What is GIMP?
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.
GIMP for Linux: It's very likely your Linux distribution already comes with a GIMP package. It is a preferred method of installing GIMP, as the distribution maintainers take care of all the dependencies and bug fix updates.
Features and Capabilities
This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features.
- Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
- Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
- Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
- Supports custom brushes and patterns
- Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
- Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
* Advanced Manipulation
- Full alpha channel support
- Layers and channels
- Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
- Editable text layers
- Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
- Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
- Foreground extraction tool
- Advanced path tool doing bezier and polygonal selections.
- Transformable paths, transformable selections.
- Quickmask to paint a selection.
- A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in Script-fu
- Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
- Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
- Over 100 plug-ins already available
- Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
- MNG support
- Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
- Onion Skin (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
- Bluebox (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
* File Handling
- File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
- Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
- SVG path import/export
* Much, much more!