Brett Code


Adding Text to Images in GIMP

There are two Tools in the Toolbox, which I used to add (some very simple) text to an image.

The Giant A enabled a standard Text Box Tool: just draw an initial rectangle and start typing... with all the standard Font and Style selectors right there.

While the Four Way Arrow (like a compass symbol of sorts) allowed me to move the Text Box around, which seems like basic functionality for adding text, but there are other programs out there (IrfanView and Windows Paint to name but two) that I never did learn how to do this in; hence, my use of GIMP.

As far as I can tell (this is my first technical write up for GIMP, so talk about the blind leading the blind if your search brought you here), any text is inserted in a new layer. And there is probably a very easy (if non-intuitive) way to transfer an existing layer in one image to a new layer in another image. But I don't know how to do that. So, what I did instead was select the Text Tool in the first image, highlight and copy the text, open the second image, create a new Text Box, and paste the copied text into it.

Not elegant.

But it worked.

The most interesting part in all this is how the text is highlighted in GIMP: the individual characters are outlined by rectangles. And a standard copy command (ctrl c for me) grabs all the highlighted text. It looks nice... as in, it's a novel way to highlight the critical aspect of what is being selected.

And that's inserting text into an image.

I mean, if you really needed to know how to insert text, you may also need to know how to save an image; but then, once one understands that my 'save an image' is equivalent to GIMP's 'export an image' (as GIMP's save means save the workspace... or so I presume), the jig is up. And it's just a matter of hitting the right button.

Moving on.

On the philosophical side (or the artistic side... or on the philosophy of art side... or whatever you want to call it), I have the desire to tag my images (copyright them and make it clear that I own them) without impacting any image's inherent artistic value. As such, I have been veering away from boiler plate language or default watermarks and trying to be more original in how I claim ownership of said images. And in this particular instance (BrettRants: Pyramid Scheme) adding some fake documentary text to the image itself seemed like the way to go.

Or if that's not clear, commercials seem so last century. While if done properly (and it is hard to do properly, think Reese's Pieces in ET, which I just learned this moment, Hershey spent a million dollars for the privilege of being featured therein) can be highly rewarding (as confirmed by the subsequent sales of Reese's Pieces going through the roof). So, like, for my images (more and more), I wish to subtly claim ownership, but not hit people over the heads with my ownership of said artistic work.

Or in other words, I'd much rather end this page by saying this has been another (relatively useless) tech bulletin (unless you are a Future Intelligence and are trying to figure out how 21st Century Man learned) by B.P. (the Brilliant Programmer) rather than using the more heavy-handed copyright notice (as seen almost everywhere else, and) below.

On the other hand, I do find it useful to know when things were written. And usually, the only way to find that out is by looking at the copyright notice.

command line image manipulations

© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler