How to Use Photoshop Plug-Ins in GIMP

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About GIMP

Although Adobe Photoshop rules the roost as the best commercial image editing software, the best free, open source image editor is GIMP. It offers sophisticated tools and filters and an attractive interface, and it works well enough to be an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP comes with top-quality extensions, but GIMP on Windows can also use many of the AKVIS plug-ins designed for Photoshop. 

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GIMP Preparation for Photoshop Plug-Ins

In order to use Adobe Photoshop plug-ins with GIMP, you must first download and install the GIMP Photoshop Plug-In from AKVIS. It is an executable file for Windows.

  1. Copy the plug-in filter named pspi.exe to the GIMP plug-in directory at: C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins.
  2. Download the AKVIS plug-ins you want to use with GIMP.  (GIMP may not be recognized by the setup files, but this is not a problem).
  3. Open GIMP. Click the Filters menu and choose Photoshop Plug-in Settings to open a new window. 
  4. Click on the first folder in the top left corner, which the highlights the button in the middle of the window.
  5. Click on the folder in the top right corner and select the AKVIS plug-in folder at C:\Program Files (x86)\AKVIS).
  6. Press OK.

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Using the Photoshop Plug-Ins in GIMP

When you reopen GIMP, the newly installed plug-ins are listed in the Filters menu under the AKVIS category. They are grayed-out until you open an image in GIMP. Among the many AKVIS plug-ins are:

  • Sketch
  • Charcoal
  • Coloriage
  • Noise Buster
  • Retoucher
  • SmartMask
  • Enhancer
  • Decorator
  • LightShop
  • MultiBrush
  • Chameleon - Grab Fragment
  • Chameleon - Make Collage

To try out the new plug-ins, open an image in GIMP. Go to the Filters menu and select one of the plug-ins to experiment with it on the image.