Photo editing software seems to be a must these days. Who wants to show pictures of their vacation to friends and relatives without spiffying them up first? For those of us on a budget, how do we edit our images economically without busting the bank? The answer is using open source software, which is free to download. Try the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP for short) on your budget friendly cheap laptop or recycled laptop. GIMP is an extremely powerful and easy to use open source image editing program which has been designed to match the menus and functions of the popular Photoshop program. GIMP is multiplatform, running on Mac, Linux and Windows laptops.
The current version of GIMP, GIMP 2.0, is extremely easy to use. Previous versions were a bit awkward to use, but the new version’s GUI (graphical user interface) has been modified and is extremely easy to find functions if you are already familiar with Photoshop. The new toolbar at the top of your image window makes finding features much easier compared to the previous versions. Also added is tabbed palettes, allowing for much more of the screen to go to the image at hand instead of the menus.
For those who have saved their pennies by purchasing a cheap laptop such as a netbook or mini laptop, screen space is sparse, so maximizing the space for the actual image you are editing is key. The new fonts palette has been added, which contains lots of new fonts to choose from and text editing tools as well. GIMP also includes functionality for path editing, a multiple Undo History tool, the Heal tool, Eyedropper tool and support for tablets.
For Windows users, you can run GIMP 2.0 on Windows 2000 and up, perfect for those cheap laptops like the netbook or the laptop deals that you find with less horsepower than the more expensive varieties. There is no question that GIMP is the way to go if you do not want to spend on Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. These two programs are a bit more polished, so if money is no object for you, then please go out and spend the money. As for me, I’d prefer to go free, and spend my money elsewhere. Perhaps use all the money you save by using open source software on your dream vacation or on some item you have been dreaming about for ages.
For the professional user, GIMP might not be the best solution for you. It can do most editing but for extremely detailed tasks that someone who, for example, edits photos for magazines might find necessary. For the casual user, go GIMP! There are plugins and scripting that can add to the features available, so don’t dismiss GIMP if the features you might need are not available at first glance. With the holidays coming up, wouldn’t it be nice to give a gift of a cheap laptop such as a netbook with this free photo editing software preinstalled? What are you waiting for? Go download a copy and play!