Themes and tweaks

Make GIMP look and behave more like Photoshop in elementary OS

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) has comparable functionality with Photoshop, however their user interfaces a very different. Photoshop users often find it difficult to adapt.
This article simplifies that transition with easy to install tweaks that will implement Photoshop like toolbox icons, keyboard shortcuts, modified dockable dialogs and even the background color to match Photoshop.

Open source software has the advantage of offering a free alternative to most mainstream solutions, but sometimes it doesn’t guarantee an easy or intuitive adoption for the end user.

When I transitioned from MS Windows to Linux in 2008 I found this to be the case for Adobe Photoshop’s open source alternative GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). I knew it had the same functionality but for me personally it just didn’t feel right to use it. The tools were not positioned were I expected them to be, the keyboard shortcuts were different and the terminology was unfamiliar. Let’s just say it was a very steep learning curve but I finally got there. What if there was a collection of tweaks to make GIMP look and behave more like Photoshop

Thanks to +Martin Owens there is and not only has he created them he has made it so easy to install. You simply need to download a .zip file and replace a single folder in your home directory with the extracted contents

The tweaks were created for GIMP v2.8 and include Photoshop like toolbox icons, keyboard shortcuts, modified dock-able dialogs and even a tweaked background color to match Photoshop.

Gimp Like Photoshop

how to install GIMP photoshop tweaks

  1. Make sure GIMP is not running
  2. Using this link, download the GIMP Photoshop Tweaks zip file from DeviantArt (download link on the upper right) and place it in your home folder.
  3. Make a backup of your current GIMP configuration using either one of 2 methods

Method 1: using the terminal

mv ~/.gimp-2.8 ~/.gimp-2.8.bak


Method 2: navigate to your home folder, hit [ctrl-h] to reveal hidden files and folders then rename the folder .gimp-2.8 to .gimp-2.8.old (note the period before the “g”)

Finally,  extract the downloaded zip archive in your home folder (the archive contains a .gimp-2.8 hidden folder with all the tweaks)

That’s it!

Open GIMP to see the changes.  If they have taken effect log out and back in again.

how to revert the changes

Since you backed up the original GIMP configuration folder, restoring the configuration to the previous state is very easy using the terminal (firstly close GIMP):

rm -r ~/.gimp-2.8
mv ~/.gimp-2.8.bak ~/.gimp-2.8

Note: This will work for all major Linux distros

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August 2022

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