Photopea vs GIMP – Which Is Better?

Graphic design is one of the most impressive visual modes of communication and entertainment. But to achieve the best results in it, you must first identify the most ideal tools to work with.

There are quite a number of software options to choose from and that often presents a challenge. You are never really sure which of them to pick.

The adverts and marketing campaigns behind various software do not make it any easier. However, two of the most popular graphic design software options are Photopea and GIMP.

If you are like most people, you have probably heard of someone saying that Photopea is the best while another could swear that nothing can beat GIMP.

The truth is that both offer unique and impressive features. It is therefore up to you to take a closer look at each and decide the most ideal for your needs.

We have discussed the two tools below, Photopea and GIMP. Let’s find out what each one of them offers and which is the better of the two.

What is Photopea?

Photopea is a web-based graphic design software or editor developed to help individuals simplify the process of manipulating images or photos. Its original owner was a man by the name of Ivan Kuckir.

The software was initially released in September of 2013 and enjoyed a good reception as many people took to using it for their specific needs. According to certain reports, Photopea currently gets about 300,000 users on a daily basis.

The users spend a total of approximately 45,000 hours a day working on the app. These statistics alone show that many people find the app helpful and convenient.

Photopea is considered one of the most popular alternatives to Photoshop. That is because it is available in a free version while Photoshop requires users to pay a fee for use.

Another reason why this particular software has become popular is that it is designed in a simple manner. That makes it easy for just about anyone to hop on and start using it.

There are simple instructions included with the software to help newbies get acquainted with different features and start working on their images or photos. There is no need to attend some graphics design class just to start working on your projects.

What is GIMP?

GIMP is an open-source raster graphics editor created to help individuals work on images and photographs. Individuals can use it to carry out a number of tasks including image manipulation, editing, and transcoding.

The term GIMP is a short form of the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a helpful application because it provides the necessary tools for graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and scientists to accomplish different objectives.

The original authors of GIMP were Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis. This particular graphics editor was initially released in November 1995.

Like its counterpart Photopea, it got an amazing reception which is why its developers continued to work on it and to improve it.

Today, it has gone through a number of updates and upgrades to ensure that it conforms to the latest standards of graphic design expectations.

Because it is open-source software, it is quite difficult to establish the number of people that use GIMP on a regular basis. Different programmers have gone for the source code and improved it for their own purposes.

Such users may sometimes fail to report usage and the number of people they share it with. It is, therefore, quite difficult to compare the number of users on GIMP with those on Photopea.

Regardless of that, it is easy to understand that GIMP is one of the most popular software in the graphic design category. Its popularity is mostly because it is available for free.

It also has impressive features and makes things easy by providing simple instructions on how to carry out various tasks.

Like Photopea, GIMP does not require you to have any special skills. All you have to do is follow simple instructions and you’ll be working on your projects like a pro in no time.

Getting Started


As noted earlier, Photopea is designed to work seamlessly within your web browser. That means you’ll need to head over to the main page before you can start using the application.

As soon as you arrive on the home page, you’ll be able to see the graphic design tool itself. You’ll have the option to use the free version of the tool or go for the paid version.

The free version starts working right away. You do not have to worry about any tedious sign-up processes. All you have to do is get acquainted with the platform and then start using it off the cuff.

It is worth pointing out that the free version of this application features some advertisements. That means you are likely to experience some obstructions on the sides of the home page.

The ads help developers raise enough money to keep the app running. On the other hand, if you want to unlock the full potential of the app, you’ll need to go for the Premium version.

The Premium version is not a subscription service. Rather, you need to make a one-time purchase to unlock a key that allows you to use all the features and resources available.

Another important point to note is that you can also download the Photopea app and install it on your device. That makes it easy for you to use while offline.

Regardless of whether you choose the browser version or the download version, you’ll not need to sign up to start using the app.

Photopea is compatible with almost all modern web browsers. Some of these include Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Firefox.

However, the option to download and install it on your device is only available on select browsers.

For instance, you can download and install it from the Chrome browser but that option is unavailable on the Safari browser.

Also Read: GIMP vs Illustrator


To get started with GIMP, you need to head over to the main website and look for the download section. Once you click on it, you’ll be redirected to a page that has different download links.

The links are specific to the operating system you are using. GIMP is compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, AmigaOS 4, and Solaris.

There is always the possibility of finding a version that is compatible with other operating systems because several programmers are constantly tweaking and improving the app independently.

