Best Selection Tools in a FOSS Photo Editor

Don’t hate me. I’m primarily a Windows user. This might not be the best place to ask because of that. What’s the best FOSS or just freeware with the best selection tools? I have a helluva time selecting objects in the popular free photo editors that I’ve tried like GIMP and Photoshop has, by far, the best selection tools available of everything I’ve tried with selection refinement tools and the newer AI-based subject selection tool. But I’m a cheap *ss. So what have you peeps tried for the best, most accurate, quickest selections (preferably for Windows).

Can you give an example of what you would try to select in what picture?


if by selection tools you mean something like “how to make a red circle around an object without going 3 menus deep like in gimp” i am all about kolourpaint, but that’s because i am mostly mid-caveman level when it comes to any kind of actual graphics work. there was this recent (-ish) thread about gimp in case there is anything in it that might be of use.


If it’s about Photoshop vs GIMP, I can compare current GIMP (2.10) to Photoshop CS2, which is quite an old software…
I can tell, for me the selection tools work quite similar. There’s the “magic” something, which selects based on color.
You can adjust the threshold, and apply softening the selection edges. I didn’t see any major difference to what Photoshop does with the similar tool.
Then there’s the lasso. Just the same as in Photoshop.
Photoshop has a great tool named magnetic lasso, the GIMP alternative is “intelligent scissor”.
They work very-very similar.
These are the selection tools I used so far, so the list may be incomplete on both GIMP/Photoshop.


I’m talking about more advanced selections with hair or complex backgrounds. I have found nothing comparable to the quality of Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool. GIMP’s Scissors Select Tool doesn’t compare. The Foreground Select Tool can produce some okay results, but still takes a long time to select and the results are still unsatisfactory compared to Photoshop’s tools. Are there other better options?

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Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tools and selection refinement tools have been much easier to use and produce better results in much quicker time.

If you have the possibility to use Photoshop on Windows and find it much superior, you can just use the same program on Photoshop. Especially older versions have very good Linux compatability through Wine.


I’m also trying to move my entire software collection to FOSS or freeware. I just haven’t found any FOSS photo editors that have comparable results to Photoshop’s tools.

Well, that is expected, when you compare a product made by a multi-billion dollar company to a product mainly supported by volunteers around the world. It will always be an unfair battle, as long as the system stays the way it is, right now.


Photoflare is my favorite photo editor, available in most latest linux distributions or:

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And your response is to be expected. Oh well. I’ll just see what the future holds for now.

What selection tools does it have?

As of my last update in January 2023, Adobe Photoshop does not provide a native version for Linux. However, Linux users have found workarounds to install and run Photoshop on their systems. One of the most popular methods is using Wine, a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems.

Here’s how you can install Photoshop using Wine:

  1. Install Wine:

How to Install Adobe Photoshop on Linux Ubuntu & Linux Mint

First, you need to install Wine. If it’s not already installed, you can generally do so from your package manager. For Ubuntu/Debian-based distributions, you can use:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install wine64 wine32
  1. Download Photoshop Installer:

    Go to the official Adobe website and download the Photoshop installer for Windows. For this tutorial, we’ll assume you’re installing a CS or CC version.

  2. Install Photoshop using Wine:

    Navigate to the directory containing the Photoshop installer (e.g., PhotoshopSetup.exe). Open a terminal in that directory and run:

    wine PhotoshopSetup.exe

    Follow the installation process as if you were on a Windows machine.

  3. Launch Photoshop:

    After the installation is complete, you can run Photoshop using Wine from the terminal:

    wine "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop [Your_Version]\Photoshop.exe"
  4. Potential Issues & Fixes:

    • Fonts might look odd: You might need to install Microsoft core fonts. On some distributions, you can use the ttf-mscorefonts-installer package.
    • If you encounter DLL errors, you may need to install them manually using winetricks or place them in the appropriate Wine system folder.
    • For better compatibility and a smoother experience, you might want to use PlayOnLinux, a graphical frontend for Wine that allows you to manage different Wine versions and configurations for each application separately.
  5. Consider Alternatives:

    If you’re not adamant about using Photoshop and are open to alternatives, consider software like GIMP (which is open-source) or Krita. They offer a wide range of features and are natively supported on Linux.

Remember, even with all these steps, Wine doesn’t guarantee 100% compatibility with all features of Photoshop. Depending on the Photoshop version and the specific features you use, your mileage may vary. Always ensure you’re legally allowed to run the software in this manner, according to the software’s licensing agreement.


Hi @Mantap_Tech ,
Welcome to itsFOSS
That is a really useful coverage of Wine
It is also possible to run Windows in a VM run by Linux, but
my experience is the performance of Win in a VM is quite poor.


Good mention, but not an “almighty” recipe.

Look at this table, and where you see “garbage” chances are that version won’t work so easily…

So the end result (having a working Photoshop in WINE) highly depends on the actual version to be installed.

Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:



Welcome to ItsFOSS! I consider myself a relative newcomer although I’ve been a member for a while now. I’ve found the community to be very supportive and friendly. I suspect that your experience will be very similar.

You provided a very clear, complete and concise description of Wine. I don’t use it myself at present, but if I decide to drop Windows all together at some point, I may find that I need it. I’m saving a link to your post because I think it’ll be very helpful, should that need arise.

Thank you for what you’ve brought to the ItsFOSS community,


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