl-S continues to save your project to the .xcf file.

I learned on software like PaintShop Pro and Photoshop, so I find GIMP to be incredibly frustrating software. I use it at work for editing and cropping photos since I don't have access to Adobe's suite and I'm fairly quick at those few tasks. But I just can't be bothered to learn anything more than that when I find it so frustrating and inefficient to use.

I am actually using PaintShop Pro 7.04 until today. It is good enough for 95% of my bitmap graphics work and it just feels so easy to use.

I only ever use GIMP out of necessity and when I do I can't wait to stop using it. I never had a pleasant experience using GIMP and it almost never failed to frustrate me. Just yesterday I had to use it, and this is what my search history looked like: https://i.imgur.com/ZP3U17i.png . I'm pretty fluent in Photoshop and I've also begrudgingly used GIMP for many years. It's a very bizarre tool.

Both, Photoshop and GIMP are really complex programs with steep learning curves. I tried to do some editing in Photoshop, since I now have a license, and I was totally lost. I tried to add some guides so I could draw a rectangle to cut a image. I tried dragging from the border of the image, as I do with GIMP, and no way. So I resorted back to GIMP, not wanting to spend half an hour trying to learn how to select and cut an image in Photoshop when I already know how to do it in GIMP.

This looks like another instance of "I don't know how to use gimp, but I know how to use photoshop, therefore gimp is a very bizarre tool."

I'm pretty fluent in Gimp, and I only ever use Photoshop out of necessity, and I'm always totally lost when I need to do that.

> this is what my search history looked like

> gimp resize image

Image -> Scale Image

Very bizarre, indeed! Scaling the image is a "Scale Image" command in an "Image" menu.

> gimp rotate layer

Layer -> Transform -> Rotate { 90° Clockwise, 90° Counter-Clockwise, Arbitrary Rotation ...}

Totally undiscoverable. Rotating a layer is buried in the completely unrelated Layer menu and obfuscated by terminology. The user has to be a propeller-head who knows bizarre jargon, such as that a rotation is a kind of "transform" and might be hiding under a menu item labeled that way.

To add insult to injury, this menu item has not moved in at least 15 years to a more obvious place. Gimp clearly likes existing users better than new ones.

> gimp rescale interactive

In the latest stable Gimp (2.10.22) which I just installed last night, there is a surprise: I can't find the Rotate tool button. Aha, there is an "all in one" transformation tool. The Gimp version I previously used still had separate toolbar buttons for different transforms.

I see that we can right click on the all-in-one transformation button, and then pick a specific kind of transform. We want Scale, which is also available as the familiar Shift-S hotkey.

The Tool Options dialog comes up for the tool. I see that the very first item is a bunch of icon-labeled buttons next to a Transform: label. They all have tooltips: "layer", "selection", "path" and "image". Aha: Transform -> "image" must be what we want. We click on that.

Now we proceed to interactively rotate the image, and apply that change using the Scale button on the rotate dialog.

In summary: Shift-S to scale, pick "image", do the interactive scale, and click "Scale" to make it stick.

For your other queries, you just have to know how to work with transparent layers in Gimp. Gimp is not a carbon copy of Photoshop.

You were not born knowing how to erase pixels transparently in Photoshop.

> I never had a pleasant experience using GIMP and it almost never failed to frustrate me.

Funny! I hear the same complaints about Photoshop only the amount of complaints are 10 times as much.

> GIMP is such a strange tool.

GIMP is less strange than AzPainter[0], even less strange than GrafX2[1].

FTR, Grafx2 (GrafX 2.0 and beyond) would celebrate its own 25th Anniversary next year.[2]

But really, development of the first version of GrafX2 (GrafX 1.0) started in 1995.[3]

> GRAFX 2.00 Beta 90% (11/01/1996) - Wired'96 release

> This version was 1st shown at the Wired'96 demo party in Belgium. We gave it to many people there, so let's start history from here. Note that there were a few different "90%" versions because we didn't want to change the number just for tiny bug-fixes.

> GRAFX 1.0? -> 1.02 (09/??/1995 -> 07/??/1996)

> Forget it!

So, Grafx2 & GIMP are age-mates, but GrafX2 maybe is 'older brother'.

[0] https://github.com/Symbian9/azpainter

[1] http://grafx2.chez.com/

[2] http://grafx2.chez.com/index.php?article4/version-history

[3] http://grafx2.chez.com/index.php?article7/1990s

Quite similar situation here: it's the tool that I know but that I will never master. I'm not bothered much by the UI though, it gets the job done well enough for the occasional pixel task. What I mind much more is the atrocious startup time (might be a peculiarity of wingimp)

It's starting in about 3 seconds for me, on a laggardly 2013-vintage Core i5 CPU, 32 GB RAM, Windows 10.

I know what you're talking about; historically there used to be a long pause in the startup progress bar of the Windows verison, stuck on scanning system fonts or something. But I don't see that in the current version (2.10.22).

