General Question

swingliner's avatar

Is it easy to transition from GIMP to Photoshop?

Asked by swingliner (245points) March 9th, 2009

If I become fluent with GIMP, will transitioning to Photoshop be difficult/confusing? Or are they pretty much nearly-identical?

I know that they aren’t exactly the same, but I guess I just want to know if GIMP is a good program for learning the fundamentals of photo-editing before switching to Photoshop. I don’t want to become a GIMP expert, switch to photoshop and have to relearn everything…in that case I’ll just buy Photoshop.

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12 Answers

jtvoar16's avatar

Having never used GIMP, but being in the same boat at one point as yourself, I would say, if GIMP as some of the same, major features, such as Marque Masking (as in be a selection tool), layers (as in, the ability to lay one thing on top of the other), and the most important (in my option) adjustment features (Hue\Curves\Levels) or something similar. Then it should be easy. Photoshop is loaded with a lot of different features and “bells-and-whistles” that, do, for the most part, help in work flow, but for the most part, it all comes down to Layers, and adjustment features.

So, I would suggest learning on GIMP if they have these features, then moving onto Photoshop. There items might be named differntly, and the interface is different, but for the most part, it would be like going from driving a manual truck, to an automatic economy car. In essence, everything is the same, they are just in different areas. I’ll go look at GIMP and come back with more details.

patg7590's avatar

Being somewhat familiar with PS, I can say that I’ve opened GIMP only to not know what anything was, and ran away scared.

that is all

pekenoe's avatar

If Photoshop is what you want eventually, start with it. It would be much easier to learn the terminology of the program you want to use rather than having to relearn. The functions of GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, and Photoshop are similar, but moving from one to another is confusing, both in terminology and where they put things. I’m trying to move from Paint Shop Pro to Photoshop now. Download a trial version and try it out.

blastfamy's avatar

…then if you like said trial, you could always just fix the program so that your trial never ends…

patg7590's avatar

@blastfamy gasp lol
a girl in my Photoshop class stood up the other day and yelled: “IF ANYONE NEEDS PHOTOSHOP, JUST GIVE ME YOUR EMAIL AND ILL SHOW YOU HOW TO GET IT”
in front of the teacher and everything and he just stood there and let her haha

swingliner's avatar

Well is there anyone who knows how to do that?

patg7590's avatar

removed by moderators
just google I’m sure there are ways out there. ;-)

pekenoe's avatar

@swingliner : if you try that be very careful, hacks who list key gens generally load other crap onto your computer that you really do not want when you download anything from their site. Some times, just going to the site opens you up, remember who you are dealing with.

patg7590's avatar

yeah be careful of all those no-good-evil-doers
but seriously he’s right, if you have the crutch of having to use Windows, firstly I apologize, secondly make sure you read the comments in whatever torrent you find and see what people have to say. There’s always going to be that one guy who screams virus but usually it’s safe to go with what seems to be the consensus. AV programs quite often give false positives on stuff like that.

your best bet would be to just go to, make an account, download whatever programs you want as a trial version and look around for a non-expiring keygen, as far as I know there aren’t any cracks out for cs4 yet.

Hope that helps

blastfamy's avatar

@patg7590, I’ve had no problems with my key for CS4…

patg7590's avatar

I dont understand

FreeRadical's avatar

GIMP is reasonably similar to Photoshop, but does less.

It wasn’t hard for me to switch, but it was a little overwhelming. I ended up liking Fireworks better, anyway, but GIMP was a good training program.

I know there are ways to get Photoshop for free, but if you like to do things legally, GIMP is definitely not a bad way to start.

Also, if your computer can handle it (and hopefully it can, if you want to do image editing) I would also look at online image editors, which are mostly flash-based.

These frequently have tools that are similar to Photoshop, and you don’t have to do a massive download to find out if you like them.

Personally, I like Splashup, but here’s a page with several of them:

Good luck!

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