by Adam Noar
Creative images can really make your PowerPoint presentations stand out.
The thing is though, these types of images can’t be just picked out of a magic catalog.
Occasionally, you might get lucky and find an image online that fits your presentation perfectly (where no image editing is needed).
However, in most cases you have to spend some time doing some tweaking and editing to make sure all your images fit with your theme.
While PowerPoint has made some improvements to its image editing capabilities over the years, by adding helpful tools like Remove Background, there can be times where you find yourself in need of a more robust image editor for your creative images.
Most people would agree that Adobe Photoshop is the best image editing tool out on the market.
But, the problem with Photoshop is that it’s also pretty darn EXPENSIVE ($49.99 for a Creative Cloud membership which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat).
While many people (especially professional designers) SUCK UP THE COST and buy Photoshop anyway, others prefer to go with similar alternatives that can get the job done without the cost … or the bloat.
So, if your not inclined to spend lots of money on an image editor the question becomes …
Which is the best Photoshop alternative to go with?
Lifehacker recently did a survey poll to determine the #1 Photoshop alternative among the five leading contenders including:
Out of 6,950 people surveyed, 55% said that Gimp was rated to be the best alternative to Photoshop (as seen in the chart I created below).
In this article were going to explore Gimp’s image editor, and why it can be one of the best presentation tools for developing creative images your slides.
Note: If you already use Adobe Photoshop you are most likely quite satisfied with the product, and have no plans to switch. However, if you don’t have Photoshop and are looking for a FREE Photoshop alternative to enhance your PowerPoint images, keep reading.
Let’s take a look at why Gimp gives Photoshop a run for its money.
Gimp’s Image Editor Is 100% Free
FREE is always nice right?
If you’re designing presentations casually, or if you only want to adjust the occasional photo for personal reasons, you might be happier with a free, open-source product.
It Packs The Essentials
Photoshop is loaded with excessive features as compared to Gimp.
However, the average user does not require sophisticated editing capabilities, and only handful of people use these advanced features. Trivial jobs do not need such cumbersome and expensive software. On the other hand, Gimp’s software comes with essential ones including:
- Color Picker
- Fill with Color
- Intelligent Scissors
- Blue Sharpen
- Healing Brush
- Clone Stamp
Additional features can be added via plugins and extensions, and you can tailor the software according to your requirements of image manipulation. If you are inclined to explore with Gimp, then it will let you accomplish any job that you can do with Photoshop.
Some of the common image editing things that you can do with Gimp include:
Enhancing and touching up images: Use Gimp’s healing brush and clone stamp tool to re-touch photos for your presentations
Create Layers: Overlay images or effects overlaid on top of one another. Using layers allows you to combine multiple images, or create new images.
Changing specific image colors: Just as it sounds, you can change specific colors within an image.
It Works Cross Platform
Gimp software supports the main operating systems including:
- OS X
You Can Customize It
Gimp can be customized according to your needs. The user interface is completely customizable and can be minimal. If you like the Photoshop UI then you can make your Gimp look like that too!
Each task requires a different environment, and Gimp allows you to customize the view and behavior the way you like it. Starting from the widget theme, allowing you to change colors, widget spacing, and icon sizes to custom tool sets in the toolbox. The interface is modulated into so called docks, allowing you to stack them into tabs or keep them open in their own window. Pressing the tab key will toggle them hidden.
There Is A Bit Of Learning Curve …
Similar to Photoshop, Gimp does take a bit of getting used to, mainly because you need to learn where everything is.
There was a learning curve for me, but I did manage to figure things out.
One of the things I found to be especially helpful when learning both Photoshop and Gimp was memorizing the keyboard shortcuts. Doing so allows you to be much more efficient when working with image editor.
Click here for a great cheat sheet on all Gimp’s most important keyboard shortcuts.
There is no doubt that Photoshop has some tremendous capabilities. However, many of the advanced features that come with Photoshop are hardly needed for average users.
In my opinion, Photoshop is aimed at a very specific bunch of people who really are design experts.
While I would never defer people away from Photoshop, if you’re in need of a free image editor for your presentations, consider giving Gimp software a try.
Here’s my question for you …
Now that you have learned a little bit about Gimp’s image editing software, do you think that you will try using this presentation enhancing tool? Why or why not? If you already use Gimp, what do you like most about it?
Please try to be as specific as possible.
Also, do you have a friend that is in need of some creative images for their slides, and could benefit from learning about this Photoshop alternative? If so, send them a link to this article by using the sharing buttons below.
Finally, if you found these presentation tips helpful, please remember to like and share using the sharing buttons to the left!