Check your version and likely you should update (if you don't rely on plugins that aren't ported yet). Startup time was increased by a huge amount some time ago (can't remember when exactly).

Summer 2018 when async fonts loading was introduced.

Interesting milestone, worth reflecting on the broader failures of OSS.

Open source user-facing software like Gimp, Openoffice & inkscape were supposed to be the wave of the future that would eclipse their commercial counterparts over the next decade.

But OSS developers turned out to be daft to UI/UX concerns and lacked user-centric empathy to make software that would ever really matter in the marketplace.

Meanwhile the OSS marketplace that did takeoff in stunning ways were developer frameworks, libraries and building blocks (ie. everything on Github). Which developers then used to build the far more insidious world of SaaS. Where couldn't even own the software at any price, and more dastardly... you can't own your data.

I found it odd coming from tools like Macromedia Fireworks or Coreldraw because I was expecting to add shapes, fill and pan objects in the canvas. But as soon as I grasped the difference between vector based and raster based tools and why layers are important it became easy.

>I just can't think of anything else I've had this kind of relationship with - other tools, I either master, or I move on from. GIMP is an odd one.

I feel the same about Latex

I share the sentiment, for a while I was also big into Gimp, even bought books as means to support some of the developers, eventually as I went back to Windows as my main driver, I ended up settling in Paint.NET.

It does everything I need in a couple of mouse clicks without going through tutorials every time I need to handle some images.

Yeah you just described me too. I learned it as GIMPShopPro (a resin for Windows that looked liked photoshop) and when I switched to Linux in 2007ish I learned the basics of normal GIMP and have used it weekly ever since without learning anything new. Never thought about it until now.

That started off surprisingly generous.

GIMP is 25 years old and still sucks. And as we have all learned over that same time span, free stuff has competition and quality controls too.

You'll be wanting Glimpse https://glimpse-editor.github.io/

I've also been using GIMP since the 90s... but I'd say the overall experience has changed drastically and done so many times. I use a lot of Plug-ins, and somewhere in the mid 2000s the communication between them stabilized and sped up dramatically to the point that I all but ditched photoshop. Then I switched to an all mac shop, but GIMP's X11 interface on a mac was terrible, so I was back on photoshop. Then, fairly recently, GIMP switched to all native windows on mac, with tons of new windowing and tiling options that feels as responsive as photoshop, so I'm back to 100% GIMP.

I'm leaving out a ton of bug fixes and optimizations and new features over the years that were game changing to my processes. It's never stopped getting better. The only software I'd say has improved so much so consistently is OBS.

The first time I downloaded the GIMP was when I realized that MS Paint wouldn’t cut it for making convincing Runescape “fakes”. I was too chicken to pirate Photoshop but knew that I needed better tools to do what I needed. I went on to use the GIMP to make Runescape forum signatures (proud member of $clan, $skill in woodcutting, etc). That was the first time I had people PMing me, asking me to make something for them. The first time I “sold” anything. A thrill I don’t experience anymore.

I went on to use the GIMP to make textures for Morrowind mods, diagrams and design mockups in college, and my wedding invitations.

Today I use the GIMP to design software architecture diagrams, mockups, and my D&D battlemaps.

I don’t mean to beat the dead Free Software horse, but this tool was indispensable for my creative young self. I’m gonna go give them some money now for the first time in 15 years of using the software. Thanks for sharing this.

I miss those forum banners a lot. One of those things that you could really make your profile yours.

GIMP's name comes from Pulp Fiction.

> It took us a little while to come up with the name. We knew we wanted an image manipulation program like Photoshop, but the name IMP sounded wrong. We also tossed around XIMP (X Image Manipulation Program) following the rule of when in doubt prefix an X for X11 based programs. At the time, Pulp Fiction was the hot movie and a single word popped into my mind while we were tossing out name ideas. It only took a few more minutes to determine what the 'G' stood for.


My twitter account was suspended until I removed a post with the word gimp in it. It was not an abusive post.

That sounds like a problem with twitter.

The only problem with IMP would be the theoretical problem of the icon might look too much like Freebsd. Sounds like a missed opportunity.

It could have been GINP, as in GINP Is Not Photoshop.

Close, but no cigar ;)

In retrospect it was probably a mistake to choose a name which is either a niche aspect of the BDSM lifestyle or an ableist pejorative. That it was deliberate is even more baffling.

It's perfect. It's a funky little tool you only take out of the box when you need it for a specific purpose. You use it (with vigor and some cussing because it fights back); get your job done, and shove it back into the box of shame, until the next time you need it. You might love what it does for you but you rarely celebrate the tool itself, preferring instead to delight in the faint tinge of shame.

"GIMP" is the perfect name for this software.

It is also something you call disabled people when you want to be really insulting. It doesn't matter one bit that you didn't mean it to mean that, that meaning still exists, and it's still what people see when they see the name.

It is an absolutely awful name.

> It doesn't matter one bit that you didn't mean it to mean that

If that's the case, the offense exists totally in another no matter my actions... is it not something that other needs address, not society or myself?

