Chamblee54

Adding Text With GIMP

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 27, 2015

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UPDATE 2015 This is another update. New things are learned all the time. I use this method primarily to create graphic poems. It can be used for all sorts of graphic mischief. It also works for single color text… just anchor the text in place when you are happy with it.
UPDATE The original version of this tutorial was written using an older version of GIMP. If you have an older copy of the program, you can use the link to find this tutorial. This edition of the tutorial is based on GIMP 2.8.10.
This tutorial is about using GIMP to put borders around text. If you are making graphic images, this step allows you to use almost any image as a background. This tutorial is based on the embedded video. There are a few things different in the version in this post. The video has some jivvy music, which some of you will enjoy. Pictures today were created using the methods described in this tutorial. One poem uses non standard size images.
This process does not always make sense. It is not always logical. Just follow the instructions. If you make a mistake, and something does not work, just close out the window and start over. Keep these instructions handy the first few times you do this. After a while it will be easy.
This tutorial uses GIMP. If you use photoshop, you probably already know how to do this, or how to find someone to show you. If you need to download GIMP, use the link. This tutorial was written for the PC. Mac users can find help on their own.
If you go in the Edit menu of GIMP, you see an option, Keyboard Shortcuts. There are user created Shortcuts used in this process. 400% enlargement is selected using 3. Tool Options is ctrl + d. Scale layer is shift + a. Crop to selection is w. Using the menu is always an option.
Create a template for the text. Open a new window. (ctrl + n) Set the size. For pictures at chamblee54, the standard size is 720 x 447, pixels. Under Advanced Options, Fill with, choose Transparency. Save this template using the .xcf format. The chamblee54 name is 720447t.xcf. You are going to use this file again. (If you like, you can create the text directly onto the background image, and skip this step.)
01 Create a folder for your project. Create this folder in a place where you can find it easily. Create a sub folder, and name the sub folder “old”. When you finish working with a picture, drag the background picture into the “old” folder. Copy the text template file, and paste it into the project folder. If you do this, when you Export the file, the renamed file will go in your project folder.
02 Open GIMP. If you double click on the text template file, the program will open. Open the Toolbox, (ctrl + b) Tool Options, (ctrl + d) and Layers dialog window. (ctrl + L) In the Move tool (m), make sure that under Move, you have layers selected. (This is the icon on the far left.) Under Tool Toggle, choose “Move the active layer.” You will probably need to select this at the start of the project.
03 Compose the text in a word document. Try to make all revisions before starting to create the images. Copy the selected line of test into the window when appropriate.
04 Choose a font. Choose foreground, and background, colors. There are fonts other than Impact. There are colors other than black and white. Copy the longest line of text. Paste it into the text rectangle. (See step 06) Go to the triangles next to the size window, in the Tool Options. Click on the up triangle as many times as you can. When the text is too big for one line, hit the down triangle. This is the size of the text. Note this number, and the font used, in the text word document. If you have to leave and come back, you will want to know how big to make the text. Close the window, and select Discard Changes. Start working with the first line of text.
05 Before performing the next few steps, click on the status bar of the text template window. You want to perform this action in the selected window. and you want the text template window to be selected. If you choose a command, and apply it to the wrong window, it will mess things up. You want as little frustration as possible.
06 Select Text. (t) Draw a rectangle on the picture. Try to start the rectangle as close to the left edge as possible, and go all the way to the right edge. Make sure it is tall enough for the letters. Paste the text into the rectangle. Before pasting in the text, hit the space bar one time. With some fonts, you will need to hit enter, to avoid cutting off the top of the text. When you make this image larger, it will need room to grow. Paste the selected text into the text window. (ctrl + v)
07 Select text from path. Choose “Text to Path” from the Layer menu. (alt+L, p)
08 Select “From Path” from Select menu. (alt + s, o) The text is now coated in flashing dash marks. This has something to do with being selected.
09 Select “Grow” from Select menu. (alt + s, g) The “Grow Selection” window will appear. Type 3 in the highlighted field. If you want to have a bigger border, put a larger number in. Click OK. (enter)
10 Select “Fill with BG Color” from Edit menu. (ctrl + .) The Text Editor window should go away now. If the Text Editor window does not go away, something is wrong.
11 Select “None” from Select menu. (ctrl + shift + a) As we mentioned earlier, some of these steps don’t make sense. This is one of those steps.
