[Techtalk] GIMP vs. Photoshop

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Wed Nov 19 20:58:46 UTC 2008

Michelle Murrain writes:
> Hi all,
> I've been using GIMP for quite a while now, and it works great for  
> everything I need it for. However, I'm about to embark on doing CMS  
> theming (Drupal, in particular, but also some others) and I know that  
> I'm going to be handed design comps done in photoshop.
> I know that GIMP can open and deal with photoshop files, but I don't  
> really know how well it deals with them. For those folks out there who  
> do lots of this kind of thing (converting designers photoshop comps to  
> XHTML/CSS and themes) do you use GIMP? Is up to that task, or do I  
> need to shell out mondo bucks and get photoshop?

Are you sure they'll need to send you files in Photoshop format?
I worked on a web development project where we were making pages
available for lots of different clients, so they had to send us
images and be able to update them. I used the Ruby bindings to
ImageMagick for translating the images and scaling them
appropriately, and it worked for pretty much all the images
people sent in. I don't think anyone ever submitted a file in
.psd format, but these were clothes designers and retailers,
not web theme designers.

I assume ImageMagick is the same as GIMP in being able to support
the old (public) PSD format but not the new (private, undocumented)
one which uses the same .psd extension.

There may also be Windows utilities you can get that will translate
.psd files into other formats without needing full Photoshop.
Of course that assumes that you don't need all the layers and
other special information encoded into the Photoshop file, just
what the image looks like.


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