Opening PSD Files in Gimp

How Easy is it to Edit PSD File in Gimp?

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An Experiment in Software Compatibility

Gimp has had the ability to open PSD files for a very long time, and since the announcement by Adobe that the Creative Suite is being replaced by the Creative Cloud, attention has turned toward the question of what will happen to Creative Cloudies who can no longer afford the monthly subscriptions, or who choose to move to different software.

Specifically what happens to the files created in Creative Cloud packages? Will Cloudies even be able to access their work, let alone edit, save and print it.

The idea of trial versions of software being able to open proprietary file formats even after the trial has ended is nothing new. Ableton Live takes this approach, and the trial version of Microsoft Office 2010 is equally generous. However Adobe's Creative Cloudies face being frozen out of their artwork not just when the trial ends but even after a period of having been paying customers.

The trick is to find a permanent software package that can open, and better yet edit Adobe's proprietary files. Being open source, Gimp is permanent. And open source software being free, Gimp appears candidate for this vacancy.

However as we find out, in this video, Gimp is not the ideal solution. At best it is an unreliable viewer for PSD files which allows some editing in the infamously clunky UI, but which doesn't guarantee the correct appearance and functioning of all layers. Moreover, as Gimp lacks the power of Photoshop, the Gimp can only be considered a semi-qualified candidate for the role.

Adobe have indicated that they are willing to look into the whole question of post-subscription access. This will involve not only Photoshop, but all the other software available on the Cloud, plus let's not forget the vexed question of what happens when software is completely retired from the Cloud as has happened with Creative Suite offerings like Soundbooth.

Using Gimp to Edit PSD Files
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