GIMP vs. Photoshop: Which One Is Better For You?

500px-The_GIMP_icon_-_gnomeIf you want to create a website or blog, or share interesting photos on Facebook and other social media sites, you need to use an image-editing program. GIMP and Photoshop are two of the best image-editing programs available, and they each have some unique advantages. We’ll talk below about the things that each program is particularly good at, so that you will feel confident about choosing the right one for your needs.

Photoshop Advantage

  • Photoshop has more training options. Lots of classes exist to teach the fine points of using this program: One example is this free Photoshop Training and Tutorial class, which offers over 80 free video lessons, covering all aspects of the techniques needed to master Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge, and Camera Raw. Because Photoshop is such a large program, you might only need to master a certain part of it. For example, a Beauty Retouching class is offered for photographers who work with portraits and need to make small digital changes in order to create the most appealing outcomes.
  • Photoshop offers Pantone colors. If you’re a professional web designer, you may need to use the Pantone color scheme, which standardizes print and digital colors.  Photoshop provides access to Pantone colors, whereas GIMP does not, and for many web designers this is the deciding factor in choosing an image editor. This beginner’s Photoshop class gives newbies in the web-design field a jump-start.
  • Photoshop training can be certified. Online classes provide Photoshop certification, and this type of certification will beef up your web-design resume. Adobe, the maker of Photoshop, offers its own certification process. You’ll find other sources of certification online as well, including this Photoshop class on Udemy which includes 175 lessons and a verifiable certificate of completion.

GIMP advantages

  • GIMP’s biggest advantage is that it’s free. If you’re a casual blogger or if you only want to adjust the occasional photo for personal reasons, you’ll be a lot happier with a free, open-source product than with one that costs a minimum of $700.
  • GIMP requires 1/20 as much hard drive space as Photoshop. If you have a newer computer with plenty of memory, this isn’t an issue – but not everyone has the most up-to-date hardware. Furthermore, if you do have an older system, GIMP is far faster and more stable. It will run on any hardware, and is compatible with OS X, Windows, and even Unix! GIMP also provides a portable version which fits on a thumb-drive so that you can use it on any computer.
  • Repeatable actions are easier in GIMP. Many times you may have to repeat the same process on a large batch of photos, and GIMP’s user interface makes this much easier than Photoshop does. Furthermore, GIMP’s user interface is friendlier overall, since the program isn’t bloated with extra graphic functions that don’t pertain to photo editing.
  • GIMP has open-source tutorials. While GIMP doesn’t offer its own certification, its open-source website hosts many excellent tutorials and if you want to, you can become a real expert at using this free, flexible program.

Whatever your image-editing needs, and whether you are a web design professional or just a Facebook user who wants to post awesome photos online, one of these two excellent programs will be perfect for you.