How to Add Text to Your Photos in Gimp 2.8

So you’re already using cool pictures to spice up your blog post but why not make it more original by adding text. It’s easy to do with the free graphics program, Gimp 2.8. Gimp allows you to create text or imaged based graphics within the program itself and you can also import your own photographs to edit.

Install Software

You can get Gimp 2.8 here. Once you’ve downloaded the software, install and you will be ready to proceed to creating your original images.

Upload Your Photo

Start by choosing an image you would like to work with. Then to get your photo into Gimp you will click the File menu at the top of your screen, click Open, choose your photo, and click Open at the bottom of the dialog box.

*Note: if you are unable to see your preview photo at the left of the dialog box window, click anywhere within the preview window and your photo will appear.

Add Text

When you opened Gimp two smaller windows opened within the program, one is the Toolbox and the other is the Layers dialog box.


1. In the Layers box click the Create New Layer button (1st button at the bottom of the layers dialog box)

Your new layer will be highlighted on top in the layers box.

2. Click the Text Tool button in the Toolbox Dialog Box (Its the button with the “A” on it)

3. Click on your photo and drag to create a text box.

4. Click inside the text box you just created and type your text. Your text will be very small but you can adjust the font, font color and font size in the Toobox.

Note: be sure to highlight your text in the text box so changes will take affect.

5. To move your text you will choose the Move Tool which looks like a cardinal directions sign with arrows on each point. Be sure the layer you are working on is highlighted in the layers box and choose the Move Tool in the Toolbox. You will then be able to move your text to anywhere on your photo.

Save Photo

The normal extension for a Gimp file is .xcf (which will automatically populate), so click Save As and name your photo with the .xcf extension. This will save the photo in the Gimp format for use only in Gimp.

If you want your photo in a format you can use electronically save the photo with the .jpg extension. To do this click on Export, name your file and be sure to use the .jpg extension. Another dialog box will open, click Export (again) to save your photo.

Note: you can export the photo to a .png format the same way.

Using this technique will help your photos stand out from the rest. Be creative!


  1. This is great info. I downloaded gimp and then I didn’t know what to do after that. I felt lost. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. I loved the step by step directions with pictures! I’m a visual learner, and I was so inspired by how simple you made this look that I went out and practiced on a picture of my own. This was a really great tutorial, and I love that Gimp is FREE! Thanks for sharing.

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