Once you download the version that is compatible with your device, go ahead and install it and then launch. As soon as you launch the app, you’ll be welcomed to a refreshing interface with different sections you can navigate to.

You do not need to sign up for an account before you start using the app. Instead, you’ll be free to start using it straight away.

GIMP has a relatively more sophisticated or complicated interface than Photopea and you may find it a bit harder to get used to. However, there is always the option of customizing it to suit your preferences.

The Verdict

Because Photopea is a web-based application, you do not have to worry about any downloads and system requirements. All you need to do is to go online, log on to the website, and start working on your projects.

However, if you are working on more sophisticated projects or have a team, you’ll need to pay for a premium account to unlock all the necessary features.

On the other hand, if you choose GIMP, you’ll have to download, install, and carefully study the basics of working on the app before you can successfully complete a project.

Overall, Photopea stands out as being easy to get started while GIMP takes a while to download and get used to.

Also Read: Best Apps Like PicsArt

The User Interface


Photopea has an interface that resembles just about every other image editor. First off, it has a toolbar right at the top of the page.

On the toolbar, you can find every tool available for you to use. Click on the name of the tool you want to use and it automatically activates.

There is also the sidebar that has a list of sections with specific names. For instance, you can find sections for Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, Private Folder, and Local Device.

Clicking on any of those sections lets you connect to them directly. Once connected, you can upload files from those sources.

This app also has a main area where you will be working on. Here you can find sections for uploading files from the computer, dragging and dropping, and PSD templates.

Overall Photopea has a simple and straightforward user interface that you’ll get accustomed to pretty quickly. The only downside is that the free version features ads on the sides which may clutter your screen.


The first time you launch GIMP after installation, you’ll realize that it takes a bit of time to fully open up. That is because addons and extensions are loading.

There is also the possibility that your system is not so rich in operational resources. However, once it opens up, you’ll notice a Splash Screen.

The interface features a toolbox section on the side. It is here that you can find all the tools and tool options available for you to use.

Right at the center of the interface is the image window. It is in this window that you can upload files that you wish to work on.

The image window is the main work area so to speak. Just above the home page, there is a layer section. Here you can find important operations including setting layers, paths, and various other functions.

This interface is not always as pleasant or as simple as most image editors. However, the GIMP interface is one of the most customizable.

To give it a new look, simply drag icons from one section to another. You can even drag and drop entire sections as you deem fit.

Customizing your interface lets you create something that is much easier for you to work in.

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The Verdict

Photopea features an interface that looks pretty much like any other photo editor. That makes it one of the best alternatives for most photo editors.

On the other hand, GIMP comes in a sophisticated style and may require you to do a bit of customization before you get accustomed to it.

It is therefore reasonable to say that Photopea gets higher points for its simplicity and ease of use. However, GIMP scores highly when it comes to customizability.

Standout Features


Depending on the version of Photopea you choose, you are either going to enjoy a massive range of features or a limited range. If you are working on simple projects, the free version will still do the trick.

First on the list of the standout features available with this app is cloud storage. You can work on many projects and don’t have to worry about storage space.

Cloud storage also makes it possible for you to access your files from any location as long as you have an internet connection. The app also allows you to carry out batch editing which makes the process much faster.

Whether you are a newbie or a professional designer, you’ll be pleased to know that the app incorporates built-in templates. This means you can always have a firm foundation to start your projects.

The next cool feature available is the collaborative editing function. This particular feature helps you work with other people.

You do not even have to be in the same location when collaborating. All you have to do is log in to the same account and work remotely.

Once you are done working on a particular project, you can choose to save your files in a variety of formats. These include PSD, JPG, PNG, and SVG formats.

Other features you can expect to find in this app include

  • Social media integration
  • Import from the web
  • Auto select
  • Effects and filters
  • Object removal
  • Revision control
  • Enhancement tools
  • Transform tools
  • Text tool

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One of the things that makes GIMP a favorite for many people is that it offers a variety of painting features. It has a full suite of painting tools that include a brush, pencil, airbrush, clone, and so forth.

You can also find an exceptional gradient editor and blend tool. The app utilizes tile-based memory management which helps ensure that the image size is only restricted by your system’s resources.

Another impressive thing about this app is that it allows you to open multiple images at the same time. This ensures that you can work on different images simultaneously and achieve a uniform pattern.