If you want to take things that way; why can't the GIMP be a beacon of hope and inspiration for the disabled? Despite being crippled by the UI it still serves legions well and faithfully.

Because no part of it presents itself that way. All it does is take a slur and use it as the name, and make no further comment on it whatsoever.

> It is also something you call disabled people when you want to be really insulting

Is it? I know some folks will point to a dictionary, but we live in a post truth world. It's odd to me that I've seemingly encountered every other usage of gimp, either personally or in media, but never an offensive usage. A horse with a gimp leg in the wheel of time, gimp the string at summer camp arts and crafts, a gimp suit in the tv show Archer, and gimp the image editing program as a teen. Language fundamentally means what we think it means - if nobody uses gimp as an offensive word, it's not offensive.

Have you ever heard it used offensively? If personally so, can I ask where (what county / cultural context)? If in media, can you name the work?

Yes. In person, referring to someone with a limp. They were implying that said person would be unable to attend a hike (they were wrong).

Did you know that the term for a female Gimp is "Glimpse"? :)

GIMP has been one of my constantly used software for over 20 years. I recall messing with text effects and some Python-fu. Still use it to this day for all kinds of editing.

And it gave us GTK!


This deserves to be higher. It spawned GTK, which spawned Gnome and so on. In this way, it is one of the most influential open source software programs around. I recall also that in it's youth, it showed what is possible, it staked out a future. There were not many as advanced GUI programs around like it then, but xv was of course the go-to program in the graphics category.

Very long time Gimp user, also photoshop user here.

Full credit to all the hard working developers on it over the years. You should be proud of what you created.


Gimp was always just slightly too good, mature, stable and complete, to justify alternative projects.

Gimp IMHO is the reason we don't have a layered raster (& vector) editor in 2020 which can hold a candle to Photoshop.

There have been attempts, but Gimp really sucked the wind out of the motivation to do competing OSS projects - for all really good reasons mentioned above.

So no criticism of the software it's self here... just sometimes something succesful can stifle competition.

I'd love to see more clean sheet 'Photoshop alternatives'.

The real reason is that making complicated software is hard, and few people have enough motivation to do that. Blaming lack of persistence on other software is a very strange take on dealing with this.

We have Krita now. I don't know much about it, but it seems to be able to do many of the same things.

Krita can do quite a few basic things, and a few advanced things that Gimp can't, but they're really not in the same league. If you're a serious photo editor, Krita is quite lacking, and will always be - they do not intend to be a photo editor.

I rather edit my photos in Krita than suffer through gimp any day.

For most photographers, that's the equivalent of "I'd rather have ugly photos than use Gimp."

If Krita does what you need, that's fine. But for even basic "serious" photoediting, it's lacking. Krita, as they themselves point out, is a drawing program, not a photo editor.

You make a lot of assumptions. You have never seen my photos yet you feel ok to call them ugly. So much for being objective right?

Keep assuming though, you know what they say about it.

> You have never seen my photos yet you feel ok to call them ugly.

I did no such thing. There's a reason my comment had a qualifier.

only thing I don't understand in krita is the stamp/clone tool so I open glimpse (gimp) if I need to do anything that involves that. otherwise I do everything in krita these days. the interface is nicer, the hotkeys make more sense and I find it easier to work with layers

I like GIMP.

Yes, the user interface has changed a lot over the years, but the underlying principles of how to compose images are still the same. I am no artist, so my requirements might be quite a bit lower than those of the typical Photoshop user, but GIMP is still my tool of choice if it comes to manipulating individual image files. For Vector Graphics I prefer Inkscape and for photos Darktable, but those are just more specialized use cases. Without Gimp my computer would be missing a crucial tool to edit images.

Thank you GIMP contributors and congratulations to your 25th anniversary.

For me it's a case of being the worst open source image editor, except for all the others.

The scripts always seem broken, the UI was a mess for a while on a Mac. The multi windowed system was great if the windowing manager expected that sort of thing and terrible otherwise.

Ufraw integration seems an awful way of getting to edit raw files and I go years at a time without being able to get it working on a Mac.

But it's still my first choice.

It's definitely worse than Krita.

Your experience from 10-15 years ago is kinda irrelevant today :)

No multiple windows, darktable or RawTherapee rather than UFRaw etc.

Single-Window Mode only became default in 2018 with Gimp 2.10. There are plenty of people around who haven't updated Gimp in that time and have yet to find out about this wonderful feature.

It always puts a smile on my face when people see a feature released in 2012 (as an option) and go, like, "wow, you finally did it!" :)

Creating an open source desktop app tends to require a different set of skills than what most open source developers have, and getting top notch UX designers and product managers to work on an open source project. When open source developers work on servers, networking, frameworks, etc - they can do top notch work and be their own PMs, it's much much harder for desktop software.

Yep. It's cantankerous but gosh darn it, the field lacks something better.


have you tried krita? imo its worlds ahead

I just gave it another whirl, maybe first time in 10 years. It's still as shocking, UX wise.

