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Get GIMP - Free Replacement for Overpriced Photoshop

GIMP is a comprehensive image editing program on the level of Photoshop, in fact it looks and works pretty much the same as Photoshop, with one major exception; Photoshop costs about $800.00 while GIMP is totally free!

GIMP stands for "GNU Image Manipulation Program", GNU standing for GNU General Public License. The GNU General Public License is a long-winded document that gives you permission to use and redistribute the software for free. You can even modify the software, but in turn anyone to which you distribute the software automatically receives that same permission, and you must also distribute your modifications under the same agreement.

For most users, the GNU General Public License boils down to this: it's free!

GIMP can be used to perform a wide range of image processing tasks including convert, merge, blend, align layers, and create an infinite number of interesting effects. It can be used to create Web graphics like icons, buttons, backgrounds, image maps, textures, drop shadows, raised type, and much more.

Iíve always wanted to learn Photoshop, but with a price that I can't afford, why bother? Now I have the same graphics power with GIMP for free. In this article Iíll describe my experience with downloading and installing GIMP.

Downloading and Installing GIMP

GIMP.org is the official GIMP web site, which provides a vast amount of information about installing and using GIMP, installation files can be downloaded from GIMP for Windows.

And similar to most open-source software, you can't just install GIMP by executing a single setup program, you need to download three files and install them separately.

GIMP for Windows (7.8 MB)
GTK+ 2 Runtime Environment (3.7 MB)
GIMP Help (22 MB)

Extract the three zip files into a new folder under Program Files (for example named "GIMP"), then double-click each setup file, starting with the GTK (GIMP Tool Kit), then GIMP, and then Help. This is the order in which the components look for each other as you install and use them.

Don't be concerned when the GTK doesn't put any files in your Program Files sub-folder, it installs DLL's in your system folder. Don't be concerned about the large size of the Help setup file, it contains help in eight different languages, only one of which you need to install.

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