How to Add Text to a Photo: 3 Ways

There are so many reasons why you might want to add text to a photo. For example, maybe you’ve taken a great portrait of your family and want to turn it into an electronic Christmas card with holiday greetings on it.

Maybe you want to create a quick presentation for a business meeting and need to highlight things in each photo. It’s definitely worth knowing how to add text to an image if you work as a social media manager or have an influencer account.


Here are several ways to add text to an image.

1. Add text to a photo with Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is not free, but it is by far the best tool for all graphic design needs. It is packed with cool features like the one that lets you turn your image into a drawing. It also has more useful features, like the ability to change the color of a certain element in a photo. So it’s no wonder it’s our top choice if you want to add text to photos.

Even in Photoshop’s Text tool, there are many options, such as colors, borders, shading, modifying the shape, etc. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Go to File > Open to upload the image from your computer.
  2. Click it J button in the left menu.
  3. Click anywhere on the image. The software will add the Lorem Ipsum words, which you can remove to write your own text.
  4. Enter your text.
  5. With the top menu, you can play with the font in different ways. You can change its color, font, alignment, size, etc. While the largest size in the drop-down menu is 72pt, you can always type in a number to enlarge it.
  6. As mentioned, the text does not need to be horizontal. With the third button on the top menu (T with the arrows pointing down and to the right), you can make the text vertical. And with the T with a curve underneath, you can make text wavy, fish-eye shaped, and more.
  7. To move the text to another location on the screen, click the move tool. It’s the cross at the top of the left menu. Then drag the text where you want.
  8. When you are done, go to File > Save.

Pro tip: if you want to write a paragraph, you can create a box, so that the text is contained within the borders of the box. After selecting the Text tool, do not click on the screen. Click and drag instead to create a text box.

2. Use GIMP to Add Text Above an Image

If you don’t want to invest in a Photoshop license, GIMP is a great free alternative. Not only does it offer all the basic Photoshop features, but it also has plugins for additional functionality. It can help you crop images, enhance them and, of course, add text to images.

  1. Go to File > Open to upload the image from your computer.
  2. Click on the Text tool in the top left menu. In this software, it is the letter A.
  3. Similar to Photoshop, you can click on the screen for short text or click and drag to create a text box.
  4. After typing the text, you can change the color, font, thickness, and even letter spacing and line height. Everything is in the menu just above the text. Important note: You must select the text to edit it.
  5. To move the text, use the move toolwhich, like Photoshop, looks like a cross made of arrows.
  6. When you are done, go to File > Save.

3. Type text on your photos with Canva

The next option on the list is a cloud-based tool. This means you don’t have to download Cloth. After creating a free account, you can use it from any computer and even with the Canva mobile app.

Canva works a little differently than the other two. Since it is more geared towards graphic design, you need to decide on the size of your canvas first and then upload the image there. However, the interface is user-friendly, especially if you have no design experience.

It also offers a lot more options if you want to add text to images that don’t require a lot of work (or no work at all).

  1. Click the button to Create a drawing in the upper right corner of the home screen.
  2. Select the size of the image you want to create. You can choose from presets such as Instagram Post or Poster. Alternatively, if you want the entire canvas to be your image and you know its size, choose Custom size.
  3. In the left menu, navigate to Downloads tongue.
  4. Click on Download media and find the image on your computer.
  5. Once the image is loaded, drag it into the workspace until it fills the canvas.
  6. Navigate to the Text tab in the left menu.
  7. Here you have a lot of options. The first three provide you with header text that you can edit later. Below you will find presets for colored text, with shadows, glows, etc., which you can also modify according to your needs. Click once on your choice, and it will be added to the photo.
  8. After editing the text, you can edit it with the top menu. You can change the font, size, color (you can even easily use image colors), and more.
  9. If you press the Effects button, you can also add a shadow and change the shape of the text.
  10. To move the text, just click and drag. You can also use the Position button in the top menu to be more specific.
  11. When you are finished, press the To share to save the image or share it via email, social media, etc.

Explore the possibilities when adding text to photos

As you can see, there are myriad options for adding text to your photos. From the most basic fonts to different shapes, a combination of colors and effects. This guide shows you the basics of how to add text to photos, but there’s so much more you can explore.

We haven’t even touched on Canva’s animation option or Photoshop’s 3D text feature. So if this is a topic that interests you, it’s worth keeping reading and researching.

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