I hate Photoshop, I use it very often. It's bloated since before CS1, it's annoying to use, it's DRM rooted with a service running 24/7 on my machine, and it's also very costly.

Sadly, there is literally no option nearly as good. Adobe got me by the balls.

If you're willing to pay for it, the Affinity line and Procreate are both strong contenders. I don't use Photoshop anymore, those tools have replaced it.

I concur, Affinity Photo is an excellent tool. I forgot about Photoshop a long time ago.

I'm still waiting for their Lightroom replacement though. For some reason I just couldn't adapt to Darkroom.

Slightly O/T but have F/OSS graphic apps gotten worse over time? Sitting in front of Inkscape on Ubuntu 20.04 and the thing crashes, wouldn't display guides, wouldn't snap, is overloaded with controls to leave a poststamp-sized canvas for your actual work on a notebook, has miniscule icons not really helpful for revealing functionality, and even lacks icons for basic actions so you're basically clicking on black borders to hope to get some actions back. Guess I have to manually calculate and edit SVGs when I just wanted to construct really simple tangents and typographic Bezier curves. Or is it Ubuntu 20.04 and gnome which just suck? It has recently improved a little bit at least, but is bordering on the unusable for me. What is the recommendation for a Linux workstation OS that is at least designed to run the precious few graphic apps we have? I used to run FreeBSD in the 2000s, so that is an option, too, in the hope that FreeBSD will priorize support for running actual X11 apps rather than grand plans for tablet UIs from early 2010s left in a state of neither here nor there.

I used Gimp every so often over the past few years and always loved it... until just about a month ago when I finally tried photoshop for the first time. I really don't like Adobe, but photoshop just blows gimp out of the water. anything you want to do in gimp, you can do in photoshop in a fraction of the time and with higher quality. It makes me feel like I've been unknowingly torturing myself for years

I have had to work on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. One of the GIMP strengths is that I can just install it and do the small task I need to. No hassle with compatibilities and requesting licenses and whatever. Just get it and go.

I'm a developer and my editing needs are very modest. GIMP just feels like the right tool. I've heard lots of praise for Krita too though, should try that out too.


One of my all time favorite pieces of Open Source Software. I used GIMP for years as my goto photo editor before migrating to the Mac.

You can still run GIMP on Mac. I do and love it.

You can, but there are lots of better options available.

Free and Open source? Please which ones do you recommend?

If you’re dead-set on using FOSS, why switch to the Mac in the first place? Wouldn’t you stick with Linux and use GIMP (or maybe Krita, which is usually a better alternative)?

GIMP is not really a good image editor, when you compare it to the alternatives and include paid alternatives in the comparison. From my memory of using Photoshop, I’d say that GIMP is roughly equivalent to Photoshop 3.0, which came out in 1994, although it is missing some core features from Photoshop 3.0 (and prior versions—the workflows that I used in Photoshop 2.5 are unworkable in GIMP, as far as I can tell, and it’s extremely frustrating to try and use GIMP for basic tasks).

Krita. I think it's way better than GIMP

Krita is a painting app comparable to Corel Painter. You can't compare it with GIMP or Photoshop.

Doesn't matter. People have work to do with tools, not list out all the features. If Krita works for the person, there's no reason to use Gimp or Photoshop.

Whether it works for you isn't the criteria by which you should judge whether something is better or not. A hammer is also better than the GIMP at hammering a nail, but because I only need to hammer nails doesn't make the GIMP worse at what it does than a hammer.

Krita is better for people who need to do a lot less than what the GIMP is capable of doing.

If Krita works for the person it implies neither Gimp or Photoshop were exactly the right tool to begin with, since Krita is oriented towards a different set of tasks than Gimp/Photoshop

That's a great observation. Maybe GIMP needs to focus on doing simple things in a simple way.

Yes you can. I've done a lot of photo editing in Krita. My cameras output 12-bit raw images, which for a long time GIMP could only work with by truncating to 8-bit. Krita has been able to work with higher bit depths for a long time.

People do photo editing in Krita just like people do painting in Photoshop. Both tools can do both, as can GIMP, it's just that most of Krita's new features of the last few years have been focused on painting.

Krita is more than enough for a lot of photo editing needs, which are basically cropping, resizing, applying color filters etc - for those operations Krita is much more straightforward than GIMP.

Also if what you said matched reality, Corel Painter would still exist in a meaningful way in 2020 but most artists migrated to Photoshop for their painting needs in 2007

> Krita is more than enough for a lot of photo editing needs, which are basically cropping, resizing, applying color filters

If it's your definition of photo editing then any freeware (ie: xnview, windows' image viewer...) can do this. You don't need Photoshop - which is pro high end software - to do this kind of basic stuffs.

I doubt xnview and windows' image viewer allow to correct the perspective but maybe I'm wrong ?

I'd also be surprised if they allowed to change the white balance or do color curves - especially when you look at the amount of super powerful filters come with GMIC, which itself comes with Krita. They also most certainly don't have a "Repair" tool like Krita does (https://streamable.com/p5dd1k).

