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GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open-source image editing software program first created as a school project at the University of California Berkeley by Peter Mattis and Spencer Kimball in 1995 as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop that would be free and easily accessible by all.

GIMP was initially developed and maintained by a worldwide community of volunteers since its introduction. Available to download across Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems - GIMP is known for its powerful yet versatile features that are popular among artists, graphic designers and photographers.

GIMP has undergone significant evolution and improvement since its initial release in 1997 with version 0.54, including support for layers, channels and editable text layers. Version 1.0 arrived two years later with plugin support and user interface improvements; in 2004, version 2.0 featured an entirely new tool system and enhanced support for color management.

GIMP continues to evolve today, with updates and features continually added by developers and users alike. GIMP is known for offering layer masks, color correction tools and support for various file formats like PSD, JPEG and PNG files.

GIMP boasts not only core features but also an expansive plugin ecosystem with hundreds of available plugins extending its capabilities further, such as support for new file formats or tools for image manipulation.

GIMP is an invaluable alternative to commercial image editing software, with an impressive history dating back decades. Thanks to its open-source nature and community of developers, it has managed to remain relevant and competitive in an ever-evolving digital image editing world.

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