gimp photoshop tweaks

We’re all aware The GIMP is the best free alternative to Photoshop — but is there a way to make it look like Photoshop, too?

This is open-source software we’re talking about – of course there’s a way!

Why Use a GIMP Photoshop Theme?

Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts will also work

For FOSS purists it must sound like a heresy, but there is a method in the madness of trying to make Gimp look like Photoshop.

It certainly helps those switching to open-source tools. If a designer has spent several years using Photoshop they’ll be used to its layout, its app shortcuts, its tools. Skinning GIMP to look (and work) more like Photoshop helps switchers feel more comfortable, and lowers the learning hurdle that (naturally) exists in transitioning.

On a more minor note it may be that some simply prefer the aesthetic of Photoshop, like its monochrome toolbar icons and simple window layout.

Whatever the reasoning behind wanting to adopt the look, DeviantArt user DoctorMo has made it easy. He’s packed up some of best known GIMP Photoshop tweaks into one ready-to-roll bundle.

The pack includes:

  • Photoshop icons for the toolbox
  • Photoshop keyboard shortcuts (e.g., ‘p’ for pen, ‘c’ for crop, etc.)
  • A dark grey background
  • Photoshop layout
  • Tool options placed on the right-hand side

Download GIMP Photoshop Theme

gimp folder in home

The first thing to do is to download the ‘GIMP 2.8 Photoshop Tweaks’ pack from Doctor Mo’s DeviantArt page:

Download ‘GIMP 2.8 Photoshop Tweaks’ from DeviantArt

Once the archive download has completed you can unzip it.

Now, don’t be confused if you don’t see anything here as the configuration folder is hidden. You will need to enable ‘view hidden files’ in your file manager — if you’re using Nautilus press Ctrl + H — to see the extracted GIMP config folder (and the existing one you’ll be replacing).

With hidden files visible replace the existing ~/.gimp-2.8 configuration folder in your Home folder with the one you just extracted.

Finally, open (or quit and re-launch) GIMP to enjoy your new Photoshop-y experience.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for making GIMP work a little bit more like Photoshop? Share them in the comments below!

gimp photoshop