Okay, here was something I didn’t know. I’ve been scratching around for a high-quality image manipulation program, similar in ability to Adobe Photoshop but at a 100% less price, for quite some time now, and to be honest I simply wasn’t having much luck in finding anything to suit my needs.

One of the strongest Windows-based contenders, Paint .NET is quite simply put, not good enough for the more advanced image manipulator, and with some serious drawbacks to deal with means that it is more of a hindrance than a help at times. Enter some surprisingly good news then.

Now I’ve always known about the existence of *nix’s GIMP image editing software, tracing it right back to the days when we still had UNIX-based machines in the computer lab at university, but back then the application was fairly clunky and not particularly user friendly. Fast forward a couple of years until I finally ventured into the world of Ubuntu, pleasantly discovering that GIMP has indeed kept up with the times and has itself developed into quite a powerful image manipulation application.

Which then makes my very recent discovery that it can (and does) run on Windows-based platforms that much better!

Yup, I never had an inkling, but you can actually install and run GIMP on your XP or Vista machine. Now how awesome is that? :)

Anyway, in case you don’t know what the highly recommendable GIMP is, here is some text lifted straight off its website:

GIMP Wilber Mascot“GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.”

To grab hold of the Windows distro (currently on release 2.6.6), go here: http://www.gimp.org/windows/

Related link: http://www.gimp.org/