I know, I don't do as much photo editing anymore and there are some better integrated/ Mac friendlier options that take care of my needs for just a few bucks.

I love FOSS, but I also like creative/ great products by small to mid-size indie developers like Pixelmator. For what I do, it's fantastic, they have a iPad app too which is where I do most of my photo editing.

I wish there was an easier Gimp, like Paint shop pro 5 easy, because it may be the most powerful tool for image editing yet I've hard a super hard time creating a simple screenshot with a red arrow. Found some stack overflow tutorials to import some stuff that were broken for which I had to go to internet archive.

Wasted few hoours, still didn't work, so started looking for alternative solutions. Finally found a tool called shuttr which has an in-built image editor which finally does the job that I want including surprisingly most of my other image editing requirements.

I think my fault is when I was using Windows I used Photoshop for everything so I assumed Gimp is the linux version for Photoshop.

>I wish there was an easier Gimp, like Paint shop pro 5 easy, because it may be the most powerful tool for image editing yet I've hard a super hard time creating a simple screenshot with a red arrow.

I find Pinta useful for those sorts of tasks. It's open source and supports most platforms.


"Pinta is a Gtk# clone of Paint.Net 3.0", [0]

I knew it looked familiar. It's the toolbar icons. Paint.NET is amazing and exactly what I need most of the time. Too bad that they turned away from open source after people/sites started selling own builds [1]. Going after these people legally might have been preferable from our view but I understand that changing the license might have been both cheaper and actually more feasible.

[0] https://github.com/PintaProject/Pinta

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint.net#History

Always surprising to see the amount of ire that GIMP can reliably call forward in threads like this. I've used the thing privately and professionally for countless projects since 1997. Stuff for websites, photo material for several books, restauration work for museums and photo archives, colorizations, weirdo manipulations and just general fun. Have ventured into other software but always come back to GIMP, very quickly so in the case of Photoshop and its various equally useless Adobe siblings.

Yes, GIMP is clunky, and the gradual unclunking mostly seems to happen in geological timeframes, and there's the CMYK problem and the occasional trick which PS does better or smoother. So what? It has gotten the job done. Every time. Thousands of times over nearly 23 years. I raise my virtual paperhat to these dogged, reliable, persistent people. A birthday present will be forthcoming.

Thank you :)

The only nice thing I have to say about GIMP's progress since I first started using it back in the 90s as a teen, is that the single window mode was a welcome change.

Otherwise I'm generally very frustrated every time I try use it. It wasn't that way in my teens, back then I would happily spend entire evenings noodling around in it making graphics for web pages and demos/games.

Nowadays just throwing text on a layer makes me want to throw my laptop. That custom widget is so useless, maybe I should try a newer version as I'm still on 2.8 here.

Well I'll be, the software that launched me into design as a career. I remember messing around on it designing (bad) gaming forum banners and trying out wacom tablet styles back in the 00's. Convoluted as hell to somebody barely out of grade school, which well prepared me for how absurd Photoshop is. ;)

Kudos to the software for sticking around, and the team for enabling it.

Is it possible to contribute to the user experience of GIMP? I've tried GIMP a number of times over the past 20 years and it's just totally illogical, imo. It would be great to have an open source alternative to an Adobe product that was more well thought through.

What about: Glimpse https://glimpse-editor.github.io/ (a GIMP reskin) or Krita https://krita.org/ ?

I don't believe Photopea https://www.photopea.com/ is Open Source, but it's a free web-implementation of Photoshop.

Photoshop, itself, is rather general purpose, but if you have a more specific need (like digital painting or photo management and retouching) there are other tools better than Photoshop out there.

I dont know for sure, but I would expect this project to be run like vim - any drastic or useful UX changes lead to you getting told off. But I'm not sure, it could also be that in 25 years nobody ever tried to change the UI/UX.

Or you could ask us how we run the project. Or what we did about UX/UI. Or what we want to do with it.

That is snobbish, disingenuous and quite untrue.

Vim community can be very friendly and open. Vim is fully scriptable and there's plugins for literally anything you can think of.

Core is conservative, but changes are made, all with backwards compatibility up front.

And it comes over as a snobbish, generalised 'look at those nerds, they have no idea how to build software, let alone listen to me who knows exactly how it should be done'.

Who hurt you at vim, or in the opensource community that you feel you have to be so haughtily towards them?

I am not lionkor, but I found the Vim community fairly dismissive when I reported the issue that Vim, executed in a Unix TTY session, annoyingly drops typeahead characters from the TTY characters, randomly causing your first command to be corrupted.

As someone who has never used an Adobe product (other than read-only), you get used to it and learn to love it.

