I have been trying hard to move to open source applications on Windows at work for quite a while and have been fairly successful so far. The one program that has been most difficult to replace has been Photoshop. Until recently (2.0 really) I have never been able to be productive with the GIMP. Things like crashing and the inability to use my tablet really monkey wrenched things, but things seem to be looking up. Here are a few tips to getting the GIMP functioning more like Photoshop.
Get GIMP 2.0.1: GIMP 2 for some reason seems leaps and bounds better than any previous release.
Photoshop hotkeys: For seasoned users of Photoshop, the ability to change the GIMP’s hotkeys to Photoshops is a huge plus. To do this simply go to C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\etc\gimp\2.0 and rename your ps-menurc to menurc.
Making thing GIMP work like a single app: One of the lamest things about using the GIMP is the way that appears like multiple programs making a quick ALT+TAB to it near impossible. Until I found this plugin http://registry.gimp.org/plugin?id=3892 which makes the GIMP run in a single window allowing ALT+TAB to work. This plugin does have at least one fault that I’ve noticed. Occasionally it creates dummy windows of old dialogs you had open at one time or another. You just need to minimize them to get them out of the way. Its more of an annoyance than anything, but it doesn’t take away from the benefits of using this plugin.
Making the tablet work with the GIMP: Now this one is only a partial fix. Go to whatever shortcut you use to launch the GIMP, right click on it, and select properties. In the Target field make it read “C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\bin\gimp-2.0.exe” --ignore-wintab. Using this option makes the GIMP ignore any tablet specific commands effectively making the tablet a mouse. Unfortunatly tablet pressure and angle don’t work with this option but the alternative seems to be don’t use your tablet with the GIMP or it will crash. Lucky for me I never use the pressure settings so it doesn’t really bother me.
Hopefully some of you will find these tweaks as useful as I do! Later.