How to Make Gimp Look Like Photoshop
You’d be surprised to discover what you can do with GIMP, the free photo editing program. This downloadable software can help you create spectacular photos by allowing you to edit tiny details, correct color, or simply change your picture’s background.
But what if you have both Adobe Photoshop, the photo editing leader, and GIMP? Do you even need Photoshop if you have GIMP? If you’re already used to creating things with GIMP software, maybe not. But the good news is that you can make your GIMP user interface look almost like Photoshop.
This article will show you how to make a few tweaks to the program and install a new interface that gives GIMP a true Photoshop feel.
How to Make GIMP Look Like Photoshop on Windows
Although GIMP was previously only available for Linux users, you can now enjoy it on Windows computers, as well. If you’re used to Photoshop, you may need some time to adjust to the GIMP interface. Luckily, you can make it look and work just like the most popular photo editing program, Photoshop.
Here’s what you need to do.
- Download GIMP for your computer if you don’t already have it. If you do, you can still replace it with the latest version, which is 2.10. You’ll likely have more options with it than with an older version.
- If you want to proceed with an older edition of this program, press the “Windows” key on your computer and then the “R” key. When the “Run” dialog box opens, enter “%UserProfile%” and press the “Enter” key.
- In the new window, find a folder named “.gimp-2.8.” and give it a new name – “.gimp-2.8.old.” That will allow you to run the Photoshop tweaks for this program that you’ll later download.
- You can visit this link to download the necessary files and extract the “.gimp-2.8” folder to move it to the “User Profile” folder where you renamed the old GIMP file.
- Relaunch GIMP. This time, it’ll load the files from the newly downloaded folder. It will now look more like Photoshop.
If at any point you wish to use the previous version of GIMP, simply reverse the steps. Erase the tweaks from your computer and give back the old title to the renamed GIMP file in the “User Profile.”
How to Make GIMP Look Like Photoshop on Linux
If you’re a Linux user, here’s what you should do to make GIMP look more like Photoshop in older versions of GIMP. It’s actually a set of a few simple steps to make GIMP more accessible for first-time users.
- Set up the single-window interface. You can do it by clicking on the “Windows” tab in the toolbar at the top and then checking the “Single-Window” option.
- Select the dark theme. If you want to make GIMP look more like Photoshop, choosing the dark theme instead of the light (which is the default one) may make things better.
- Set up the keyboard shortcuts you already know. If you’re used to the keyboard shortcuts, you can download the pack and replace the existing GIMP pack with the one you’ve just downloaded. Be aware that you’ll need to reboot GIMP to apply the changes.
Note: If you have the 2.10 GIMP edition, check out the sections below to learn how to make it look like Photoshop in Linux.
How to Make GIMP Look Like Photoshop on Mac
If you have a Mac and you’re using an older version of GIMP, remember that this software’s configuration files are kept on this location: “~/Library/Application Support/GIMP/2.8”. That means you can download the Photoshop shortcuts and replace the original GIMP ones within the configuration folder, just as in Linux.
You can also try other hacks, like making the “Move” tool operate like the one in Photoshop. Just follow these steps:
- Navigate to the panel on the left and click on the “Move Tool”.
- Check the “Move the Active Layer” option in the “Tool Options” dialog window.
- Go to the main menu and click on “Edit.”
- Select “Preferences” and then “Tool Options.”
- From there, choose “Save Tool Options Now.”
- Close GIMP and restart it to apply the new settings.
How to Make GIMP 2.10 Look Like Photoshop
With the newest versions of GIMP, you can simply use software called PhotoGIMP. Yes, it’s a mixture of Photoshop and GIMP – cross-platform software that can simplify GIMP features for newbies. It gives GIMP a more Photoshop-like look to help you get used to the new program.
Follow the instructions below to set up this software on macOS and Windows.
- Visit this website and download the .zip file by clicking on “View code.”
- Go to your “Downloads” folder and make the hidden files visible (the ones you need will be hidden). Also, note that “unhiding” the folders only refers to macOS computers.
- Open the unzipped folder and locate the “.var/app/org.gimp.GIMP/config/GIMP/” file. At the same time, open the Finder window and locate the “~Library/Application Support/Gimp” file.
- Find the 2.10 folder and copy it to another folder, just so you can have a backup if you need it again.
- Replace the original 2.10 folder with the one you’ve just downloaded and unzipped.
- When you launch GIMP, you’ll see a new interface that resembles Photoshop.
The steps are pretty much the same for both macOS and Windows computers. The only difference is that on Windows, you’re going to place the new 2.10 folder in this location: “C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\GIMP\”.
If you’re a Linux user, follow the steps below.
- Visit the same page we’ve mentioned in the previous set of instructions and download the .zip file. Unzip it and switch the toggle to see the hidden files.
- Select the following files: “.icon”, “.var”, and “.local” and move them to “/home/$USER”. When you’re asked if you want to merge and replace the files, click “Yes.”
- Now it’s time to relaunch GIMP. You may need to sign out of your account first, and when you enter the program again, you’ll see the new PhotoGIMP interface.
If you want to know more about GIMP and Photoshop and you can’t find all the answers above, check out the FAQs section below.
Why Use a GIMP Photoshop Theme?
GIMP may be a better solution for those who work on laptops. It’s also free, compared to the paid Adobe Photoshop program. GIMP also allows you to modify the software and eliminates unnecessary tools you may never use.
How Do I Change the Look of GIMP?
To change the look of GIMP and add more Photoshop features, follow the instructions from the sections above. Choose the steps to take based on the OS your computer is running. You can change individual elements or install the PhotoGIMP theme.
How to Move a Tool in GIMP?
The “Move” tool is activated automatically in some cases, such as when you create a guide. You can also click on its icon or press “M” on your keyboard to select it.
Does GIMP Work Like Photoshop?
Initially, no, but you can make it look and work like Photoshop by changing its configuration files.
Enjoy Your Photoshop and GIMP Mix
GIMP is an excellent alternative for Photoshop. You may be looking to try something new, but if you don’t have much time to spend on learning a completely new interface, you can easily add Photoshop features to GIMP and enjoy the good, old tools you’re used to with the benefits that come with GIMP.
Have you already tried GIMP? Which one of these programs is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.