12 Click anywhere on text. The “Confirm Text Editing” window will appear. Select “Create New Layer”. (alt + n) The new layer of text is automatically centered on the enlarged layer of text. Try to click towards the left side of the text. If the new layer of text does not appear in the center, hit undo, (ctrl + z) and try again.
13 Select the Toolbox. (ctrl + b) If you leave the text window selected, you will continue to add text when you hit d, 3, and m. On some machines, you need to select the layers dialog. (ctrl + L)
14 Select “Merge Down” from the Layer menu. (d) Where you once had three layers, you will now have two. Enlarge the text to 400%. (3) Select Move. (m) Make sure that under Move, you have layers selected. (This is the icon on the far left.) Under Tool Toggle, choose “Move the active layer.” You will probably need to select this at the start of the project.
15 Move the finished text into place. If it goes at the bottom of the picture, move it to the bottom right hand corner. Place the baseline a few pixels off the bottom. If you are doing multiple images, make sure the bottom line is the same for all the panels. (Most chamblee54 images are 720×447 pixels. The baseline of the text is resting on 431 pixels. The baseline is the bottom part of the word bottom. The descender of g,j,p, or q, is going to be below the baseline.)
16 Position the right edge of the text flush against the right edge of the picture. Scroll to the left side of the text. Place the cursor over the left edge of the text, and see what the pixel counter says. The first number will be width, the second number is height. Note the position of the left edge of the text. See the location in pixels. Divide the first number in half. Move the edge of the text to this number. Scroll to the right side of the text, and confirm that the distance to the edge of the picture is the same on both sides. Confirm that the bottom of the text is on 431, or the correct level.
17 Anchor the two layers of text. (d) Reduce text to 100%. (1) Drag the rectangle tool (r) around the outside the file. Select “Crop to selection.” (w, alt. + i, c) This will make the file size 720 x 447. This will be helpful when you drag the file onto a background image.
18 Save the line of text. Select “Save as”. (cntrl + shift + s) The file will be saved as an .xcf file. This is peculiar to GIMP. You can paste it onto as many backgrounds as you need to.
19 You can also use this .xcf file while cropping the background image. Open the background image. Drag the .xcf file on top. Open Scale Layer (shift + a, alt.+ L, s) Adjust the size of the text to fit your needs. Trace the outline of the .xcf file with the rectangle tool (r.) Go to the Layers dialog, click the .xcf file, and click on the trash can. Scale the image (z) to the same size as the .xcf file (720 x 447.) Type 720 into the Width field. If the Height field is not 447, click on the chain link symbol to the right. The chain will now have a spce in it. You can type 447, or anything else you want, in the Height field. Select “Export as”. (cntrl + shift + e) Give the finished product a name. If you like, you can hit the left shift key, and type in an x. The image will now be named x001.
20 Hit delete. This will clear the line of text from the template. Repeat steps 06-18. Some people like to make all the text files before adding backgrounds. I like to do a few text files, and then add the backgrounds. If the font, and colors, don’t work, change them.
21 Drag a background picture into the text template window, or drag the text template window into the background picture. Its all good. In the Layers dialog, select Background. Click on the little green arrow going up. If you are happy with the results, anchor the text onto the picture. (d) If you are not happy with the results, select the picture, and click on the garbage can in the lower right corner. Drag another picture into the text template window. Repeat process until you are happy with the results.
22 Export the picture. You may be used to using Save. In GIMP, you do not Save the final product, you Export. Select “Export as”. (cntrl + shift + e) Give the finished product a name. Drag the background picture, and the text file, into the “old” folder. Close the window. (alt + F4) (Be careful not to close Toolbox.) Select Discard Changes. (alt + d) Start another image.
Here is a quick reference for the basic steps.
01 Paste text into text template window.
02 “Text to Path” (alt+L, p)
03 “Select “From Path” (alt + s, o)
04 “Grow” (alt + s, g) (enter)
05 “Fill with BG Color” (ctrl + .)
06 “None” (ctrl + shift + A)
07 Click anywhere on text. “Create New Layer”. (alt + n)
08 Toolbox (ctrl + b) Merge Down (d) Enlarge 400% (3) Move (m)
09 Center text at bottom of window. Merge Down (d)
10 Reduce 100% (1) Drag rectangle tool around file. (r)
11 Save text template file as line number. (ctrl + shift + S)
12 Hit delete, repeat steps 01-10 with next line of text.
13 Combine background image with text template window. Put text in front. Merge Down. (d) Export image. (cntrl + shift + e)

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  1. Curmudgeon Day | Chamblee54 said, on January 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    […] this down in your text file, in case you forget later. For more information on text creation, see this tutorial. Background pictures are mannequins from Perimeter Mall. These plastic people are easy to […]


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