Of course it is possible. Talk to us :)

Any Gimp article wouldnt be complete without a list of all the alternatives so here are some Image Manipulation Programs that are not Gimp but also not Photoshop:

* Krita (OSS) https://krita.org

* Pinta (OSS, Paint.NET Clone) https://www.pinta-project.com

* Paint.NET (Freeware) https://www.getpaint.net

* Paintshop Pro 4.14 (Last Freeware Version) https://www.pagetutor.com/downloads/psp412.html

* Affinity Photo https://affinity.serif.com

Also https://www.photopea.com and https://pixlr.com in the browser

As an alternative to Gimp's digital painting use case, MyPaint is very much worth mentioning, with an awesome brush engine and spectral color blending: http://mypaint.org/

And it doesn’t look a day over 30.

they should invite the Blender people over to fix the UI for them :-)

I know what you meant, but the Blender UI is still at odds compared to most software out there.

Here is an example. One of their UI tenet is no overlapping windows. You change focus between windows by moving your mouse over them - no clicking involved. So, if you press C when 3d viewport is on focus it triggers the circle select tool, but pressing C when the outliner is on focus creates a new collection. But this behavior is not consistent. Sometimes some keys have global binding. For example, Shift Space always runs the animation no matter which window is in focus. And there is no way to know if a key binding needs a focus on a particular window. I find this behavior very odd.

Most software have either global key binding, or you explicitly change focus between windows(modes) by click on another (usually overlapping) window.

I haven't really used Blender (but know Maya, Houdini, Nuke very well). I think "pro" software (a wiggly term) tends to require a non-standard UI (however, I do miss when Photoshop used the base OS' UI). Pro tools end up being a bit of their own window management and filesystem that overlaps with the OS. Their decisions are part of the ergonomics of being productive in the app.

I remember when macOS started adding smart folders and other database features to Finder. I was hoping the base OS could do photo management and Photos/Aperture could just do the retouching. The same tooling could replace iTunes. After all, a filesystem is just a very opinionated database, right? In practice I'm not sure how well it would have played out.

Microsoft also worked on WinFS as a new file system based on relational database principles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinFS

Yeah, it was sad to see all the Longhorn tech get scaled back or dropped.

> they should invite the Blender people over to fix the UI for them :-)

Is this sarcastic? I opened blender once and had a panic attack. Gimp felt usable since the beginning.

No, Blenders look&feel used to be questionable in the past but then version 2.80 happened. They have an amazing UI (backend) now and keep improving. What was my personal wow moment as a programmer, was seeing that changing the display scale slider in the app properties does actually update the whole UI tree, cascading, rearranging and collapsing things down in realtime.

GIMP and Blender were my go-to-examples for why the Bazaar/community-style open source development process doesn't really work for UX-intensive apps. Then Blender 2.80 appeared.

Perhaps its UX development process was more Cathedral-like, though?

Blender uses a home grown ui toolkit.

Technically, Gimp too[1].

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GTK#History

The blind leading the blind :)

GIMP gets what I need done and has for more than a decade. I'd love for it to get a Blender-like focus when it comes to funding and developer time.

Love gimp, but what has come to drive me nuts about using it is that the icons are now all flat and colorless. It seriously slows down my workflow having to hover over each tool for a few seconds to find out what it actually does.

And this comes from somebody who has used the software pretty consistently for 20 years (Fark.com photoshop contests from my teens, woo!).

Maybe this is just a mac thing, though?

Anyway: congrats on 25 years, GIMP team! Your tool is a joy, and your work is hugely appreciated by me! Great job!

The new default icon set drives me nuts as well. Fortunately, you can select other icon sets in the settings.

Thank you! I never thought to look for that option.

I've actually reduced my gimp usage because I find myself hovering over ever tool, repeatedly, because the new icons are too cryptic and low-information. I switched back to "Legacy", though "Color" might work as well (they just don't seem as understandable at first glance, though perhaps I'm biased towards the familiar here.)

And it still doesn't have a single real vfx / design project to it's name.

Gimp is the single real reason people switch back from linux to osx. It's a mediocre replacement for mainstream image processing tooling at best.

I tried to make it work in a production setting with over a $1x10^7 in licensing in a competitor driving the transition and it just didn't happen.

Stick with you existing pipeline unless you are constrainted by license costs.

I have never found GIMP very easy to use but I have respect for anyone that can work with the PSD file format. I wonder which spec they are using today. It seems to become really tough after the 1997 spec.

Calling Adobe's mess a "spec" really gives it too much credit.

Now they've reduced themselves to "breaking" compatibility every couple of months to try to get people to maintain their software lease.

Despicable trash.

I am glad non-destructive editing is on the roadmap. Hopefully we'll have it within the next 25 years.

Photoshop had adjustment layers in 1996.

Gimp has adjustment layers. I've used them often.

Do I maybe misunderstand you?

Huh? Everything clearly states it doesn't, and that they are planned for version 3.2

I love GIMP! Never used adobe stuff, so I don't really have anything to compare it to; but I cannot imagine in what sense Photoshop can be much better than that.

Still, there are some improvements that I yearn for GIMP that are not likely to ever be considered. Everybody seems so intent to make a tool for dealing with photos and synthetic color images, to the detriment of other kinds of images. For example, in scientific imaging, you would need to deal with floating-point valued pixels, and an arbitrary number of channels (more than 3 or 4). If you work with images coming from microscopy or satellite images, then every pixel typically has a lot of spectral bands that cannot often be reduced naturally to RGB, but you'd still want to map them in an arbitrary way and edit them in GIMP. This is far from being possible today.

