How to Put Images Inside Text

Updated on: August 5, 2013

Filling text with an image (or images) is a powerful graphic effect that will really make your work pop. This tutorial will take you through every step of the process.

1.) First, let's open a blank canvas. Go to File > New or Press Ctrl+N.

the new image drop down menu

A pop-up box will open. You can set the size of your canvas depending on your preferences. Also, you can change the unit system (into inches, mm, cm, etc.) if you're not comfortable with the default setting. When you're happy with everything, click OK.

the new image dialogue

2.) Choose a picture from your computer or from the internet. Copy it by Right Clicking > Copy/Copy Image or Press Ctrl+C.

copying a google images search result

Go back to the Gimpshop canvas and paste your image. Right Click > Edit > Paste or Press Ctrl+V. The picture you copied will appear on the canvas.

the canvas with an image pasted on in

Afterwards, click the New Layer icon on the lower left corner of the Layer Dialog Box.  If you can't locate the Layer Dialog Box, go to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Layers or simply Press Ctrl + L.

The new layer dialogue

If you want to add more pictures, repeat the process until you're happy.

More pictures pasted onto the canvas

You can also use the Move tool to adjust the image/s. Click the 4-sided arrow icon in the Toolbox or press M.

The Gimpshop tool dialogue

Then click and drag a picture to change its position.

an image showing how to move images on the canvas

3.) Now, let's add text. Click the A icon in the Toolbox or Press T.

the gimpshop toolbar with the text tool selected

In the Tool Options, you can edit the font and font size. I chose a really bold font and a large font size so you can see the images clearly later.

the text tool dialogue

When you're happy with your settings, click anywhere in the canvas. The text editor will open. It's a pop-up box where you can type your text.

the text editor window

You'll see that anything you type in the text editor will appear in your canvas. Feel free to use the Move tool if you're not happy with the text position.

moving the text into position on the canvas

4.) Next, click the layer directly under the Text layer and add a New Layer.

the layers menu

A pop-up box will open. Set the fill type to white then click Ok.

the new layer creation dialogue

Now, only the text should be visible.

the text on a plain white background

5.) Next Right Click on the Text Layer and Click Text to Selection.

the layers menu with create a new selection from text highlighted

Next, hide the text layer by clicking on the eye icon beside it.

the layers menu with the hide layer icon selected

You'll notice that the text isn't visible on the canvas anymore.

the canvas with just the text selection visible

6.) Click on the white layer (a.k.a. "New Layer") in the Layer Dialog Box.

the layer menu with the new layer selected

Right Click on the canvas > Edit > Clear or Press delete.

the edit menu with clear selected

Now you'll notice the images inside your text.

The canvas with images visible in the text

Use the Move tool to reposition the images.

the canvas with images repositioned in the text

You'll notice there's white space on the right that doesn't completely fill up the text. You can add another picture to fill that up.   Copy another image and paste it in on the canvas. The image won't appear right away. Add a new layer to make it visible.

the canvas with a new image added on top of the text

You'll notice that the new image is outside the boundaries of the text. To fix this, click and drag the Pasted Layer under the white layer (a.k.a. New Layer).

the layer menu with the new image's layer highlighted

After you've done this, the image will now be inside the text.

the canvas with the new image inside the text

Use the Move tool to reposition the images.

the canvas with the new image repositioned inside the text

Some of the layers are overlapping with each other. To fix this, first select the overlapping layer in the Layer Dialog Box. When you select a layer, a dashed rectangular box will appear around the image that's on the layer. This is how you'll find out which layer to edit.

the canvas with layer 2 selected

After clicking on the layer, click the Eraser tool in the Toolbox or press Shift+E. Afterwards, in the Tool Options, click the area specified below to edit the brush texture.

the gimpshop toolbar with the eraser selected

A drop-down menu will appear. Select a soft brush (the circles with blurred edges).

the brushes dialogue with a soft brush selected

On your canvas, erase the areas which overlap. You'll notice a smoother transition from one image to another. This is how a soft brush works as compared to a hard brush.

the canvas with overlapping layers being erased

You can continue to erase the edges of the other images to create a really smooth, seamless effect. (Remember to select the layer that contains the image first! Otherwise, you won't be able to edit it.) Feel free to reposition the images as well. Erase and adjust until you're satisfied.

the canvas with the final result of erasing

7.) Lastly, if you want to create a more 3-D effect to your text, Click on the white layer a.k.a. New Layer in the Layer Dialog Box.

the layers menu with the masking layer selected

Go to Filters> Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow.

the filters menu with light and shadow and then drop shadow selected

A pop-up box will appear. Edit the X-offset to adjust the shadows created along the horizontal axis. Meanwhile, the Y-offset adjusts the vertical shadows, and the blur radius corresponds to the overall area that the shadow will cover. Deselect Allow Resizing to avoid any unwanted changes to the image. Afterwards, click OK.

the drop shadow dialogue

Here's how the final product should look like.

the final result

Final Words

Great job! You just learned how to place images inside text using Gimpshop. You can apply this newfound knowledge to create beautiful typography created from a collage of pictures. Check out the links below for more Gimpshop tutorials!

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