Gimp 3.0: Will the text tool be improved?


I would like to know if the text tool in the upcoming Gimp 3.0 release will be improved. Right now, it is still very uncomfortable to use.



Hello @Claus_Cyrny

I would like to know if the text tool in the upcoming Gimp 3.0 will be improved.

Yep. Absolutely :slight_smile:

There are already some improvements in the upcoming 3.0 release.
On top of this, there is a Google summer of code [1] just approved where a student, named Idriss Fekir, is about to work exactly on this feature

Idriss has already worked last summer on the text tool therefore his end results should be quite good

What kind of improvements are we talking about?

Yep, that would be good to know. On my wishlist is a vector-based text tool, and better font handling.


@Claus_Cyrny have you used other programs equivalent to GIMP such as Photoshop and did you find something in their offering that made their text tool work better than GIMP’s. In my limited experience I find the text tool in most editing programs a little clunky, but I have got used to GIMP’s text tool and wonder if I have just settled without realising how it could be improved.

What is the advantage of a vector-based text tool in a non-vector program like GIMP. Forgive my ignorance. I am just trying to understand the advantage.

As far as I know, text in Photoshop is also vector-based, and the text is being converted into a bitmap only when necessary.

Yesterday, I tried the online editor Pixlr, and found the text tool to be much better than in Gimp 2.10.30.


It probably helps to developers if you explain why it is better. It is also helps to explain what benefits it will have as the developers are all just generous people donating their time free of charge and they need to prioritize there efforts. Demonstrating case uses of why something can’t be done can help as well. Good luck with your editing. BTW, I am not a GIMP developer so I don’t appreciate the complexity of implementing your request.

After my understanding, the text tool works exactly like this in GIMP. As long as you don’t have to compute the layers prematurely and save your work file in GIMP’s own format.
Make a test: New work file with simple white background and 150 DpI. Write text with the text tool, it should appear an extra text layer in the layer palette. Save this now for security as a native Gimp file. Then you raise the DpI for the open document to 400 DpI. And behold, the text does not have to be redesigned and adapts to the higher resolution.
As exactly as it works in Photoshop.
If I have misunderstood something about your question, I would ask for a more detailed explanation.
I think that the scope of the text tool does not come to that of a vector program or even layout program is negligible, because of such specialists.

As far as I remember and not mistaken, some improvements have already been made to the text tool from .30 till the last current version .36.

Since I know the good interplay of indesign with native photoshop files, including multiple layers, vector layers, masks and text layer, this is not possible, for example, on Linux.

The new GIMP version 3 will, however, hopefully have at least some further developments for the import, export and processing of PSD files :slight_smile:

And other software under LINUX would have to learn to deal natively with the GIMP file format to provide approximate comfort in handling and sharing as in the ADOBE universe.

But in principle, I do not have a special problem because I also know good old working methods in file handling and exchange :wink:

I like how in Photoshop you can easily write out some text and then add a drop shadow, border, or bevel. Often times the background is busy and adding some of the above makes it a lot easier to make the text stand out and be readable. Being able to quickly and easily add these 3 effects to text in GIMP and tweak their settings (e.g. size of the border) would be great

Well, it is getting there, this a Gimp 2.99.18 (appimage) where you can add a border to the text and it remains an editable text layer. Of course what is not yet possible is a translation such as a rotate.


edit: I quick try-out and the GEGL bevel also applies. That is in Tools > GEGL Operation and that shows against the text layer as an adjustment option.


Yes, any GEGL operation (with a GUI) can be applied as a non-destructive filter to text, which is pretty cool. You could also add a rotation filter, but for now it’d have to be through GeglGraph which is not as convenient.