An interesting note :

"Spencer Kimball (original co-author of GIMP) is named for his great-grandfather, LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball."

Compared to Photoshop or Lightroom levels of quality editing, it's a bit weak and seems to modify contrast too much when loading images, but I love using it for quick edits of my own photos. Nice, light application and since it's free, hardly can expect some of the deeper quality I've gotten from paid platforms.

And it's still terrible to use.

If you're on Linux and are looking for a good Photoshop alternative, use https://www.photopea.com/.

It absolutely blows Gimp out of the water, probably the most impressive tool within a webpage I've ever used.

I really don't understand all of the UI and workflow complaints about gimp. At this point it seems to just be something people parrot because it's the done-thing to do.

What specifically would you have issue with? I use gimp and ps 2020 basically interchangeably. The only real preference I have for ps is when I want some of it's smarter and more advanced versions of gimp tooling, or if I'm bringing something in from illustator (inkscape really is horrible).

Please take this as an opportunity to say Thank you and support the team behind GIMP. No donation is too small: https://www.gimp.org/donating/

Congratulation to your 25th anniversary!

Do you know Photopea.com. Coded over the course of five years by ONE developer, runs in your browser, and it is basically a full-fledged Photoshop (at least for casual users, anyway). Plus it's free (ad-supported) and requires no registration.

Hey, happy birthday GIMP! I've been a user since, oh, 2005 I believe.

I've always found the interface easy to use, and I'm really surprised to see so many people complaining about it here.

GIMP has always been my go-to tool for simple tasks like cropping, resizing and compressing images.

More recently, I started using it for photo post processing (see also RawTherapee), and I couldn't be happier!

25 years is a long time in software terms. Kudos for keeping the project alive and useful this long. Please, keep up the good work :)

You know what? I don't think there's any other app I've been using for 15 years.

While I use GIMP all the time, I'm a bit out of the loop regarding its development community.

I remember CMYK support was discussed as a future goal in the community a few years ago.

Is it still planned? Or it was later abandoned?

Architecturally, CMYK can be added today. Someone would have to step up and do it.

GIMP gives me really weird vibes every time I use it - Still, I didn't expect to read

> Introduced Wilber, a little cute mascot who traveled the world and, admittedly, did some kinky things. They grow up so fast!


Is there something like Google Photo's Enhance filter in GIMP? It's basically enhances the photo a bit and in most cases it looks good enough for sharing over social media.

See suggested edits section - https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6128850?co=GENIE.Pl...

I like gimp. I've used it professionaly forever and just use photoshop tutorials to teach myself. I also use "Glimpse" now for work.

Happy Birthday Gimp!

No big problems using GIMP here, for the last 15 years. A lot of the tools are genuinely useful.

I tried using GIMP to edit photos, to enhance the colors and lighting. It failed. Miserably.

I gave up and bought a 1-year license to Adobe for $100 for Photoshop and Lightroom.

This was one of the few times, where I just could not make it work with open source software.

GIMP was just maddening to use. And while Photoshop has its own complexity, at least I was sorta able to understand it.

Lightroom was an even better workflow oriented version of Photoshop, for specifically color and lighting correction.

Sadly, my 1-year license expired. And I couldn’t justify buying the full version for $1000. Since I don’t think the computer I was installing it on, would even last that long.

If Gimp development had ceased long ago, something far better would probably have been created by other developers by now.

Unfortunately it now serves as a black hole for community effort.

Until now I have to search for tutorials and follow them for simpliest image processing tasks with Gimp, tasks which are not practical from CLI with ImageMagick.

Overall a good job, I guess?

I love the GIMP. It is not a perfect piece of software but I made a movie with it and I use it every day. I’ve never had a libre alternative suggestion to replace it.

well, loosen up the chain a bit and take him for an ice cream

Cool. I didn't know it was that old. Happy anniversary. I've been using it almost on a daily basis in the last 8 or 9 years.

something I would love to see added to gimp would be a command palette. a lot of the time I know what it is that I'm looking for but it takes so much menu diving to find it. it would be so much quicker to just open up a search box and find it that way

Can a MacOS packaging expert reading this thread please contribute so that v2.99/3.0 can build?

I have nostalgic memories of using GIMP.

It's interesting to learn that we are now age mates

not sure when I started using it, but I loved it ever since

and its still crap.

I love GIMP! Long live the GIMP!


Between it's derogatory and sexual definitions, I can't realistically use an app called "GIMP" at work even if I was personally comfortable with it. If you're in a similar position, try Glimpse.


> I can't realistically use an app called "GIMP" at work even if I was personally comfortable with it.

What kind of work do you do?

