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GIMP 2.8.18

GIMP is a free image editor which offers a real alternative to the likes of Photoshop

by Bob Thornton

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Based on 4 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 18 July 2016
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Downloads To Date: 27678
Developer: GIMP Development Team
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GIMP 2.8.16
GIMP includes such a wide selection of image editing options it can be put to a wide variety of uses

Image editors are ten-a-penny nowadays, so anything which wants attention from a divided audience needs to offer something quite special. GIMP (or the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is one of the most powerful free image editors available, and is frequently described as being a free alternative to the likes of Photoshop.

This is a highly versatile tool which can be used as a basic drawing program, but can also be employed to edit digital photographs to a professional level. Despite being free of charge, opting to use GIMP does not mean having to compromise on features. Layers, masks, channels, filters and special effects, in addition to the usual range of editing tools, are all on hand to make image editing as easy as possible.

Powerful tools such as the correction mode which allows for the correction of barrel distortion and perspective problems are usually only found in expensive packages, but are included here for anyone to try out. Whether you are an amateur digital photographer, or a professional graphic artist, GIMP has something to offer you.

Anyone who has tried the program in the past will be pleased to see that GIMP is now a single file installation - there is no longer any need to install special libraries in advance. The program interface may take a little getting used to for some, featuring various floating panels rather than a single program window, but after this shallow learning curve, the program becomes joy to use.

GIMP 2.8 is a huge upgrade with a ton of new features. For instance, you now get a single window mode, multi-dock windows, enhanced exporting, layer groups and much more. See the 2.8 Release Notes for more info.

Verdict:

An endlessly powerful image editor that can be continually extended through the use of plugins.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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