How to Install GIMP Plug-Ins: DDS, SCM, VTF, and Grid

Learn how to improve your GIMP app with plug-ins

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • GIMP is a solid image editor, but it might lack certain features that other image editors have.
  • You can add the missing features to GIMP by using plugins.
  • Today we’ll show you how to install GIMP plugins on your Windows 10 device.
install gimp plugin
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When it comes to image editing, GIMP is one of the best free applications for that. Although GIMP is great, it does lack certain features.

This is where plugins come in handy, and they can really enhance your GIMP experience.

Since plugins can be so useful, in today’s article we’re going to show you how to install a GIMP plugin on your computer.

How can I install a GIMP plugin on a PC?

1. Universal method of installing plug-ins

  1. Download a GIMP plugin.
  2. Once you locate it, double-click its archive to open it.
  3. Navigate to:
plugins directory install gimp plugin

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins

  1. Now extract the plugin there.

Note: Some plugins won’t work with the 64-bit version of Windows, especially the older ones.

For Mac computers, the path is:

/Applications/GIMP.app/Contents/Resources/lib/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/

Use this path for all plugins listed in this article if you’re on Mac.

After copying the plugins, you should be able to find them in the Filters section most likely.


2. Install the GIMP DDS plugin

1. Download the GIMP DDS plugin from the official website (be sure to select the version that matches your operating system).

install gimp dds plugin

2. Locate the downloaded archive and open it.

3. Search for the the dds.exe file and extract it to: C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins

dds plugin file extract

4. Start GIMP.

5. The DDS plugin is now installed.

The DDS plugin adds to GIMP the ability to load and open DDS files on it. Version 2.10 and newer of GIMP have built-in DDS support. If you are using an older version, you need to manually install the GIMP DDS plugin.

Version 2.10 and newer of GIMP have built-in DDS support, so you won’t have to manually install the DDS plugin.


3. Install the SCM plugin

  1. Download the plugin and open its archive.
  2. Go to the:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\scripts

  1. Paste the .scm files there.

After moving the plugins to the proper folders, you just need to manually start GIMP.

If you’re on Mac, the folder path is:

/Applications/GIMP.app/Contents/Resources/share/gimp/2.0/scripts/


4. Install the VTF plugin

  1. Download the GIMP VTF plugin.
  2. Open the archive.
  3. Navigate to the following folder:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins\

  1. Extract file-vtf.exe and VTFLib.dll there.
    file-vtf.exe install gimp plugin
  2. Now start GIMP again and the plugin will be installed.

5. Install the Grid plugin

  1. Download the GIMP grid plugin.
    grid plugin install gimp plugin
  2. Copy the grid_based.py file to the following directory:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins\

  1. Start GIMP and the plugin should be installed.

Installing GIMP plugins is simple, and you can install DDS, VTF, and grid plugins simply by extracting their files to the GIMP plug-ins directory.

As for SCM plugins, the process is almost identical, except that you need to extract them to the scripts directory instead.

If GIMP plugins can’t give you the functionality that you’re looking for, you can always download and install Adobe Photoshop using our guide.

We hope that this article helped you install the desired GIMP plug-ins. Let us know in the comments section below if you have any questions.

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