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Photoshop vs GIMP (best mac apps)

Ease of Use
Editing Tools
File Compatibility
3D Modeling
Community & Support
Plugins & Extensions
Photoshop monetizes through a subscription model, with plans starting from $20.99 per month.
GIMP is completely free and open-source. No subscription or purchase required.

Photoshop 🎨 remains dominant with its wide array of tools and features, although it could break 🐖 the bank 💸 with subscriptions 📑.

GIMP 🖌️ is a solid free 🎉 alternative with notable power and flexibility, but can feel a bit clunky 🦾 and bewildering 🕸️ for beginners.

Photoshop Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • 👍 Comprehensive toolset 🧰

  • 👍 Supports a variety of file formats 🔄

  • 👍 Excellent performance 🚀

  • 👍 Great community and support 🤝

  • 👍 Extensive plugins and extensions 📥

GIMP Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • 👍 Free to use 🎉

  • 👍 Broad range of editing tools 🧰

  • 👍 Great file compatibility 🔄

  • 👍 Flexible and customizable 🎛️

  • 👍 No tied up to subscription 🚫📑

  • 👍 Open-source 👨‍💻

Top Cons
  • 👎 Expensive subscription 🚫💸

  • 👎 Steeper learning curve ☹️

  • 👎 Need high-spec machine 🦾💻

  • 👎 Collaboration features are limited ⚡🔗

  • 👎 Frequent updates may disrupt workflow 🔄💼

  • 👎 Heavy application 🐘💻

Top Cons
  • 👎 Interface can be overwhelming 🙄💻

  • 👎 Slower performance 🐢💻

  • 👎 Limited support 💁‍♂️🔧

  • 👎 Fewer plugins and extensions 📤🔌

  • 👎 Not ideal for collaboration ⚡🔗

Other best mac apps


Figma 📌 is an excellent choice 🏆 for collaborative 💼 design with a smooth interface and generous free tier 👏.


Sketch 📐 excels for UI/UX 📱 design with its clean and efficient 🔭 interface, however it’s Mac-only 🍏 and lacks of powerful image editing tools 🏗️.


Affinity Designer 🖊️ shines with its one-time fee 💰, sleek interface, and nearly parallels Photoshop in capabilities, but falls short in 3D modeling 🌐.


The top Mac applications encompass a range of productivity, entertainment and creative tools. These include Final Cut Pro for video editing, Photoshop for image enhancing, Logic Pro X for music production, Numbers for spreadsheet management and Slack for communication purposes. A full list of recommended Mac apps can be found on Apple’s official site.

Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor designed for image editing and manipulation, graphic design, and digital art. It provides a range of tools for editing layers, filters, brushes, vector shapes and much more. Furthermore, Photoshop supports a broad spectrum of file formats. More details can be found on the official Adobe website.

Yes, an alternative free open-source graphic tool to Photoshop is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). GIMP provides a comprehensive toolbox for image editing, from basic tasks to advanced techniques like layers, filters and effects. More information about GIMP can be found on the official GIMP site.

Yes, GIMP is compatible with Mac devices. In fact, GIMP is a multi-platform application that can be installed on Linux, Windows, and macOS systems. Instructions for installation can be found on the official GIMP download page.

Yes, learning Adobe Photoshop is widely considered worthwhile. Photoshop remains one of the most prevalent digital software tools in the world, and mastering it can greatly enhance your digital design and photo editing skills, both professionally and personally.

Mac applications serve a vast array of purposes depending on the type of app. For example, Final Cut Pro is used for video editing, Logic Pro X for music production, and Slack for communication. Some apps improve productivity, while others are for entertainment or creative purposes.

Yes, Adobe Photoshop is compatible with macOS and can be purchased directly from the Adobe website.

Both Adobe Photoshop and GIMP are highly rated photo editing apps for Mac. Photoshop is a paid tool with advanced features, while GIMP is a free and open-source alternative.

For users seeking a free and open-source solution, GIMP is an excellent alternative to Photoshop. While it may not offer exactly the same features as Photoshop, most of the basic and intermediate image editing functions are available.

Adobe Photoshop offers a range of unique features such as 3D design functionality, advanced layer support, the ability to handle large files smoothly, and access to a vast library of resources and tutorials.

GIMP can be used for professional design work. Although it lacks some of the advanced features of Photoshop, it’s an excellent tool for basic design work and small projects.

