gimp for publishing (was Re: [texhax] A.Mani :Re: texhax Digest, Vol 2004, Issue 41, Message No.1, 3)

William F. Adams wadams at
Thu Feb 12 03:39:47 CET 2004

On Wednesday, February 11, 2004, at 05:19  PM, A.Mani wrote:

> GIMP is better than Adobe Photoshop...and those who have used both 
> usually agree.

For web graphics, perhaps.

However, I'd asked:
> Is the GIMP no longer ``merely'' a bitmap editor? Does it now handle 
> vector graphics as vectors and text as type exporting as a 
> resolution-independent .eps or .pdf?

I've tried the GIMP off and on for the past couple of years. It's 
gotten much better, especially of late, but still is lacking especially 
in terms of UI and ink controls (we are talking pre-press here, 
right?), and AFAICT, doesn't do the things I asked about above (still 
haven't tried the copy I d/l'd the other month...).

``Gimp is not as intuitive as Photoshop is about pre-press issues.
   Gimp is more focused on web design. In Gimp, you always see
   the image size as the web surfer would see it.''

For a more concrete example --- where's the gamut preview warning in 
the GIMP?

Here's a bullet list of things which need improvement:

And of course, while the GIMP is struggling to get CMYK support, 
PhotoShop et. al. are working in Hexachrome, and there're plug-ins like 
PowerTone to allow one to do spot colour separations from RGB images, 
and PhotoShop's preview of multi-channel images is quite good, often 
rivalling Cerilica's Truism (which tech I _really_ wish was more widely 

I'd like for the GIMP to be more useful for pre-press, and was actually 
pushing for my previous employer to donate several years worth of 
colour separation and calibration data to the GIMP project before 
switching jobs. It's got a long way to go, though, and for the 
foreseeable future there will probably be ways in which PhotoShop has 
an advantage for print work.

Moreover, Adobe PhotoShop isn't the only graphics app (where's the 
equivalent to Corel Painter or Fauve Matisse or XRes?), and bitmaps 
aren't the only format in use --- even the quite nifty Cenon program 
which I just found really doesn't hold a candle to Macromedia Freehand 
/ Altsys Virtuoso or Adobe Illustrator, let alone Creaturehouse 
Expression, FutureWave SmartSketch is another app which really deserves 
to be looked at by efforts like Inkscape.

With that said, I'd like to put forward that for the TeX Harvest 
project, I felt obliged to use free software insofar as was possible:

Not sure what Duane Bibby scanned his illustration with, and the TeX 
Users Group logo was provided as an Adobe Illustrator file, and I had 
to use Adobe InDesign to set up the files used for the virtual fonts to 
access the commercial font Zapfino, but the typesetting was done w/ 
Omega and TeX (check the file info ;)


William Adams, publishing specialist
voice - 717-731-6707 | Fax - 717-731-6708

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