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Get a FREE “Photoshop” Today!!!

No one can resist the temptation of having something for free. Whether it is free food, or stationeries, or a free-testing drink, as long as it is a freebie, people will line up in long queues to get it. Well, at least the good news about free software is that you don’t have to be in a long line just to get your hands on some good stuff.

I love testing out new software. I never like trial versions, because they expire within a time limit and if they don’t, there will be some kind of limitation also. So, I’m always on a look out on freeware, scouring the Internet for some free programs that can make my life easier, more interesting and yet they cost nothing.

One of the more useful freeware programs that I found on the net is the GIMP program. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. If you like to manipulate digital photographs like photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring, you’d love this small yet powerful program. Did I tell you it’s FREE?!

GIMP

I am not very skilled at photo editing, but once in a while, I do like to ‘flip’ through my ‘stack’ of digital photographs in my hard drive, selecting photographs that I can ‘improve’ or just add some special effects onto it, and then show it to the world. I know there’s this everyone’s favorite program called Adobe Photoshop, but the program is just too big and took up a lot of my valuable CPU’s memory. Not to mention the expensive price that you need to pay to get a licensed version. And to actually buy some software that I’ll just use once in a blue moon? I’d think not.

Back to GIMP. GIMP is a rather small but yet a smart program for its size. Only roughly around 16MB in size, it offers almost the same functionality as any professional image editing tools that you’d need to empty your pockets for. Built with worldwide users in mind, it not only works on many types of operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, and Sun OpenSolaris), it also comes in many different languages. And the best thing about GIMP is that it is open source, so it will be free (forever!) and it is also much more customizable when compared to the Photoshop.

Since it is similar to its giant-much-more-expensive friend, GIMP also offers a lot of functions and features, only a few short of Adobe Photoshop but these can be rectified by installing the plug-ins and the extensions. GIMP’s features include Painting (with a full suite of painting tools included), Advanced Image Manipulation (like Layers and Channels, Transformation tools, and Foreground Extraction tools), and also Animation. You can read more about their features here.

If you have a hard time trying to find the menu of where everything is, no worries, you just have to right-click on your work area, and the long list of the things that you can do to your picture will be there for you to choose.

GIMP image editing

There is also the Acquire Screen Shot feature. Even though I am a Prt Scr person, I have to admit that this is a cool feature. You can find the feature under the File => Acquire => Screen Shot menu. After 2 clicks, there is a (+) sign that you can drag to a window, and Wala! A snapshot of the screen will appear in your GIMP’s work area.

Capture screen

One of the problems that I encountered when using this fantastic program were the layout of the interface.

GIMP image

Unlike traditional programs, GIMP opens up at least 2 separate windows, which were the Main GIMP menu and the work area. More windows will open up if you want to view the different dialogs like Layer, Brushes and Colors. I don’t know about you, but I never liked a cluttered taskbar.

GIMP menus

Also, in the version that I was using (GIMP 2.4.5), the help section was not included in the installation file. But it was not really a big problem as a lot of GIMP tutorials can be found on the Internet.

Maneuvering around the interface might also pose some problems for some in the beginning. Anyway, even though its interface is not like the traditional Photoshop program, most of the features are actually intuitive and after a few clicks, you’d figure out where and how a certain function should be and should work.

In a nutshell, GIMP offers its users the same deal as Adobe Photoshop, but they do it for free. With its ‘more pros and less cons’ advantage, GIMP is a no-cost software for the beginners, easy to use for the amateurs/hobbyist and definitely powerful for the professional photographers/web designers to use. GIMP is for everybody! Who says free stuffs ain’t good stuffs? Try GIMP today!