|Getting Started with The GIMP: an informal tutorial: CSLUG and Rock Eagle Presentations, October 2002|
|Prev||Chapter 2. Adding Text to an Existing Image||Next|
We'll now add text to this image. To select the text tool, go back to the main Gimp panel, and click on the "T". This selects the tool. In this case, we'd like to change the tool default values: that's done by double-clicking on the tool selector. Double click on the "T" and you should see a window like this:
The Text Tool Options window.
The GIMP defaults to the older text tool - it works, but I'd highly recommend you click the "Use Dynamic Text" checkbox. The default text tool only allows a single line of text, whereas Dynamic Text allows multiple lines. There are numerous other improvements as well.
It's not necessary to close the "Tool Options" window: you can leave it open and it will reflect the options of whatever tool you're using, or you can close it. The choice is yours.
If you move the pointer over the image, you'll see that you get the "I-beam" indicator, showing you that if you click on the image you'll be inserting text. Each tool you can use in the GIMP has its own cursor indicator like this, and you'd be wise (wiser than me) to pay attention to what the cursor is telling you. If you click on the image with the wrong tool, you can do some bad things to your image.
Which brings us to another digression about a very useful key combination. "Ctrl-Z" is possibly the most important thing you can learn about the GIMP. It means "Undo the last change." Please note that you have to have an image window selected for it to work. You can undo multiple changes - usually five, although you can reset the value in the defaults.
Click on the image to bring up the text tool. If you're using Dynamic Text, it doesn't really matter where you click, as the Text Tool has a positioning control built in. I don't find this useful when adding text to pictures, it's easier to just let it drop the text where it wants and then I can move the text to where I want it to be. See the images that follow to see how I set up the text, and where it appears on the image.
The Text Tool window, set up to put in the text for the picture I'm working on. I selected the "nimbus roman" font, bold, 50 pixels. The default text colour is black (the black square near the top left) but you can select another colour. I haven't selected Layer Alignment, so it places the text in the upper left corner.
The picture with text added. The default location if you don't position the text, in the upper left corner.
Note the black and yellow dashed line around the text. This indicates that the text has been created in a new layer, and that means it's time for another digression.