QuickTip: How To Install PhotoShop Brushes In GIMP

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How to install PhotoShop Brushes in GIMPIn the design world the most popular image editor and design tool is PhotoShop. With PhotoShop being the most popular tool for designers available, Most designers and design bloggers use and create resources for PhotoShop only. But PhotoShop isn’t the only image editor available. Out of all the of the editors available for people to use, GIMP comes out on top and might be considered to be as good or better than PhotoShop by some.  For those interested in design or working on their own images or logos, GIMP is the perfect tool and the only investment a website owner / blogger needs to make towards GIMP is time. GIMP is free, but it does come with a cost. You have to the time and the ability to learn how to use GIMP on your own. Once you know the basics of GIMP, you can start using GIMP like a designer.

With PhotoShop becoming more popular and all the PhotoShop resources available for designers, GIMP has made it possible for some of those PhotoShop resources to work with GIMP. One of those resources are brushes. Even though there is a community for GIMP brush creators, GIMP made it possible use PhotoShop brushes with GIMP and isn’t much harder to install a new set of brushes than it is with PhotoShop.

Today, I wanted to share with everyone how to install PhotoShop Brushes and GIMP brushes in GIMP.

How to Install Brushes in GIMP

Installing brushes in GIMP is quick and easy. To use PhotoShop Brushes in GIMP, you must be using GIMP 2.4 or higher.

Using Windows Vista / Windows 7

1. Download your PhotoShop or GIMP Brush

2. Make sure GIMP is closed.

3. Most Brushes are compressed and archived (zip or winRAR files.).  Extract files from the archive.

4. Copy the extracted files to C:\Document and Settings\<username>\gimp-<version>\brushes\. This installation location is default but if you installed GIMP somewhere else, you will have to find the GIMP folder and look for the folder called brushes. The brushes should be. ABR files. You only need to move those files with .ABR extension.

5. Copy Past or drag brush files from the extracted brush archive file.

6. Open GIMP

7. Select the Brush Tool


8. Brush Selection Windows comes up. If you do not see your new brushes added to brush library. Then click on the Refresh button and then should load.


Final Thoughts

As mentioned before, PhotoShop is my preferred image editor, I do end up using GIMP a lot more when I working on a design project on a public computer or on a system that is a little older and can not run on the machine that I am using. Using brushes can speed up the design process or it can help a user that doesn’t know how to create a certain effect that they may not know how to recreate.

If you are looking for an image editor that you can load on a flash drive or portable drive. You are in luck GIMP offers a portable version you can use. All you need is Window’s Operating  System, portable drive, and Portable Apps installed on that drive. Then you can run GIMP on almost computer that has a USB drive.

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About James

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him on his, personal website, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321


  1. Nice tutorial
    Sadia Komal recently posted..The Advantages of Using CSS for Web Page DesignMy Profile

  2. I use photoshop. Did it take you a long time to learn how to use GIMP. I tried GIMP before buying photoshop and found the user interface not that easy to use. Photoshop is much easier. But, then GIMP is free so I can’t complain.

    I think it’s smart to be proficient on both because like you say you never know when you’ll only have access to GIMP. Too bad there isn’t a web-based version of photoshop.
    Peter Lawlor recently posted..My Mozy Review After Deciding to Buy Online File Backup SoftwareMy Profile

    • Hi Peter,

      I haven’t used GIMP in a while. But when I have to it takes me a few minutes to relearn the layout. It is very different. When I first started learning graphic design, I thought GIMP was the best, its can be hard to use, difficult to learn, but one you do its a powerful tool.

      But I still like Photoshop better and I am willing to pay for it.

  3. Thanks for your response James. I’m amazed how different the UI for both GIMP and Photoshop is. Anyway, I’ve paid for Photoshop and am sticking with it for now. I would still love a web-based version … I love web-based software.
    Peter Lawlor recently posted..1 Powerful Small Business Marketing Strategy: Write an Ebook to Give Away to Prospective CustomersMy Profile

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