Das Gimp

Though I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Photoshop user, I’m honest enough to admit when another great paint program enters the arena. Behold, the Gimp. Offering most of the features of Photoshop (a near $500 program), this little beauty comes at a near fraction of the cost, namely free. That’s right–layered .PSD support, fully customizable pressure sensitive brushes, dozens of preset gradients, compatibility with most Photoshop filter while bringing along some unique filters of its own–all as an open source freeware program. Can’t beat it with a paintbrush. Both the runtime (which needs to be installed before the program) and the program files are available for download. Simply right-click the links below and choose “Save as…” You can then run them off of your computer:

Gimp Runtime (must be installed first)
Gimp Program File

For the skeptics, check out the site yourself:
GIMP - Free

There are obviously some heated debates raging out there about which is better, Photoshop or GIMP. Photoshop has been around for about 15 years now and GIMP has been an open source project for almost as long, so I have a feeling the conversation would go something like the discussion about Mac versus PC. Messy. See what other people are saying about it.