GIMP vs Adobe Photoshop

By Ross Madden
Published on December 7, 2018 10:28 am MT
Posted in General CNSIT, Knowledge Base

A common question CNSIT receives is the availability of Adobe Photoshop for their CSU computers.  Photoshop has become ingrained in our psyche as synonymous with “photo editor”, much like we use the term “Kleenex” to name our facial tissue.  Unfortunately, Adobe Photoshop is not available as a free site license on campus.  If you require Photoshop, you must purchase this using an annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription from RAMtech (  This cost is a per device charge as well, so you can see how the cost to use authentic Photoshop can get fairly high in a hurry.

Based on our experience, users rarely need Photoshop and all of its power, so the cost doesn’t always make sense.  Fortunately, there exists a free alternative, with a largely comparative feature set called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) – 

GIMP is a free, open source alternative available for all major operating systems!  Rather than run through a direct comparison of GIMP vs Photoshop myself, I will list some articles I found that are already doing this:

In the end, the decision is a personal one.  If the GIMP does what you are looking for (and it most likely does that and WAY more, just like Photoshop), then I think you will be pleased with this free alternative.

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