How to Make GIMP Look Like Photoshop – Better Tech Tips


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 “.gim
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.”


4. Edit keyboard shortcuts

Using Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts in GIMP has two advantages:

  • If you’re used to work with Photoshop you don’t need to learn something new.
  • If you have to use GIMP and Photoshop you don’t get confused.

I’ve used the latest version of Photoshop CC (released in April 2016) for a reference.

Additional info (unimportant): A great majority of Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts could be assigned to GIMP very well. However there are some exceptions.

You could edit the keyboard shortcuts manually by clicking on Editkeyboard shortcuts. GIMP saves the shortcuts in a file called menurc.

Because I’ve already done the work you can s

Because I’ve already done the work you can simply replace the contents of your menurc file whith mine’s. Just copy the contents of the menurc file I’ve created from here.

Note: If you want to restore the original GIMP keyboard shortcuts later you have to create a backup of your menurc file before you replace it’s contents.

Quit GIMP and open the .gimp-2.8 folder (using the file manager of your operating system).

The exact location of the folder varies between operating systems:

Linux and BSD: This is the path to the .gimp-2.8 folder on a Linux or BSD computer:

Note: You have to tell your file manager to make hidden files visible by pressing Ctrl+H on your keyboard.

Microsoft Windows: This is the path to the .gimp-2.8 folder on a Windows computer:

Then open the menurc file with a text editor and replace it’s contents with the code you’ve copied before (for detailed instructions how to do it click here).

That’s it. When you start GIMP you will notice that you are now able to use most of Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts.

If you want to make some additional changes by yourself you can do this directly in GIMP. Just click on Edit and choose keyboard shortcuts (or press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+K).

For example you could change the undo and redo commands from Ctrl+Alt+Z and Ctrl+Shift+Z to Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y if this is more convienient for you.

Additional info (unimportant): There’s also a quite popular keyboard shortcuts file (made by epierce). As the author claims on the website the settings are based on Photoshop CS6 (released in 2014). While most keyboard shortcuts won’t have changed since then, some might be outdated. (As mentioned above the keyboard shortcuts settings I’ve created are based on a newer version of Photoshop, called “Photoshop CC 2015.1.2 20160113.r.355” which has been the most recent version of Photoshop in April 2016.)

Also the author may have “translated” some keyboard shortcuts differently (which might be an interesting comparison).

Click here to view some screenshots showing which keyboard shortcuts I’ve assigned to which menu entry.

Why not use GIMPshop?

GIMPshop started out as exactly what its name suggests, a GIMP version that looks like Photoshop from the get-go, without the need of manual theme installation.

Unfortunately, there was some controversy regarding GIMPshop. A random person other than the GIMPshop creator snatched the domain name and started hotlinking to the original GIMPshop.

This lead the true GIMPshop creator to not pursue a newer version of GIMPshop, other than the one based on the old 2.2.11 GIMP. He still updates is, though, with the latest update on February 2017.

As for (no, we won't even link to it,

As for (no, we won’t even link to it, because screw this guy), it is riddled with adware, even before we download the file.

We definitely don't recommend it.

We definitely don’t recommend it.

Additional FAQs

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.

The Wall Street Journal reviews Duo

The Wall Street Journal reviews Duo

Hot on the heels of the release of the Duo video calling app for Android, the Wall Street Journal has a full review of it. The WSJ appreciated the simplicity of Duo, but wondered if people would want to install yet another messaging app on their Android phones.

Nathan Olivarez-Giles reports for the WSJ:

Duo, which is available for iOS and Android, has a single purpose: one-on-one phone video chats. There are no video filters, no group chats, no texting and no GIFs. Duo’s interface and setup are as bare bones as the app’s purpose. You sign up with just a phone number. On the main screen, there is one option. Tap “video call” to scroll or search your contact list for someone to call. That’s it.

Duo has one feature called “knock knock” that sets the app apart from its competitors. If someone calls you using Duo, a notification shows you a video preview of the caller before you pick up. Seeing a video stream of your friend waiting for you to pick up is fun, but it wasn’t a compelling enough feature for me to try to convince dozens of people I care about to download another app.

Duo likely won’t keep you from juggling multiple apps, either. Being freed of the myriad features packed into other messaging apps was refreshing for a time—when I wanted to make a video call. Without text messaging and group chats, though, Duo just isn’t as useful as its rivals that offer that combination. Google is expected to introduce a “smarter” text-messaging app this summer called Allo for iOS and Android, which together with Duo pretty much make up Hangouts. Google has done this before, breaking up its Drive cloud-storage service into separate apps including Docs and Sheets, for example.

It doesn’t help that Duo can only be used on phones. I use a tablet daily, and I have laptops for work and personal use. If I want to video chat with a colleague at work or a friend while lounging on my couch with my tablet, Duo isn’t an option. Even if I wanted to convert to Duo exclusively, I’d need to keep around Hangouts and FaceTime (or both).

If you absolutely desire a stripped-down video-chat app, and think you can convince others to download one more messaging app, Duo is good enough for a look. Just don’t expect it to replace your other messaging apps.

More at the Wall Street Journal

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