Gimp Means Cripple

By Filip Salomonsson; published on June 07, 2006.

Every time I see the Gimp being described as "the free rival of Photoshop", I die a little inside.

Since I made the switch from Windows to Linux about three years ago, I've really lost the flow in anything that even vaguely resembles graphic design. For a while, I dabbled in Photoshop using a virtual machine running Windows under VMware. It was a pain, though, since my computer doesn't have the juice to really pull that off.

But that's nothing compared to the pain of being stuck with the Gimp for all my pixel pushing.

I. Hate. The Gimp. Here are a few of the reasons, in no particular order:

  • It's multi-window - the tool palette is one window, the layer palette is another. I can't, for example, select a layer and start moving it using my keyboard. I have to switch back to the image window first.
  • It waaay behind on keyboard support: I do a lot of moving stuff around when I'm photoshopping. I'm used to having simple keyboard commands that let me do that whenever. The Gimp lives to make me cry.
  • It's just not intuitive. On example of many: to this day, I'm not sure how to select some pixels and quickly move the contents of the selection. There seems to be many ways to move the selection itself, but boy, that's not what I was going for.
  • It only does basic font rendering. I can't change the letter spacing, or anything like that. The whole text dialog is just a joke, though really no laughing matter.
  • No high-precision mouse pointers? I'm not sure about this one, because it seems so stupid that I must have missed something, but I haven't seen a cross-hair pointer for making selections. I get a big fat arrow. I could as well be pointing with my nose.

Also, the Gimp is ugly. Sure, it's an HCI nightmare, but in simpler terms, it just plain looks bad. How can I do pretty when I'm immersed in ugly? I can't.

In short, I want Photoshop back! (Actually, Photoshop is one of the main reasons I want a Mac. If there was such a thing as Photoshop for Linux, I would have few reasons for considering such a switch.)

Die, Gimp, Die.