Image editing: GIMP explainer 4 of 5

Add text to an image

All our image editing explainers are waffle-free and work-tested. That’s the guarantee!

Open an image and add text to it.


Name of explainer: Open an image and add text to it

Creative theme: Image editing

Software used: GIMP

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 4 of 5 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Open an image, resize it and save it
  2. Open an image, rotate it and crop it
  3. Open an image and apply basic colour correction
  4. Open an image and add text
  5. Create a new image with a single-colour background

The Software

This series of beginner explainers uses GIMP, which is completely free to download and use.

Get your copy of GIMP now.

This month we’re also running explainer series for Photoshop (which requires a paid monthly or yearly subscription) and Corel PaintShop Pro (which is a one-time purchase of around 70 pounds / 80 US dollars).

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER workflow explainer, so you just need to install and open the software. We’ll take it from there.

If you’re new to IT / computing, you may need help downloading and installing the software. Start with a search for ‘how do i install gimp’ or speak with someone who’s familiar with downloading and installing.

Why would I do this?

Adding text directly on top of an image is the quickest way to create a simple greeting, meme image or basic poster. Text is usually added in separate layout or publishing software such as Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Publisher, but adding it directly ‘on top of’ images will always be a handy option for quick and easy workflows.

Let’s do it!

Click the play icon to watch this video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can also watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

Good to know

The text fonts (or ‘typefaces’) available in GIMP are those built-in to your computer as well as any automatically installed by other creative software. You can search for and download fonts at sites including Quality and pricing varies, and always check a font includes a ‘full’ character set if you will need it for diverse projects, as some sets only include numbers, letters and essential punctuation.

Where to next?

The art of TYPOGRAPHY is a course in itself. Here’s a friendly introduction illustrating the timeline from metal typesetting through to the screen fonts we use today:

Remember, this is part of a series of explainers for GIMP – Join us again for the other explainers in the series 🙂

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in February 2023. This page was last updated in February 2023.

We at are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the team. Modern software gives users many ways in which to accomplish the same task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to reference multiple options. All computer users should run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risk.

This is number 9 of the 15 explainer videos available for image editing month! Make sure you check out the others!