How to install GIMP plugins with ease [Windows 10 & Mac]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • 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, and today we’ll show you how to install GIMP plugins.
  • To get the latest version of GIMP or just learn more about it, visit our GIMP installation guide.
  • For more in-depth guides like this one, be sure to check our Software Hub.
install gimp plugin

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?

1. Extract the plugins

  1. Download the GIMP plugin.
  2. Once you locate it, double-click its archive to open it.
  3. Navigate to:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins
plugins directory install gimp plugin

  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. How to install the GIMP DDS plugin

  1. Download the GIMP DDS plugin (be sure to select the version that matches your operating system).
    gimp dds install gimp plugin
  2. Locate the downloaded archive and open it.
  3. Locate the dds.exe file and extract it to the:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-insdds.exe install gimp plugin

  1. Start GIMP and the plugin will be installed.

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


3. How to install the GIMP 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. How to install the GIMP 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. How to install the GIMP 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.

Conclusion

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.

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