it is WellUsedRhetoric that PhotoShop is far superior to TheGIMP. Can some knowledgeable graphics person who is v. familiar with both packages please explain why this is so?

PhotoShop is superior because:

  • Better support for colour reproduction/commercial printing (ie, supports different printer colorspaces).
  • Layers implementation is more intuitive and flexible - partly a matter of opinion, layer masks in 5.0 make no sense to me
  • Very good path support
  • Adjustable color reproduction
  • Better support for tablets like Wacom, or Aiptek (very important for artists) - This is a little platform dependant
  • PDF import/export support, this is important as lots only accept/prefer material in PDF format. PhotoShop also gets the reproduction right. (Gimp 1.2 can import PDFs, although only as a bitmap - you can't edit the text. Gimp 1.2 can't save as PDF, although it can as Postscript which can easily be turned into PDF)
  • Integrates with Adobe Illustrator (scaleable vector graphics, useful!)
  • Better filter (and 3rd party filter) support
  • Way better text support (although, TheGIMP is slowly getting better at this)
  • Processing speed
  • Much better optimized GIF output support, much smaller file sizes and color reproduction at small palette sizes.
  • "Save for web" feature, I use this at least ten times a day and can't live without it
  • Slices
  • The best Unsharp Mask ever known to man, used lots in Photo retouching/preparation
  • Really easy and powerfull Macro Recorder

(Remove the above as TheGIMP gets better)

TheGIMP is superior because:

  • ScriptFu (write your own filters). perl gimp module means you can completely script arbitrary sequences of actions in gimp from perl. py-fu allows scripting via Python, and so on. It talks to an existing gimp process via sockets, so it's fast. (although its counterparts in Photoshop are just as fast, if not faster --!JuliusThyssen?)
  • It's OpenSource (and free $$)
  • Huge range of export/import filters, however misses some more commercial formats that PhotoShop doesn't (so it isn't a superior feature for The Gimp, right? --!JuliusThyssen?).
  • Supports 24-bit w/ Alpha channel PNGs properly, PhotoShop had some issues with these prior to version 7. (We're at Photoshop CS2 now, no problems anymore. --!JuliusThyssen?)
  • Supports MNGs, basically an animated GIF but using the PNG format for it's frames. You can do some cool stuff with the Alpha channel in MNGs
  • It has a far more elegant UI, Photoshop's antiquated MDI dseign is simply a waste of space, it's much better on the mac, but it sucks severely on win32. (That's wlug biased opinion, many disagree wholeheartedly with that. --!JuliusThyssen?)
  • Good Path support(well, it works for me) including export to SVG (and what is making that superior to Photoshop exactly? --!JuliusThyssen?)
  • Font Rendering with FreeType looks much better to me. (to whom? If you want users to identify themselves when commenting here, do it yourself first!)
  • if something in TheGIMP is causing you trouble then fix it, if you aren't capable of doing so, file a bug report (so how is that superior to Photoshop for the task at hand; Suddenly DTP-people, image-editors and plain photo-enthusiasts need to be programmers? --!JuliusThyssen?)

(Remove the above as Photoshop gets better)

Actually, TheGIMP is rather easy to use if you know how to use PhotoShop. Some people will tell you that it is simply a PhotoShop clone - this is simply not true, and while the clone accusation is the first anti GIMP slander you're likely to hear, the next is bound to attack the UI because it doesn't behave exactly like PhotoShop. (I guess that's logic for you.)

Oh, and if you're some poor soul who uses a pirated copy of PhotoShop via Wine on Linux purely because you didn't like TheGIMP 1.2, you should really go and try one of the current development snapshots - in it's default state it's got a slew of "enhancements" which should make you feel more at home.

Oh, and if you really want "scalable vector graphics", you might want to try out Inkscape ( ).