Any designer you would meet will praise and laud the finesse that Photoshop has to offer in terms of image editing and refining for the MAC OS and Windows, but Linux users have a free open source application for minor editing as a consolation with GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).

Let us look at what separates and unifies these two utility applications.

What's similar between GIMP 2.6.6 and Photoshop CS4:

  • Both applications support editing and creation of layered images.
  • Both support optimized saving of images for publishing on the web. For this feature, GIMP uses the RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool)
  • Both support creation or recording of actions as scripts. GIMP used Script-fu to bring this functionality to life.
  • Animation with GAP (GIMP Animation Package) Bluebox
  • Both support color correction of images. GIMP 2.6.6 comes with integrated GEGL (Generic Graphical Library) functionalities to support color functions.
  • Both provide scanner support. GIMP 2.6.6 requires TWAIN plug-in for Windows, and XSane or gnome-scan for Linux.

What Photoshop CS4 offers that GIMP 2.6.6 does not:

  • Unlike Photoshop, GIMP extends support only for raster images. Hence the images saved cannot be scaled over 100 % of their original size as they will appear pixilated.
  • GIMP does not support non-destructive layer effects like bevels, drop shadows, and glows like Photoshop does. You will have to add the effects on another layer making the process longer and cumbersome.
  • While GIMP supports Indexing, and RGB color channels, it does not extend support for CMYK channels. And hence it is not very useful for people working on images meant for pre-press and printing formats.

Unique Features of GIMP2.6.6:

  • Unlike other popular image editing tools, GIMP supports layered images. So you can edit PSD and TIFF images as a
  • Flat file or as an image containing layers. Although it isn’t
  • Best suited for image creation, it is a good enough tool for minor editing.

What GIMP 2.6.6 offers that Photoshop CS4 does not:

  • You can open and edit several formats in GIMP 2.6.6 which includes support for PSD files. But Photoshop CS4 does not extend the same support to XCD files which the native file format for GIMP.
  • You can open a layered image as a flat file without merging the layers in GIMP directly from the 'File' menu, which is not possible in Photoshop CS4. Even after you open a file without layers in GIMP, the original properties are intact, unless you edit and save the file.
  • There are several plug-ins features which are not usually used. This reduced system resources effectively.

Being an open source application, it supports a large number of add-ons and plug-ins to give you real time software updates. What's more you have complete check on your system resources as you will download only those functionalities that you need!