I'm not parent but probably they work in a corporate environment where you have to talk to someone about what apps you're going to have installed on your machine and get them approved. Based on my experience it's quite common at companies over a few hundreds employees. If the company is publicly traded, then you're almost guaranteed having to go through that because of regulatory concerns (I'm in Australia, it may vary by country)

Say it is the GNU image manipulation app.

this sounds so stallman

I'd find it very weird if there was some platform team member responsible for app installations who's not familiar with GIMP.

I work at a technology company that knows what apps people run on their computers, but even if I didn't I would no more use an app called "GIMP" than I would one called "FAG". The name is pretty offensive IMHO.

This argument is ridiculous.

In my language, PIXAR means literally "to pee". This leads to inevitably to a couple of jokes when you start talking about this company, and then it stops forever. I'd still be happy to work for this company regardless of its name.

There's thousands of languages in this world. Any word or acronym that you come bay will be likely "offensive" in several of them. It does not really matter. Most people in the world are not native english speakers and "Gimp" means nothing to them.

all the ball bearings in my car have FAG written on them. My car runs on FAGs. Get over it...

To me this kind of discussion always sounds like americans are all a bunch of school teachers trying to prevent their bunch of 10year-olds from giggling. Which, when applied to adults, is a very childish thing to do...

> > I can't realistically use an app called "GIMP" at work even if I was personally comfortable with it.

> What kind of work do you do?

I would assume that the parent poster works with a bunch of high schoollers and other folks that can't understand the concept of a word having several meanings -- specially when acronyms are involved.

Meh. Try living in Norway and explaining to your boss about how you had a bug in your poo (bash).

(Ambiguity grows exponentially the number of languages you switch between, meaning the possibility for innuendo does too =P)

Hahaha this is so funny!

- What are you writing?

- I'm writing a poo script

- have you tried laxatives?

Call it the GNU Image Manipulation Program then.

What kind of place is this where they care about the name of applications you use? You should stop using git before they find out.

You can tell them the Microsoft version renamed master to main and chuckle to yourself for keeping a straight face

It would have been a perfect opportunity to rename the project, but until then, in case anyone reading this isn't aware, there's prior work for a fork under a new name, as Glimpse -- https://glimpse-editor.github.io/

I can attest that Glimpse works as expected, and you don't have to wince when a client asks what tools you used.

A "Debian Iceweasel" style rebranding seems like the easier option.

There's already a fork for that, and it doesn't appear to have much mindshare.


AFAIK it has nothing to do with physical disability. The word has a lot of meanings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimp

The sexual connotation gets its name from the slur[1], because the suit handicaps the wearer. The name of the image editor originates from Pulp Fiction, which uses the sexual connotation.

[1] https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/40730/was-the-wo...

You linked to a disambiguation page. Here's the definition: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gimp

And most of the commonly understood meanings of the word are rather negative. Nobody hears the word "gimp" out of context and thinks of decorative sewing thread, for example.



Gimp is a type of of suit commonly used in BDSM circles...

I've used Gimp for 15 years and never once has being handicap or disabled reference crossed my mind while using this software until you just brought it up. You should reconsider reaching so hard.

Is English your first language? I ask because I didn't consider this a problem until 10-ish years ago, when I migrated to a mostly English-speaking country and many people I would be talking to, would be aware of that meaning.

I'm a native English speaker (USA) and I've never made the connection either. I've actually never heard anyone use the word 'gimp'. And I've been aware of GIMP for 10ish years.

Australia here. I've never knew the negative meanings the word has until I read this page. It's bizarre to read here people assuming everyone knows it's offensive.

As opposed to "git", which I used in school to mean an idiot, an annoying person. A "github" sounds like where those people gather..

I use and love GIMP. Also, I learnt it while my computer was set to a language I was learning (Spanish). I didn't understand 95% of the menu item words when I started. So, hearing people saying it's hard to use (in English) is also surprising. :-)

Finally time to stop this ridiculous trend to rename everything one does not like ?

Names can mean multiple things to different groups and if one had to cater to every group which finds a name non fitting then you'd end up spending more time on name changes than actual development as in some context any name can be seen as offensive. This isn't strictly useful and to non-native english speakers the connection between the offensive meaning and the name would most likely never occur as it's use in such is obscure (for one, this is where I first learned of it).

Currently there's a large number of resources that refer to the program as GIMP which are unlikely to be updated if the name changed and thus making years worth of guides, tutorials, and so on harder to find unless you know to search for (which if you do... the name change is meaningless as you'll still see GIMP). Harassing GIMP over the name is hardly a way to get things moving forwards and only sparks a negative environment. Should you find the name to make the software unusable then it would be better to focus your attention on the fork which changes the name rather than continuing to contribute a negative to the positive news of GIMP turning 25.

Any word yet on whether GIMP will be supported on Apple’s M1/silicon platform?

It barely works on macOS as it stands. The Mac version on their web site hasn't been updated since 2019, it's slow, it doesn't support Retina displays (everything is pixelated, including the image you're editing and the UI), and it doesn't use any native controls (even for OS-specific functionality like file pickers).

I hope the answers stays no

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