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April 15, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 8)

  • Free software, can edit and redistribute code
  • User interface different from other comparable software programs

For those graduate students and postdocs who don’t wish to spend their entire stipends on subscriptions for photo-editing and graphic-design software, the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a wonderful (and free!) alternative. GIMP can be downloaded across platforms, and users can even edit the source code and share their modified versions. Though the program takes some time to load for the first time after download, users will find it to be very responsive once opened. Users may require some time to get acquainted with the interface and menu bars, as they do not mirror the organization of other programs commonly used by scientists to edit images or to create graphics. However, potential converts from other programs will be pleased to find a large number of tools and functionalities within GIMP. It might be worth a try, the next time you have to make a poster or figure.

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