GIMP supports a lot of file formats including BMP, GIF, JPEG, MNG, PCX, PDF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVG, TIFF, TGA, and XPM, among others. The app also features filters you can use to create different types of effects on your images or photos.

Another thing that makes this particular app stand out is that it is compatible with a variety of plugins. That means you can always search for and install new plugins to add functions to your app.

The Verdict

When it comes to helpful features, both apps provide an array of tools for you to work with. However, the free version of Photopea may not be as comprehensive as some people may like.

On the other hand, GIMP is packed with features to help designers work on even the most sophisticated of projects. What’s more, they have the freedom to incorporate add-ons to their app just to make it even better.

It is therefore no surprise that GIMP scores highly when it comes to helpful features and functionality.

The Costs


If you are looking for a simple image or photo editor that will cost you nothing, then Photopea may just be the right pick. Its free version allows you to carry out basic editing and manipulation tasks.

However, you’ll have to put up with the adverts that appear on the homepage and the workspace. The developers of this app allow you to use their tools free of charge but raise funds by means of displaying ads on their pages.

It is also true that the free version does not have all the tools and functions that you may need to do an exceptional job. On the other hand, if you are a professional designer, you might want to go for the premium version of the app.

The premium version unlocks all the features of the app and allows you to work on more complex projects. It has more comprehensive features to help you get the job done accurately and fast.

If you are a single user, you may opt for the 30-day version which costs $9, the 90-day version which costs $10, or the 365-day version which costs $40.

If you are a team of five people, you might want to go for the 30-day version which costs $15, the 90-day version for $30, or the 365-day version which costs $120.

Those on a team of 20 may want to go for the 30-day version for $50, the 90-day version for $100, or the 365-day version for $400.

Finally, those on a team of 50 may opt for the 30-day version which costs $100, the 90-day version for $200, or the 365-day version for $800.


As noted earlier, GIMP is a graphics design application that is available completely free of charge. In fact, it does not even have any annoying ads.

Additionally, it is an open-source software meaning anyone can access its source code and improve it on a personal level. Of course, that often requires some level of programming literacy.

Once you have improved it, you are free to share it with anyone you wish without the fear of facing any legal issues. GIMP is distributed under the terms of General Public Licence v3 and later.

The Verdict

GIMP is without a doubt one of the best graphic design software options available today. It is available to download and use completely free of charge.

Additionally, it does not bombard you with adverts that may sometimes cause distractions as you work on your most important projects.

Of course, Photopea also presents an array of features, but you’ll have to pay in order to unlock its full potential.

Customer Support


As is common with most paid services, Photopea has an active customer support center. That means if you encounter any problems while using the app, you can always get in touch and ask for assistance.

The most common way to get in touch is through the email address


As is common with most free services, customer support is lacking when it comes to the use of GIMP. That means if you ever encounter problems, you will have to look for solutions by yourself.

The good news is that a lot of problems are shared online and users often post solutions to them. All you have to do is carry out a little research and hopefully, you’ll find the solutions you need.

The Verdict

GIMP does not have any active customer support and that can be frustrating when you encounter a unique problem.

On the other hand, Photopea has an active customer support service which can be helpful when you need it most. For that, Photopea scores higher than GIMP.

Photopea vs GIMP: Pros and Cons



  • Features drag and drop options
  • Packed with features for exceptional graphic design
  • Available for online and offline use
  • Can save files as PSD
  • Does not require any plugins
  • Has active customer support


  • Features only basic filters and functions
  • Requires payment to unlock full potential
  • Free version has annoying ads



  • GIMP is free, open-source, and cross-platform software
  • Has an array of features for graphic design
  • Incorporates content-aware tools
  • It is a lightweight graphic designer software
  • Easily customizable


  • Has a cluttered default interface
  • Features minimal tutorials for use
  • Does not have customer support

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Photopea vs GIMP: Similarities & Differences

Free version
Paid versionX
Customer supportX
Cloud storageX
Plugins or Add-onsX

Verdict: Photopea vs GIMP – Which is Better?

Both Photopea and GIMP offer an array of features and operations to help make graphic design easy. They are readily available for individuals that have access to the internet and only require basic skills.

However, a close look at these two applications reveals that GIMP is the better option. One of the main reasons for that is that it is available to download and use completely free of charge.

Another reason is that it is open-source software meaning anyone with some programming knowledge can help improve it and share it with others. Finally, it is packed with features for graphic designs and is compatible with some of the latest plugins available.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.