Template:Dablink Template:Infobox Software The GNU Image Manipulation Program or The GIMP is a bitmap graphics editor, a program for creating and processing raster graphics. It also has some support for vector graphics. The project was started in 1995 by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis and is now maintained by a group of volunteers; it is licensed under the GNU General Public License.



GIMP originally stood for General Image Manipulation Program; in 1997, the name was changed to GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is an official part of the GNU project.

The GIMP can be used to process digital graphics and photographs. Typical uses include creating graphics and logos, resizing and cropping photos, changing colors, combining images using a layer paradigm, removing unwanted image features, and converting between different image formats. The GIMP can also be used to create simple animated images.

The GIMP is also notable as perhaps the first major free software end-user application. Previous work, such as GCC, the Linux kernel, and so on, were mainly tools by programmers for programmers. The GIMP is considered by some to be proof that the free software development process can create things non-geeks can use productively, and as such psychologically paved the way for such efforts as KDE, GNOME, Mozilla Firefox,, and various other applications that followed.


The GIMP was intended as a free (as in speech) alternative to Adobe Photoshop, but the latter still dominates the printing and graphics industries:

There is a plugin called PSPI for the Microsoft Windows version of the GIMP only, which allows the use of the 8bf Adobe Photoshop filters in the GIMP.

As well as interactive use, the GIMP can be automated with macro programs. The built-in Scheme can be used for this, or alternatively Perl, Python, Tcl and (experimentally) Ruby can also be used. This allows the writing of scripts and plugins for the GIMP which can then be used interactively; it is also possible to produce images in completely non-interactive ways (for example generating images for a webpage on the fly using CGI scripts) and for batch color correction and conversion of images. For simpler automatable tasks, a package such as ImageMagick is likely to be quicker, but the GIMP has much more powerful features.

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GIMP 1.x, with GTK+ 1.x interface

GIMP uses GTK+ as its widget toolkit (the part of the program that builds the user interface); in fact, GTK+ was initially part of the GIMP, intended as a replacement for the commercial Motif toolkit, which GIMP originally depended upon. GIMP and GTK+ were originally designed for the X Window System running on Unix-like operating systems, but have since been ported to Microsoft Windows, OS/2, Mac OS X and SkyOS.

The current (as of May 2005) stable version of the GIMP is 2.2.7. Major changes compared to version 1.2 include a more polished user interface and further separation of the user interface and back-end. For the future it is planned to base GIMP on a more generic graphical library called GEGL, thereby addressing some fundamental design limitations that prevent many enhancements such as native CMYK support.

The GIMP Logos with Wilber, the GIMP mascot
The GIMP Logos with Wilber, the GIMP mascot

The GIMP's mascot is called Wilber, drawn with the GIMP itself.

GIMP for Windows

The GIMP (along with the GTK+ toolkit) has been ported to the Microsoft Windows platform by Finnish programmer Tor "tml" Lillqvist (, who started that project in 1997.

Currently, the Windows port is practically identical to the original version in terms of features and stability. The installation has been tremendously eased with the introduction of the binary installers ( compiled by Jernej Simoncic (

GIMP can be difficult to use on Windows because of the number of windows it uses (toolbox, colours, brushes, one for each image...). Without Unix-style focusing, or multiple virtual desktops (which are only available on the Windows platform by installing special add-ons), the windows are difficult to move between. For this reason, some users prefer the Photoshop-style layout of a single window for everything by adopting the GIMP Deweirdifyer plugin ([3] ( (although that doesn't work as well on multiple-monitor setups).

Film Gimp/CinePaint

Film Gimp, now known as CinePaint, is a tool specially tailored to paint on and retouch frames of movies, using a frame manager and onion skinning. It also offers greater color depth than the GIMP — 32 bits (floating point) per channel, rather than 8. It was forked from GIMP version 1.0.4.

See also

External links



GIMP Manual and Resources

GIMP Community

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