You can install Photoshop on your Mac by purchasing and downloading it from the Adobe website. After downloading, you will need to follow the prompts to complete the installation process.

For creative professionals, Mac offers a wide range of software such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Apple’s iWorks suite, Final Cut Pro for video editing, Logic Pro X for music production, and Adobe Photoshop for image editing.

Adobe Photoshop remains a popular choice among designers due to its advanced capabilities, versatility to handle various design tasks, and its integration with other Adobe tools.

The ease of use of GIMP can depend on the user’s familiarity with image editing software. While it may take beginners some time to adapt, most users find GIMP’s interface intuitive with practice.

Adobe Photoshop is paid software, though Adobe does offer a free trial period. After the free trial, you would need to choose a subscription plan to continue to use the software.

Yes, GIMP can open and work with Photoshop files. However, some advanced layer effects and formatting may not display perfectly due to software differences.

Yes, the default photo editing app on a Mac is called Photos. It offers straightforward photo management and basic editing functionalities.

The minimum system requirements for running Adobe Photoshop on a Mac include macOS version 10.14 (Mojave) or later, a multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support, and at least 2GB of RAM. More detailed specifications can be found on the Adobe website.

The Adobe Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) is indeed Adobe Photoshop. The CC version operates on a subscription model and includes access to product updates and new features as soon as they are released.

Some of the leading apps for Mac tailored for professional use include Adobe Photoshop for photo editing, Final Cut Pro X for video editing, Logic Pro X for music production, and Microsoft Office Suite for productivity tasks. Designers may prefer Sketch while developers could opt for Xcode.

Yes, Adobe Photoshop is available for Mac and can be downloaded from the Adobe’s official website. It is a top choice for professional photo editing.

You can learn Adobe Photoshop through various online platforms such as YouTube and Udemy which offer comprehensive tutorials. Adobe also provides excellent resources and tutorials on their support site.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source image editor available for Mac. You can download it from the official GIMP website.

One of the key advantages of GIMP over Adobe Photoshop is that it’s free. It’s a robust tool for basic photo editing tasks and can be a good alternative for those who can’t afford a Photoshop subscription or find it too complex.

While GIMP may not offer as many advanced tools and features as Adobe Photoshop, it is certainly capable of performing professional-grade photo editing. Its capabilities can be expanded with various plugins and it can handle tasks such as retouching, color correction, and complex composite work.

Adobe Photoshop offers a wide array of functionalities such as layer support, brushes, filters, text tools, vectors, 3D design capabilities, image importing/scanning, and more. It is renowned for its powerful capabilities in photo editing, graphic design, and digital art.

Yes, besides GIMP, there are other free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for Mac. These include Paint.NET, Inkscape, and Krita, each offering various features and functionalities.

Yes, apps may behave differently on Mac and Windows due to differences in operating systems. These differences may affect the app’s interface, features, performance, and overall user experience.

Adobe Photoshop gets regular updates as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription. Generally, major updates are annual, but Adobe releases smaller updates throughout the year to introduce new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

GIMP supports a wide variety of image file formats, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, and even PSD files from Adobe Photoshop. Additionally, it can be extended to support even more formats through plugins.

Yes. Adobe Photoshop for iOS is available on the App Store. It brings Photoshop’s most useful tools to your device, enabling you to edit photos on the go.

While GIMP is fully functional and open-source, it has some limitations compared to Photoshop. Photoshop offers advanced features such as adjustment layers, non-destructive editing, and superior brush functionality which are absent or not as advanced in GIMP.

While the basic functionality and tools are the same on both platforms, Adobe Photoshop for Mac has been optimized to take advantage of certain native Mac features such as support for the Touch Bar on certain MacBook Pro models.

The choice between GIMP and Adobe Photoshop depends on your budget, sophistication of projects, and comfort with the application interface. While Photoshop is a paid resource with professional-grade tools, GIMP is a decent free alternative for basic to intermediate photo editing work.

GIMP itself does not have built-in support for raw files from digital cameras, but you can open raw files with a free plugin called UFRaw.

You can extend GIMP’s functionality with a variety of free plugins. These plugins can be found on various websites and forums, and GIMP’s official tutorial section explains how to install them.

Yes, Adobe offers educational pricing for students and teachers. Eligible individuals can get access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite, which includes Photoshop, for a significantly reduced price.

Yes, GIMP supports a wide range of keyboard shortcuts that can speed up your editing process. Details on the available shortcuts can be found in the documentation provided on GIMP’s official website.